Dining Hall

Resource Manual

Star Island Corporation

Morton-Benedict House

30 Middle Street

Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801

Office: 603-430-6272 · Island: 603-601-0832


There is a lot involved in this job that is not stated in this manual. The job of a Waitrae is to provide three meals per day to conferences visiting the island. A Waitrae should be flexible and available, as well as attentive and productive. It is a hard job but it is also one that can be an amazing experience. Often Waitrae are first-year employees. Being a member of this crew can be great, because it provides a strong community for employees who are new to the island while also providing the opportunity to interact with other crews (kitchen, dish, chamber etc.) and guests.

As Host, you gain a real sense of how the island runs and you play a significant part in making sure conferees feel comfortable and welcomed on the island. The supervisor is responsible not only for the training and supervision of your crew but for keeping up the crew morale as well. You have the opportunity to work and coordinate with many of the crews on the island, and to fine tune your own organizational skills because as you will quickly find: organization is essential.

It is very important that waitrae are “people oriented” – that they feel at ease and enjoy dealing with different kinds of people. In addition, waitrae need to be reliable and independent – able to take the self-initiative to complete a job in an efficient and timely manner.

The crew structure projected for 2011 goes as follows: There are 20 Waitrae, and a Host. Either the Food Service Rounder or the head Pel Hall Waitrae should be hired as an Assistant Host. On changeover, nine members of the crew are sent to help with the housekeeping changeover effort for most of the day.

Supervisor Duties & ResponsibilitieEdit

  • Maintain service and cleanliness standards for the Dining Room, Swett Ave, Pel Hall, and designated field day area.
  • Be aware of employee and conferee interests, and make recommendations to the Foodservice Manager and crew regarding changes.
  • Maintain contact and good communications with the Kitchen, Dish, and Housekeeping supervisors.
  • Update continually the Waitrae manual to reflect changes in Island policy and crew-related improvements, as well as suggestions for the future.
  • Assume responsibility for serving guests meals as efficiently and pleasantly as possible.
  • Ensure safe handling of china and glassware, including thorough understanding of proper tray loading techniques.
  • Make sure tables are set correctly and that serving and clearing procedures are followed.
  • Be visible to guests throughout meal.
  • Thorough knowledge of ingredients and preparation techniques.

Waitrae AreasEdit

The Dining RoomEdit

The Dining Room is where meals are served to conferees. There are 22 tables in the main part of the Dining Room, and six additional tables in the Dining Room Alcove. The tables in the Snack Bar Alcove are often used as well. There are four and half tables available in the Snack Bar Alcove, allowing for a total overall seating capacity of 324. The overall crowd capacity, as designated by fire policy, is 300.

At the end of the dining hall nearest the kitchen (the front) are two green cabinets. One contains china, and is loaded from the back of the house. This cabinet must always remain closed during meals. Staff who need additional china should go around and get it from the back. The other green cabinet is referred to as the Hostess table. It generally contains napkins, left-behind baby items, empty tea & sugar caddies and conference table signs. The cabinet surface holds the half and half cow, and the peanut butter and jelly, as well as the Decafe coffee during Breakfast. In 2011 we used the Alcove counter as the lunch and dinner coffee station to avoid congestion around the Swett Ave enterances and exits. The Hostess station is also where dirty baby items are left to be cleaned, and where clean baby items are replaced for pick-up.

Between the tables near the porch end of the Dining Room and the wall is extra space for baby chairs and the buffet table chairs. Baby chairs must be kept clean and in decent shape, for safety and health reasons. It is difficult to care for a young child on vacation, and the Hostess should work to ensure that all families have adequate resources so that they may enjoy their stay. Extra chairs should not permanently live in this space. Broken chairs should be taken immediately to the Carp Shop.

Along the East Wall of the Dining Room, there should be a microphone with a stand. This microphone is used during meals for important announcements and grace. When it doesn’t work, people get mad. Work with Conference Services to find the most reliable microphone, and make sure the volume setting for the Dining Room is appropriate (at the Front Desk). The cover for the Dining Hall volume knob is broken, so pull off this black covering and twist the crescent-shaped knob behind it.

In the alcove of the Dining Room, there is an old clock. There are two clock keys, one located in the Food Service Office, and the other located in the safe. There will be someone around who can figure it out. Just ask. It needs to be rewound every eleven days. (One of the counter-weight strings for this clock broke during the 2008 season. We identified an antique clock repairman in Kittery (who apparently has a house on Appledore??) and were about to send it in when we discovered it’s very securely attached to the wall. A call was placed to try to get the repairman to come out and fix the clock on island, but no response was received and then the season began and no one cared about the clock anymore. Try to get this fixed in the future.)

Against the closed-off wall of the snack bar, in the Dining Room alcove, there is a table where the “cows” and milk cow is kept. A clean tray should always be placed underneath the cow, and signs with clear usage directions and labels for milk types should be velcroed to the front. The Host should check the cow prior to every meal to ensure it is full enough that there won’t be any awkward milk-loading during service. Changing the cows between meals also ensures that there will be adequate time to wipe out the handle recesses so they don’t fill with rotting milk. Make sure that the whole crew knows how to change the cow so that the outback or another crew member can do this when necessary. It should be noted that the wall adjacent to the cows gets covered with milk that becomes both rotten and moldy is left unwashed – it is best to avoid this.

The counter that divides the snack bar alcove from the Dining Room alcove has a fold-down table top and a cabinet for flower vases. This counter is used as a cold cearel station in the morning, and as the coffee station for lunch and dinner. It is very important that this space gets carefully wiped down every meal, as its out of the dining hall location makes it easy for the Waitrae to forget, but places it in prime conferee viewing space.

The Dining Room alcove is also home to a hot cistern sink and shelves containing hot cistern pitchers. It is the Hostess’s responsibility to ensure that this sink remains clean, and that the shelves are wiped down and organized. Cistern pitchers are continually mixed in with Pel Hall pitchers, at which point there is not enough for the conferees. To avoid annoyance in the morning, it is wise for the Hostess to train her staff as to the difference between the two types of pitchers, and to double-check each night that there are ample cistern pitchers.

The fan above the cistern pitcher shelf needs to be taken apart and cleaned at the end of every season.

There is a chalkboard located in the entranceway between the lobby and the dining hall alcove. This is used as the menu board, while the display bulletin boards on either side are used for whatever random purpose dictated by that seasons’ needs. It is essential that the Host write the menu neatly on this board at the end of every meal. Conferees and day visitors continually check this board and will get very upset if it still says the breakfast menu at dinner. Writing the breakfast menu the night before is also quite important as the morning singers use this information as the main source for their clever, clever lyrics. An example menu might read:

Monday Dinner Roasted Pork Loin with Gravy Steamed Brown Rice Asparagus with Lemon Butter Green Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette Olive Rolls Vegetarian: Gado-Gado Dessert: Pecan Pie Kid’s Option: Hot Dogs

Or it may read:

Dinner – Pork Rice Asparagus Salad Bread

As can be seen by this example, the classiness of the establishment is determined in part by the individual filling the role of the Host. The chalkboard should be cleaned each changeover. The internet suggests the following method for cleaning chalkboards:

  • Erase with felt eraser. (Don’t forget to bang the chalk out of your eraser on a regular basis. The back porch rails work well for this purpose.)
  • Wipe with a dry cloth.
  • Rinse with a clean wet cloth.
  • Dry with the dry cloth.
  • Allow time to dry before writing the next menu.

Remember to always wipe/erase in an vertical pattern. It would be wise to apply lemon oil to the chalkboard at the end of the season and it may be necessary (will be necessary at the beginning of 2012) to repaint the board with chalkboard paint before the beginning of each season.

Swett AveEdit

Swett Ave is the home-base for the Waitrae. Here Waitrae can find almost everything they will need for a successful serve-out. Waitrae will store their trays in Swett Ave, in the tray racks located between the shelves and table near the kitchen entrance. In the morning Waitrae will fill coffee and hot water pitchers at the silver table between the food service office and butter cutter. Hot water and coffee pitchers are stored on the shelves above the middle counter. Water and milk pitchers are stored on the top shelves near the snack bar window. Below that is where silverware is located, separated into plastic containers. This counter acts as a staging area for silver throughout the day, and is sometimes used by the kitchen. Below this counter is where serving platters and crocks are stored. Traffic patterns in Swett Ave are very specific and need to be followed and enforced by the Host. Waitrae need to understand that following traffic patterns ultimately make everyone’s life easier and safer. During meal times, the main double door is to be used as an exit from Swett Ave, and an entrance into the dining hall, the alcove doors can be used in both directions, and the dish room doors are in/out as dictated by the way they swing. The bulletin board in Swet Ave is a good place for the day-off calendar, the completed schedule, and for any general notes that the Host wishes the waitrae to see. Nametags and extra white shirts can be staged in the area to the left of the conference services coffee cabinet, but as there are so many waitrae, this space should be used minimally for personal items. The Host for each season should identify a specific area for covered waitrae drinks to be placed during service. These drinks must be removed at the end of every shift, along with any dishes of half-eaten food that the grosser waitrae will swipe from the dining hall. Do not trust anyone who says they’re saving something or that they will come back for it. They won’t.

Swett Ave needs to be organized and clean at all times, so that during meals Waitrae know exactly where to get what they need.

Dry Paper StorageEdit

The Hostess and Waitrae should familiarize themselves with the contents of the Dry Storage (aka Crystal) room. Conferees often ask for paper cups, plastic bags, etc. during meals. Plastic containers are also stored here which are frequently used by Waitrae for returns, etc, as are the ice bags that should be used for cereal left-overs and the dinner napkins. Additionally, the waitrae should all be familiarized with the contents of the chemical and supply shelves. Waitrae must be trained to break down their own boxes and replace items in their appropriate places.

The ButtercutterEdit

The Butter Cutter is where all condiments, coffee, tea, and filters are stored. The refrigerator in the Butter Cutter is where the host should keep all pitchers of milk, lemons, peanut butter and jelly, open condiments, open dressing containers, and conferee personal items (In 2011 this fridge never worked). The milk pictchers should always be labeled, if possible use a label machine. The pitchers of milk must be dated and must be checked before every meal, or you will end up putting rotten milk out. This is a small but vital place, and organization is key. The SWAT box and its extras are also kept here. The butter cutter is also the place where the outback will set up returns and extras for Waitrae. During meal times the counter needs to be clean and organized so that Waitrae can make a quick stop and continue into the dishroom. Since the kitchen sets up the butter cutter, the host needs to maintain communication with the kitchen so that all necessary items are ready before Waitrae shows up. Pre-sets such as butter, lemons, dressing, cream, and condiments should be set out by the kitchen, and picked up by waitrae while setting up their tables. The Butter Cutter should be swept nightly by the outback on duty and possibly be included in the final nightly scrub, depending on how sticky the floor is. The outback can also spend the 5-10 minutes of down-time at the beginning of the meals organizing/wiping down the shelves and refrigerator in the butter cutter. The Butter Cutter is sort of a no-man’s land in that it is cleaned by the waitrae on changeover and by the kitchen whenever the FSM becomes overly disgusted by the general state of cleanliness, but this does not need to be the case. The Host will ideally feel a high degree of responsibility for the cleanliness/functionality of the Butter Cutter and will find ways to keep it ship-shape. (Note: This is the one place in the department where we frequently get ants. It is key to keep the condiments wiped down and the honey stored in the fridge for this not to happen. Once it does happen, remove all the food, bleach everything thoroughly, close the counter window, and gas the entire place with bug killer.)

The Dish RoomEdit

During meal times the Dish Room can be a hectic and crazy place. Waitrae and Dishies need to work together to make both jobs easier. Waitrae should enter the dish room by the archway to the right of the breaker box. If there is a line for the unloading shelf, it is better for them to suck it up and wait until the workers in front of them have properly unloaded their trays and moved along than it is for them to impatiently yell things such as, “Slide” or “Move.” When the line is pushed faster than it would normally move, the front waitrae end up having items on their tray that they need to pass back down and are occasionally forced to backtrack. Advise them to lean on the middle post or rest their tray on the butter counter if necessary. It is imperative that the Host helps the waitrae to figure out the best way for all crew members to load their trays. Different people may have different styles, but the more everyone agrees the easier it is for an outback to unload quickly. It is recommended that the waitrae load a few stacks of main dishes (plates, bowls, crocks, saucers) in the center of the tray, close to their shoulder, and stack the outside rim with mugs filled with glasses, small pitchers, and silverware organized by type. Teacups can be reformed into flowers or nested inside a wooden salad bowl. Trash should be disposed of in the dining room at traystands, while all yomp should be collected discretely in a large serving dish at the traystand. Ideally a waitrae will be able to enter the dish room and either hand off their tray to an outback and return to clearing their tables or enter, slide down the line, deposit a few items at each station, and return to clearing their tables. The Host can help to make the dish room run smoothly by ensuring that the unloading counter remains clear while the dishies are on break (either by clearing herself or by properly training the outbacks to do so) and by communicating well with the dishies with regards to their appropriate start time. In the past, it has been judged that the best start window for the dishies to begin working occurs some time between when the stacks of dishes run from the furthest loading point (underneath the left side of the plate rack carriage) and the shlong drain, and when the dishes run from that same point to the edge of the serving utensil bus tub. In any case, don’t delay in getting the dishies when you want them and be hard on them if they’re ever not to be found. Whoever ends up being the person to shift the dishes should be conscious that they are stacking to appropriate levels and staging type with type to ensure for speedy, organized, safe loading. The Host should also let the dishies know that certain racks are more helpful in certain places. For example, the glass racks should be before the mug racks so waitrae can carry glasses in mugs. Similarly, the dish supervisor should communicate to the Host about the preferred placement for clean rack returns. Flat racks not suitable for pitchers are often staged underneath the right end of the unloading counter so that the waitrae can replace their own pitcher racks, while glass and teacup racks must be stacked neatly on their respective dollies once table-setting is complete.

In the dish room both waitrae and the dishies use the yomp bins. It is waitrae’s responsibility to keep an eye on the yomp bins during meal times and make sure full yomp bins go out to the back loading dock. Truck crew will get very mad if they find yomp bins that are too heavy to lift, so it’s important to have a good relationship with them. Yomp bins should be light enough for truckies to lift them over-head. A good way to measure this is to see if you can tap the bin with your foot. If the bin doesn’t move, it’s too full. The yomp bins are stacked outside of the dish room door, on the deck around the corner.

The triple sink area should be thought of as a part of Swet Ave rather than a part of the dish room. The waitrae are responsible for maintaining all aspects of this area. The stainless steel table to the left of the triple sink is used for staging dirty waitrae trays and used coffee/hot water pitchers during service. This table must be wiped down after every shift and scrubbed with stainless steel and comet on changeovers. Debris and clutter tend to accumulate on the window sill behind the table and underneath the table. Keep an eye out for this problem

The KitchenEdit

The Kitchen is where Waitrae picks up their food when serving out. The kitchies and waitrae need to have a good relationship for a successful serve out. Before the meal, waitrae retrieve their pre-set items from the kitchen. The Hostess must communicate with the kitchen supervisor to figure out which items will be preset and what the flow of service will be, and then the Hostess must relay this message to her team. Often the presets will include butter cutter items, bread, salad, and cold side dishes. The two-door reach-ins in the kitchen will often serve as the staging point for salads and cold dishes, and eventually for butter cutter items once the heat really hits. If the waitrae aren’t told specifically where to look and what to look for, they will often skip a dish entirely. Watch out for this. Once all tables are preset, the Hostess must herd the staff into the kitchen to go over the menu with the kitchen supervisor. The kitchen supervisor will prepare waitrae by giving them a thorough list of ingredients and options for people with special dietary needs. This is a good time for you to do a walk through the dining hall and see which tables are missing presets and who forgot to set out plates. It is imperative that the hostess has a good relationship with the first cook. She needs to let the first cook know which meals go over well, and which don’t, condiments that need to go out for certain meals, and ways to make meals improve. The Hostess should also become well-versed in the preparation techniques and ingredients for all dishes, the location of viable alternatives for common allergens, and be able to converse with the cooks on their level (i.e. speak cook). Conferees expect the Hostess to be aware of such details and it never looks good to have to ‘ask,’ unless it’s truly a bizarre question.

