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All Star Service: Jake Leonard of Pig and a Jelly Jar

“You have to be a people person to even do this job.”

Jake Leonard – Pig and a Jelly Jar

“Serving people in the morning is different,” says Jake Leonard, who has been a mainstay morning server at Pig & A Jelly Jar for three years. The Pig is open for breakfast and lunch and offers breakfast all day.

“These are people who haven’t had coffee or food yet—they’re not in the best mood. I turn a blind eye to that. I start their day for them,” says Jake. “You really have to be a morning person. You have to make sure you’re in a good mood so you facilitate that for them.”

Breakfast restaurants are popular with parties of one, so Leonard serves lots of singletons who frequently don’t get attended to as well when they dine out, says Leonard, who often dines out alone. (He recommends Harbor—Randall, the owner, is paying attention “all the time.”)

Teamwork is all that matters, says Jake, and praises co-worker Rachel as an example.

“It’s a very physical job—you don’t realize that until you sit down for a break, then stand back up again.”

 The Pig has a crowd of regulars, but because of online dining reviews, Leonard says he also serves many people from other countries. “Travelers and tourists come here straight from the airport, so I’m the Salt Lake ambassador. I put their check down and I ask, where are you going today? If you chat at the end of the meal, you’re not imposing, you’re not interrupting, but you make a friendly impression.”

Written by Mary Malouf

Photographed by Adam Finkle

 

Mary Brown Malouf :Mary Brown Malouf is the Executive Editor of Salt Lake magazine and Utah's expert on local food and dining. She does not, however, know how to make a decent cup of coffee.