The pandemic has been tough on the restaurant business, which is still struggling to recover. Even restaurants that have survived are having trouble hiring or even keeping staff. That’s why I’m grateful for those who’ve stayed in the business and take care of us, working long hours often for crappy pay.
I was inspired to write this after an evening with work colleagues that began as “happy hour” after a day-long in-person offsite. The happy hour turned into three hours of great conversation accompanied by a few drinks each and some great shareables. Through it all, our server was polite, respectful, and always available. Despite the amount of time we were at the table, he didn’t push us to buy more food, but happily refilled the cocktails! Realizing the restaurant was moving into the dinner hour, we got our check so that we could open up the large table. Because of the size of the group, the bill included a service charge, but given the attention we received, I slipped him another ten bucks.
I’m reminded of the many great servers and bartenders Judy and I have met through the years; the kind you go see time and time again because of how they make you feel. There’s Araceli, who we wrote about many years ago. Bruce at Union Street Public House in Old Town Alexandria, who we haven’t seen in years but was a weekly (at least) fixture in our lives during our Virginia days. He loved making the “Blue Ice” cocktails we invented for our wedding, placing them in front of us just as we sat down on our barstools. He even worked a rare Sunday evening to tend bar during a post-wedding party we held there. And, of course, there’s Farah at Fat City Kitchen in Alexandria’s west side, who’s like family to us. We always try to visit when we’re in town.
There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. Treat your servers right and they will take great care of you!