The kitchies and waitrae spend a lot of time together, and have many routines and special traditions to make serve out more fun, such as Question of the Day. During meals, waitrae will line up to pick up their food. The line starts at the white counter where the main course is staged, you then continue to the sink’s tray loader (Fred) where side dishes are ready for pick up. The line should loop around the middle metal table, which usually has salad fixings or the veggie option. Waitrae start ‘in’ for lunch, meaning they line up in a specific order which happens to be related to the distance between Fred and their traystand. Generally the only carry-out item for lunch is soup, unless there is a griddled item on the menu. Waitrae can load two or three crocks of soup easily on their tray, so serve-out is rather quick for meals that start ‘in.’ The Hostess should tell the outback to give the “load up” command once the bell has been rung. Once the middle aisle is clear of guests, she opens the double doors from Swet Ave and a beautifully synchronized staff dances out to their respective tray-stands and service begins. After the initial serve-out trip, the waitrae will generally make a second one to fill up on options for their vegetarian diners and then the seconds trips begin. Kitchies will generally set up a number of stations at which the waitrae can serve themselves seconds. If any of these stations includes a process that is more complicated than scooping or preparing a salad of pre-cut items, the Hostess should request that the kitchen supervisor allocate one of the kitchen staff to work this station. There should be minimal wait-time on seconds service. Additionally, the waitrae should never walk behind the bowling alley or white counter (behind the line) during any hours of kitchen operation, nor should they be asked to. The Hostess should ensure at the beginning of the meal that there are easily accessible seconds or by-request items or that there is an outback present to get these items.

At dinner, the waitrae generally start ‘out,’ meaning they stand at their traystands and begin their service when one of their tables is full. If both tables fill at once, tradition dictates that the harbor-side table is served first. Waitrae should determine how many diners are eating the meat entrée before returning to the kitchen for their first tray of food. For example, if there are 8 people sitting at the table, two are vegetarians, and three are getting the kids option, then the waitrae should only request three servings of the main entrée. When the waitrae get to the kitchen, they will be asked how many meat-eaters they have and if they merely give a blank stare and mumble, ‘all,’ the kitchen will be rightfully disgusted. Generally the first tray load will consist of the main dish and all side dishes for one table, the second will consist of the vegetarian and kids dishes, the third will be the main dish and side dishes for the second table, and by the fourth load they’ll be cramming in vegetarian, kids, and seconds for the first table. Now that we offer multiple alternatives to each main course, our initial service time has increased. This seems to be the source of many complaints that there isn’t enough food, as most conferees merely mean that there isn’t enough food the first time around and waiting for seconds takes too long. It is also part of the kitchen’s job to remain around and available for as long as service is going on. This generally isn’t a problem during the regular season, but sometimes can be if the kitchen is trying to get out as early as possible. Another kitchen problem that occasionally occurs is that the kitchen will begin cleaning the floor before the waitrae are done making their trips into the kitchen for dessert. It is scary to walk on a wet soapy floor, but the only other alternative is to have the kitchen continue working until the waitrae are done, which isn’t really viable. It’s better to make sure the kitchen knows the squeegee that part of the floor as quickly as possible and to remind the waitrae to wear appropriate footwear.

The Kitchen Loading DockEdit

The Kitchen Loading Dock is where the brooms, scrubbers, and squeegees used by the foodservice crews are stored. This is also the area where Yomp Bins are left by truck crew when they are empty, and cardboard and trash are taken out. The following cleaning supplies should be stored here:

  • Push Broom (1)
  • Floor scrubbers (4)
  • Floor squeegees (4)
  • Dustpans (3)
  • Brushes (3)
  • Flat sponge mops (3)
  • Wax mops (3)
  • Regular brooms (3)
  • Buckets (2)

It is very easy for this area to get disorganized and for things to go missing. It is the duty of every Waitrae to keep this area organized, and to let the Hostess know if items are missing or broken (often the poles break, but can be replaced. Ask the Food Service Manager to order more poles, pushbroom heads, scrubber heads, and squeegee heads when necessary) No other items should be stored here, and the floor below where these items hang should always be clear. The kitchen loading dock is also where the garbage and cardboard dumpsters are located. Waitrae will use both of these throughout the day and need to help keep the areas clean. Yomp should always be covered and stacked no more than two high on the yomp deck, trash should be tied tightly and placed in the green dumpster, and cardboard should be broken down entirely before being tossed into the cardboard corner. Empty milk crates should be stacked neatly on the milk crate mountain, which should not extend in front of the propane box (marked DO NOT BLOCK). Waitrae will often find clever places around the department to store empty milk crates and then act surprised when they are told to talk them out to the back porch. Make sure you point out the milk crate mountain, as apparently people are blind.

Two ice machines are also located on the back porch. These ice machines have worked reliably over the past few years, but a few island doctors have suspected that they have been responsible for the spread of a few epidemics. Anyone using the ice machine should have clean hands, use the ice scoop, and avoid touching the ice. The ice scoop should be washed on a regular basis and be stored in a clean, accessible location.


Waitrae must dress in presentable clothing during all shifts. The uniform for this crew is strict:

  • Black shirt – collared, button down, preferably oxford style. These shirts can be short sleeved, but not sleeveless. The shirts must be long enough to cover the stomach/lower back areas, and must be tucked in. The Hostess and Waitrae can work together to ensure dirty shirts are cleaned and stain treated. Extra white shirts are often hung in Swett Ave, but every effort should be made to limit the number of shirts here.
  • Black bottoms—Skirts, shorts, or pants. Skirts must be long enough to bend over in comfortably and shorts should also be an appropriate length. Athletic pants/shorts (mesh, windbreaker material, etc) are not permitted. Lightweight Dickies-style pants or knee length light-weight skirts are recommended.
  • Green apron—Provided.
  • Nametag—Waitrae must always wear nametags. Although it is fun to wear each other’s name tags or make new silly ones, old people complain. Just wear your own.
  • Nonslip food service shoes—There are special non-slip food service shoes available at most department stores that are ideal for this job. The floors are super slippery—cowboy boots, clogs, etc. are unsafe. Also, shoes will get wet, dirty, and ruined doing this job. Non-slip shoesare really the best.
  • Hygiene—Hair must be tied back, pinned back, or covered with a bandana, unless it is shorter than ear-level. Dangling earrings may not be worn—they drag in tray food. Nails should be cut and cleaned. Hand must be washed continually. Rings, bracelets, and nail polish are strictly prohibited. Food service staff should take extra care to present themselves as neat and presentable, despite adverse conditions. There is a mirror in the food service office that can be brought out to aid wait staff in this task, and the Hostess should examine her crew prior to the start of each meal.

Waitrae Work ScheduleEdit


6:45 – 7:15 - 1st Wave (8)Edit

  • Set buffet tables
  • Set dining tables

7:15 – 7:30Edit

  • Eat breakfast

7:30 – 8:00Edit

  • Set out food

====8:00 – 2nd Wave - (Wanderers) 8:00 – 10-ish - Buffet/Clear/Chores/Set====


12:00 – 2:30ishEdit

  • Juice, Water, Presets, Plates
  • Gather for menu
  • Serve out/Clear/Chores/Set


6:00 – 8:30ishEdit

  • Juice, Water, Presets, Plates
  • Gather for menu
  • Serve out/Clear/Chores/Scrub

Waitrae DutiesEdit

Duties of a breakfast shiftEdit

Setting for breakfast (6:45-7:15 am)Edit

Breakfast set-up is simple in comparison to the lunch/dinner set-ups, but the waitrae will be tired, hungover, and generally unresponsive. They will often come down and begin setting out drinks, or will do so at some point during this first set-up shift. Expect this to happen often during the first month and watch out for it. This initial shift is intended to only consist of table-setting. Two waitrae should begin setting the buffet tables. There should be four stacks of plates on each buffet table and a large stack of brown trays in between them, like so:

Two other waitrae should begin loading the silverware mugs carefully onto a dish cart and should then roll the cart out into the dining hall and begin making silverware clusters at the head of each table. Another two waitrae should begin making glass pyramids at the foot of each table, while another two should begin making teacup flowers and setting out saucers. Once the buffet tables have been set, those two waitrae should begin stacking bowls on the right-hand side of the fold-down gray snack bar table, and on the hot cereal station (table 1, rotated against the wall). The silverware setters should help the teacup setters finish, the glass setters should create mug pyramids in the alcove, and everyone should finish up by setting out the napkins. At the end of the shift, the dining hall tables should look like this:


When the waitrae feel they are done, the Hostess should make a quick circle of the dining hall to identify any mistakes or forgotten steps. This is also a good time to have everyone straighten out the chairs, especially if it is the morning after a Pel Show or Musicale. As the season progresses, it is usually possibly to shift the start time from 6:45 to 6:50, 6:55, or even 7 am. This delay should be earned by a crew with an impeccable attendance record. If you have a chronically late crew, you should not change the start time as it’s much harder to get going if you’re waking people up at 7:10 than it is if you are waking them up at 6:55. Often times a crew will prefer to maintain the early start time as it gives them a longer breakfast break. You should remind them that if their breakfast break is longer than 20 minutes, they must punch out for it. When you release your crew, remind them that they are expected to return promptly at 7:30 in uniform, as the 7:30-8 am period is the most difficult and time-sensitive of the entire day.

Pre-setting for breakfast buffet (7:30-8 am)Edit

As soon as the waitrae come upstairs for the 7:30 shift, they should be dressed, punch-in, wash their hands, look at the chore chart, and immediately begin their task. There is a tight window of time between the start of this shift and the beginning of the meal, and it will often come down to the last second during the first month. There is nothing more annoying than having to wait to ring the bell as the waitrae frantically tuck their shirts in and find their nametags, so make sure to be strict about the dressing-on-the-clock from the very beginning.

The four strongest waitrae should be assigned the two buffet captain positions, the hot captain position, and the outback position. The two buffet captains are responsible for finding and setting the appropriate food labels, obtaining the proper serving utensils, and bringing out all buffet food. They should store a few extra serving utensils nearby so there isn’t a long pause whenever someone drops a utensil, and should also have a rag and cleaning spray nearby for sudden spills. The order of the buffet is highly important. Hot breakfast items (eggs, meat, pancakes, French toast, etc) should come first, baked good or breakfast bread products second, fruit third, and cottage/cheese yogurts last. The condiments should be arranged in the order/placement most conducive to quick self-service. There should always be condiments available on each side of the table. This applies for maple syrup as well. Hot food will come out of the kitchen at the last moment, and runners should eventually be available to help the captain bring out these dishes.

The cold cereal buffet captain is responsible for carrying out the cereal dispenser that have been refilled prior to the shift with granola with nuts, sweet cereal, regular cereal, labeling them, setting out a clear pitcher full of upside-down soup spoons, filling, arranging, and labeling the milk pitchers, and refilling the cow. No milk pitcher should be filled more than half-way from the top, and the cow should have at least a quarter bag of milk at the start of the meal. The cold cereal buffet should be assembled in a commonsense line: bowls, cold cereal dispenser, spoons, milk. Check to ensure that there is always Soy milk, as this easily provided service makes many people inordinately happy.

The hot cereal captain is responsible for bringing out the hot cereal toppings, labeling the hot cereal station, and bringing out the hot cereal with ladles. The hot cereal buffet should have two chaffing dishes with deep hotel pans inside of them, placed parallel to the length of the table. In between the two chaffing dishes should be rows of bowls. The hot cereal toppings (prepared by the kitchen and placed on the buttercutter) should be placed in front of the chaffing dishes. Topping should always include brown sugar, a small dressing pitcher containing honey, a large metal dressing pitcher containing whole milk, and a mug or two filled with soup spoons. Either raisins or walnuts, etc, should be the additional topping. The outback should ensure there are readily available hot cereal items to use for back-ups, as these items run out at unfortunate times and are hard for the waitrae to track down. The hot cereal should never be taken out to the dining hall more than 3 minutes before the start of the meal, as it tends to congeal rather quickly once in the warmer.

The outback is responsible for bringing out all butter cutter items intended for the individual dining room tables (i.e. butter, cream, lemons, etc.). Once this task has been completed, the outback should assist the hot water/coffee team finish with their pitcher distribution, help the buffet captains bring out their hot food, and begin staging back-ups of cottage cheese, yogurt, and hot cereal toppings.

The four weakest waitrae should be assigned to the beverage positions, with at least one stronger person present for the coffee and hot water station. The coffee and hot water runners are responsible for filling as many coffee and hot water pitchers as there are set dining hall tables, topping these pitchers with the right lids, and then placing these pitchers in their respective positions on the tables prior to the start of the meal. The coffee and water pitchers are placed at the head of the table, with the hot water pitcher towards the harbor and the coffee towards the kitchen. All beverage handles point away from the center of the table. If all coffee has been prepped in advance and the conference services crew doesn’t come in and mess everything up, this task is entirely possible. There are several techniques used by waitrae in this situation, but ideally one will begin filling coffee while the other fills hot water. As soon as one finishes or the staging cart is full, one waitrae should begin running the pitchers out to the dining hall. This person is responsible for communicating with the filler as to how many tables there are left. These waitrae in particular must be dressed by 7:30, as they’re frequently the last to finish and if possible, they should come up five minutes before the other waitrae. The other pair of runners is responsible for filling as many ice water and orange juice pitchers as there are set dining hall tables and then running these pitchers out to their respective positions. The juice and water pitchers are placed at the foot of the table, with water towards the harbor and juice towards the kitchen. There should never be ice in the orange pitchers, and all pitchers must be examined for cleanliness before usage as they are clear. These waitrae should finish rather quickly and begin helping the buffet captains.

For this shift to have been completed successfully, one buffet will be completely ready to open five minutes before the meal so that family with young children and folks with disabilities can enter before the rush. At this point, all butter cutter items should be out, ice water and orange juice should be out, coffee and hot water runners should be nearly or already finished, and the hot cereal captain should have nothing left to do other than run the last few hot cereals. By eight o’clock, everything should be complete and the waitrae should be dressed and standing in position.

Breakfast buffet service:Edit

The breakfast buffet is rather hectic at first, but with time it will become the easiest meal of the day. Most conferences arrive to breakfast on time, with the exception of YAC and YRUU(YES). Dining hall staff should be prepared to receive a large rush during the first ten minutes. If nothing goes wrong within these ten minutes, things will be fine. If the food runs out before the line is through, it’s going to be tense and hectic. Usually if the kitchen has at least 8 hotel pans of the main dish and 6 hotel pans of the meat, things will not be too rough. If they are behind, there’s nothing the dining hall can do except smile apologetically and look busy. The job of the buffet captain is to ensure that no dish runs out in the dining hall unless there is no more of that dish on island. They should monitor the levels of the food and send a runner for replacements early enough that there is never a pause in service. Obviously if there are 100 people in line, one hotel pan of pancakes will not suffice. It is best to send runners for replacements of the main item very soon after the bell is rung. There is no reason to wait until there are only five pancakes left before making that decision. The captain should also be ready to answer questions about the food and the menu, provide assistance with self-service when necessary, ensure that no diner refills from the buffet with a dirty plate, and to decide when to consolidate down to one or no buffets. As soon as it becomes impossible to support two open buffets, the captain should hold the line momentarily (and politely) and consolidate all food into one buffet. Guests may express irritation at being asked to wait, but it is far worse to have to switch back and forth between tables or skip a dish, and skilled consolidation hardly takes any time at all. Waitrae should consolidate gracefully and neatly, using the appropriate utensils for the task. Empty dishes should be removed immediately by the runners, sterno should be extinguished carefully(by placing a bowl or plate right side up on top of a sterno or with a sterno extinguisher. NEVER try to blow out a sterno and NEVER carry a flaming sterno), and chafing dishes should be taken to Swet Ave by the runners and immediately broken down, cleaned, and placed back on the shelf. Sternos should be placed somewhere that the Hostess has made clear so that he or she can consolidate and put them away. Dining hall buffet captain should consolidate all items to the alcove as soon as there are more than two minute gaps between buffet arrivals. After this move is complete and the dining hall buffet tables are completely clear and wiped down, all runners and the dining hall buffet captain should move on to clearing tables. The alcove buffet captain will remain at her station until 8:50, at which point conferees wanting breakfast can be told to go to the snack bar.

