Word of Mouth

Reader question: What makes a good server?

My recent review of Carmine's on Penn, wherein I wrote about being egregiously upsold by a server who'd initially gained my trust, garnered this question from reader Matt:

I was just hired as a server a few nights a week, and I've never done it before. I wondered if you had some do's / don'ts. You obviously didn't like being upsold, or deceived on the food quantity, but if you had other advice...

Here's our short answer to that question: Generally, we like a server that's genuine, knowledgeable and perceptive. It's hard to be more specific than that, because it depends so much on the restaurant, the person and the situation.

But because we know that our readers are both servers and avid diners alike, we're tossing this one out to you: What makes a good server?

Leave your thoughts for Matt in the comment section below.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk