Copyright
John B. Goins.

The American waiter; online

. (page 1 of 13)
Online LibraryJohn B. GoinsThe American waiter; → online text (page 1 of 13)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


TX925
.G62



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS



DQODBflb^Sfll




•^^0^



'<!>. *•"<>'' -V"















^o










• ^-^ .







b>;



p-n












^rAc^^



O H








J-"V



» I ■»





























(23ZB
408

We

American Waiter

Instructions in American and
European Plan Service, Banquet
and Private Party Work



Bi) John B. Goins



THIRD EDITION

Revised and Enlarged



PART I.

Copyright 1908. by John B. Goins
Copyright 1914, by John B. Goins



Published by

The Hotel Monthly Press

123 North Wacker Drive
Chicago 6, III.



INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST
EDITION.



The title of this little handbook for waiters
describes its object. It is in no sense a text-
book, but is a synopsis of a series of lessons
given by me to my class. My endeavor has
been to make my pupils familiar with every
branch of dining room service, a knowledge of
which would otherwise require years of experi-
ence to gain.

The menus given in these lessons were prac-
tically illustrated with every article required
for the service, and I believe I have given ev-
ery detail with sufficient clearness to enable
any student or waiter of average intelligence
to follow them, whether he has had the ad-
vantage of the practical drill or not.

In dining room service, as in every other
field of labor, there is no royal road to success,
and high positions are reached only by those
who have worked to win them and have been
quick to seize every means of advancement
within their reach, TTiese lessons, whch are the
result of my own experience in ever}'- depart-
ment of the work, have proved so satisfactory
to my pupils that I have been induced to print
them, in the hope that they may be a help to
those who are desirous ofjjj;glJtfjiiM| them-
selves for positions of truM ant^esp( fcibility
in the profession. || J. ^. G.

Replace lost copy




h-



INTKODUCTIOM TO THE
SECOND EDITION.



In revising this book my aim has been to
add such service as will continue to meet the
requirements of the American plan hotel.

Owing to the fact that the American plan
hotels are trying hard to keep pace with the
European hotel restaurant and cafe service,
you will find the American plan hotels of to-
day are giving (on a small scale) practically
the same service as that of the high class
restaurants and cafes. And it is the desire of
the manager and proprietor to find tJie Ameri-
can plan waiter who is equal to tJie changes
and can readily grasp the idea of such service.

It is really necessary that all waiters should
be able to handle all new lines of service that
become popular from time to time; and, as
I have mentioned in previous articles, it is the
traveling waiter who is best educated in all
branches of service. The proprietor, manager
and steward take extensive trips (tours '^f ob-
servation) visiting different hotels and cafes;
and their object is to acquaint themselves with
what other hotels are doing. But, I am sorry
to say, if HE, the proprietor, must inject the
new ideas he finds, into YOU, the waiter, they
come more as a reprimand, because you are
not up to the standard of the new ideas of
service.

Aud to those who do not travel, I trust you
may find in this book many useful ideas which
will carry you over the bridge. J. B. G.



DEESS

Many waiters who think they are first-class
in every respect do not know what garments
should constitute a waiter's outfit. Every first-
class waiter should own

One black serge jacket,

One black low cut vest,

Two white jackets,

Two or three pairs doe or cheviot black
pants.

One full dress coat and vest,

One Tuxedo coat,

One low cut white vest.

Two pairs white gloves.

Two black bow ties,

Two white ties.

One pair of good shoes with rubber heels,

Six white shirts, cuffs and collars.

Shirts should be changed as often as twice
a week; collars four times. In winter, under-
wear should be changed twice a week, and in
summer, daily. The reason for this is evident,
as from the nature of a waiter 's work it is
impossible not to perspire; and a garment
saturated with perspiration is unfit to wear
another time in the dining-room.

Every waiter should own a corkscrew; also a
lead pencil.

YOUE APPEARANCE

Is the first impression. If you want work
apply in the best condition possible. Apply
in neat black clothes, pants creased, white
shirt, shoes polished, cuffs, black tie, teeth and
finger nails clean, your face clean shaven. If



2 THE AMERICAN WAITER.

you wear mustache keep your hands off of it
when talking, which is an indication that you
will do so in dining-room.

WHEN TO APPLY FOR WOEK.

The usual hour to apply for position as
waiter is between 9 and 10 a. m. ; never in
the afternoon, unless requested to do so. A
waiting-room is provided for such help, so
never present yourself at the dining-room
door.

No two hotels are run under the same rules.
In all your traveling you will find many ups
and downs, trials and tribulations, and nothing
should excite or disturb you that happens in
your capacity as a waiter. With the eighteen
years' experience I have had I have found,
from the beginning until this present time, that
I have been getting the worst of it at all times
in a hotel; and, my dear sir, if you expect to
climb the ladder of success, expect always to
get the worst of it while you are a waiter, or
in any other public service, as a servant. So
make the very best of your situation; if it
only pays you $1.25 a week, work faithfully,
conscientiously, as if you were getting a good
salary. Next, you must make up your mind
to be governed by the rules and regulations of
the house. Eespect its officers. The steward is
in charge of the kitchen, and sometimes from
sub-cellar to garret. His word is law; and if
you expect to work you must conduct yourself
accordingly.

When you have been hired you will be given
a locker to place your belongings in; then
you will be taken to the dining-room, and, no
matter if you are an experienced waiter, you
must be shown around, first through the din-
ing-room, then the kitchen. You are shown the
tray racks first, then a place to deposit all
soiled dishes. For the breakfast you locate



THE AMERICAN WAITER. ' 3

the broiler, the fry cook and the bake-shop.
For dinner the roast, entrees, vegetables, etc.
Then your attention is called to printed rules,
and the steward is pointed out to you. By this
time you should be able to take care of your-
self in the kitchen. Next we present you to
the head waiter, w^ho presents you to his
officers, and assigns you to a watch. The cap-
tain of your watch will be responsible for your
appearance, and has the authority to tell you
to remain down-stairs if your condition is not
up to the standard.

Roll call at 12:30, every waiter in line in-
spected. A short lecture on service and your
appearance, reminding you of any bad service
rendered in previous meals, informing you of
your breakages, charges, etc.

BRANCH WORK.
Every waiter is expected to do side work,
such as wash windows, clean paint and chairs,
scrub or mop; also prepare relishes such as
cucumbers, lettuce, radishes, celery, etc. In
strictly up-to-date hotels, however, such is done
by girls, but if you are ever called on to do
such, do it with a good will, for I have done it.

WATCH DUTY.
Your next duty is to adapt yourself to the
different watches and time. In a metropolitan
hotel there are generally three watches, the
morning watch, due at 5 a. m., whose duty is
to sweep, dust, set up room and serve all early
breakfasts; the day watch 6 a. m., serve
breakfast until 10:30; and the middle watch,
due 7 a. m., and remaining on duty until room
closes after dinner, usually about 3 p. m.
(with the exception of an hour's recess for re-
dressing betweeen 11:30 and 12:30). Then
serves 5 o'clock dinner in ordinary, off at
12 p. m. Then there is the close or "mule"



THE AMERICAN WAITER.



watch (assigned from the middle watch) on
duty all day and until 1 o'clock next morning;



SSI


■"■"


9 1




S§ 1






S 1






SSI






2 1






«Sl






o» 1






«gsi






« 1








-SI










- 1










«s











• «e










'Ogl










•o 1


*SI


^ 1




Ǥ?l




to 1




C'SI






ca 1








-S?l




















23 1










•a 1


SSI








2g?l






o 1








«SI








o» 1










OOgI










CO 1










t-Sl










»- 1










*gl






CO 1






-Si




o I





» 1




•SI


oe 1 :


-SI : :


- 1 : : :


««SI




<« )




oSI




•» 1


'SI


- 1


«SI


CO


*»s


N 1 : :


-J?!


: :


- 1


: :


asi




2 1


: :


SSI


:


— 1


SSI


2 1 :


o^.\ •■


« 1
• SI


• '1


cc 1




-SI




- 1




•■^Sl




•^ 1





o
o

5



serving all night officers such as night clerk,
head bellman, elevator man, night engineer,
and night chambermaid ; and also, in some



THE AMERICAN WAITER. "t

places, wash all silver and place in vault. Due
again at 8 a. m. (thus allowing for the extra
hour worked the previous day).

The above is adapted for large first-class
hotels and is illustrated in diagram No. 1.

For the average American plan hotel, where
the meal hours are short and regular, watches
are usually arranged as showh in diagram
No. 2.

To maJce time is the best evidence that you
want to be a waiter.

* * ■*

TO CLEAN AND POLISH SILVER.

Knives, forks, spoons: Use whiting, dry-
rub silver to a high polish with flannel cloth.

For filigreed silver use silver brush.

When silver is tarnished either from being
long out of use or from gas, make a thin
paste, rub silver until tarnish removed, then
polish with dry whiting.

COPPER.
Clean with rock salt and vinegar.

BEASS.

Use Putz pomade, a preparation sold by
druggists.

WATER BOTTLES.

Use potato cut in dice shape, also shot or
gravel. Use strong soap suds. Use brush for
neck. ^

VINEGAR BOTTLES.

Same as water bottles.

OIL BOTTLES.
Dissolve one quarter can concentrated lye in
half a gallon hot soap suds; fill bottles, let
stand until oil rises from bottom, then wash
in hot soap water. Rinse in hot water. Place
in oven until bottles are hot; remove until
cool; ready for oil.



6 THE AMERICAN WAITER.

SALT AND PEPPEE SHAKERS.
Same as water bottles. Use brush if cut
glass.

« * *

A CURE FOR RANCID OIL.
Boil with one potato; let cool. In summer,
use very few cruets.

TRAINING THE EAR AND EYE.

Train your ear to a light signal by a tap on
a piece of paper; let that signal be so effec-
tive that it can be heard above the clatter of
dishes or the buzzing of speech by guests.

Always keep a watchful eye on the officers,
so that if your presence is needed it may be
had without the notice of guest.

CHAIR LESSONS.

When assisting guest to rise from chair
never draw chair from under him until he is
on his feet; and never take chair from the
floor.

Never advise or offer any information in re-
gard to seats at your station; refer all such
to the officers of the room. Your duty is to
serve and not to seat guests.

THE SEATING PROBLEM.
The head waiter controls the seating of
guests in the dining-room. He has his reasons
for seating different people at different tables;
he has his reasons for reserving certain seats
and tables; and in order to run the dining-
room successfully, the waiters must not inter-
fere in the seating of guests; that is, they
must not offer seats except as directed by the
head waiter. It is the waiter's business to
serve, not to seat, or to offer any information
concerning seats at his particular station. The
waiter should refer guests who ask him fol
such and such seats to the head waiter. The



THE AMERICAN WAITER. «

hotel, for instance, may have distinguished
guests for whom special seats should be re-
served. The head waiter is informed of this
and makes special provision for reservations.
Then, too, there is a need of discretion in
seating people, strangers to each other, at the
same table, or in grouping parties of friends.
Unless the head waiter has complete control
in this respect, he cannot give good service.

There are some few hotels I have heard of
where even the head waiter does not control
the seats; but these are houses where there
are sufficient dining-room accommodations to
have a seat reserved for every guest. When
the guest registers he is assigned to room and
a seat in the dining-room is reserved for him
also at the same time. Thus, the guests
who have the highest priced rooms are assigned
to the best seats in the dining-room, and the
head waiter has his seating board, so to speak,
corresponding with the room board in the
office; and when the guest enters the dining-
room he is given the seat to which he has been
assigned. This condition, however, is only in
family hotels, or resort houses where guests
make prolonged stay as a rule. In such case
the head waiter understands when he is en-
gaged what the conditions are, and he has no
right to find fault with such conditions, but
to work faithfully under them and to see that
the waiters give uniformly good service to the
guests assigned to their particular stations.
TO OPEN OYSTERS.

