March 20, 1946
If a waitress is willing to study to become a good one, she can make more money in six months than a college graduate can in a year, according to John B. O’Meara, who is instructing waitresses in Hotel Hilton how to give better service to the customers.
To prove his point, he is teaching the Hilton waitresses how to do everything from serving a cup of coffee correctly to how to open a swinging kitchen door.
O’Meara, who has been teaching waitresses service procedures since 1931, said a cup of coffee should be placed on the table with the handle pointing toward the right, so that all the customer has to do is reach over and take it.
Another thing he is teaching waitresses is how to acquire the “waitress swing.” This is not a new dance step but merely a graceful and correct way to carry a loaded tray so that the food does not spill and the tray is not, “dumped” all over the table. This “swing” technique consists of balancing the heavy tray in the palm of the hand by co-ordinating the swing of the tray with the waitress’s steps.
How to swing a dining room door without breaking an ankle is something else O’Meara offers in his course of instruction. The waitress is instructed to give the door a slight push with her foot then set interference with her elbow and go right into the kitchen without spilling her tray.
The hardest part about training a waitress to be good, he thinks, is trying to teach how to approach a customer and put him in a mood to enjoy his food. “Put some oomph into the greeting,” he instructs.