Manners matters

Gilbert Lagunas has been a professional waiter for 30 years. He now runs First Class Waiter, a training consultancy, and a blog about service at I asked him about what makes a good waiter.

“Two things right off the bat would be manners and etiquette. I think that’s what’s really missing in a lot of waiters these days. They’re young and weren’t brought up with a lot of etiquette. My collection of manners and etiquette books consists of about 35.

“I think Biba’s is probably the best service in Sacramento. Even the general manager says they need polishing from time to time, though, so everybody needs it. Training and having the knowledge to learn things is important.

“I’m hoping to change things so that waiters have respect. I want to have guests complain if they have bad service. You should talk to the waiter when you get treated badly.”