Yorkie Anyone?

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Following on from my recent career change into waitressing, I have just completed the last of my training shifts at The Niblick Pub and am now just about ready to have a go at the real thing. With 17 beers on tap, along with a dozen more bottles, endless wines, spirits, coffees … the pub also has over 72 food choices available from the menu and a fairly sophisticated computer system known as The Squirrel to keep track of it all.

My training shifts allowed me to spend time in different areas, but the shift spent in the kitchen learning to expedite the food was very informative, albeit out of my comfort zone. Anybody who has been to my house for meal, EVER, will know that preparing and collating meals are not my strengths, but the Niblick is quite fussy about how food is served and so this is just all part of the learning process for me. I got to see dishes with unusual names like Boxties and Yorkies and Quesadillas being made while learning that blue cheese dressing goes with chicken wings while relish goes with burgers. I can now prepare any number of different salads and am learning to find my way around the very large freezer located in the rear of the kitchen.

Whilst the ‘the squirrel’ sends orders to the bar and the kitchen, it is not a till or cash register and so each server carries with them their own float, settling bills with the customers directly and keeping all monies and credit card slips tucked away in a cute little black apron. At the end of the shift, the squirrel prints out each persons' total sales, which are then given to the pub. Servers keep the excess, or tips, after first paying out 1% to both the bar and the kitchen staff. It seems like a good system and the other staff tell me that it’s the tips they work for, which on a busy night can be pretty good.

Whilst the training at the pub is now finished, it is mandatory in Ontario that anyone working in a position which involves the serving of alcohol must complete the 3 hour “Smart Serve” course within 90 days of being employed. This course deals with the responsible serving of alcohol and I’m wondering if I will inadvertently start transferring this new found knowledge to home as well; despite not being great in the food department, serving drinks is definitely my speciality when we have company.

Perhaps I will become a ‘responsible server of alcohol’ or perhaps people might just stop coming to our house.

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