Confessions of a Restaurant Server

Being a server So you want to be a restaurant server? Get ready to hear from waiters who are already on the front line. As a server, it is not just about smiling at customers, taking orders, and bringing food to the table. There are safety standards that everyone who works in the industry should follow. The American Safety Council provides online training so that you can learn about foodborne illnesses, cross contamination, and good hygienic practices. This will get you your Texas food handler card. We scoured the internet and through mobile apps to find out what servers had to say about food safety. What was found on Whisper, an app that allows users to anonymously post messages, was pretty entertaining. Users identified themselves as servers and here’s what they had to say:

Please Call Out Sick!

“The worst thing about being a server? Rarely being able to call out when you’re sick.”

When you’re a server at a restaurant, it may be very difficult to call out of work even when you’re sick, but it is important to know your limits and to avoid contaminating food or spreading illnesses to customers. Many restaurants are understaffed and on weekends, it gets too busy to lose even just one employee. During the winter months, prime time for colds and flus, you can expect to work through the holidays. Therefore, good hygienic practices are especially important. You may not be directly handling the food, but you will be in close proximity. Cleaning your hands and exposed portions of your arms should be thorough. Fingernails should be trimmed, filed, and maintained.

Don’t Eat That!

“I found out my coworker eats left overs out of the trash. I’m a server.”

Many restaurants throw out wrong orders, food that customers did not finish, and ingredients that are bad but look like they can still be consumed. This is by no means a green light to eat from the trash! Many things go into the container: raw egg shells, liquids from raw animal meat, and other contaminated food (by dominguez). Once it gets contaminated, there is a very likely chance that there will be pathogen growth or a production of toxins.

Always On Your Feet

“Server problems: When you realize the most you’ve sat down is on the drive on the way home”

One of the biggest gripes about working at a restaurant is that you stand on your feet for the majority of your shift. To reduce the stresses on your body, wear comfortable shoes with a lot of cushion. For bartenders, hosts or other tasks that might involve standing in one place for a long amount of time, you can also see if your employer will allow you to use anti-fatigue floor mats.

Serve What Is Ordered

“I can’t stand when someone orders a diet drink and the server gives them regular. It is bad for customer service for one thing but it can also hurt someone. Some people order diet for a reason. Like diabetics.”

The safety of your customers is extremely important. Many people have food allergies or health concerns. Sometimes not getting the order correct can cause danger. Stay aware and be attentive. You never know when someone really needs it.

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