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FOOD SERVER - A Day In The Life Of A Waiter Or Waitress

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A Day in the Life of a Waiter or Waitress

Let's imagine you've been hired as a member of the waitstaff at your local bistro. You have the 5 PM to 11 PM shift. What do you do?

4:30 PM

A pre-shift employee meal is served, usually at a discount, but you have to arrive before your shift to take advantage of it.

5:15 PM

Be in your full serving uniform. Head to the staff meeting, where you'll learn the evening's specials, your table section assignment, and the “86 list” (what the restaurant is out of).

5:30 PM

Start your premial (pronounced PREE-mee-ul) work, which is just fancy talk for making sure all of the tables in your section are set and have condiment dispensers that are full and clean.

6:00 PM

Wait on your first table of the evening.

10:00 PM

Kitchen closes. Start your sidework (post-shift) work, which is the reverse of your premial work. Clean coffee machines and tables. Be considerate and leave a clean section for the next day's first shift.

10:30 PM

Cash out—that is, collect your money and tips.

11:00 PM

Head home.

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