When serving people, being a minimalist is essential.

Every restaurant has different set ups. Some are minimal with just a fork, a knife and a water glass, while others may have two or three forks, knives, spoons, and a plethora of glasses. My first tip would be to take your guest’s order, pick up the menus, and remove all unnecessary items from their table. During their meal, keep their table current; remove straws, empty sugar wraps, anything and everything that clutters the table. It gives the guest room to put their phone down—LOL.

Next tip: work clean. Remove empty glasses, dirty silverware. When they finish their main course and before dropping the dessert menu, remove the salt and pepper shakers, crumb or wipe the table — leave only the bare essentials needed for the remainder of the meal.

Back to empty glasses on tables.  An empty cocktail or martini glass should absolutely not remain on a guest’s table throughout their meal. “Why?” you ask. Well, the obvious answer is that it takes up unnecessary space on the table and it looks unappetizing. The less obvious but just as important reason is because the bar needs the glass back to make your next martini order!

I work in a 240-seat restaurant, 67 tables. Recently, on a busy Saturday night, the bar asked the manager to bring them more martini glasses so that they could continue making cocktail orders. Instead of breaking open several boxes of new martini glasses, the manager grabbed a large tray and proceeded to go around and collect all of the empty, dirty martini glasses he could find on the floor. 

After four to five trips through the restaurant, he had gathered an impressive 40 empty, dirty martini glasses.

The moral of the martini glass story: Always think about the rest of the team, as well as yourself — do not park dirty glasses or silverware on your tables as everyone needs them. Be a minimalist and keep only what is necessary on your tables!