Wash. Place oyster in left hand with the
deep shell in palm.

Place point of oyster knife at the edge and
on top of deep shell; press down and in until
knife slips in.

Press knife to the far end of shell, then
draw knife toward you in circle form; then
from you.



8 THE AMERICAN WAITER.

Eaise top shell. Cut oyster loose. Serve on
deep plate of crushed ice (or regular oyster
plate). Serve salt, pepper, tabasco sauce,
horseradish, piece of lemon.

TO OPEN CLAMS.

Place in palm of hand.

Put edge of knife in mouth of clam; press
knife in with all four fingers; cut through;
raise shell; cut clam loose. Serve same as
oysters.

SERVICE OF CEREALS.

ROLLED OATS, CKACKED WHEAT, CORN

MEAL MUSH, PETTIJOHNS', CEEE-

ALINE, HOMINY GRITS.

Serve in bowl.

Place bowl or sauce dish on plate before
guest.

Place cereal in deep dish with six-inch plat-
ter under it.

Place dish with platter in front of bowl
with large spoon and teaspoon.

Serve soft or granulated sugar and cream.

GRAPE NUTS.
Serve in sauce dish with sugar and cream.
By request only, pour hot water over grape
nuts.

SHREDDED WHEAT BISCUIT.

Many ways of serving. Ask guest how he
likes the biscuit or triscuit. Ordinarily, heat
the biscuit in oven to restore crispness. Serve
in oatmeal bowl with pitcher of hot milk and
small pitcher of cream. Pour the hot milk over
the biscuit and then a little cream over the
top of the biscuit, adding a dash of salt.

Sugar for those who like it. Spoon.

TRISCUIT.
Triscuit is not a breakfast food. It is served
as a toast with butter, cheese or marmalades.



THE AMERICAN WAITER. \f

It is a substitute for white flour bread and
crackers.

HOW TO MAKE TOAST.

Most guests are particular about toast being
served HOT. It is necessary to serve it crisp
as well as hot, but not hard and brittle.

Do not cover a plate of toast with a soup
plate or bowl, as this causes the toast to per-
spire and get soggy. Use a perforated cake
cover or a folded napkin. You are liable to
meet the objections of the linen man or pro-
prietor if you use napkins for such service; so,
to be safe, use cake cover.

In European service, service-napkins are fur-
nished.

DRY TOAST, BEOWN.

Cut square or diamond shape.

BUTTEEED TOAST,

Same as dry, only buttered.
DIP TOAST.
Dip in hot water. Butter if requested.
Serve on plate.

MILK TOAST.
Cut in squares; set in bowl or soup plate;
pour hot milk over. Serve.

FEENCH TOAST.

Beceipt from J. E. Meister's Vest Pocket

Pastry/ Boole.

Cut a stale loaf of bread into square, thick
slices, saturate them with milk, then dip in
beaten eggs, with a pinch of salt in it, and
fry in a buttered frying pan to a light color.
Dust over with sugar and serve.

Serve on platter or plate covered.

Serve soft sugar and syrup.

CEEAM TOAST.
Serve on large platter. Service plates in



10



THE AMERICAN WAITER.



front of guest; platter in front of plate, with
large spoon.

HOT CAKES.
Serve all hot cakes on plate with soft sugar,
syrup or honey.

WAFFLES.
Same as hot cakes.

TO SERVE EGQS.

Kemember: Soft boil, ordinarily 2 min-
utes.

Eemember: Medium boil, ordinarily 4 min-
utes.

Kemember: Hard boil, 10 minutes.
MEDIUM AND SOFT BOILED.

Serve in egg glass or cup, with six-inch
plate under glass or cup. Open by permission.
Do not leave spoon in cup.

