I am a professional food server who wants to shake things up in this industry. I want to light a fire inside each and every person who wears a service apron. I want to connect with other servers and feel supported by a vibrant community.
I crave a network that reflects my values, and I know I'm not alone.
I want to meet other servers who are serious about their craft, and are willing to participate in a network of empowered professionals. I want to lift the conversation above the din of ranting, b*******, and moaning currently dominating our industry. I already know my job is stressful, that certain customers don't 'get it,' and that my coworkers are often cynical and jaded. I need to be elevated and encouraged, not steeped in a form of groupthink that is limiting and negative.
I want to explore other forms of post-shift relaxation besides smoking, boozing, and drugging. I am tired of waking up tired. I want to come down from my shift without getting high, have a drink with my fellow servers without getting drunk, and take a breather without tobacco smoke filling my lungs. I want to be healthy, balanced, and radiant. I am tired of feeling toxic. Introduce me to exciting beverages that promote relaxation without intoxication, and breathing techniques that center me without destroying my lungs. Teach me how to stretch my weary limbs, strength-train my wrists and arms, and use alternative medicine to bolster my immune system. It would help if the leaders in my industry acknowledged substance abuse as a significant problem, and actually supported me in this effort.
I want to expand my food and wine knowledge using social media tools. I am responsible for knowing and describing hundreds of products and culinary terms, ranging from South African Shiraz, locally distilled and handcrafted spirits, and specialty cheeses, to sustainable growing practices, pronunciations of foreign cuisines, and proper wine decanting protocol. This is a lot of information, and I often feel overwhelmed and under-prepared. Give me an online resource where this information has been aggregated, allowing me to study it from different angles. Give me an environment to interact with my peers, vendors, and industry experts. I will run with it!
I don't receive a regular paycheck, so I have to be mindful of how I handle my money. Introduce me to financial advise and products tailored to my profession. Surround me with other servers who have similar savings goals, investment ideas, or who want to pay off debt. Encourage me to stay on track through contests and challenges. I am tired of blowing my hard earned money.
Finally, I want to share my passion and experience in this industry with younger, newly minted servers. I want to support behavior and lifestyle choices that promote longevity and professionalism within this field. I want to access profiles of servers from all around the world who have used their skills to fund college degrees, trips abroad, and entrepreneurial endeavors. I want to chat with new servers who are just discovering wine regions, and line them up with experts who are also members of our community. I want to see information democracy at work in this industry. If social media can transform other trades, why not ours?