Monday, January 17, 2011
The Cheapest Tippers and the Worst Group of People To Serve
You might be surprised to note this but they are skiers! Yes downhill skiers to be precise.
I worked at this ski resort one time which came with the rooms , dining restaurant , games room etc...
The dining room where I worked as a waiter was really big and although some parts of it were meant for couples the majority of it were four tops that were rectangle so that in a moment's notice you could put a few side by side to make an 8-10 or 12 top in a flash.
You see skiers are there for the runs. Eating is something they just have to do and really get out of the way so they can ski more. Skiing also is one of those sports where you meet a lot of people doing it.
So the evening would begin with you making a seating plan with the reservations you have in the book. You made the plan then assigning the tables etc.. and then about an hour into service you just throw the plan away.
What would happen is let's say you have a table of 6 ( 4 kids and parents ) assigned a table and they are in room 102. Next thing you know is they want room 401 to join them who has two kids and parents. Now you have a 10 top! And 6 kids to boot!
Another time one is coming to dinner and you are ready to seat them when table 37 waves at them to come join their table. Now that table of two is a six top cause there are now two kids in the mix.
Then to wait on these tables was heavy enough. Every other minute you were getting Shirley Temples or more ketchup for the fries on the kid's plate. The kids were out of control , people trying to get your attention from all sides. Can I have more water, Pepsi, can I see the dessert menu? It just never stopped.
Tables of 6 would turn into 16 with 7 kids.
Then it was the separate bills. And the seating order was screwed up cause what started out from seat 1 to 4 those seat numbers were somewhere in the middle now cause you had to add some tables and chairs. Who was paying and leaving and who was staying. Whatever was going on you had to know.
Now skiing is something I would have loved to learn how to do. I mean I lived in Switzerland for two years! The Alps were right there. And I dare say some of those skiers in the Alps probably would leave a good tip.
But the ski resort that caters to families don't go there thinking you are going to make any money. It is more grief than anything else. The only experience you will get is learning how to work while being hollered at and telling people that after I am finished here ( with this guest ) I will be right over to see you.
If you haven't yet worked at a family ( average Joe ) ski resort don't apply. I don't think my experience is unique. It is part of a waiter's story I guess.
Radio talk show host of "The Hospitality Industry News Network" and author of "You Only Live Once" about his early years traveling around and working on ships and foreign countries Steven blogs about his thoughts on the restaurant industry as he sees it today.
Check out his web site at www.stevennicolle.com for more information.