BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
BEING a waiter on the positive side gives you the chance to meet interesting people, sharpen your soft skills.
But, this job is physically and mentally demanding also, says Jeffery Maetoro.
Mr Maetoro who is 46 years old is a familiar waiter at the Tavanipupu Private Island Resort, located in Marau Sound, south of Guadalcanal.
Maetoro is serves his 11th year at the resort. He has been through different managements operating the five-star resort since 1997 to date.
The weekend Sun was fortunate to speak with him over the weekend. He told this paper that a waiter is often referred to as servers, take orders from customers and serve them food and drinks.
He said many servers earn less than the minimum hourly wage and rely on tips for customers. The job’s duties working condition and poor pay can make it difficult to earn a decent living.
“I would say to me good server never stops moving from the beginning to the end of a shift. The waiter must remember which meal corresponds to which diner and address any dietary restrictions or a special request,” Maetoro said.
He said during his everyday duties he always keeps a strong sense of the kitchen’s rhythm, and the time needed for each dish.
“Between guests they restock the service area, clean as needed, and help other servers with their tables. Above all, they must maintain a friendly, professional appearance,” Maetoro said.
He said the challenging part of being a waiter is that they (servers) are literally on their feet throughout the entire shift, so comfortable shoes are necessary to prevent foot pain and potential knee or back problems.
Maetoro said despite the challenges encountered in the past 11 years what keeps him going is the passion for the job and his family members who depend on him for financial support.
“To be honest I did not have a good educational background. I only learned what I do now through work experiences, the people I meet and the managements I am working with,” he said.
With the love and passion he grows for his job and as a senior waiter he sometimes mentor and supervise young and new waiters and waitresses serving the Tavanipupu Private Island Resort.
Maetoro said this job had taught him a lot of interesting life lessons. Few of these lessons are how to speak English, how to respect and accept the different people visiting the resort.
“And also I learn to accept the different management style of the resort which had helped me a lot to grow into being a good waiter,” he said.
Maetoro adds that with the current pandemic he is blessed to continue serving the Resort.
“I know the tourism industry in the country is also affected and Tavanipupu is no exception but was crippled by the pandemic as well. But I am happy that I did not lose my job or get laid off,” he said
Maetoro lives in the Island facing Tavanipupu resort called Tawaihi and he comes to work on an outrigger canoe.
Tavanipupu Private Island Resort is located in Marau Sound, only 25 minutes east by air from the capital of Honiara; this privately owned five-star island resort is the South Pacific’s best kept secret.
The island is a tropical paradise surrounded by a vast turquoise lagoon. Manicured lawns studded with lines of coconut palms are the only remaining evidence of Tavanipupu’s colourful past.