Learn why Wilde Homes selected Pallasart for their website redesign.
The Up-to-Date Waitress - a Guide for Edwardian Servants
The usefulness of this book since it was first published has been attested by its continued popularity. There have been so many changes in what constitutes good service that a thorough revision of the text has seemed advisable. This new edition therefore has been brought up to date, with much new material added.
All the duties herein enumerated will scarcely fall to the lot of the waitress in any one house. The particular things that a waitress is called upon to do vary with the mode of life of those by whom she is employed, no less than with the section of country in which she is located. But an axiom in life particularly applicable to the waitress is that one's value largely depends upon the number of things one knows how to do well. The waitress, who understands the composition of food, the underlying principles of cookery and cleaning, the proper construction of menus, and who has had training of the reasoning powers and judgment that is incidental to such knowledge, has gained thereby a breadth of mind and quickness of perception, which fit her to meet any emergency that may arise. Such a waitress is fitted to raise her work to the grade of the so-called prefessions, and to command a salary in accordance with the service rendered.
This book is intended as a guide to what may be called good, perhaps ideal, service for waitresses under all circumstances, and not as a set of hard and fast rules from which there is no appeal. The manner in which we advocate that the duties of a waitress should be carried out has been evolved from a study and comparison of the methods of any housekeepers; there may be shorter and apparently more desirable ways of doing certain of things referred to, but in the end the shortest ways are not always the most satisfactory.
There is room at the top for the up-to-date waitress just as there is for the expert in any other calling or profession. This country is rich, and in this branch of household labor are openings that many a young woman now living and working in close, cramped quarters, and on a small income, might fill with advantage to herself, both as to health and financial prosperity. The waitress with pleasant sleeping-room, and the use of a common sitting-room, whose duties are largely confined to a handsome dining-room and well-fitted pantry, enjoys her surroundings quite as much as does the owner thereof. She can take a justifiable pride in her work, and if she choose, raise it to a level with that of the other occupations, as stenography, teaching, dress-making, and millinery.
March 15, 1908