Runners are merely responsible for refilling items as requested by their captain. They should be speedy, direct, and efficient in their movements. If the kitchen is out of an item, the runner should ask how long the wait will be and then return to their captain for further direction. The captain is absolutely prohibited from leaving the buffet station and runners should think of themselves as the arms and legs of the captain: leave her stranded and she’s unable to do anything. Runners must also be graceful and neat when replacing dishes. The refill process should be as unobtrusive and inoffensive to guests as possible. Once the rush is over and the buffet tables have been broken down to one, the runners are released by the captain.

The cereal captain serves as both the captain and runner of the cereal station but should be able to solicit help from wanderers, the outback, kitchies, or the Host. Even if there are no refills needed throughout service, they should remain active by cleaning the station as guests inevitably make a mess there. They should also monitor the thickness of the hot cereal, adding hot water whenever it over-thickens. Towards the end of the meal, the cereal captain should unplug the cereal warmer and prepare to roll the whole cart back to Swett Ave. Once this cart has been broken down and everything has been appropriately stored, the cereal buffet captain should begin clearing snack bar or alcove tables while simultaneously keeping an eye on the cereal station until 8:45, when they must clean the gray table off for snack bar usage.

The outback should never stop moving during breakfast service. They should assist in expediting the initial rush for seconds, assist with butter cutter seconds, clean up the beverage stations, set up for returns, fill the triple sink, and begin preparing the silverware trays for lunch. By about twenty minutes into the meal, the outback should switch into the dish room where they can begin sliding all dishes around to the back of the dish counter and will eventually be the main unloader of waitrae trays.

Wanderers arrive at 8 am but often take advantage of the initial chaos and show up five to ten minutes late, undressed, and bleary-eyed. Sometimes it’s best to push them out the door immediately even if they’re not really needed, just to wake them up and remind them that they’re getting paid to work. The wanderers can be a huge help during the initial rush and should also be around from the beginning to answer questions and refill items from the table. It’s very inconvenient for the runners or captains to be interrupted in their tasks, so wanderers must be available to deal with minor needs of individuals. Wanderers can also spend some time between the initial rush and clearing time to unload pitchers from their racks, assist in buffet breakdowns, help with silverware, or generally clean Swet Ave. Note that this does not entail standing around, drinking coffee, observing the dining hall from the double door windows, and comparing memories of the night before. Eventually the wanderers will get sucked into the clearing effort and will be indistinguishable from the hard-working early risers.

Breakfast Clean-UpEdit

Main Dishes: If food has gone out into the dining hall, it is no longer servable. This means it is also un-servable for Pelicans. The goal of the dining hall staff and Host should be to accurately estimate the flow of service in relation to the amount of food needed so as not to ask for refills when all that is needed is consolidation. With experience, there should never be a time when more than half of one hotel pan is left-over in the dining hall for the main dishes. At that point, there will be less guilt about the yomping. Until then, yomp away and feel the shame.

Yogurt/Cottage Cheese: Yogurt and cottage cheese are one of the last items we have continued to save from the dining hall. The goal for Star Island is to be able to accurately predict food demands to the extent that we can compost anything we should compost, including the yogurt and cottage cheese. The Hostess should take note of the amounts of left-over yogurts and cottage cheese and report this data to the FSM for production adjustment purposes. If there are enough left-overs initially to require saving, please ensure that the same yogurts/cottage cheese are not being served more than three times in a row. The Host can make sure of this by having the waitrae yomp these items every third day.

Butter Cutter Items: Butter can be saved in a pucky bowl and placed on the shelf above the kitchen stovetop to be used as griddle grease. Cream can be consolidated for use at lunch and dinner, but should be tossed at the end of the night. Lemons can be saved as they are highly acidic, but the Hostess should keep an eye on them to ensure they’re not past their date. Maple syrup can be saved in the same container it was served from.

Cereals: Occasionally the bakers will be willing to use the leftover oatmeal for something or other, but usually they will not be. Left-over hot cereal should be shown to the kitchen supervisor for her records and then waitrae should yomp all hot cereal, taking care to scrape the insert as thoroughly as possible. Make sure cereal is lukewarm before yomping into the green bags or it will melt the bag, if this means sticking it in the fridge until lunch, do so but be sure someone takes responsibility for it or you will have multiple mornings’ worth of oatmeal in the reach-ins. Hot cereal topping can also be saved unless they’re all mixed together and stupid looking. Return the topping to the butter cutter, saran wrap them, label, and place on the back butter cutter counter. Uneaten granola can be tossed back into its source container, while other cold cereals can stay in the cereal dispensers.

Beverages: Toss all beverages. Waitrae will initially try to save coffee. It’s really not worth it. No one—not even Pelicans—want stale coffee. Milk can either be folded into a cream-based kitchen product, turned into dessert, or tossed.

Duties Of lunch/dinner ShiftEdit

Setting up before the bell rings:Edit

All those waiting on should make sure that their tables have enough chairs and that the chairs are straight, pushed in, and placed directly in front of each place setting. Place settings should also be neat, straight and evenly placed around the table. Each person waiting on is personally responsible for his/her tables and should check for dirty glasses, plates, cups, saucers, silver etc. When waitrae arrive for the meal, they should be fully dressed and have washed and sanitized their hands. They have several options for what to pre-set first, and should generally fall into somewhat opposite patterns to prevent the creation of high traffic areas. The following items are generally preset:

  • Juice and ice water
  • Butter, dressing, condiments
  • Salads
  • Bread
  • Cold kitchen dishes

Bread goes on the kitchen-side corner at the foot of the table, while salad is placed on the harbor-side corner of the same end. Both items need tongs. If there are not enough tongs for every table to have at least two pairs, encourage the FSM to BUY MORE. The butter cutter items are placed around the centerpieces in no particular location. Butter receives a butter knife, while oil-based dressings must always have a teaspoon for stirring. The juice and water pitchers are placed in front of the place setting for the foot of the table, with water towards the harbor and juice towards the kitchen. Remember, handles for beverage pitchers always face away from the center of the aisle. Cold kitchen dishes can be set in a variety of places, but one should never use the corners at the head of the table for presets. These corners must be clear for hot items. Waitrae should bring out all presets, place them in the correct location, and distribute all serving utensils. They should then unstack their plates, set them at each place setting, and dry off any water that may have pooled on the plates using a clean napkin. Generally the waitrae will arrive on the hour for the first few conferences, but when it becomes clear that they are standing around a lot before the meal, the Host should move the start times back to ten after the hour. Generally it is easy to tell by five-eight minutes after the shift start-time if someone hasn’t shown up for their shift by standing at the head of the aisle and observing whether or not all set tables have been touched/changed in some way. It is much more efficient to observe lateness using this method than it is to stand at the time-clock and try to figure out who’s come or not. Once all tables have been preset, waitrae should grab a pencil and paper pad and collect in the kitchen. Communicate clearly with the waitrae that this is what is expected of them, as it’s really a pain to continually herd them. Once all waitrae have been collected, the Hostess asks the first cook to give the menu. All music should be shut off for the menu, as it is highly important that waitrae pay close attention to everything that has been said. Many waitrae will have already written down the basic menu from the board and will merely take notes during the menu, while the slower ones will scribble frantically and ask inane questions. Be patient and make sure everyone has an accurate and thorough understanding of the food. Waitrae should also write down the dessert and fruit options at this point, and the kitchen may also wish to give specific instructions for the flow of serve-out, location of left-overs, or even ask a Question of the Day. As noted in the kitchen section of this document, there are different modes of serve-out for lunch and dinner. In any case, waitrae should wash their meal after writing the menu. If they are starting in, they should wash their hands and wait for the Hostess to ‘call the line;’ if they are starting out, they should wash their hands before entering the dining hall. There will often be a few minutes of wait-time before the start of the meal for meals in which waitrae start out. This is a good time for the Hostess to circle the dining hall to double-check that all tables are completely set. Waitrae can also play games, run sprints, beat box on the microphone, sit down and pretend to be conferees, or stand around slouching and squinting at each other across the aisle. In any case, at the start of the meal they should be standing straight and have a welcoming, friendly grin on their bright, young faces.

During the mealEdit

The meal begins either when waitrae starting in arrive at their tables with their full trays or when waitrae starting out have a full table. It is traditional to serve the harbor-side table first, so waitrae starting in should always turn to their harbor-side table first, while waitrae starting out should only serve kitchen-side first if that table fills first. Once the diners are settled, waitrae should politely request their attention and begin their introductory speech. Some variation on the following script is recommended:

“Hello, my name is Roger and I’ll be your waitrae for lunch. Lunch today is tomato bisque, grilled cheese, vegetables and dip, and watermelon. The bisque contains cream but is gluten-free, while the grilled cheese is neither gluten-free or dairy-free. The vegetables have a tahini dip which is both dairy and gluten-free. All dishes are vegetarian. Does anyone here have any allergies or dietary restrictions that will prevent them from enjoying any dish on the menu?”


“Hi, I’m Bindy and I’ll be your waitrae tonight! The dinner tonight is roasted chicken, baked sweet potatoes with a maple glaze, steamed kale, and a cranberry walnut salad with blue cheese dressing. The roasted chicken was cooked in olive oil, red wine, and garlic, and is gluten and dairy free. The potatoes, kale, and salad are all vegan and gluten-free, and we have oil and vinegar available for anyone adverse to having creamy dressing. There is also a kids option tonight for children under twelve. Are there any vegetarians or children wanting the kid’s option at the table tonight?”

Only once the diners have identified their dietary restrictions should waitrae reveal alternative options. Inevitably, even with this precaution, more folks will want to try the alternatives after they are presented. Waitrae should judge the validity of their request and communicate with the first cook to decide whether or not there is enough of the alternative for fakers. Waitrae should then look around the table for a final time to make sure they know how many people they are expecting to be eating each dish. They then return to the kitchen and join the serve-out line. The flow of service in the back-of-the-house is described in the kitchen section of this manual. It may take a while for all diners to get served, but waitrae should do everything possible to ensure that everyone is satisfied with their meal, and should communicate politely but vaguely about the causes of service delays (i.e. not everyone needs to know the steam is down). There are plenty of resources for waitrae who are having trouble finding suitable dishes for their diners. The Hostess, FSM, outback, kitchen supervisor, and kitchen staff can all be recruited to help the front-line, whether they run an English muffin down to the Pel Hall toaster, grab a ginger-ale from the snack bar, reheat left-overs, or even fry up a quick-fix. There are obviously times when nothing can be done to please someone, but they are highly infrequent… we do basically have a small supermarket’s worth of food. Even as the waitrae struggle to serve firsts, they will be asked for seconds. Servers should always ask for a headcount on diners wishing to eat seconds before returning to the kitchen. The kitchen actually aims to run out at right at the end of the seconds rush, so it’s entirely possible that there will not be seconds of an item that a table requests. The server should judge the nature of their table’s request to determine whether the seconds were needed or desired. If they were desired, the diners may be let down but will not be unhappy or unsatisfied. If the seconds were needed, the server should attempt to find a suitable substitute to ensure no one leaves unsatisfied. Waitrae should take note of any empty bowls or pitchers and preemptively ask the table if they’d like seconds of that particular item. Recent efforts to reduce food waste have led us to serve less food than we used to, and many diners confuse running out of food at the table with running out of food in the kitchen… and then they write really mean things on evaluations. If the table declines the offer on seconds, the waitrae should clear the dish. Waitrae should continually clear dishes throughout the meal as the tables are eating. This is called pre-bussing and is really, really helpful.

When 80% of the people at a table are finished eating their meal, the waitrae should ask if anyone would like to hear the dessert menu. The dessert speech goes as such:

“Tonight’s dessert will be chocolate cake with a cream cheese frosting. This dessert is not vegan or gluten-free. The fruit options for tonight are apricots, kiwis, and plums. Would you kindly let me know your preferred choice?”

Waitrae often get a raised hand count for this option, as the dining hall is rather loud at that stage of the meal. When taking the dessert order, waitrae should carefully note where each item is to be served, as it is rude to auction off desserts. They are generally instructed to draw the following on their notepad prior to taking the order:

On this diagram, the empty boxes represent places at the table. As the order is taken, waitrae fill in these boxes with letters that will easily represent the dessert options to them for the next ten minute of their lives. Waitrae should then clear any empty plates that they possible can before returning to the back of the house. Desserts and fruits can be found on the bakery counter and servers should always assist the bakers whenever possible by running more monkeys and saucers from the china cabinet. Desserts should be brought out to the table and set gently in front of their recipient. Waitrae must always bring out appropriate utensils with the dessert. Dessert should never be served to anyone who still has their dinner plate in front of them. Servers may end up taking the plate with one hand while setting down the dessert, but should only leave the plate upon the request of the diner. Failing to forget to clear the dinner plate before dessert is one of the most frequently complained-about server crime. Old ladies hate that. Immediately after dessert is served, waitrae should shift into high-gear clearing mode. Emptier tables are easier to clear, so waitrae attend to whichever table clears first, but should continue clearing until the meal is over, even if people are still seated. Waitrae can move to others’ tables if they reach a stalemate at their own tables, but breaks in clearing add time to the entire shift. Diners will rightfully complain about being rushed, so waitrae must never take any dishes still in use. Servers should ask kindly if the guest is still using their plate. Often times even a polite request will be met with a snap but, again, it is necessary to push through. Waitrae may push the butter cutter items and pitchers towards the end of their tables to be collected in a coordinated effort, but this should not be an excuse for waitrae to not clear those items. Dish carts can be used to clear pitchers but should not be brought into the dining hall prior to the end of the meal and thus usually only come out after breakfast. The meal is over one hour past the bell ring, but guests should not be asked to leave until waitrae have done everything else possible. As the host/ess it is your job to ask guests to leave. Be sure to do this in a polite but efficient way, such as:

“Sorry to interrupt but could you please take your conversation to the lobby or front porch? Thank you so much”. Thank them for doing what they really need to do. If you want, mention the fact that your crew needs to clean up.

After Meal Chore DutiesEdit

Once the dining hall is completely clear, waitrae can begin to do their chores. Only after the dining hall is entirely clear can waitrae start in on chores. All waitrae should finish clearing the dining hall before starting in on their chores. No one should be doing their chores until the dining hall is completely clear. It’s really lazy to start doing chores while others are still clearing the dining hall. The dining hall is not clear until all items—trays, pitchers, butter plates, etc.—have been brought into the dish room, at which point the waitrae can begin their chores. Got it? This is one of the hardest transitions to manage, but if given the option your most selfish waitrae will always switch to chores before they should. Don’t give any slack in this matter.

