For most people in this city the start of a New Year is marked on the often cool, and/or wet morning of the first day of January.
Not so for the restaurant workers of this town. No, for us the start of a New Year is marked by a different climactic event…an event so big that it has the power to abruptly awaken the sleepiest of Line Cooks…an event that can put an end to bored server gossip sessions in the service station…an event that will simultaneously wear holes into the shoes of hundreds of Floor Managers.
Yes…Dine Out Vancouver is upon us.
After the manic holiday season that, for most in this business, is a blur of corporate Christmas parties and holiday menus, New Years Eve planning and assembly line service…we crash! We crash hard! We curl up on our couches and rest our wary bodies…we mentally check out for a while.
You see, the first few weeks of January offer nothing to us. Almost immediately the customers stop coming…the shifts dry up…the tips stop flowing and the January restaurant blues begin.
Although most of us are in desperate need of a rest, it really only takes us a day or two to recover from the holiday season madness and then we want more…we need more!
You see the basic nature of a restaurant Server, Cook or Manager is that we thrive on the pace of our business…we like to be run off our feet…we like to show off our abilities in our fast paced workplace. As much as you may hear us complain about our carpal tunnel syndrome and plantar fascitis, the truth is we are lost without the daily workout of the kitchen and dining room. We need the nightly ballet between the tables and the bump and jostle of the front line. We like to hear the phone ring off the hook and the sound of a chit printer going non-stop.
By mid January we are beyond bored….it gets to the point that some are even contemplating “getting a real job”.
Alas! When Dine Out Vancouver is spotted on the horizon there is a glimmer of hope in our darkened world. Sure, there might be some naysayer Servers that will balk at the lower average checks…possibly a few grumbly Line Cooks may scoff at having to make the same three menu items over and over for two weeks straight…there may even be a melodramatic Manager or two who fear the possibility of being over-booked…but make no mistake, we welcome it.
We welcome the return of the customers, and the extra hours, and the flowing tips.
We appreciate the injection of energy into our dining room and the spring it puts back in our step.
We are thankful for the ringing phone and the sore feet and the relief from the boredom.
Most of all, we are excited for the start of a New Year to begin for us.