Servers help make a restaurant feel like home when customers enter and take a seat. For this Server Says, we talked with Kaelyn Williams, a server at Sauced Bar and Oven who has been there for nearly half a year. 


Williams described her average shift.


“I know my friends are going to be there, so I always make a lap around to say hello to everyone. Then I’ll do prep work to make sure everything is stocked up, roll silverware and put out the menus depending on what time it is,” Williams said. “Everyone starts coming in for Happy Hour, then we’ll get our late-night rush around seven to eight. 


For Williams, her favorite pre-shift meal is the shrimp alfredo or the shrimp Caesar salad.


“I didn’t realize how often I eat it until my friends encouraged me to try something new,” Williams said with a laugh. “The French dip is my other go-to.”


If you go to Sauced and are unsure of what to get, Williams has a few suggestions.


“For first-timers, I usually recommend the fried ravioli, the Guy Pie, Some Like It Hot and the Spicy Hawaiian,” Williams said. The last three of Williams’s recommendations are pizzas. The Guy Pie is San Marzano tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, Italian sausage, pepperoni, shaved ham, bacon and fresh basil. Some Like It Hot is soppressata, bacon marmalade, mozzarella and fresh basil, topped with either habanero honey or regular honey. The Spicy Hawaiian is San Marzano tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, ham, pineapple, jalapenos and fresh basil. “The pizzas are never a miss.”


The food and drink industry can be hard on a server or bartender’s feet, legs and back. As a result, the appropriate wardrobe can make a big difference.


“I have a few shoes that I’ll wear, depending on the weather,” Williams said. “I’ll wear Nikes, Converse or Doc Martins. As servers, we have to wear all black and close-toed shoes, and these help me stay comfortable.”


Working in the food industry, servers are likely to encounter nice and not-so-nice customers alike. 


Williams shared advice on how to deal with the latter.


“I usually just try to kill them with kindness. You never know what someone has going on when they walk through the door, and I hope they feel the same way about servers,” Williams said. “I treat everyone fairly, and if I see people going really low, I go really high. When people get out of their bad mood, I hope they remember how nice I was to them in spite of that.”


On the other hand, Williams recalled an interaction with a particularly kind customer.


“A dad came in with his son, and we were short-staffed that day and got really busy,” Williams said. “I was running around and taking orders in rounds, rotating and making sure that I didn’t miss a table. They told me that I’d done really well even though we were super busy, and to take as much time as I needed, and that made me feel really good.”


Williams offered a word of advice for succeeding in the food and drink industry.


“The best thing to do is listen. Always write down the orders whether you know it’s on the menu or not,” Williams said. “Embrace teamwork. Even if it’s not your table and not your tip, helping someone else will encourage them to help you when you need the help. Always ask questions.”


Lastly, Williams shared some of the life lessons that she has learned from working in the restaurant industry. 


“Always be nice, always tip and always treat the busboy and the manager the same,” Williams said. 


Photo Courtesy of Kaelyn Williams
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