The chores are as following:

Wipe Down: Wipe-down is an ideal task for tall or speedy waitrae. The wipe-down waitrae (three at breakfast, four for lunch and dinner) should quickly move to fill a red bucket with pink detergent and warm water solution, grab a clean rag and sanitizer spray bottle, and move out into the dining hall. They must start at the porch end of the dining hall, on the kitchen side of the farthest table (11, 22, or 28). They should pull out the chairs on that side of the table, remove the centerpieces, wipe all crumbs/debris onto the floor on that side of the table, spray the rag or table with sanitizer, scrub the table thoroughly, and then use the fairly dry rag to remove as much stickiness/dirt from the table as possible. The final wipe must be done front-to-back widthwise, so there are no circular streaks left on the table… just straight ones. Waitrae should put their whole body into this chore and move as quickly as possible. Ideally, waitrae on either side of the aisle will race each other for further motivation. The sweeper must remain behind the wiper-down, so it really is essential for them to move fast. Whichever wiper-down finishes first should move to help the others, complete the alcove if there is no one there, and then wipe down the side tables—the gray table, urn table, pb & j table, and Hostess cabinet. After breakfast, one wipe down should begin in the snack bar, starting at the table closest to the window (on the harbor side) and continuing around the alcove in a normal fashion. The snack bar opens at 9 am, so it’s really important this get done quickly. After lobster dinner, the wiper-down will need to spend extra time getting the butter off the tables and will need to use bleach as the final sanitizing spray. Wipers-down are also responsible for thoroughly cleaning and baby chairs they may come across in their travels, though they do not need to move these chairs to any other location once finished Note: Either the wipers-down or the sweepers will have to reset the centerpieces on the table. The decision as to whose job this is should be finalized once the Host determines whether her crew is faster at wiping down or sweeping. Whichever chore tends to move faster should replace the centerpieces. The centerpieces should be placed in the center of the tables, with the flowers at the head, tea caddy in the center (tea to the harbor, Boston tea party), and the salt and pepper at the foot (salt to the harbor, salt water). Also, after breakfast, the alcove buffet table chairs, and the dining hall buffet table chairs must be put back around the tables. After dinner the chairs must be stacked against the wall, and the alcove tables turned in preparation for the next morning.

Sweep: Sweep is a good job for detail-oriented waitrae. We do not spot sweep in the Star Island dining hall, but rather prefer to sweep in the most thorough and methodical way possible to keep our floors beautiful. There should be two sweepers at breakfast and three for lunch and dinner. Sweepers should begin by procuring three whisk brooms, one push broom, a foxtail, and a dustpan from the back porch. Push brooms do not work well for sweeping the dining hall with the exception of the final sweep down the aisle. People may tell you otherwise, but they are not as smart or experienced as the author of this manual. The sweepers should then proceed to the dining hall where they should begin by pulling out all kitchen-side chairs from the dining hall tables and removing the centerpieces from all tables. At that point, they can begin sweeping at the porch-end of the dining hall, following but never passing the wipers-down. The proper technique for sweeping the dining hall goes as following (Note: All sweeping should move dirt/debris toward the center aisles):

  • Sweep the harbor-side aisle of the first table, pull out the head chair and sweep underneath. Sweep underneath any tray stands or trash cans. Push chairs back in.
  • Proceed to the other side of the table, where the chairs should be already pulled out.
  • Sweep underneath the table, pull out the foot chair and sweep underneath. Push chairs back in.
  • Sweep the harbor-side aisle of the second table, pull out the head chair and sweep underneath. Sweep underneath any tray stands or trash cans. Push chairs back in.
  • And so on.
  • Once both sides of the aisle have been completed, use the push broom to push all accumulated dirt into one pile. Do not forget to sweep the front aisles of the dining hall, paying special attention to the area by the dish room doors and the space underneath the Hostess table. Remove the resulting pile with the foxtail and dustpan.

The alcove can be swept in a similar fashion, but the sweeper must take extra care to sweep the entire aisle from the lobby to the double green doors, also taking care to sweep underneath the gray snack bar table, urn table, and pb & j table.

Silverware: The Host will fill out the silverware board at some point during the meal, and usually either the outback or Host will also begin laying out the trays and counting out whatever silver is already clean. The silverware waitrae should make sure that someone has given the, “All clear, run silver” call in the dish room before the start their chore or they’ll be waiting for silver in vain. Once this call has been given, the silver waitrae can begin tossing the clear and silver pitchers up on their respective shelves. Once that is complete, they should begin preparing the silverware. Waitrae must wear gloves when counting and sorting silverware so they do not contaminate the eating end. The silverware board gives the following information: number of tables, number of trays (half the number of tables), the number of each item of silver required per table, and the menu for the meal. Silverware waitrae must understand that each tray is intended to hold enough silverware for two tables, so they must double the numbers for each item of silverware. Thus, if there are 27 tables, 13.5 trays, and the board says 12 forks, then each tray should receive 24 forks with the exception of the 0.5 tray, which should receive 12 forks. Once all trays have been filled with the (supposedly) accurate amount of silverware, the silver waitrae can carry them out to the dining hall. The trays are intended to be placed on the tray stands between paired tables, i.e. one between tables 1 & 2, one between tables 12 & 13, and so on. The silver tray for tables 11 & 22 can go on either side of the aisle. The half tray is generally intended for the last table in the dining hall if there are an odd number of tables, but you can never tell where those tricky silver waitrae will actually put it. Inevitably there will be mistakes on silverware, resulting in continual pointed questions in the form of, “How many (blanks) should I have?” or “Who counted out the (blanks)?” No one wants to go through that every single meal, so it’s better to have the silver waitrae announce the appropriate count of serving items for each meal and perhaps even leave the board up at the Hostess table. Waitrae can then hold a silver auction (“Who needs a knife? Who needs a teaspoon?”) until everyone is satisfied. Silverware waitrae should make sure all the silver trays are returned to the Ave after tables have been set, and they must also ensure that the counters/shelves around the silver area have been wiped down, clutter has been removed, and all dish racks have been returned to the dish room. The dinner shift for silverware is different in that waitrae will be filling mugs of silverware rather than trays. They should grab three times as many mugs as there will be breakfast tables the next day, fill one third of these with teaspoons, one third with forks, and one third with knives. Knives must go in the heavy-bottomed mugs, while the dinkiest mugs are unsuitable for any type of silverware. Have your staff put an extra butter knife in each knife mug so the outback can just pull it out in the morning for the breakfast butter presets.

Triple Sink: Triple sink is ideal for happy, fun, playful waitrae who won’t mind moving fast and getting wet. The triple sink operates in the same way as any food service triple sink: fill the first sink with pink soap and warm water, fill the second sink with rinse water, fill the third sink with sanitizer and water, test the Ph of the third sink to ensure that it is at 200 ppm, log the sanitizer Ph, and begin washing, rinsing, sanitizing, and staging items on a nearby (clean) dish cart. The order of the triple sink should be: (1) baby items, (2) lids, (3) hot water pitchers, (4) coffee pitchers, (5) waitrae trays. Baby items should be washed carefully and thoroughly in clean water and then placed back outside on the ‘Clean Baby Items’ tray on the Hostess table. The lids will inevitably fill with water, so waitrae should drain them right side up while pressing down the buttons, toss them in the appropriate fish box, and then drain the water out of the fish box at the end of their shift. Hot water and coffee pitchers should be washed and then staged upside-down on the dish cart. The second triple sink waitrae can run the pitchers while the other starts in on the trays. The trays should be stacked horizontally and then drained vertically before being stacked on their stands. The stands we currently have are made of wood and it is inevitable that they will get too gross and rotten to use at some point in the near future. At that point, have someone make more and don’t be too disappointed in the results. In the meantime, these racks should be scrubbed thoroughly with bleach out on dishie rock during changeovers. The waitrae trays are beginning to mold in the center and should be replaced at a rate of about 10 a year over the next few years. Once the trays have been washed and racked, the sinks should be drained one at a time. The final step of the triple sink is to rinse out the used airpots. Coffee should be dumped down the sink, the airpots should be filled with clean rinse water, the water should be swished around and let out through the tap, and the outside of the airpots must be wiped down. Airpots should be brought back to the coffee table and stored neatly, with the tops left to dry separately Triple sink waitrae must remember to wipe down the table, cart, and sinks after each use. Any leak-collecting bus tubs should be emptied at the end of each shift as well.

SWAT: SWAT is the best and worst chore for your most compulsively neat waitrae. It’s the best chore for them in that they’ll do it well and the worst in that it will take them through the end of table setting to complete. It’s best to put them on SWAT every other day or for only one meal or two at a time so they can clean up after their counterparts without consistently wasting everyone’s time. The new 2009 wooden tea caddies are much easier to stock than the old wire ones, so it may be a more generally-accessible chore at this point, but it is also most waitrae’s least favorite. SWAT stands for Sugar, Windows, Aprons, and Trash. SWAT also refers to the chore, has been used as a general term referring the collection of centerpiece items (flowers, tea caddy, and salt/pepper), and the SWAT box is the box created by the 2006 waitrae to hold all the necessary tea caddy items. The SWAT waitrae should first retrieve this box and then proceed to neatly stock each table’s tea caddy with all items. The sugar side of the caddy should be half full of sugar packets, with the other half consisting of equal, sweet-and-low, splenda, and whatever other fake sugars the conference demands. The tea side of the caddy should be filled with half decaf tea and half regular tea. It might be worthwhile to fill an example tea caddy at the beginning of the season, count the appropriate number of packets for each item, and write this number down somewhere highly visible to institutionalize this particular part of the chore. The SWAT waitrae then cleans the windows on all doors between the front and back of house with a white kitchen paper towel and windex. Windows should be wiped top to bottom and dried completely so as to prevent streaks. The next step to this chore is to collect all aprons, empty all pockets, roll up the clean (enough) aprons and replace in their cabinet, and set aside the dirty aprons in a clearly labeled ‘Dirty’ milk crate. This milk crate should be taken down to the laundry room at the end of the dinner shift. For the final part of this chore, the SWAT waitrae rolls the Swet Ave trash can out into the dining room on its convenient black dolly. He should roll it slowly down the aisle, collecting trash cans from either side of the aisle and dumping their contents into the bin. Liners are only replaced on changeovers and lobster nights, but SWAT waitrae should re-secure drooping liners as they complete their task. Remind the waitrae never to forget the Hostess trash can, as it’s usually full of sopping decaf grounds. After all trash has been collected, the SWAT waitrae should empty the large trash can and replace the liner.

Swet Ave: There should be one Swet Ave waitrae at breakfast and two for lunch and dinner. If there is no outback (only possible at lunch and dinner), one Swet Ave person should begin working to clear the butter cutter counter. If there is an outback, both Swet Ave people should work to clean other parts of Swet Ave. They should:

  • Bring all used airpots to the triple sink to be cleaned. Wipe down both shelves of the coffee table.
  • Wipe down juice machine, break down any discarded juice boxes, and replace any empty juices.
  • Bring any left-over juice and water pitchers to the dish room, empty the ice pot and bring it to the dish room, unload small pitcher racks, wipe down beverage counter and sink, and clear the area of any left-behind waitrae drinks.
  • Help silverware waitrae to clear silverware and microwave shelves of all clean pitchers/racks/drinks/clutter.
  • Bring all milk crates to the back porch, generally remove left-over clutter, break down boxes, take out trash, mop up spills, etc.
  • Help outback finish clearing butter cutter counter.

Outback: The outback position is key to the success of any meal. For the lunch & dinner shifts, the outback should begin their shift by filling a large pot with fresh ice and helping the waitrae to fill their water and juice pitchers. They should then help any waitrae who have fallen behind in pre-setting the tables. Menu-time can be spent setting up returns at the butter cutter. Generally there should be one pucky bowl for ugly butter, one for lemons, a metal pitcher for cream, and a plastic container for dressing. These items can be labeled with their final labels (item name & date) to save time during clean-up, and the lids for any plastic containers should be procured at this point as well. The outback should help in the initial serve-out by ensuring that all waitrae have the necessary utensils for their dishes (ladles, spatulas, etc). They should spend the first part of the meal helping waitrae retrieve seconds, filling back-up pitchers of water and juice, and clearing the juice and silverware counters of random clutter. Once the seconds rush is over, the outback can begin filling the triple sink. It’s ideal to fill the triple sink during the dishie break, as there is very little water pressure for the triple sink when the dish machine is running. As the triple sink is running, the outback can begin arranging silverware trays or mugs for the next meal. As the meal progresses, waitrae will begin clearing their tables and bringing trays to the dish room for unloading. The outback should spend the initial part of the clearing process behind the dish room counter, where they can switch out glass/mug/teacup racks and shift the dishes around the counter in neat piles for the dishies. Once the dishies return, the outback should get a clean tray and begin unloading trays for their crew. As waitrae arrive with their trays, the outback can trade them an empty tray for their full tray and begin unloading. Waitrae should never leave their trays unattended at the dish counter, as the trays will often fall off this poorly-attached counter on to the concrete floor. As the outback unloads the tray, they should be communicating with the dish-machine loader as to how they want their dishes arranged. Dishes should never be put on the outside lip of the unloading counter, nor should they be placed on the small shelf between the counter drain and silverware sink. Outbacks should be skilled organizers and quick/deliberate in their movements. They must also keep an eye on the compost to ensure the bins never get more than ½ full. Recently we’ve discovered that the best way to deal with the compost situation is to put about ten buckets underneath the counter and then consolidate them at the end, so multiple trips to the yomp deck are not necessary during the meal. The outback should also attend to any dish breakages and also should keep an eye on the butter cutter returns, switching out containers as they fill up and removing any items that waitrae mistakenly save. As soon as the dining hall is clear and the ‘All clear, run silver’ command has been given (by the outback, if necessary), the outback should move to the butter cutter counter to begin putting away returns. The ugly butter dish can be taken directly to the kitchen and placed on the stove. The exterior of the dressing container should be wiped down, the cover secured, and the entire container labeled. The size of the container should be as appropriate as possible for the amount of dressing returned, and it may be necessary to go retrieve a smaller/large container at this point. Lemons should be wrapped, covered, labeled, and dated. Cream should be wrapped, labeled, and dated. Cream should be tossed at the end of the dinner shift. Other condiments should be re-shelved or transferred to appropriate containers for storage. The butter cutter fridge should never contain items stored in crockery, nor should there be any bowls (besides the lemons bowl) merely placed into the fridge with a covering of plastic wrap, as these bowls will tip and spill their contents all over the fridge. Food in cans must be transferred into plastic containers for storage, as the top layer of food and the rim of the cans will generally mold. Honey and jam should be wrapped and placed in the fridge, while peanut butter can be covered and stored on the back butter cutter counter. Cottage cheese, yogurt, and maple syrup can all go back into their original containers (yogurt/cottage cheese containers should have been run through the dish machine), labeled & dated, and returned to the fridge. Once all items have been put away properly and all dirty dishes have been brought to the dish room, the counter should be cleaned and sanitized. The outback can then either help Swet Ave, silver, and triple sink waitrae complete their chores, or they can begin setting for the next meal.

Wipedown/Microwave: One person’s chore at lunch and dinner will be wipedown/microwave. This is sort of a floating chore, and is the first one to be cut when there is not enough staff for all chores to be assigned. The wipedown/microwave waitrae should begin by cleaning the last four or five tables on each side of the dining hall aisle so that the regular wipers-down finish more quickly. She should then return to Swet Ave and thoroughly clean the inside, outside, and underneath of the microwave. She should also replace the dining hall cow tray, rearrange/refill chemicals on the chemical shelf, and generally help with the Swet Ave effort.

