A Note From the Editor
Author: Maggie Washo | Photographer: Photography by Anne
In past years, I habitually used my September Editor’s Note to share some things I had learned throughout that particular year. I’m bringing it back this month with a few things I learned while working in the food & beverage industry for almost 10 years. As with many young people, this was my first foray into the workforce. I found it an invaluable experience and somewhat “character-building” as my mom would say.
1. How to get up early: Really early. Contrary to what most people think about the F&B lifestyle (work, play, sleep ’til noon), since I was a breakfast server at the Hilton Resort, my day started at 5:30 a.m. Ouch.
2. How to grin and bear it: You may think that people on vacation are the happiest, most cheerful lot you are bound to encounter. This, unfortunately, is not the case.
Vacations can be tough for families, for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to the following: There was a dead palmetto bug to greet them when they checked in to their $10,000 a week beach house and the next day the AC went out; the children are off of their nap schedule and are expressing themselves in a “negative way”; father is stressed because the dollar bills are flying out of his wallet, and mother has been self-medicating with wine and stolen cigarettes for a week now. What does this mean for you? As you approach their table with a pot of coffee and a big warm, Southern smile, they are looking for an outlet on which to vent their frustration. How convenient that you just happened upon them with a “Good Morning y’all.”
3. How to Tip: Properly. Servers make $2.13 an hour. If they are around for a long time, and the restaurant is successful, maybe $5. Newsflash: This is not enough to live on, unless you live in a third world country. Servers, bartenders and busboys depend on your tips to survive, so tip properly with at least 20 percent. If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to eat out.
4. How to Judge a Person’s Character: Have you ever been out to dinner with someone who talked down to the wait staff? I have, and it occurred to me that I didn’t want to associate with that person anymore.
5. How to “Say No to Drugs”: To borrow a phrase from Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
In honor of our Fifth Annual Love Affair with Food issue, we are celebrating all month with restaurant gift certificate giveaways on our Facebook page. (See p. 73 for details). To kick off this September celebration, we’ll start with my picture. The first person to e-mail me the name of the artist and video/song we are parodying in this photo will get a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant of his or her choice. E-mail answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now go eat some bacon!