The Restaurant Family Tree, As Told By A Hostess

The Restaurant Family Tree, As Told By A Hostess

All on one shift, we have the hosts, the servers, the line cooks and the managers. Everyone comes together to make one functioning restaurant family.

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If you have never worked in food service, congratulations. You have missed out on coming home smelling like grease, rude customers and insane amounts of stress. But, you have also missed out on a chance to become a part of a different kind of family, without even knowing it.

I have hosted at two different places. First, I worked at a sports bar for a couple of months last year. I never really got the "family feel" from that place, simply because everyone looked down at me for being so young.

Now, I host at a different restaurant, and I can tell that it is a family there. Despite age differences or titles, we work together as one and support one another in whatever we are facing.

Let me break this down for you. All on one shift, we have the hosts, the servers, the line cooks and the managers. Everyone comes together to make one functioning restaurant family. Here's how it goes.

The managers are the parents.

It seems as if this should be a given, considering the fact that managers are in charge of a lot more than everyone else. They steer that ship and make sure everything is as smooth sailing as possible. So, yeah — they're the parents.

The servers are the older siblings.

Servers get tips and get more say in the kitchen when running food. They have a bunch of connections, and they always look out for those below them. But be careful, because they will ask you to clean their tables — almost like an older sibling making you do their chores.

The hosts are the younger siblings.

We're kind of like the babies of the family. We're always looked after (see above for servers). I have had servers talk to managers on my behalf when I wasn't cut at the right time, and I've had managers buy me food for doing extra help around the store. We're always taken care of.

Finally, the line cooks are the grandparents.

Just like grandparents, the line cooks are always making sure that you've eaten, and they will sometimes slip you free food if they like you. I guess you can also compare them to that aunt who shows up to Thanksgiving with four desserts. They're going to feed you, as long as you're on their good side.

Now, there are times that these distinctions are open to change. One of my managers teases me a lot, so he's more like a big brother. A server I work with is more like a "work mom" than an older sibling. The family tree is open to small adjustments based on how a person treats others and their position. But the basis still stands.

This is how the restaurant family works, at least from what I've observed.

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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9 Artsy Restaurants To Check Out Near Villanova

Your next Instagram #foodie photo awaits.

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While my recommendations are not necessary "near" Villanova, these are some restaurants that I've tried over the last decade of living in Pennsylvania. Some I've tried during my first year at Villanova; some I've tried four years ago. But all of them have some pretty photogenic food and perfect opportunities for an impromptu ~photoshoot~ with friends or family. I've ordered the restaurants by their distance from Villanova—they range from 2 minutes down the road to 39 minutes away near my hometown.

1. First Watch

Avocado Toast from First Watch

Instagram @first.watch

Location: Villanova, PA (2 minutes from Villanova)

Type of food: Breakfast & Brunch

Favorite dish: Avocado Toast

I wouldn't be a Villanova student if I didn't recommend First Watch- many students' go-to brunch place. The first and only time I went to First Watch, I had to try the avocado toast (basic, I know), and it was different than any I've ever tasted. The avocado tasted so fresh and the whole-grain toast made me feel really healthy. The two basted eggs on the side complemented the toast very well.

2. Autograph Brasserie

Inside the Autograph Brasserie

Instagram @francesca_ragucci

Location: Wayne, PA (7 minutes from Villanova)

Type of food: American, Italian

Favorite dish: Breakfast BLT

Autograph Brasserie is a hidden gem that I only visited once as well, but it did not disappoint. Though it was a little pricey, the BLT was cooked to perfection and the fries were great as well.

3. Terrain Garden Cafe

French Toast from Terrain

Katelyn Tsai

Location: Devon, PA (8 minutes from Villanova)

Type of food: American

Favorite dish: French Toast, Terrain Burger

I've been to the Glen Mills, PA location a few times but recently went to the Devon, PA location because it's much closer to Villanova. The quality of food at both locations is very impressive, and the restaurants are clearly environmentally friendly based on the interior of the restaurants. Both of my favorite dishes are very filling and just what I need for brunch.

4. Pod

Sushi from Pod

Instagram @thephillyeats

Location: Philadelphia, PA (23 minutes from Villanova)

Type of food: Asian Fusion, Sushi

Favorite dish: All the sushi. You can't go wrong.

I honestly went here a long time ago and don't remember exactly what I ordered, but I remember the sushi being really delicious and the inside of the restaurant being aesthetically pleasing. Not only does Pod serve sushi, but it also offers rice, noodles, dim sum, and various soups and salads.

5. Kooma

Inside of Kooma

Instagram @mandyjansen

Location: West Chester, PA (30 minutes from Villanova)

Type of food: Asian Fusion, Sushi

Favorite dish: Firecracker Roll

I've only been here once as well, but the Firecracker Roll I ordered had all of my favorite ingredients in sushi: shrimp tempura, avocado, and cream cheese. Kooma also serves various other specialties with meat, seafood, noodles, and more.

6. Brew HaHa!

Affogato

Instagram @like_you_a_latte

Location: Greenville, DE (36 minutes from Villanova)

Type of food: Coffee & Tea, Breakfast & Brunch

Favorite drink: Brew Ha Ha! Latte

Brew Ha Ha! is a hidden gem in Delaware, but it is one of my go-to coffee shops for both good food and coffee. The ambiance is very calm, and it's a perfect place to sit and catch up with friends when I'm back home. Something else I love about Brew Ha Ha! is that they have $2 tacos every Thursdays which is difficult to resist!

7. Pizza by Elizabeths

Entrance of Pizza by Elizabeths

Instagram @julie9626

Location: Greenville, DE (37 minutes from Villanova)

Type of food: Coffee & Tea, Breakfast & Brunch

Favorite dish: Boop

Pizza by Elizabeths is more of a classy and rustic restaurant with decorations of various famous Elizabeths. I love the Boop pizza (each pizza is named after an Elizabeth), which consists of mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, balsamic vinaigrette, and fresh tomatoes. You can also create your own pizza if none of the signature ones speak to you!

8. Lily Asian Cuisine

Shrimp Tempura, Tuna Avocado, and Spicy Tuna Rolls

Katelyn Tsai

Location: Kennett Square, PA (39 minutes from Villanova)

Type of food: Sushi, Asian Fusion

Favorite dish: I can't choose. Literally everything.

As you've probably noticed, I kinda like sushi. This is probably my favorite restaurant of all time. It's where everyone from my community goes for authentic sushi, and I've introduced it to so many people. It's a great place for families to eat and I also love their All-You-Can-Eat Tuesdays. I would 1000% recommend going if you're ever in the area!

9. Philter

They also do really cool latte art!

Katelyn Tsai

Location: Kennett Square, PA (39 minutes from Villanova)

Type of food: Coffee & Tea, Breakfast & Brunch

Favorite drink: Hazelnut Latte

This is my favorite coffee shop in my hometown. It's the perfect place to get some work done while sipping a soothing latte. There are also several sandwiches and salads to choose from that I've really enjoyed. It's basically impossible to get a seat during brunch time because it's so popular, but the drinks make the trip worth it.

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