Scrubbing the Ave: Waitrae scrub Swet Ave at the end of each dinner shift. The first waitrae to complete their regular dinner chore will begin clearing the Ave by rolling all carts into the dining hall or kitchen, along with, hot cistern containers, trash/recycling cans, the green stairs, and any dollies or other items on the floor. The first Waitrae done should fill up a mop bucket with floor cleaner on the back porch. This bucket should be brought in once the Ave is cleared, along with three or four soap brushes and an equal number of squeegees. The area of floor to be scrubbed by waitrae includes the concrete square that extends out of the dish room into the Ave, underneath the butter counter, the area in front of the FSM office, underneath the coffee table, and all gray wooden floor space, including under the beverage counter. Waitrae should begin at the dish room end of the Ave, splash a generous amount of water on the floor mop with the soap mops using significant force, and generally push the water towards the end of Swet Ave (near the Caswell stairs). Moppers should be thorough and effective in their scrubbing. The point of the scrub is to remove dirt, not just to wet the floor. Once the initial part of the Ave has been mopped and waitrae have made their way past the conference services cabinet, the squeegees should follow, pushing all water towards the Caswell stairs. If too much water is directed into the butter cutter or dish room drains, there will not be enough water to complete the scrub. Squeegeers should also work to ensure that no soapy water flows out onto the dining room floor, and should take special care to remove all standing water from the edge of the concrete square, from the dip underneath the hanging waitrae shirts, from the basin underneath the drinking water sink, and from underneath the coffee table. As soon as the water approaches the Swet Ave drain, one squeegeer must station themselves in the doorway to the Caswell stairs where they will spend the rest of the scrub preventing water from seeping under the threshold of the door. This threshold is not sealed properly and water that gets under it will drain directly in front of the Pel Hall fridge. Waitrae need not scrub the area directly in front of the snack bar door unless it is disgusting. Despite what the engineers may tell you, it is useless to squeegee water into the Swet Ave floor drain without first removing the cover, as it is not properly recessed. Remove the drain cover and set it on the chemical shelf until all water has been squeegeed off the floor and then pour pots of hot water into the rim of the drain – the pressure from the water will wash the gunk that has collected in the floor drain trap using paper towels. If the floor drain clogs, it is sometimes helpful to pour down a few pitchers of boiling water or to use the floor drain plunger a few times. If the clog does not clear, write a note to maintenance to snake it. Once the Ave is cleaned, all materials should be returned to the back porch and all items should be returned to their spots in Swet Ave.

Setting for lunch/dinner serviceEdit

As the waitrae complete the breakfast and lunch chores, they will move on to setting the tables for the next meal. The first two waitrae done should begin should begin on plates, bringing out the plate launcher and emptying it before taking plate from the china cabinet. Once these waitrae are done with setting the plates, they should shift the plates left in the china cabinet towards the dining hall to provide space for the dishies to set plates during their next shift. Plates should be stacked by the tens at the foot of the tables, with the top plate flipped upside-down to protect the rest from falling dust. After breakfast, waitrae may use the unused buffet plates and bowls to set the tables, but this is the only time during which it is acceptable to reuse dishes. Waitrae will insist on trying to use all other sorts of ‘clean’ dishes that don’t look like they were used during service, but to do so would be breaking health regulations and is really unnecessary… it’s not saving water or electricity or anything else. The next two waitrae to complete their chores should begin setting out the bowls (after breakfast, if there is soup for lunch) or move on to glasses. The next pair of waitrae can either set out glasses, set up the tea cup stacks on the hostess table, or put out the napkins. Teacups should be stacked three high in a four by five rectangle to the immediate right of the decaf coffee machine. Teacups should be stacked upside-down on their respective saucers, and waitrae should take care not to stack the teacups too precariously. When necessary, bowls should be placed in two stacks of five each at the top of the place setting for the head of the table. The top two bowls should be flipped upside-down for dust protection, but take care that these top bowls are not larger in rim circumference than the ones they are nesting in or they will fall off and break nearby glasses. Glasses can initially be placed upside-down in a random cluster at the foot of the table to be moved during individual table setting. Napkins should be placed by the tens on top of the plates unless the tables are already completely dry.

Once all dishes have been brought out and set on the tables and the silverware trays have been completed and distributed, waitrae should go to their assigned tables and begin setting. The best way to set a table is to do both at once, working in a figure eight fashion. The order for setting goes as following:

  • Straighten all chairs. Space them evenly around the table.
  • Set out napkins. At the beginning of the season, the Hostess should examine the napkins ordered by the FSM and determine the appropriate, standardized method of placement. Generally with the Sysco dinner napkins, it will look like this:


  • Set out all forks, tine end facing towards the center of the table. The fork end should be squared with the table edge, and the handle should line up with the line that the arrows is pointing at in the previous napkin diagram. It is tradition to set two forks per setting on banquet nights. One fork should be set in the usual fork spot but should be raised about two inches away from the table edge, while the second fork should be placed in the center of the napkin, flush to the table edge.
  • If there is only one spoon for the meal, the next step is to set the knives out, blade in, flush with the table edge and the right side of the chair back. If there are two spoons for the meal (soup meals), the soup spoon or tablespoon should be set out next, flush with the table edge and the right side of the chair back. If you set in this latter order, the next step would be to set the knives out, blade in, immediately to the inside of the soup/tablespoons.
  • The next step is to set the teaspoons on the right-hand side of either the knives or soup/tablespoons, flush with the table edge.
  • The final step is to set the glasses at the tips of the knives, upside-down.
  • All silverware left over on silverware trays at the end of the table-setting are serving utensils. They will generally consist of two butter knives, teaspoons for dressing, tongs, forks, and serving spoons. Divide the silverware in half by type and place the two resulting sets of silverware on the corners of the table nearest to the tray stand, where they will be most convenient to the server.
  • Double check that the table is set neatly and correctly, that the top plates and bowls are upside down, and then move on to help others.

Waitrae are responsible for checking that all bowls, plates, mugs, glasses, silverware, and teacups on their tables are clean and dry. Be extra careful not to set out any broken glasses. Once all tables have been completely set, the teacup pyramid is finished, all spray bottles & buckets have been returned, dirt piles have been removed, and silverware trays have been put away, the setting part of the shift is over. As this point, waitrae can leave, move on to extra chores, or sit down to morning meeting.

Special MealsEdit

Lobster NightEdit

Setting for Lobster NightEdit

At some point during the lunch service, the Hostess should get the final lobster numbers from the Front Desk. The Desk is responsible for communicating the number of lobsters ordered, the number of lobster diners, and the breakdown of lobster eaters by conference if there is more than one conference on island. The Hostess indicates which tables will be set for lobster service by skipping them as she passes out the tablecloths and also by placing LOBSTER signs in the tea caddy sign clips. Lobster tables should be the tables closest to the kitchen in the main part of the dining hall. This arrangement makes the second seating go more smoothly, makes it easier for lobster servers/pucky people to stay away from non-lobster diners (who are often averse to the smell/sight of lobster), and allows the body-eaters to sit at their favorite table (#1).

The Hostess must communicate the number of lobster tables to the kitchen (for the serving dish/butter cutter count) and to the silverware waitrae. The silverware waitrae then create a second set of silverware trays solely for lobster crackers. There should be half as many trays as there are lobster tables and each tray should hold twenty usable crackers. During the initial part of table setting, as waitrae are bringing china to the tables, the following items should be placed on each lobster table:

  • 2 pucky bowls (small metal bowls stored under the white kitchen counter)
  • 4 regular china soup bowls
  • 10 monkey dishes

Waitrae should set the table following the normal protocol outlined above, and should add the following steps to the end of their routine:

  • Set monkey dishes around the table, placing them at the top of each napkin.
  • Place the two pucky bowls on either side of the centerpieces, where teacup flowers are located for breakfast.
  • Place two soup bowls on each end of the table, directly outside the metal pucky bowls.
  • Set the lobster crackers at each place setting. The lobster crackers should be ‘eating’ the glass, with the bottom half of the handle set parallel to the table edge.

An individual lobster setting should look like this: [NEED PHOTO] Once all lobster tables have been set, the waitrae should head out to dishie rock to shuck corn. (See Extra Chores section). While the waitrae are shucking, the outback should foil as many waitrae trays as there are lobster servers for the night (note: # lobster servers ≠ # lobster tables). This should be done fairly quickly and does not need to be a very thorough foiling job. The point of the foil is to keep lobster juice from seeping into the porous trays and rendering them permanently stinky(er than they are).

Lobster ServiceEdit

Lobster dinner begins at 6:15, while the regular meal is still served at 6:30. Lobster servers should arrive at 5:45 for the first two weeks but the arrival time can easily be pushed back to 6:00 by mid-season. Lobster servers should put on their red lobster aprons, set out their butter cutter presets, juice, salad, biscuits, etc. and then prepare their finger-bowl by squeezing a lemon quarter in each cereal bowl set closest to the harbor and then filling the bowl with hot water. Plates are not to be set out at lobster tables, as they must be at the head of the table for serving purposes. Once everything is set and ready, the Hostess rings the bell for lobster dinner. Other servers whose tables are located in the main dining hall should be ready enough at that point that they can take a break while lobster-eaters seat themselves. From that point on, they must be dressed in full uniform if they wish to enter the dining hall. The Hostess and lobster-servers will need to help diners find their seats and should negotiate with those wishing to eat their regular meals at the lobster tables. The Hostess should generally set about one table extra in the lobster section as small children will still eat with their parents, but mass mixing should be discouraged as it makes service logistically difficult.

Once a lobster table is full, the server should give some variation of the following speech:

“Hello, my name is Baroo and I’ll be your server for tonight’s lobster dinner. The main course tonight is lobster, of course, and I’ll also be bringing out corn-on-the-cob once everyone has been served. Salad and biscuits are already on the table, and I ask that if you unstack these plates to eat salad while you wait, that you’ll pass them back to me when I arrive with your lobsters. Before I take your tickets, I’d like to point out a few special items we have on the table tonight and explain their uses. The two metal bowls located on either end of the table are our ‘pucky’ bowls. Pucky refers to any part of the lobster that you do not wish to eat. Please do not put any napkins, corn cobs, or rubber bands in these bowls as we throw the lobster parts on the rocks for the seagulls after dinner and cannot dump anything else on our shorelines. Rubberbands can be deposited in the two empty china bowls. The other china bowls are intended to be finger-dipping bowls and are filled with warm, lemony water. I can also bring you extra napkins as you need them, and someone will be making rounds with some wet wipes as the meal finishes. The small monkey dishes on the table are for your melted butter, which I will be bringing out with the lobster. Are there any questions? Could I please collect your lobster tickets?”

Waitrae cannot serve lobster to anyone who does not physically have their lobster ticket in their possession in the dining hall. Guests must return to their rooms to get their lobster tickets, no matter how much they complain about doing so. Diners who have misplaced their tickets or who wish to buy a lobster during the meal should be directed to the Hostess who will work with the Front Desk to ensure that everyone gets what they paid for/pays for what they get. Servers should then take their foiled trays into the kitchen and get in line to receive their lobsters. Each server must count out their lobster tickets in front of the kitchie responsible for serving the lobster so that no one is forgotten and no extra lobsters go out accidently. Servers need to remember to also get their melted butter at this point. They should then return to their tables, pass the melted butter pitcher to the first diner, and begin loading lobsters onto dinner plates. Servers should pick up a plate, place the appropriate number of lobsters on it, and then have the diners pass down the plates to their intended recipients. Yes, the waitrae do touch the lobsters with their bare hands. The waitrae can then serve their other table lobsters and only then should they make a trip for both crocks of corn-on-the-cob. Servers will need to distribute napkins to their tables quite regularly, as well as collect used napkins throughout the meal. Lobster night is rather messy and we do not provide the diners with many tools or cleaning materials, so the servers should do everything in their power to anticipate and attend to their lobster eaters. Some conferences (specifically LOAS 1 & 2, but sometimes others as well) will have a table of ‘body-eaters,’ that will take over table 1 and demand all uneaten lobster bodies be brought to them. The pucky person generally takes care of this redistribution, but the body-eater server should be prepared to be the last server standing around 8 pm.


The Hostess should coordinate with the Housekeeping supervisor to ensure there are one or two pucky-people for each lobster night. The number of pucky people needed depends on the size of the conference. Pucky-people are encouraged to dress pretty funkily as the conference gets a huge kick out of watching them do their nasty jobs. They should arrive about fifteen minutes into lobster service, grab an insert from the kitchen, set up a few empty yomp buckets in front of the triple sink, and head out into the dining hall. As pucky bowls fill up, the pucky-person transfers their contents into their inserts and then into the yomp buckets. Pucky people should remove any rubber bands, napkins, or corn cobs from the pucky as they work. Generally if you do this at the table it will shame diners into following the directions a bit better. Once all pucky has been removed from the bowls, the bowls have been removed from the tables, and there is hardly any lobster left kicking around on people’s plates, the pucky people can take the yomp buckets down to the south-side of shack and dump their contents into the shack ravine, making sure to aim well below the low-tide line. Yomp buckets should then be rinsed out with the cistern hose and replaced.

After lobster dinners, wipers-down must spend pay extra attention to their tables, scrubbing all congealed butter off the table as well as possible and sanitizing with a bleach solution. Swet Ave wipers-down should also use bleach for their final sanitizing step. SWAT must swap the liners out of the little trash cans in the dining hall, while sweepers should pay special attention to making sure those rubbery lobster bits are actually removed from the floor during the sweeping process. Silverware and swet ave waitrae can team up to return the lobster crackers to their drawer.


Once all the chores are completed, the buffet table have been prepared, and the Ave has been scrubbed, waitrae should assemble for the plunge. There must be a dockie on duty for the plunge, and the Hostess should set this up beforehand so the waitrae aren’t standing around losing heat before they jump in the cold water. Some waitrae may refuse to plunge and the Hostess should require them to at least run down to the dock with their crew, even if they don’t end up jumping in the water. Usually after they see their pals having fun in the water and are heckled appropriately, they will realize that plunging is an awesome Star Island bonding experience and will join in. Plunge should begin at the foot of the porch stairs as waitrae have broken their tailbones trying to run down these stairs in their plunge frenzy and there are often events in Eliot Hall right after dinner. Waitrae gather around in a huddle with their hands in the center and chant “Plunge, plunge, plunge” starting in a whispering voice and increasing in volume until they break and dash down to the float. The Hostess must remind them to remove their shoes, glasses, nametags, clothes needed for the next day, etc. before jumping in the ocean and should also remind them not to jump off the pier, the ramp, the far side of the float, etc. Waitrae cannot reenter the hotel through the lobby as their drippings damage the floor, but should be redirected under the porch to the laundry room where they can remove their wet clothes to be washed as a load by the Hostess (there won’t be as many tablecloths on lobster night, so there should be a free washing machine or two). It is suggested that the waitrae have their shower gear ready in the cubby room for lobster night so they can just jump in the shower and continue on their way. There’s been confusion as to how to deal with punching out on lobster night, as waitrae will often refuse to plunge if they’re not getting paid for it but also have difficulty reaching a time clock before their shower. Just tell the Waitrae not to punch out and add the punches in yourself when you do hours.


Setting for BanquetEdit

The main differences between the banquet dinner setting and regular dinner setting are that tablecloths are used, candles are set, an extra fork and steak knife are included for each place setting, and conferences will occasionally beef up the flower vases for their special night. Sometimes there will be menus or service pamphlets created by the conference to be distributed by the waitrae, and it may be nice to preset teacups, coffee, and hot water for banquets as well. The star-shaped candle-holders and white tapered candles are currently stored in the bottom right-hand drawer of the conference services cabinet. Candles should be placed on the head/foot sides of the centerpieces, far enough away from the flowers that they won’t start any fires.

Prior to the meal, during the pre-setting period, waitrae will need to set out the tomato juice. Tomato juice is served in the smallest glasses we have, which should only be filled about an inch-and-a-half with the juice. In the past, this has been the job of the Hostess and outback, who arrive ten to fifteen minutes early and set out twenty full glasses each on the appropriate number of silverware trays (boat tables don’t get tomato juice). After they have set their plates out, waitrae place one glass directly in the center of each plate and return the trays to the back. In 2009, this became a kitchen job, but banquet is often more hectic for the kitchen at that point in the day than it is for the waitrae, so this can be assessed on a week-by-week or season-by-season basis. Waitrae should then finish their pre-sets, receive their menu, and head out into the dining hall to help the Hostess light the candles. Waitrae should all be wearing black shirts for the service.

