Waiting tables is a unique experience, especially in Florida. Every profession can provide certain insights into human nature, and there are some things only people who have waited tables will understand. Here are a few of our favorite observations:
1. Waiting tables is hard work.
But if you make a mistake, people who have never done it before will definitely treat you like you're an idiot.
2. Servers and former servers make the best tippers.
And once you've been a server, you can't bear it when someone you're dining with leaves a crappy tip. You'll even find ways to secretly add a few bucks to the table.
3. In the summer, your job is much harder.
It's ridiculously hot here, and that means a billion refills. Free refills.
4. It's Florida, so people are always going to want to sit outside.
Always, even if it's 100 degrees or there is clearly a quickly approaching thunderstorm. That's what the giant umbrellas are for, right?
5. The three most feared and despised words in the English language are "Kids Eat Free."
6. Serving long enough gives you super powers.
Look, no hands!
7. For some reason, people will never believe that their plate is actually hot.
The reason we can touch it and you can't is because we've already done the irreversible damage to the nerve endings on all of our fingers.
8. There always has to be one guy who thinks he's a comedian (and your job is hilarious), especially when you're having a bad day.
And you will always be able to immediately spot that guy.
9. Diet coke inspires an unquenchable thirst in its worshipers.
No judgment here, I totally understand loving this calorie-free concoction, but an entire six-top ordering this is like a server's kiss of death.
10. If you really bomb at a table, you can always pretend it's your first day.
People will almost always take pity on someone who's brand new. It's like a get out of jail free card, as long as you're a good actor.
11. Someone will always want coffee. If all you have is regular, they'll want decaf, and vice versa.
It doesn't matter that it's 100 degrees, and they're sitting outside. It doesn't matter that it's 8:00 p.m., and they're eating a pastrami sandwich. When you take the last of the coffee, you better make more.
12. Help a guy look good on a first date, and you're almost guaranteed a good tip.
Valentine's Day is another opportunity to succeed vicariously through people looking for love.
13. There's always one person at a big table who takes charge and becomes the unofficial Table Leader.
This self-elected table ambassador can be really helpful if a table is wild...unless it turns out that they also think they run the restaurant.
14. Every server understands the love/hate relationship with the drinking crowd.
They cause pretty much every problem in a restaurant: They can't read their check, can't tell time, make a mess in the bathrooms, make out at the table, and sometimes even walk out on their checks. On the other hand, drinkers can run up pretty large tabs and tip pretty well (assuming that they're happy drunks and not mean drunks).
15. No one pays with cash anymore for anything.
You start to wonder if paper money is even going to exist in 10 years. It's a lot harder to know how well you're doing without cash tips.
16. You can never have enough sweet tea on hand.
In case you didn't think Florida was really all that Southern.
17. "Hangry" is a very real thing.
Nothing is worse for your tip than hungry people waiting forever for their food. Even if it wasn't your fault.
What other lessons do you learn waiting tables in Florida? Do you have any favorite servers out there you’d like to give a shout-out? Show them some love in the comments.