How to treat the Talent

I recently wrote an article for Roxi that was aimed at all my fellow service industry people out there. I shared a small handful of ideas on how to beef up your popularity by stockpiling great Roxi reviews. Let’s be honest; the more quickly and easily we can climb that ladder of experience, the better. To be fair, I’ve decided to write a sort of counter post geared towards Hosts, offering a few recommendations on how to better treat catering and waitstaff.

The servers of the world have humbly earned a giant nod for being patient, hard working, efficient, and generally awesome. I’m here to encourage the Hosts and their guests to acknowledge our craft. After all, we do it all for you.

Being a server can be a relatively lucrative gig; it’s such a great way to make money whether it’s our side hustle or our main form of bread and butter. It can accommodate the schedule of 9-5ers, students, mothers, fathers, and anyone else whose life benefits from working odd hours. It’s a job we can find anywhere we go, and in my opinion the skills we gather along the way make us generally more well-rounded individuals.

Having on-demand Talent is handy

There is such a wide variety of occasions and environments in which having on-demand Talent is handy. From your wedding to your kid’s birthday party; having someone around to cater to YOUR needs so you can relax and enjoy your Soirée is a pretty spectacular thing. So please do us all a favor; remember that we’re here to help you and we are here to serve you, but we are professionals who deserve to be treated as such.

I can’t even begin to count the amount of times over the years I’ve heard servers mention how sweet it would be if everyone waited tables for even a few months. It may just be the best way for guests to better understand the individuals running the show behind the scenes.

Talent can make the work look effortless

Many people are under the impression that because they dine out often that they can do what we do. They see us move from table to table, guest to guest, we make and serve drinks, and pick up after people. How hard can it be? Don’t be fooled. There is an entire side of hospitality that often goes unnoticed.

Things get hairy. We get in the weeds. Unexpected problems occur. There is always a guest with some crazy request that requires 10 extra minutes of getting our rear-ends handed to us to execute. But you, the guest, will never know. The rock stars out there know what I’m talking about. We make it look effortless.

After dedicating my entire professional life to hospitality, one could consider me an expert on how we industry folk deserve to be treated. I could go on and on about how guests ought to behave in restaurants. Most of you are fabulous, but there’s always someone out there who thinks it’s cool to dump on their waiter in one way or another. I’ll save that conversation for a more appropriate space.

Treat us with respect

When I consider the variety of ways I have felt insulted by guests, one of the first things that comes to mind is when someone has asked, “So what’s your real job?” They are basically saying that my profession isn’t, you know, “real.” Servers work very hard long hours on our feet, and a lot of us are really good at what we do.

When guests say things like that, it feels as if they’re implying that the only way we could actually wait tables is if we also have a 9-5 career, or something that, in their minds, categorizes us as busy and important. And if not, we must be indifferent, uneducated, irresponsible, or unprofessional. That perspective is, simply put, offensive. It doesn’t matter if we have a day job or not. What we do is relevant.

Super skills get things done

Servers include all kinds of people and all walks of life; all with important lives. Many of us are school teachers, students, some of us even run our own businesses. There are people who rely on us; we have families and spouses, and a lot of us are parents. We are skilled workers with talents, hobbies, deadlines, and a whole lot of self-respect. My point here is that we are no different than you. We work hard, too. We even throw our own Soirées and are often times Hosts ourselves.

Speaking of our fine-tuned skills, let’s get back to why you, the Host, will want to hire us in the first place. You need the best Talent for your Soirée, and as we all know, parties can fill up pretty quickly. Everybody needs something, or several things, immediately when they arrive. Servers get pulled around in endless directions for hours at a time.

There is a Super Skill that is required to manage all that madness: multitasking. We are Masters of Multitasking. In a matter of minutes, while you’re sipping the glass of wine I just brought you, I can do 35 things to please the others in the room. Make no mistake, when you don’t see us, we’re not hiding somewhere taking selfies, eating, and goofing off. (Wait, we are probably eating. Snacks are life!) We’re refilling beverages, wiping up spills, tidying the bathrooms, serving food, and most importantly, managing your guests.

One by one we take care of each of you and the less you notice, the better. We are anticipating your needs so you can settle in and enjoy yourself. We are sculpting the evening for you and those around you.

Respect and safety shouldn't be forgotten

Another thing for a good Host to recognize is that waitstaff can come from all over the place to get to your party. While we make our way to you, we may have to drive, park, and walk to get there. Please consider our safety, especially at the end of the night when all is said and done and we’re walking back to our cars. Alone. Any waitstaff person walking solo in the wee hours is a sitting duck to get robbed or worse. So please, keep that in mind at all times. You know your hood; we don’t.

I would be doing my people a disservice if I didn’t mention a thing or two about appropriate, respectful behavior towards your server. The whole “we are professionals” thing should always be in the front row of every conversation between the Host and the Talent. Regardless of your sex or gender, every person should be spoken to as if they were your responsibility to protect. If we all protected each other with every breath, there would be no degradation, disrespect, or mistaken senses of entitlement. Just because one serves you does not mean they are at your disposal.

Kindness and manners go extremely far with servers. Look us in the eye, use our name when it’s appropriate, and say please and thank you. Do not pile things in our hands. Do not order us to do anything; ask us politely. We will be ten times more likely to go out of our way to make you happy if you treat us warmly. A respectful Host will treat the Talent as an asset who is there to help them execute a plan; an equal who is there to assist them with their needs.

Reviews make a difference for everyone

One of my favorite elements of Roxi is the whole Review aspect. I can’t preach enough about how important and powerful an abundance of stellar reviews is to your profile and professional success. Reviews can make or break your credibility, so with this format you’re more likely to live up to a better standard in order to impress your Hosts.

Fortunately for all the servers here on Roxi, that door swings both ways. Both the Talent and the Host have the exact same capabilities and responsibilities to review each other. It is equally important for Hosts to come highly recommended by impressing their Talent, and as I mentioned in a previous article, people are more likely to take referrals that have been given the trusty gold stamp of approval by their likeminded peers.

Remember, with Roxi, the decision to take a gig is completely up to the Talent. We will be studying your Host profiles too, and we are now more than ever empowered to hold you to a higher standard. Treat us well and we’ll bend over backwards for you while we happily tell the Roxi world how much we loved working with you. You will forever be graced with only the best Talent money can buy. It’s a win-win.

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