Banquet ServiceEdit

Many conferences will design a particular banquet service that they will communicate to the Hostess at some point during the week. The Hostess will lay out the plan for the evening prior to the start of the banquet or will just tell the waitrae it’s a normal banquet night. [On normal banquet nights, the waitrae will start out at their tray stands. They should stand holding their trays in front of them and should not begin the menu as they normally would. Once all conferees have been seated, the clap-in begins. For the clap-in, the conference will (after looking around confusedly for a few moments) slowly begin a soft clap which will rise in volume and intensity until the Hostess gives the signal to her staff to begin. At this point, waitrae will flip their trays to the right hand side of their body and begin jogging into the kitchen in the reverse order that they enter the dining hall for meals in which they start in (i.e. tables 11 & 22, tables 20 & 21, tables 9 & 10, with the alcove last). Servers will then load up their tray with the main courses for their first table and generally at this point some sort of grace will be said in the dining hall. Once the grace is finished, waitrae can reenter the dining hall to begin the meal.] This practice was eliminated in 2011 by request of the first several conferences, and then as a result of conferences copying each other. Starting the meal in the usual manner allows for a faster delivery of food. They can clear tomato juice glasses as quickly as necessary, as many people do not drink them. While giving the menu, waiter should warn their tables not to touch or knock over the candles. They should be especially strict with youth tables, blowing out candles when the safety of the situation becomes compromised in any way.

The meal proceeds as normal until dessert. Once a server has served both tables dessert and has cleared all main serving dishes and plates, they should tell their tables they are leaving for the clap-out and post up in Swet Ave to eat cupcakes and wait for the rest of their crew to finish. As soon as all waitrae are assembled, the Hostess gives the conference’s banquet host signal to begin the clap-out. The clap-out usually goes in the following order:

  • Dishies
  • Bakers
  • Butter Cutter
  • Kitchies
  • Waitrae
  • Hostess
  • Chef

The Hostess is in charge of making sure all crews are present and prepared for their clapout, and also stands in the doorway to decipher the chanting of the conference and send out the appropriate crew once the chanting has built to its height. Chanting generally takes the form, “We want the (crew name), we want the (crew name).” When performing their clap-out, crews should run down the center aisle, across the porch to the lobby door, and back through the alcove to return to Swet Ave. Diners seated in the alcove are disappointed when they don’t get to give their favorite crews their high-fives, so don’t forget this last step. Crew clap-out routines should be amusing but safe. Once clap-out has finished, all waitrae traditionally go to dishie rock to bond and watch the sunset while the banquet speeches are given. This is a good time for the Hostess and the outback to prepare for the upcoming hurricane. Counters should be cleared, rag buckets/brooms staged, mats dragged out, etc. The Hostess should also be around to make sure that the candles are blown out as the diners exit for the Grand March. Lit candles should never be left in an empty dining hall.


Depending on the popularity of the Hostess/waitrae crew that season, Hurricane after banquet can involve the whole island or a handful of chamber helpers. The Hostess and waitrae must be prepared to direct and help their helpers so they feel it is a worthwhile activity to attend. Dish room music must be bumping, dishies should have helpers as well, and table-clothes cannot go down unshaken or untreated. Basically the clearing/chore processes should both be completed as well as they possibly can be, with the understanding that minor mistakes/messes in the back-of-the-house can be fixed during the next day’s changeover. Floors must be washed after banquet night, no question. Tomato juice glasses should be put away carefully as they break more readily than almost any other piece of equipment we own. As the night continues, the Hostess should release any unneeded helpers and thank, thank, thank them.

Extra choresEdit

Field dayEdit

Field Day is done differently every season. Figure out the protocol for your crew for your season and make sure it gets done.


Every Wednesday (or any lobster day), the waitrae will need to shuck corn after lunch. Have your crew take all the corn out of the walk-in, along with a few big empty kitchen pots, and set up on dishie rock. Watch that your crew is adequately thorough in their shucking, as they’ll often leave the corn too hairy for good eats. Cobs should be snapped in half before being tossed in the pots. Husks and nasty-looking cobs can be stuffed back into the crates or bags or into yomp bins and left on the yomp deck to be used as an additional source of carbon for the composting process. In the past, it’s been necessary for waitrae to count the corn as they shuck but generally there are 48 full cobs per bushel so as long as the food service manager knows what she ordered and there aren’t an overwhelming number of inedible cobs, it should be fine to omit the counting. Shucking jokes are fun both to tell and to groan about.

Luggage linesEdit

In 2009, the waitrae were responsible for going to both of the first halves of Saturday luggage lines (morning and afternoon) if they were on chamber for the day or for the first half of the second luggage line (afternoon) if they did waitrae changeover. Don’t let them force your crew to do too much work on changeover, as they already work more hours that day than anyone else and must have ample time to eat their dinner. In 2011 there was extraordinary pressure for the Waitrae to work the entirety of the afternoon food line. The best way to deal with this is to set a time by which the Waitrae must stop working. This makes it so that the Waitrae do not feel as though they are making the choice to be lazy. It is impetrative that even if your Waitrae think they are badass, you force them to take a long enough afternoon break. If you do not, the drop in customer service will be visible even from the most hard working and tough.

Food linesEdit

Hopefully your season’s food orders will be scheduled to arrive around 2 pm. This is the most ideal time for waitrae to participate in food line. If they change the schedule to have the food arrive during or immediately surrounding meals or in between breakfast and lunch, you should firmly refuse to make your crew participate. Often times at the start of the season, waitrae will be the only crew who shows up to all lines as they are the largest, cheapest labor force on island. However, having your entire crew do food line every day increases their weekly average of hours worked and is a major drain on energy. In 2009, we arranged to have a set number of people from every crew expected to show up at food lines. Three waitrae were expected to show up for the first half of food line, while another three (or everyone, if they’re finished) would show up for the second half. This worked quite well and meant there were always enough waitrae left in the dining hall to complete table setting on time. The Hostess should send whichever waitrae are done with their chores first down to the first half of food line, but should take care to notice which waitrae like food line, which ones suck at it, which ones use it as an excuse to take their shirts off and flirt with facilities workers, and which ones deserve it most.


Since the summer of 2008, waitrae have had the pleasure of serving the island as the nighttime candle-lighters and babysitters. While this hasn’t proven to add too greatly to their weekly hours or negatively affect their ability to work early mornings, it has often been difficult to schedule accurately. There seems to be a breakdown somewhere on the conference side of things or perhaps it is just a relic of our whimsical business style that contributes to our inability to lock down chapel times at the beginning of the week. The only responsibility of the Hostess surrounding the current candle-lighting/babysitting coverage is to schedule the appropriate number of babysitters and candle-lighters each day. Therefore, it is ideal that there be a certain fixed number of each worker designated at the beginning of the season. Recently we have been scheduling two babysitters (ahem, hall monitors) nightly. Certain conferences have no need for childcare while some have two floors of children. Make it clear to everyone involved that while it is okay for hall monitors to be ‘cancelled,’, there should be no more than three waitrae assigned to these shifts at any time. The Hostess should arrange to have a knowledgeable front-of-the-house employee train her entire crew on hall-monitoring at the beginning of the season. She should in no way become involved with any aspect of these jobs herself, as it will inevitably lead her down roads she has no time to travel. She should never feel as if she is supervising the waitrae after their dinner shift. At that point, they are being managed by someone else. This someone else should be identified for each job prior to the start of the 2010 season. (Rounder supervisor?)

‘One hall monitor should be allowed to leave at 7:45 pm while the other can leave at 8 pm. Whoever gets to hall monitoring first can leave fifteen minutes early at the end of the night but must remain on hall monitoring fire watch until 11 pm. If anyone gets uppity about there not being two hall monitors on, tell them it was always the way things worked when one hall monitor was on waitrae (and thus only one waitrae could do hall monitoring per night). Additionally, waitrae assigned to hall-monitoring are also scheduled to come in at Lunch, NOT breakfast. Make sure you have enough waitrae to do this. This may mean that you only have a few twos for breakfast during large conference weeks, that’s ok but make sure you have at least 3.

Occasionally waitrae will be uncomfortable doing hall monitoring because they are not good with kids or are nervous about the emergency response aspect of the job. Respect their feelings but also suggest that they try it with someone who is comfortable as it’s really not like babysitting at all and any evacuator is asked to rescue small children anyway. Work it out.


Chamber ChangeoverEdit

Make sure you give the Housekeeping supervisor a list of the waitrae you’ll be giving them for the day, so they can make their teams or whatever it is that they do. You should keep nine to ten waitrae for yourself and give any extras to chamber, meaning they’ll ideally get nine. The Housekeeping waitrae report to the back loading dock for the first half of luggage line, eat some breakfast, and then report to the Chamber meeting at the scheduled time. They should complete chamber changeover with their crew, do the first half of the second luggage line down at the dock, and then report for the regular waitrae dinner shift.

Waitrae changeoverEdit

Waitrae changeover does not last as long as one might expect. Due to the Housekeeping demands, the breakfast waitrae crew is reduced to ten, meaning the clearing of the dining hall takes substantially long on changeover morning than other morning. For the past few years, the breakfast schedule has gone as follows:

  • 6:00-6:30 am Set Tables
  • 6:30-6:45 am Breakfast Break
  • 6:45-7:15 am Set out food
  • 7:15 am Breakfast begins (note: They always tell the conference it’ll start at 7 am. Fight that. It is impossible for the kitchen.)
  • 7:15-8:15 am Breakfast

After all breakfast dishes have been cleared, the Hostess should call a morning meeting and lay out the plan for the day. It should go as follow:

  • Hostess collects caddies, flowers, and s&p shakers
  • 1 collects trash cans to bring to dishie rock
  • 1 clears butter cutter counter
  • All other hands bring all chairs, tray stands, and baby chairs to front porch, arrange neatly in rows, leaving aisle for remaining conferees to pass through. Or place all chairs up on the tables once the tables are wiped down. For the last three years there has been a continuous debate about which method is better for this. Placing them on tables requires doing an extra wipe down before setting tables, but carrying chairs takes a long time.
  • Alcove tables turned sideways, blocking entrance to dining hall from alcove

Once this stage has been finished, the following occurs:

3 -> Wipe down tables, sweep, mop, wax the dining hall. It is necessary that the mopping stage will be completed before these three take their 10 am break, the floor will be dry on their return (mops must be squeezed out before mopping the floor if the floor is to be dry in time), the waxing will be completed prior to the lunch break, and the dining hall will be ready to be walked on by the time the staff is ready to set tables.

3 -> Clean all chairs, tray stands, and baby chairs with soapy solution. Once this task is finished, one person should help with the Swet Ave effort until lunch set-up begins, while the other two should head out to dishie rock to thoroughly scrub the dining hall trash cans, the Swet Ave tray holders, the large Swet Ave and butter cutter trash cans, and the floor mats.

2 -> scrub swet ave methodically, top to bottom… walls, shelves, baseboards, appliances, windows, etc. Chafing dishes polished, sinks and stainless tables scrubbed with comet and polished. Silverware fish boxes emptied and sent through dish machine.

1 -> Work on soaking as many of the following items as possible: glasses, tomato juice glasses, flower vases, mugs, teacups, coffee pitchers, air pots, Cambros. The Hostess should be aware of what needs to be soaked when. Coffee stains require a soaking in coffee soak solution or urnex, while glass should be soaked in silverware presoak. The soak solution should be heavily concentrated, to the degree that the soakers should be wearing gloves and safety glasses, and all items should soak for at least 10 minutes. The soak solution merely loosens grime, so it is necessary for the waitrae to wipe each item after the soak. For this reason, it is recommended that the items be taken out of their rack, placed gently in the soak, and then wiped down, re-racked, and sent through the dish machine at least twice. As noted before, the waitrae can use the soak time to do other projects such as cleaning the triple sink area or helping the dishies with their changeover. [This project seemed mostly useless in 2011.]

Hostess and one or two helpers – The Hostess should use changeover as an opportunity to take care of smaller, detailed issues so that she is able to maintain constant oversight of the changeover effort. Such projects include washing and refilling the salt and pepper shakers (empty, rack on pronged plate racks, lids on flat silver racks, bake glass containers in oven at 350 for 10 minutes or so, let cool, refill—add small amount of rice to salt), reorganizing and refilling items on the chemical shelf, detailing the juice and coffee machines, cleaning out the hostess cabinet and reorganizing, washing the walls in the dining hall behind the tray stands, washing excessively dirty windows in the dining hall, cleaning the chalkboard, reorganizing/cleaning the butter cutter, reorganizing/cleaning the conference services cabinet, clearing out built-up personal items, de-waxing candle holders, reorganizing linens, organizing the Waitrae shirts. Deep cleaning the cow, cleaning the coffee machine cleaning the drains, cleaning the cold cereal dispensers organizing the buttercutter, etc.

At around 11:30, the Hostess should pick a few people to set up the leftover lunch on the porch. A few alcove tables can be taken out (carefully) to the porch and the west side should be stocked with paper plates, bowls, plastic forks/knives/spoons, and paper napkins. Take all paper goods out of their boxes as you don’t want food dropped onto your whole plastic fork supply, nor do you want someone to find a random piece of rat shit in the plastic fork box and freak out….

The waitrae can then work on labeling, getting appropriate utensils & condiments, and setting up the juice/water side table (don’t forget paper cups). Most changeover food comes out about five minutes prior to the meal, and all hands should be pulled at that point to support the effort. All food service employees should get a full hour break on changeover lunch, if only because they don’t get one at any other point during the week.

Once work begins again, assignments should run as follows:

1 -> Sweep

1 -> Trash

5 -> Bring yomp bins to porch, yomp all food into bins, carry empty pans to dish room, carry full yomp bins to yomp deck.

1 -> Neatly return paper goods, wipe down tables, clear beverage station, return tables.

1 -> Silverware for dinner

1 -> General tidying of Swet Ave, completing unfinished tasks.

Once each waitrae finishes their assigned task, they should begin to set the tables for dinner. If Swet Ave was scrubbed before lunch, the waitrae changeover will be finished as soon as the dining hall is ready for dinner. Otherwise, the waitrae should scrub the Ave before being done for the day.

NOTE: doing lunch in the dining room alcove, as well as having the snack bar open a few hours later means you will almost never get the chance to wax the alcove floor. Try to do it at least once during the season, but don’t worry too much if it doesn’t happen. In 2011 this was a night crew responsibility.

Limited ServicesEdit

diatribe on buffetEdit

Traditionally, limited services is run buffet-style in the dining room. The thinking behind this switch is that it takes less waitrae to staff the buffet than it does to serve family-style. This is arguable, as there is still a lot of set-up/break-down/cleaning labor needed per shift. During buffet service, most of the work is done before and after the meal with a lot of down-time in between. Additionally, it is much more difficult to judge proper food amounts for the buffets, as the layout of our dining hall forces us to separate the buffet food into a number of locations that we must then keep full. It is highly suggested that there is a pilot run of family-style limited services in the dining hall next year. Waitrae could be staffed three per table with more items preset, dessert served at sideboards, and personal dishes still returned to a self-return dish area. The benefits of this would be to have more pleasant service, less issues with food run-outs, more ‘bang-for-the-buck’ for meal-time labor, and more job continuity for waitrae staying through the season.

The way we currently set up our limited services buffets is to work off our breakfast buffet service, making a few changes for lunch and dinner. Coffee is still located on the Hostess table, while dessert is served at the pb & j table (limited services has few children), vegetarian is served at the cereal buffet, and a dish return is created using tables 1 & 2. Waitrae still serve as buffet captains and runners, but one runner must take on the role of dish return monitor while the other clears.

Currently at Star Island, we staff limited services using a Dynamic Staffing Model, which basically means we try to hire only the staff we need, basing front-of-the-house staffing levels on current enrollment numbers. Generally we open one buffet table (half of what we call a ‘buffet’) per 50 diners (i.e. table 28 for groups under 50, tables 27 & 28 for groups under 100, tables 18 (or 19?) & 27 & 28 for groups under 150, all tables for groups 150+). Thus there may be times where you have to schedule two buffet captains, four runners, one wanderer, and one outback and other times where you can get away with one captain, a runner, and an outback/dish return. Because the conference numbers fluctuate so frequently, it is difficult to staff the dining hall in such a way that you never have days with way too many waitrae and days with way too few. The hardest part of this is that everyone else’s labor needs vary in the same direction at the same time, so on days where there are only twenty diners in the dining hall, you can’t very well give your staff to conference services or have them work in the kitchen. The most you can hope for is that there will be enough for the big days and try to get people to take time off the rest of the week.

buffet set-upEdit

Buffet Captain – The buffet captains should begin by discussing that meal’s menu with the first cook, writing down all ingredients and cooking methods used in order to answer all questions immediately and accurately. They should then help the Hostess carry out the chafing dishes, using this time to receive instructions on the layout of that meal’s buffet. They should then create labels for the table using masking tape and a Sharpie. These labels should be neat and include information with regards to meat, dairy, gluten, or other common allergens that may be in the food. The captain should also label the vegetarian option and dessert option at this point. He can then start collecting his serving utensils, setting out butter cutter items and other pre-sets, and staging his soapy water/rag bucket for spills. Around the same time the hot food comes out, his runners will be ready to take the dishes out. The captains should communicate with the first cook one last time to determine how many more pans of each items are available in the back so he can pace consolidations appropriately. The Hostess should have an even better sense of the menu and amount of food, but the captain is on the front line and must exhibit preparedness.

