We have a responsibility to empower all women, especially those trapped in the harmful confines of the service industry. These women are used to bending to the will of whoever walks through the restaurant door—how sad is that? It’s important that we force them to reexamine their impulse to put themselves last. Next time you’re at a restaurant and have a female server, here’s how you can uplift and serve her. Remember: She needs you!
Let Her Decide What You Eat
Encourage your waitress to communicate. Instead of just telling her your order, let her choose what you should eat for you. Sure, she has tons of other tables and it’s the weekend brunch rush, but she’ll LOVE the opportunity to figure out if you want to eat something sweet or savory. She’ll feel like you value her opinion and realize that her voice is finally being heard!
Speak Up For Her
If you see another table being snippy with your waitress and she’s just taking it because she’s trying to be “polite” or “professional”, then you need to step in and speak up for her. Coach her from the sidelines and encourage her to stand up for herself. Tell her, “You’re a human being with a life and loves and dreams; don’t let this jerk interrogate you about whether or not a dish has peanuts in it!” If she refuses or asks you to please stop making a scene, step in and demand repentance from the offenders. After all, you see yourself as a mentor and should set an example. If her table leaves, you’ll have taught her a valuable lesson. She’s one step closer to leaning in!
Encourage your waitress to expand her skills. The next time you see her struggling to put down a heavy plate on your side of the table, allow her to summon her own strength and will to stand up to challenges. How else is she going to learn how to balance a sizzling cast iron skillet? Even if she scalds herself, she is growing and learning because of you. How empowering is that?!
Be Effusive With Praise
Make sure to tell your waitress, “You’re doing a really good job” every single time she comes by your table. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. That might be excessive, but isn’t that how you would praise your own daughter? Why should a waitress be treated any differently from your four-year-old daughter? If she looks uncomfortable, don’t worry—that means your empowerment is working!
Be a One-Woman Career Fair
While your waitress is telling you about the specials, interrupt her and ask her to walk you through her five-year plan. If she says something about being swamped, tell her it’s okay; you plan to make yourself available and camp out at your table all day. Display literature on career growth. Play the What Color Is My Parachute? audio book. Try not to order too many items as you spend the day in her “zone.” You don’t want to distract her from the brochures and pamphlets you’ve fanned out!
Leave an Alternative Tip
As with any service situation, it’s important to tip generously. No, we don’t mean money! Instead of leaving a monetary tip, try leaving her a copy of Arianna Huffington’s Thrive. This inspiring memoir by a millionaire media mogul will be more valuable to your waitress than a measly contribution that was only going toward her rent rather than feeding her soul. You’re welcome, Kelsey!
Your waitress will get so much more from this experience than if you had just acted like a boring, demanding, regular customer. Thanks to your guidance, you will help your waitress reach her highest potential!