Many guests prefer to eat eggs from the
shell, and the waiter, when so instructed, will
serve the eggs unbroken in vegetable dish, or
on small deep plate. Then you should use
the regular egg cup or glass. You may find
few hotels that have them; but you must learn
to take care of yourself in all cases where the
proper article to render good service cannot be
had. Hustle and find the next best article to
answer the sam.e purpose. A sherry glass or




DIAGRAM NO. 3 — service op boiled eggs.

A. & D., broken into cup.

B., 0. & E., in shell.

B., makeshift, sherry glass.

C, makeshift, small whisky glass.



THE AMERICAN WAITER. 11

small whisky glass may easily be used to serve
eggs in shell when the proper cup cannot be
had.

HARD BOILED EGGS.

Eemove shell by running cold water over
them, then roll, pressing shell. Eemove with
under skin. Serve in vegetable dish or on
small plate.

POACHED.

Serve in vegetable dish with platter under it.

POACHED ON TOAST.
Serve on platter with two separate pieces of
toast.

POACHED AND POACHED ON TOAST.
A difference: Enquire as to whether plain
or on toast.

RUM OMELET.

Serve on large platter to left of meats.
Ask permission to light it. Move to one side
of guest, proceed to light and burn the rum.
SHIRRED EGGS.
Regular shirred egg dish.
Place small plate under the egg dish. Serve
to left of meats.

SCRAMBLED EGGS.
Serve on small platter.

PLAIN OMELET.
Serve on six-inch platter.
» # *

SERVICE OF BOILED EGGS, TOAST AND
COFFEE FOR BREAKFAST.

In serving boiled eggs, toast and coffee, first
place service plate in front of guest, then serve
coffee (passing sugar, cream, etc., from silver
tray), then serve toast; then bring eggs to
table, keeping a small plate under the egg dish.

Say to guest, ''permit me to open your
eggs. ' '

If the guest wishes you to open them re-



12



THE AMERICAN WAITER.



move the eggs from the table and proceed to
do so.

Never leave the same spoon in the egga that
you open them with.

TO MAKE AND SERVE TEA, COFFEE,
CHOCOLATE AND COCOA.

ICED TEA.

Cold tea with ice. Serve lemon and soft or
granulated sugar.

Serve in goblet or water glass with plate
under it.

ICED TEA FOR PARTY OF FOUR.

To serve iced tea to a party of four in pri-
vate room it should be very artistically pre-




DIAGRAM NO. 4.
Service, iced tea: A., Glass Pitcher; B.,
Bowl of ice; C, saucer of quartered lemons;
D., Sugar; E., Glasses; F., Sugar Spoon; G.,
Long Spoons; H., Tray.

pared. Use a fancy glass pitcher. Have pitcher
cold. Fill half full of lump ice. Then wet.
the mouth and upper rim of pitcher.

Fill pitcher with cold tea.

Cut a lemon in four pieces for side service
on a saucer; then cut four slices of lemon.

Dip both sides of each slice in soft sugar,
then place them at the top of pitcher gar-



THE AMERICAN WAITER. 13

nished with a sprig of fresh green parsley
through each of the slices.

Serve with bowl of granulated or soft sugar,
small bowl of cracked ice, four glasses or gob-
lets, four tea or- mixing spoons.

ICED COFFEE.
Cold coffee with ice. Serve with cream and
sugar.

TEA.

Always serve tea in pot accompanied with a
pot or pitcher of hot water.

One quarter ounce of tea is suiBeient for an
ordinary service for one; thus one pound is
sufficient to serve sixty-four orders. The
quarter ounce portion is about a heaping tea-
spoonful.

First be sure the pot is clean. Then warm
the pot with a rinse of hot water. Put tea
in the pot and pour on water that is just at
the boiling point. Serve at once.

Tea that has steeped in the pot longer than
six minutes ceases to be a wholesome beverage;
but if it is poured into another vessel any
time up to the six-minute limit, so that the
tannin from the tea leaves cannot spoil the
tea, it retains its virtue as a pleasant and
wholesome drink.

Serve cup, saucer, cream, sugar, teaspoon.

Owing to the fact that the habit of tea-
drinking is growing in favor, and that most
people now have their likes and dislikes re-
garding the beverage, the waiter should always
ask whether the guest prefers green or black
tea, or, if the different brews are mentioned on
the bill, which of them he prefers.

TEA FOR ENGLISH OR FRENCH
PEOPLE.
Same as above, except double the quantity
of tea. . '



14 THE AMERICAN WAITER.

BEEF TEA.

One teaspoonful extract of beef in teacup;
add hot water to dissolve; then fill cup or pot,
stirring at same time.

Serve with salt, pepper, one cracker^ tea-
spoon.

COFFEE (good and strong).

Every waiter should know how to make good
coffee.

One pound best coffee,

White of one egg,

Pinch of salt.

Use coffee sack,

One gallon boiling water.

(For medium, one pound good coffee will
serve for one and a half gallons.)

CHOCOLATE.

One dessert spoon prepared chocolate in cup
or pot.

Add very little hot water to dissolve; then
fill pot or cup with hot milk. Serve granulated
sugar, cream, teaspoon.

COCOA.
Same as chocolate.

SERVICE OF FRUITS.

Fruit in season means fruit in the season of
the year in which it comes into the market.
It is essential that every waiter, and especially
every head waiter, should know the correct
method of serving fruit of different kinds.
At first thought it may seem a very simple
thing, but in this, as in every other item of
table service, there is a right way and a wrong
way, and unless a waiter is acquainted with the
right method of serving fruit he will be apt,
through the natural perversity of things, to
bit upon the wrong way.

i



THE AMERICAN WAITER. 15

STRAWBEEEIES may be served either in
sauce dishes or individual compotes with china
or cut glass sauce dishes and teaspoon. Powd-
ered or granulated sugar and cream accompany
strawberries.

Strawberries of unusual size may be served
with the stem left on them on six-inch plates.
A spoonful of sugar is placed on the side of
the plate. Finger bowls should always accom-
pany strawberries served in this manner.

BLACKBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES, RASP-
BERRIES, RED CURRANTS, etc., may be
served either in sauce dishes or in individual
compotes with cut glass or china sauce dishes.
They should be accompanied with cream and
powdered or granulated sugar.

APPLES of large size may be served on six
inch plates; but if the market does not afford
good apples and there are indications of de-
cay, it is better to serve them in compotes and
allow each guest to make his own selection.

PEACHES that are served whole should be
brushed and wiped till the fuzz is removed;
they are then served the same as apples.

Sliced peaches are served in individual com-
potes with cracked ice and accompanied with
cream and soft or granulated sugar. Sauce
dishes and teaspoon.

PEARS AND PLUMS are first wiped with
damp cloth and served in compote with soft
sugar. Fruit plate and finger bowls.

NECTARINES, a variety of peach with
smooth rind. Serve same as peaches.

GRAPES are served in small sized bunches
in compotes and should be accompanied with
grape shears, fruit plate and finger bowl.

CHERRIES, are served in compote with
fruit plate and finger bowl.

GRAPE FRUIT is a kind of large orange
with a grape-like flavor. To serve: cut cross-
wise and hollow out the center, in which place



16 THE AMERICAN WAITER. I

a teaspoonful of soft sugar and a teaspoonful
of sherry wine. Fruit plate and finger bowl
and teaspoon. (Some prefer the grapefruit
without the wine, and to help themselves to the
sugar.)

BANANAS are served in compotes as mixed
fruit, or fruit in season. Fruit plate, salt and
sugar, finger bowl.

BANANAS sliced (with grated cocoanut).
Serve in sauce dishes; salt, soft sugar and
cream.

MANDAEINS, a variety of orange, are
served in compote as mixed fruit. Fruit knife,
fruit plate and finger bowl.

APEICOTS are served the same as man-
darins.

OEANGES are served from compote or fruit
dish with fruit plate. Soft sugar, fruit knife,
teaspoon, finger bowl.


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Online LibraryJohn B. GoinsThe American waiter; → online text (page 1 of 13)