It’s why we go out to eat—to be served. But good service is rare in Utah.
by MARY BROWN MALOUF
Waiting tables taxes your memory, your mental quickness, your dexterity, your bi- and triceps, your psychological insight and your tolerance of human misbehavior. It’s also hard on your feet.
But some choose service as their business—not just a way to pay college tuition or foot the bills until they become a successful actor/athlete/attorney. Read about why these six star servers love this formerly un-prestigious career and why they are so good at it.
Face it. Even when the setting is gorgeous and the food is out of this world, if a server forgets your order or interrupts too often or disappears just when you’d like another glass of wine, a glorious moment is lost. On the other hand, a strip-mall restaurant with decent food can jump to the top of your go-to list if your server treats you like the queen he’s been dying to meet.
Having someone else cook, wait on you and do the dishes—in other words, serve you—is the main reason Americans go out to eat.
Sadly, the restaurant business in Utah has a service problem—just part of the nationwide shortage of servers and cooks.
In 2016, ten percent of the state’s employment was at restaurant and food-service jobs: 120,700. By 2026, that’s projected to grow to 136,700. The most exciting part of the growth has been in the casual fine-dining segment—bistros and cafes that are food-driven. We’re not eating the same old blue-plate special anymore. Every day, the chef comes up with new dishes and new ingredients and a server has to remember and understand why it’s important to know where the porcini were harvested, whether the beef is grass-fed, how the sausage is made. Literally.
That means serving jobs are harder and require more training.
Photographed by: Adam Finkle