Top Ten Things I Learned While…

Ever had bad service at a restaurant? It is pretty easy to remember the bad ones. But what about the times when you have an exceptional experience? The service was awesome and the food was fantastic and you tipped 25%, right? Most of my week days are spent at the Olive Garden. I wait tables. Without giving all of the details, I have been a waiter for close to nine years. And all of them at an Olive Garden. In that span, I feel like I have learned some things. Dealing with people, relating to co-workers, smiling when I don’t feel like it are just some of these lessons. In this post, I would like to share with you my Top Ten Things I Learned While Waiting Tables at the Olive Garden. 

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Disclaimer: These reflections stem from my personal experience. The Olive Garden is a fantastic place to work. My nine years speak to that but there are coworkers of mine that have logged many more years than I have. If you have had a bum deal or feel ill feelings towards the OG, sorry but don’t let how you feel discourage you from going back to dine at an Olive Garden. Thanks…now onto the list.


  1. Smile. At the table. In the kitchen. Even if you don’t feel like it.
  2. Be nice and polite to the cooks. They can make or break your day.
  3. Pre-bus your tables more than expected. Your busser can clean the table quicker.
  4. Avoid co-worker drama. In relation to said drama, ignorance is bliss.
  5. If you know first names, use them. If not, use “sir” and “miss”. Never call a woman “ma’am”.
  6. Don’t freak out. When, not if, the host staff messes up the seating rotation and you get double sat, stay cool.
  7. Relationship is key. View people as people, not as something from which you can extract a tip.
  8. Never complain about a bad tip. Sometimes people are ignorant, not mean.
  9. Sometimes you mess up. The tip will reflect it. Move on and do better next time.
  10. Attitude is paramount! My goal, every day, is to make the Olive Garden a better place because I am there.

Here is a picture of my Olive Garden in Green Bay: og In fact, I am going to clean up and head to work soon. Normally, I will attempt to draw some spiritual application or at least a biblical connection. Not today. I am going to let my Top Ten Things I Learned While Waiting Tables at the Olive Garden stand on their own. It was my pleasure in serving you today. We’ll see you soon.  

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