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Our granddaddies said, ‘all good things come to those who wait’, so we became waiters. We are the ghostly apparitions in every restaurant, clad in black or white, with long bulging aprons hugging our waists. We are your waitrons - the great well-tuned culinary coordinators.

Our only weapons being our waiter’s friend, (an over used, scratched wine and bottle opener), a couple of pens, (that always seem to leak into our aprons) and two cloths, one for cleaning tables and the other to protect our already abused hands from more steaming plates. Yet our biggest weapon, which should in fact be called our asset, is our smile. An all encompassing friendly glow which never waivers or falters in front of our guests. Night after night, day after day, we stand prepared to serve each and every one of you tirelessly - and yes, with a smile.

We are the great calorie and inebriation facilitators, the original multi-taskers. We faultlessly anticipate, serve, pour and carry – personalities that make your evening or day more enjoyable and palatable. Guiding you through endless menus and wine lists, ultimately leading you to your gastronomical utopias. We are the face and energy at the front of every restaurant

Many a derogatory thing has been said about waiters and most definitely to them personally. It must be remembered that only a select and elite few are capable of the art of waitering. Let us ask the question - which of you individuals could or have tried to work endless hours on your feet, running, carrying and dealing with copious amounts of insatiable demands and abuses and are still able to hold an unfaltering, sincere smile. Let’s be honest, not many people. So we beseech you to have a little thought and consideration, it always goes a long way.

It is a fact that there are many pseudo waiters that give this most dignified profession a bad name. They are known as order takers and are scourges and pure imitators. This is an ode to all the great souls, those genius waiters who flow, vibe and create atmospheric harmony and who supplement their dreams and passions with the humble gratuities that are offered to them. What makes a good waitron, you may ask? The answer is simple - sit back and think. Remember those wonderful evenings eating out where every thing was perfect? All that was orchestrated by your waitron.

A good waitron understands the psychology of waitering. Confidence seeps from every pore. At times we are humble and unobtrusive and at other times we break out at unexpected moments with humour and wise anecdotes. We weave and dance through the endless rows of tables, always with the friendliest of eye contact, knowing and understanding the different needs of each and every customer. There are no set formulae that we follow. Spontaneity, and the striving for impeccable service day after day is our only goal. Waitrons are the proverbial chameleons that ceaselessly change and shift to meet each and every customer’s requirements.

So, with this in mind, the next time you dine out, watch, listen and appreciate this great choreography that unfolds right in front of your eyes. Observe these rock and roll stars of food service and relish with delight how everything is brought together. Know that each and everyone of us are waiting with patience and persistence for that one person, that unexpected soul, who will recognize our self worth. We are ‘waitering for Goddot’. With a flash and a smile they will make those endless hours worthwhile and leave that great gratuity - that only barometer that can measure and glorify our toil. With a warm glow in our bosom, never missing a beat, we seat our next guests. And the waiting begins once again.

Words © JasonFinlay
Image © Henk Esterhuizen | Mia de Jager