If you ask someone how hard it is to be a waiter, you can immediately tell based on their answer whether or not they have ever been one.
It seems like an easy job, right? They write down your order then punch it into the computer. Then they bring you your food when it is ready, ring you up when you are done and collect their tip, right?
Servers juggle about 5 tables at a time. In addition to running side work, something like making tea or stocking glasses.
When a server takes an order, they know people will not just order a burger, or the special. Many people order something complicated, like “the grilled chicken sandwich, but fried instead of grilled no mayonnaise add ketchup no onions extra pickle with fries on a separate plate” so each table takes forever to ring in.
Then when the food comes out, we have to carry 4-5 scorching hot plates at a time out to the table. Often times we carry food to other servers tables, but when we ask “Who ordered the burger?” Suddenly, no one remembers what they ordered.
We then run back and forth to table getting refills, condiments, fixing dishes that the kitchen made a mistake on etc.
Finally, there is the check. Of course, many times everyone wants separate checks yet they do not say anything until the very end. So we get to stand there at the computer separating each check out, while you get frustrated wondering what is taking so long because you are in a big rush.
Then we get to clean off all the plates and cups, wipe opp and reset the tables, and do it all over again. This lasts for about 4-5 hours.
Followed by about 45 minutes of side work. Then Making sure all our tables are in pristine condition. Sweeping and cleaning off every spec. Filling up ketchup bottles and salt and pepper shakers.
After that we FINALLY get to sit down…to roll about 100 silverware. When all we really want to do is go home after a long day on our feet.
Then, on rare occasion, we get to leave. This is because many servers work the dreaded doubles to make ends meet. That means 10-12 hour days. Do this about 5-6 days a week, mostly spent on your feet running back and forth carrying heavy trays of food and it get exhausting.
So believe it or not, the job of a server is, in fact very difficult. We are underpaid, exhausted, and work very hard for very little.