Runners – The runners are generally responsible for putting out all ice water and juice and then helping the captain bring out hot food.

Outback – The outback brings out all butter cutter items, sets up the dish return, and then sets up for returns, runs the triple sink at night, and does silverware as the meal goes on. The dish return is set up as such:


Set-up for the meal includes putting out the dish racks, a new liquids pot, the trash can, and new compost buckets. Compost buckets should be as clean as possible. All stations should be clearly labeled.

(Note: The thick arrows indicate the traffic pattern of guests.)

Buffet service/dish return/clearingEdit

Buffet service operates similarly during limited services to full season breakfast buffet service. Captains captain, runners run, and the outback outbacks. Runners should move quickly from consolidating to wandering and then one should break off to attend to the dish return while the other clears tables. The dish return waitrae (there should be two for large groups) may occasionally need to help our more confused guests to understand the dish system, but will mostly be running stacks of dishes or full trays back to the dish room. Butter cutter items, pitchers, unused dishes, and left-behind personal dishes will need to be cleared by tray and the captain will eventually need to abandon his station to help his crew clear. It is essential to report back to the kitchen the amount of food left over after each meal until they become more familiar with the buffet service.

post-meal choresEdit

As there aren’t enough waitrae to all do separate chores, many waitrae will double up on their responsibilities during limited services. The Hostess and the outback usually tag-team the entire back-of-the-house, which includes the butter cutter, the coffee station, the beverage counter, and the silverware. Triple sink only needs to be done only once a day, whereas the Ave can generally be scrubbed every other night as long as it’s not too nasty. The runners and captains split wiping down and sweeping, making sure that they also clean side boards, the dish return, etc. The area underneath the dish return should be mopped nightly with a sponge mop and floor cleaner. Compost should never be left at the dish return past the end of the meal. The liquid pot should be emptied at the end of every meal and run through the dish machine. SWAT is generally assigned to one particular runner each day. Do not slack on lobster night cleaning, no matter how many there are.

Table settingEdit

Tables for limited services buffet style are set in exactly the same manner as they are for breakfast buffet: 10 glasses in a pyramid, three mugs of silverware, and two stacks of 5 napkins each. Guests appreciate having soup spoons and steak knives in mugs when necessary. It is wise to set a few stacks of butter plates or saucers on the pb & j table at this point, and buffet tables needs to be set with the usual plates and trays but must also have bowls for soup when necessary.

Lobster nightEdit

Lobster nights during limited service are generally fairly messy if there are more than 50 people eating lobster, but are also easy to serve. Set up one table at each buffet for the non-lobster option and the other for lobsters. Have everything ready by 6:15 except for the hot food for the non-lobster table. Bring the lobsters out in deep hotel pans right before 6:15, making sure the kitchen puts as many lobsters as possible in each pan. When the buffets open, the captains should be standing at the end of the lobster tables where they will begin handing out lobster in return for tickets. One runner or the Hostess should be around to refill the lobster pans as they run out. As with regular season, only guests with tickets will receive lobsters. At 6:25 pm, the runners should load the non-lobster tables with their hot dishes and by 6:30, the dining hall should be ready for the regular meal bell to be rung.

Lobster tables should be set for normal buffet service, but should include two nested rows of five crackers each on the corners of the tables that do not include napkins. Two pucky bowls, four cereal bowls, and ten monkeys should be set on the tables as well. Arrange the six bigger dishes in their normal places and stack the monkeys neatly in two stacks on either end of the table. Have the outback fill the finger bowls before the service, and go around as tables fill to explain the use for each dish. Have the kitchen prepare melted butter as presets. You should still receive a pucky person from chamber, but it will still be necessary to get rather involved at the dish return to ensure lobster does not all get tossed in the compost.


Contact with (other’s) bodily fluidsEdit

When cleaning another’s bodily fluids (vomit, blood, feces, etc.), it is important that you are not in direct contact with that fluid. There is a blood clean-up kit located in the Foodservice office and various cleaning supplies and gloves located in baker’s alley. You should first clear the area around the fluid, alert others to its presence, and remind them to also avoid direct contact. After procuring latex gloves, you should soak up the fluid with either the kitty litter from the blood kit or paper towels (or both), and then seal everything in a plastic bag, which should be taken to the first aid station for proper disposal. The affected area should then be cleaned and disinfected with bleach.

Broken dishes/glassesEdit

To avoid injury, broken crockery and glass need to be cleaned from surfaces thoroughly and immediately. When dishes break, one person should be appointed to stand with the broken pieces to alert any passersby to their existence. Another staff member should then go obtain a dustpan and broom, clean all broken pieces, and dispose of everything in the broken glass bin located to the left of the butter cutter.


Floors are often slippery in food service areas, so it is imperative that all staff do their best to have appropriate footwear at all times. Mats should be arranged in a manner that best covers the most dangerous areas (slopes, etc.), and spills should be cleaned immediately when possible. If public (conferee-accessible) floors are wet, a visible wet floor sign should be set up.

Tray-carrying related injuriesEdit

It is important to be attentive to one’s tray carrying style in order to avoid long term injury. The weight of a tray should rest primarily on a straight spine, not on the wrist (trays carried off the shoulder), elbow (trays carried too far forward), or base of a bent spine (overloaded trays). When unlading or loading a tray, wait staff should find a surface that is at least waist high so they can bend their knees enough to remain under the tray at all times. If at any time there is pain resulting from tray-carrying, due rest should be given and tray-carrying techniques should be examined.

Burns, cuts, etc. – kitchen relatedEdit

The primary burn occurring during serve-out results from spilt hot liquid (such as soup). Burns should be rinsed immediately with cold water and kept uncovered, unless the burn is sufficient for a dry bandage. Any clothing which may be holding the hot liquid onto the skin should be removed immediately. Wash any minor cuts with soap and water, apply direct pressure to stop the bleeding, and then treat the cuts with antibiotic cream and bandage them. Servers who have bandages on their hands must wear gloves when serving. Major burns or cuts require attention from the first aid staff.

Finally, all injuries should be reported immediately to the first aid station crew supervisor, so that worker’s comp can be obtained. Servers must be conscious of their own safety and that of their customers at all times.



The following items are used by the waitrae crew:

Ecolab Blue Foam Hand Soap Uses: Washing hands. Located: In properly labeled soap dispensers. Storage location: Second to bottom shelf, white chemical cabinet in crystal room. Warnings: Slightly irritating to eyes and respiratory system.

Ecolab Hand Sanitizer Uses: Sanitizing hands after they have been washed. Location: In properly labeled sanitizer dispensers. Storage location: Second to bottom shelf, white chemical cabinet in crystal room. Warnings: Slightly irritating to eyes.

Sysco Pink Pots Detergent Uses: General mild detergent for washing surfaces, gaskets, dishes. Location: One large gallon container and several smaller squeeze bottle containers to be kept on Swet Ave chemical shelf, near hand-washing sink. Storage location: Middle shelf, wire chemical shelf in crystal room. Warnings: Ingestion may cause stomach distress, nausea, or vomiting. Irritating to eyes. Prolonged skin contact results in dryness or rash.

Ecolab Quaternary Sanitizer Uses: Sanitizing food-contact surfaces after the have been cleaned. Location: Multiple spray bottles staged on the Swet Ave chemical shelf, filled from back porch chemical dilutor/dispenser. Storage location: Bottom shelf of white chemical cabinet in crystal room. Warnings: (applies to undiluted solution) Causes severe eye and skin burns, harmful if swallowed, may cause respiratory tract inflammation. Do not ingest, inhale, or spill on any part of your body.

Ecolab Orange Surface Cleaner Uses: Heavy duty non-food-surface cleaner, general degreaser… suitable for walls, baseboards, chairs, traystands, trash cans, etc. Location: One or two spray bottles staged on the Swet Ave chemical shelf, filled from back porch chemical dilutor/dispenser. Storage location: Bottom shelf of white chemical cabinet in crystal room. Warnings: (applies to undiluted solution) Moderately irritating to eyes, slightly irritating to skin and respiratory system, can cause allergic reaction in sensitive individuals.

Ecolab Green Floor Cleaner Uses: Used solely for scrubbing floors. Location: Dispensed into mop buckets from back porch chemical dilutor/dispenser. Storage location: Bottom shelf of white chemical cabinet in crystal room. Warnings: (applies to undiluted solution) Corrosive to eyes and skin, severely irritating to respiratory system, ingestion leads to burns of mouth, throat, and stomach. Note: This is an extremely toxic chemical. I would recommend trying other Sysco floor products and attempting to use them in proper concentrations once the current supply has been used up.

Comet Uses: Highly effective when used with stainless steel scrubber on stainless steel surfaces, can be good for baseboards/corners/floor drains when used in appropriate amounts (i.e. little enough that it doesn’t leave a chalky finish). Location: One container stored on waitrae chemical shelf. Storage location: Top shelf of white chemical cabinet in crystal room. Warnings: Mild skin and eye irritant. Ingestion may cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. (Comet, it makes you vomit.)

Bleach Uses: Effective in removing mold/mildew, unstanking the tables after lobster night, end of season general cleaning, and for other heavy-duty bacteria killing sessions. Do not use on gaskets for any reason. Location: One gallon container and several spray bottles of diluted mixture stored on Swet Ave chemical shelf. Storage location: Middle shelf on wire shelf in crystal room. Warnings: Severely corrosive to eyes, skin, mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, respiratory system, etc. Do not inhale, ingest, touch, or splash in your eyes.

Diamond Shine Uses: Coating wood surfaces with a protective, shiny coating. Location: A few bottles stored on middle wire shelf in crystal room, along with squeeze bottle tops. Storage location: Same Warnings: May cause skin or eye irritation, harmful if swallowed, may be harmful if continually inhaled.

Dip It Xp Uses: Coffee/tea stain removal. Location: Stored on the top shelf of the white chemical cabinet in the crystal room. Storage location: Same Warnings: Causes respiratory, eye, and skin burns. Harmful if swallowed.

Urnex Uses: Same as Dip-It XP. Location: Stored on the top shelf of the white chemical cabinet in the crystal room. Storage location: Same Warnings: Ingestion leads to severe burning of mouth, throat, stomach, etc. Inhalation of dust may have toxic effects. Burns eyes. Prolonged skin contact leads to burns.

Sysco Silverware Presoak Uses: Loosening grime on glasses, silverware, and burnt pots/pans. Location: Stored on the top shelf of the white chemical cabinet in the crystal room. Storage location: Same Warnings: Causes eye and skin irritation. Harmful if swallowed.

Sysco Satin Shine Aerosol SSP Uses: Polishing stainless steel. Location: One can stored on Swet Ave chemical shelf. Storage location: Stored on the top shelf of the white chemical cabinet in the crystal room. Warnings: Causes eye and skin irritation. Harmful if swallowed. Harmful if inhalation exposure limits are exceeded (i.e. don’t use it for too long w/o taking a break and getting fresh air).

Ecolob Pink Detergent Soap Uses: Detergent for triple sink. Location: Dispenser above triple sink. Storage location: Stored on bottom shelf of white chemical cabinet in crystal room. Warnings: (applies to undiluted chemical) Causes eye and skin irritation. May cause respiratory tract irritation.

Ecolab Quaternary Sanitizer (for pots) Uses: Sanitizer for triple sink. Location: Dispenser above triple sink. Storage location: Stored on bottom shelf of white chemical cabinet in crystal room. Warnings: (applies to undiluted chemical) Causes severe eye burns. Causes moderate to severe skin irritation. Harmful if ingested or inhaled.

Real-a-peel Uses: General all-purpose cleaner for non-food contact surfaces. Location: Spray bottles occasionally kept on Swet Ave chemical shelves. Storage location: Middle shelf on wire chemical shelf in crystal room. Warnings: (applies to undiluted chemical) Causes eye irritation. May cause skin irritation. Harmful if swallowed or inhaled.

proper cleaning proceduresEdit

Milk CowEdit

Create diluted solution of pink detergent and warm water. Wipe all surfaces, inside and out, with solution and clean rag. Remove handles and clean thoroughly. Rinse gaskets. Allow to dry.

Large Coffee MakerEdit

Wipe down outside with soapy water and rag. Remove filter basket and unscrew spray heads, soak all parts in Urnex or Dip-It Xp. Wipe clean and replace. Remove beans from grinder and scrub thoroughly with soapy water and scrubbie pad. Dry with paper towels, air dry.


Fill with Urnex or Dip-It Xp solution (read concentration directions). Let stand for 10 minutes. Empty and wipe loose coffee grime with rag. Rinse thoroughly with clean water, run water through open tap. Soak top in Urnex or Dip-It Xp solution, wipe exterior with rag, clean tube with tube brush, rinse and replace. Unscrew top of coffee gauge, remove glass tube, soak in Urnex/Dip It Xp solution, scrub thoroughly with tube brush. Rinse and replace.

Small Coffee MakerEdit

Soak glass pots and filter basket it Urnex or Dip-It Xp solution, rinse clean. Clean exterior thoroughly with warm soapy water, paying special attention to heating element and spray head.

Stainless Steel Tables/SinksEdit

Sprinkle with comet, scrub thoroughly with wet stainless steel scrubber. Wipe clean with wet rag. Let dry, spray with SSP polish, and buff with dry rag.

Chafing DishesEdit

Run through dish machine (rescue them before they go to the pots shelf), let dry. Spray with SSP polish, buff with dry rag.

Dining Room FloorsEdit

Sweep as thoroughly as possible, paying special attention to corners/edges/table legs. It may be wise to have an extra project include scraping edges of floors with a butter knife. Mop with floor cleaner solution. Use water sparingly. Allow to dry completely. Apply wax using gallon containers and squeeze bottle tops. You should use enough that it covers the floor adequately, but not so much that the floor is blue and shiny. Apply wax with wax mop, as if icing a cake. Wax with the grain, don’t miss any spots, don’t back-track, and don’t step in wet wax. It is wisest to start at the porch end of the dining hall, wax the heads of a table first, under the table second, the harbor-side aisle third, under the foot of the table fourth, and then move on to the next table. Wax the center aisle last, and remember to wax it with the grain. Allow wax to dry thoroughly before walking on it. Wax dries far slower on rainy days.

Food SafetyEdit

It is essential that all waitstaff and the Host are well-versed in proper Serv-Safe protocol for food handling. Waitrae should always imagine that they are feeding the guests with their bare hands, as that is often the impression of the diners. (Note: They should never actually touch the food with their bare hands.) It is obviously important that these protocol be followed so that no one falls ill due to improper food-handling, but it is also important that everything/everyone appears to be clean, neat, and well-organized. The Hostess should become well-versed in Serv-safe procedures, and ideally will both read the Serv-Safe book and watch the videos during open-up so that she is prepared to train and supervise her staff in these matters.

