The following is what I wrote for the final phase of our ServOlympics contest at Söntés, read yesterday to the waitstaff:

I didn’t write a poem. What I’m going to say isn’t funny, & it doesn’t rhyme. But Tessa’s guidelines for this part of the contest included telling everyone something interesting about our team. As you know, Paul and I have consistently had a lot of points. I’m going to tell you how we got them.

I got 200 points for painting upstairs. But I didn’t paint by myself. There was a whole team of us, including Bekah, Barbara, Darrell, and Dawn.

Teqhe night Paul got 315 points for selling Earthquake—I was working a party in the basement and I ran food for the floor so Paul could pay attention to his Mayo group. Yes, it was a party, but they ordered off the house menu and could order any wine they wanted. With poor service, they may have ordered 2-3 bottles. They ordered five.bekah

Bekah and Jose were the ones who set up the table for Paul, so that when he got here, he could focus on the details of his group. Lunch crew consistently does that for dinner crew.

The night I sold 268 points in wine and beer bottles, Dawn ran food to my tables, and she explained the dishes to the guests so that they felt taken care of, even though I was across the room opening wine. And Darrell had to get me another bottle of beer every time he turned around. I sold 14 bottles of beer that night.

Kiwi & Darrell consistently send out drinks in a timely manner. We rarely wait for anything from the bar.

Annie stepped up when we needed a bartender. It typically takes 2 weeks, at least, to get a bartender trained so they know where everything is and how to make the drinks. With Annie, there was no two week period–we didn’t miss a beat.

Sometimes Paul and I worked hard for our points, timing our tables well so we could sell desserts and dessert drinks. Other times we made efforts not to lose points: triple checking that we closed the safe at night, triple checking that lights and candles were out.  And sometimes, we just got lucky.

For the Paul and Jody Show, this was never a contest of two’s, this was a contest of one. One restaurant, trying to elevate barrel One serving staff, trying to help each other and find camaraderie.

For that reason, most nights I worked, I tried to write down things that other servers did. Things that were helpful or just plain impressive:

Kiwi is cheerful and always ready to help.  So is JR. So is Stacey.

Stacey always organizes the server station for us or we would all be in a world of hurt.

This month, Angel moved the creamer cups after we discussed it at a meeting.

Barbara sold 18 bottles of wine at lunch on a Friday.

Annie cleaned bird poop from the alleyway. She cleaned poop for crying out loud!

This is still anybody’s game. It’s entirely possible that Tessa will give 1000 points to the team with the best poem. Everyone’s still in this. But the points my team has, we got because of all of you. If the Paul and Jody Show happens to win, whatever we win, we’re sharing with everybody.

UPDATE: The Paul and Jody Show DID win the ServOlympics! Let the sharing begin!!

For more restaurant guts & glory, check out my book Upside Down Kingdom on Amazon: