; Pity the poor slave waiting tables – The Citizen

Pity the poor slave waiting tables

A waiter serves meals.

A waiter serves meals.

The system of ’employing’ a waitron is flawed, bordering on exploitation. Something like Chinese sweat shops. No basic wage. No reward for good work.

Waitressing. Or waiting. Or waitroning. Call it whatever gives you a craving for the good things in life – it remains an unenviable job. Because diners, at best, are a difficult bunch, expecting superb service, especially given today’s loaded prices.

I mean, if you’re paying R40 for a glass of doos wine, and R200 for an apology for a sole, you deserve something in return.

Like high service levels.

But are we getting it? Quick answer in most cases: no. Why?

Simple. The system of “employing” a waitron is flawed, bordering on exploitation. Something like Chinese sweat shops. No basic wage. No reward for good work. So the poor soul is solely reliant on tips. And again, because of exorbitant prices, the diner becomes mingy, coughing up with the barest minimum.

Who scores? The greedy restaurateur.

Okay, there are exceptions (and those are the ones we keep supporting), but in the main, waitrons suck hind tit.

And who can blame them for their don’t-care attitude? No wonder they make you wait for the menus; or, bring the drinks menus; or, bring the drinks 30 minutes after ordering; or, fail to scan the tables in case a diner needs something – like a salt cellar, or serviette or a coffee refill; or, make you wait for the bill – and then make you wait even longer for your credit card or change.

When these eateries start sliding (then shut shop) the errant owners throw up their arms and whine: “Why? Our food is so good.” The answer, you kings and queens of exploiters, lies with you.

Conversely, restaurants that make it, are owned by people who’ve learnt to properly manage their businesses – including the ever-important waitrons. They teach them the art of carrying dishes, how to handle diners and get them to memorise the entire menu (with possible options and variables).

Oh, and they reward them with built-in incentives – over and above the expected tips!

Check out these eateries, and you’ll find the same staffers just waiting to wait on you, year in and year out. Happy waitrons, happy diners, happy restaurateurs.

A threesome whetting the taste glands for more.

Cliff Buchler.

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