restaurant Servers are often treated with little respect. They can be bossed around and asked the oddest of things. But at the end of the day, they’re people who are trying to make an honest living. Though many are pursing other goals while they serve, some have chosen restaurants as a career and there’s nothing wrong with either. Robots flipping burgers and tablets taking your order may be coming, but regardless, there’s nothing that can replace human connection and interaction. As someone with well over a decade of serving experience, I can attest that servers are actually some of the best and brightest and can do a few things better than most.

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Restaurant servers will often strengthen this ability the more they work. A server's job entails understanding each table’s individual needs and acting accordingly. This is largely done unsaid. For example, a family of four, with one five year old and a baby, is likely not going to be staying too long, but a couple on their first date who can’t take their eyes off of each other, chances are they’re going to draw out the evening in a flirty tone. Servers will serve accordingly, such as giving the family extra attention regarding the child’s menu, while discussing wine and oysters with the couple having a romantic evening.

Run while making it look like a fast walk

This one comes out of necessity for servers but once perfected, it’s used often and is an efficient tool in getting the job done.

It takes time to perfect it, though, as one needs to have balance and grace so as not to bump into others, especially restaurant guests, and do it with a swiftness that looks effortless.

Find creative ways to say the exact same thing

It never fails. There will always be guests in restaurants who ask the same question over and over, and, in an effort not to be a punk, a server will often have to get creative in terms of handling it.

Sarcasm is not a good option so when a guest asks in five ways if they can substitute shrimp for their baked potato, servers have to get inventive. “No, we don’t.” “Shrimp? No, not for a baked potato.” “Sorry, that’s not an option.” “Let me ask…. Sorry, they said no.” “I wish I could but sadly, it’s out of my hands.”

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Servers know what to do.

They know what they can ask for, what they can’t, what is appropriate, what isn’t, and what is a good tip. Sure, there are losers in the bunch, but as a whole, servers are dream customers because they act according to the rules. They are also notorious for being excellent tippers. I kid you not. As a server in Los Angeles, I’ve had ten tops of industry people tip out better than ten-tops of A-List celebrities. Servers are ballers. Now, whether that’s good or bad is up for debate.

Balance things with their body

Some servers are downright jugglers, able to balance plates pretty much anywhere as they use one hand to do something else, like move a napkin or punch in a forgotten soda order. But most servers, though not that exceptional, are able to balance a wide variety of dishes and glassware on their arms and in their hands.

It can be an amazing thing.

Have the patience of a saint

Whether one has patience in their own life or not, they will most certainly develop it for their job as a server. From guests asking if chicken comes in the chicken Cesar salad to having to clean up the endless debris left behind by dirty youngsters, patience is key for a server. If they really said what they wanted, things would go bad, so they channel patience and put on a fake smile as they tell you for the tenth time that the Italian restaurant doesn’t serve hamburgers, and no, the chef will not make you one anyway.