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THE duties of a waitress center around the serving of meals. These duties should be performed in such a manner that the service will be prompt, orderly, unobtrusive, and with as much regard as possible for the prevailing style. Other work that she may be called upon to do will vary according to the formality with which the household is conducted and the number of servants employed. Where only two maids, a cook and a waitress, are employed, the latter is expected to attend to the duties of a second maid, which include keeping in order other parts of the house.

The requisites for a waitress are :

  • Medium height
  • Cleanliness
  • Erectness of carriage
  • Quietness
  • Lightness of foot
  • Order
  • Quickness of motion

She should be alert, observing, and prompt in all service. Absolute cleanliness of person and dress is required under all circumstances. In summer, her morning uniform should be a white or light cotton gown, white apron, and soft leather shoes which give the minimum of noise.

When serving dinner, she should wear a plain black woolen gown with white collar and cuffs, and a small fancy apron, unless it is the wish of her mistress that her dress be wholly white. In extremely warm weather, the white gown at dinner is preferable. A cap may be worn, but the custom is not so general as formerly.

In winter a waitress wears the white or light cotton gown until after luncheon, unless there are guests at that meal. If such is the case, she wears the black gown. Some persons have made the pleasing innovation of providing for their maids uniforms of gray mohair, in place of the conventional black. A waitress is expected to be dressed and ready to answer the door-bell at three o'clock in the afternoon. Another maid, or some member of the family, attends to this duty between two and three o'clock.

The duties in regard to the service of meals are as follows :

  • Care of dining-room and pantry.
  • Laying of table and serving-table.
  • Serving breakfast, luncheon, and dinner.
  • Washing table dishes.
  • Care of silver, glass, china, cutlery, and brasses.
  • Care of table linen.
  • Carving.
  • Making butterballs, salads, and sandwiches.
  • Preparation of fruit.
  • Preparation of celery, radishes, olives, pickles, jellies, relishes, and hors-d'oeuvres.
  • Preparation of cheeses.
  • Making and serving beverages.
  • Serving table waters and wines.
  • Announcing meals.

The waitress should see that the carving-knife is sharpened before any meal for which it is required. Under no circumstances should the sharpening be
done at the table

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