The following is an adaptation of notes from the 2009 Waitrae Serv-safe training:

1. Things that cause food-borne illnesses

a. Bacteria, Viruses, Parasites, Fungi

Hazardous foods = milk, eggs, shellfish/lobsters, fish, baked potatoes, sliced melons, textured soy products, meat, raw sprouts, heat-treated plant food, chicken, untreated garlic and oil mixtures b. Chemicals – cleaning supplies, toxic metals c. Physical contaminants – bones, hair, staples, broken glass

2. How to Prevent Food-Borne Illness

a. Time-temperature control (danger zone = 41-135 degrees F) b. Eliminating potential for cross-contamination c. Maintaining personal hygiene

3. Good Hygiene Practices

a. Restrain hair b. Wear a glove when you have a cut on your fingers or hands c. Don’t come to work visibly ill or if you have diarrhea, sore throat, vomiting, or jaundice, or if you have contracted a food-borne illness. Go to the nurse as soon as you feel ill, get a note stating your current condition and work restrictions, and be sure to get cleared before you come back. d. Don’t touch the rims of cups, the eating-part of silverware, or the food-contact surfaces of plates, bowls, or serving dishes e. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds, scrub your (clean, cut, and bare) nails, dry thoroughly, and sanitize. Wash hands after:

1. Arriving at work 2. Scratching your scalp 3. Running your fingers through your hair 4. Wiping or touching your nose 5. Rubbing your ears 6. Touching pimples or open sores, scratching rashes or bites 7. Touching dirty clothes 8. Coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, or spitting 9. Bussing tables or handling trash 10. Touching raw meats, eggs, or seafood 11. Leaving the food service area 12. Exiting the dish room 13. Using the rest room 14. Smoking, eating, drinking, chewing gum or tobacco 15. Handling chemicals

f. Maintain a reasonable level of cleanliness with regards to your face, hair, hands, and clothes.

4. Discuss proper etiquette in dining hall (i.e. Don’t scratch your head, pick your butt, eat the yomp, or rub your face in front of diners)

5. Extras:

a. Don’t store chemicals above food or on surfaces containing food b. Don’t put food or food containers directly on to the floor c. Label everything with a name and date d. Don’t serve any perishables over a week old. Smell dairy products before serving. e. Understand common allergens and pay attention to the menu (dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, barley, peanuts, tree nuts, etc) f. Use clean, sanitized utensils. Use utensils that are appropriate to the dish (long-handled for buffets), store them properly, and only place them on clean surfaces. g. Minimize bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods. h. Don’t stack food bowls on top of food. (i.e. salad in salad, bread in bread) i. Hold everything away from the mouth-contact point. j. Don’t chew your nails or chew gum. k. Change out rags regularly. l. Use ice scoops in the ice machine. m. Don’t re-serve food that has already gone out to the diners. n. Check the PH concentration before using the triple sink

6. Go over the difference between cleaning & sanitizing, discuss food service chemicals and appropriate uses.

The Hostess will have to continually remind the waitrae of food safety practices. It is wise to always ask if they’ve washed their hands before they begin setting the tables, as they’ve just eaten. Remind them to wash their hands again after the menu. Yell at them when you see them touching their face/hair/stuffing cupcakes into their mouth. Do not allow them to walk out into the dining hall looking like scrubs, and make sure they wash their hands after tucking in their shirts.

Hostess DutiesEdit

The Hostess job is one of the most demanding and exhausting positions on Star Island. People will doubt this, but you will know it to be true. Get plenty of sleep, take two days off per week, drink lots of water, wear comfortable shoes, and take more personal time than your friends feel is healthy. You must take off two breakfast shifts a week or you will break. You must be a supervisor, Hostess, mentor, and front-of-the-house manager all at once. Attend to each of these aspects of your job, as negligence in any one area will cast a shadow on your excellence in any of the others. Note that none of these aspects is called ‘waitrae.’ The Host is not a waitrae. You may wish to help your staff with their work as it builds good team spirit, helps everyone get out faster, proves you really are smarter, faster, more efficient, etc. than them, but it is not worth it. To effectively manage a staff of twenty, you really can’t be expected to do anything except manage. If you have a free moment to clear some pitchers, great. If you’re able to serve as outback and get all the back-of-house chores finished at the same time, great. But you must avoid having your staff expect any of these things to be done by you. You must be able to step away to spoon-feed an eldery conferee for twenty minutes and be able to come back and have everything still moving forward without you. This is why a rule was created that prohibits the Host from carrying trays. If you really wish to carry trays, do so during changeover breakfast when it’s really, really needed. Otherwise you’re wasting your time, you’re unavailable to conference guests, you’re focused on small tasks rather than the big picture, and you’ll look lazy to your staff on the weeks you don’t clear trays. Occasionally when it is necessary, the Hostess may have to jump in to complete butter cutter for the kitchen, serve dessert for the bakers, etc. That’s fine as long as judgment dictates that it’s fine. Just don’t ever get trapped into doing the job of a waitrae. That’s not what you’re paid for.

It is difficult to adequately explain the duties of this job in a dozen or so pages, so do not be alarmed or frustrated if many, many more present themselves as the days go by. At the beginning of the season you will be so overwhelmed you’ll have no idea how tired, hungry, frantic, or sore you are. By the end of the second week, you’ll be losing steam. Then the All-Stars hit and you’ll feel as though you’re flying on pure crazed energy through a mist of food and monotonous routine. By the end of IA though, you should feel fairly relaxed and as if your job really entails nothing at all, which it actually doesn’t. Take the next few weeks to relax, spend some time with your new boo, lie on the rocks, and maybe even take a weekend vacation. If your boss is fair, she’ll let you. Do not neglect your duties by any means, but if you’ve done well thus far, your crew will run itself. By the time LOAS 1 rolls around, you’ll have to begin training an entirely crew, one end-of-season rando at a time.

The following section is an attempt to help you figure out what being a ‘Hostess’ really means. As you’ll see, it’s really not much. The real challenge comes when you try to do these simple things with someone interrupting you every twenty seconds.

Determining the number of tables to setEdit

In most restaurants, the Hostess is the staff member responsible for taking reservations, keeping track of open tables, and seating guests as they arrive. The Star Island Hostess doesn’t do any of these things, but she does ensure there are enough seats for everyone expected for dinner. Unfortunately, there is often a discrepancy between the number of guests expected and the number of actual guests. Thus, the Hostess must first estimate the number of diners and then factor in something called ‘front desk error’ before deciding how many tables to set. It may be helpful to use the Food Service Manager’s NED account to look over the conference list yourself, or perhaps your manager will be able to do so for you. You need to figure out the following counts at the beginning of the week:

Conference count – Double check on the arrival/leaving dates for each guest to determine the number of early arrivals (eating dinner Friday night) for the next conference, the number of guests leaving early/arriving late, the number of conference guests per night, etc.

The number of children under five – You must make sure you have enough clean, functional, safe high chairs and booster seats for the number of children expected. Children with an age of ‘0’ generally do not take up a dining hall chair, so you can eliminate them from your count.

The number of personal retreaters—Give personal retreaters their own table, and if you have multiple families of personal retreaters, make sure you set enough seats so that you do not cause families to have to split up. If very crunched for space place small personal retreaters at the staff table – they have often enjoyed this, but it is a gamble as you never know how many, or who, could be sitting at the staff table.

The number of medical staff—It’s good to have an idea of how many regular medical staff there will be on island for any given week, as some doctors bring their entire extended family along with them. If there are over five medical staff diners (including the nurse and her family/guests), you may need to set an extra staff table for lunch on staff meeting days.

On the Thursday prior to the conference arrival, either you or your manager should determine these counts for the upcoming week. The front desk is responsible for getting these numbers to you by Wednesday night so you should take what they give you, but you should definitely double-check all numbers against the NED data. Look at both the conference display and occupancy displays so you’re not tricked in any fashion. Thursday should also be the day that you write your staff schedule, and you can compare these two final documents to determine which meals you’ll need a rounder for and also the number of boaters you can take for each meal. If you can take more than twenty, take more than twenty. If you can’t handle boat tables, try to get rounders to cover those shifts before asking the front desk to cancel the visiting diner spots as it puts our business partners in tricky spots.

Currently our visiting diner program brings in diners mainly from the Uncle Oscar day trips. Sue Reynolds calls the front desk once around nine and again at some point in the afternoon to give her counts for the day. In 2011, she had lunch guests pretty much every day but only had dinner guests Wednesday-Saturday nights. We also have boaters come in from the harbor to sign up for meals at random times during the day. You can get a boat count from the desk when you do your silverware board, but know that this count will almost definitely change again before the meal. If you know the Uncle Oscar is not coming, you can risk it and not set tables if there are no boaters signed up by the first time you check, but you may have to set an extra table or two right before the meal. If you know the Uncle Oscar is coming, then you’ll usually be able to get some kind of idea of how many tables to set at that point. If there are more than 5 signed up, you should set two. It’s easier to break down a clean table than to set a full table at the last minute. In any case, check the boat count again at 11:30 am and 6:00 pm and don’t be surprised when they’re still wrong. Make sure the front desk stops accepting boaters by 11:30 and 6pm otherwise it will be impossible to relay information to the kitchen in time. It’s highly important to label the boat tables clearly and instruct the server to question anyone sitting at them. Conference guests will frequently insist on sitting at the boat tables as they’re the last ones to fill due to boat arrival logistics. When the servers are starting in, you’ll need to either be the boat table police or you can have the boat server start out. There’s nothing worse than watching the boaters walk in and see that their tables are full of selfish conferees already noshing on their food.

Families (with members of all ages) love to insist firmly on eating with each other, especially after they’ve shown up ten minutes late and there are absolutely no clusters of empty seats left. They’ll then sit at empty tables in the alcove or snack bar and demand to be served. A number of efforts have been made over the last few years to alleviate this problem. One way to solve this is to always set a few extra seats for the conference. If the conference has 242 people eating, you should always set 25 full tables, but if you have enough waitrae you should absolutely set 26. The Hostess can also suggest to the conference chairs that families be allowed to reserve seats at a table by placing a sign with the family name and number of desired seats in the centerpiece sign holder clip (i.e. Jackson (4)). These signs should be left in place throughout the week, but may be moved on lobster night if that family is not eating lobster. The other traditional way of reserving seats at Star Island is to enter the meal prior to service and lean the chairs forward against the table. It is recommended that the Hostess take all three of these preventative measures: setting extra seats, talking to the chairs, and explaining the chair-tilting method during her egress speech. If there are still problems with the conference, be patient but firm in prohibiting folks to eat at unset tables and consider giving a politely-worded announcement to the chairs to be read at the next meal.

When there is more than one conference on island at a time, the Hostess must designate which table belongs to which conference for each meal. It is highly disruptive to change these assignments, so when there are going to be multiple arrivals during a week (end-of-season), you should plan out all seating in advance. Old people like to eat near the secret garden windows, so you should put NHC and Arts up near the kitchen and have YRUU and YAC sit at the porch end. It’s also against fire code to shut the big dining room doors so it’s wise not to seat elderly down there during the first few cold weeks anyhow. Be careful when you use tables for buffet service that you make up for them elsewhere. During full conferences, the breakfast set-up will extend to every seat in the snack bar.

Breakfast routinesEdit


  • Check the schedule to see who you are expecting for the early shift and arrange the breakfast poster to accurately reflect this schedule. You can also do the lunch/dinner chore chart at this point, as the waitrae will use it to determine their post-breakfast chores. Attach the babysitting servers’ names in a vertical position so you know not to expect them until lunch and always assign them to wipe-down/microwave, sweep, and Swet Ave.
  • Make sure there is water boiling in Mama Bear for hot cereal.
  • At 6:50, you should determine if there are any late waitrae. If there are, you have to decide whether to send someone up for them, to go yourself, or to wait another five minutes before doing one or the other.
  • Set up as many chafing dishes as there are hot kitchen dishes (pancakes, French toast, eggs, meats).
  • Fill each dish with a pitcher and a half of boiling water. Cover and bring out to the appropriate spot on the buffet tables.
  • Fill both hot cereal warmers with two pitchers of boiling water, cover and bring out into the dining hall. You’ll need to roll out a black dish cart for one. Plug both in and make sure they’re on the highest setting. (Note: I think these are currently broken? Have maintenance look at them before the start of the 2010 season.)
  • Help the waitrae. Double check their work when they’re done and mention that 7:30 start time very, very clearly.
  • Check the cereal dispenser. At least one should be healthy (Smart Start, Wheaties, Kashi, etc), one should be family-friendly and generic (Kix, Life, Chex, Cheerios), and one should be a sugary treat (Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Krispies. Fill a bowl with granola and put that out on Swet Ave .
  • Make sure the kitchen looks on point with their part of the meal. There should be someone working steadily on butter cutter at a rate that it will be finished by 7:30 am when the waitrae return. If it doesn’t look likely that that will happen, you may want to jump in and help or ask the first cook if she has any free hands (she probably won’t). The breakfast fruit should be cut and staged, and the kitchen should be well on their way with the griddled items. They’ll need to have eight hotel pans of most items ready at the beginning of the meal. Don’t boss them around or pressure them, but know where they are in order to prepare yourself or give them any help you can before it’s too late. Talk to the first cook and bakers about what’s in every dish so you can pass this information along to your captains.
  • Smoke a cigarette, drink some coffee, eat some grub, etc.

7:30-8:00 amEdit

  • As soon as the waitrae return, make them wash their hands. You should then grab the silverware tray you store your sternos on, pop the lids open, bring them out to the dining hall, light them, and put them under the chafing dishes. This must always be done at the first possible moment when there will be people in the dining hall continuously. Never wait until 7:45 or 7:50 to light the sternos. They do not heat the chafing dishes, but actually just maintain the warmth of the water in the chafing dishes, which will have been cooling already for 30 minutes. Do not make the mistake of thinking that ‘all that steam’ means it’s still actually hot enough to keep those liquid eggs edible. Put the lids out of sight of the diners in a spot where the captains can readily find them (butter-side-in on the unused shelf under the chafing dishes).
  • When you return from lighting the sternos, make sure that everyone has come back from breakfast and is doing their chores. Sometimes they get confused and don’t read the chore chart and end up doing something completely random. Be patient. It’s still early.
  • Set out the Hostess star basket. Make sure it is filled with around four tea bags of every available tea flavor from the butter cutter, along with about five packets each of the different types of hot chocolate. Put out the sugar basket. Set out the half & half and soy creamer pitchers, along with the honey pitcher. (Note: Make sure to set the honey pitcher on a saucer and give it a serving teaspoons).
  • Set out the dirty/clean baby item trays and make sure all baby items are cleaned.
  • Help the cereal and buffet captains, check on the beverage runners, and aid in the final delivery of hot dishes to the buffets.
  • Brew decaf coffee, one pot right before you ring the bell and one ten minutes into the meal. It doesn’t go too quickly and is better fresh.
  • Spend the last five minutes hustling everyone out into the dining hall. It will take much longer if you aren’t strict about them dressing before the shift. Have the alcove buffet open at 7:55 am and call into the dining hall for families with children under five or anyone with mobility issues to enter at that point. Make sure everyone has washed their hands one more time before the meal. Train them to all use different sinks so there aren’t long hand-washing lines.
  • Once everyone is in positions and the clock reads 8 am, you can go ring the bell. Walk out to the porch and yell “Bell!” in several directions. Seriously. If you don’t, people will be very startled and get upset with you, yelling things like, “What is this? Your first day on the job?” Even if you do yell bell, you’ll often get this response. Children will want to ring the bell, and you should show them which direction to ring it in so you’re not standing there all day watching as they slam the rope into the bell over and over again. Make sure to keep the dining hall doors closed after you ring the bell and try to redirect anyone who enters that way over to the lobby doors. If they go in the dining hall doors, they’ll get stuck at the wrong end of the buffet line. You can tell them this, but they’ll often give you an irritated look and go in anyway. Watch with satisfaction as they realize their mistake and try rudely to cut their friends in line. They won’t make the same mistake twice.


  • Until the first rush is over, you’ll need to be walking rapidly between the main buffets, the cereal buffet, and the kitchen. Try to assess the length of the remaining line, the pace at which food is being eaten, and the amount of seconds prepared and staged in the kitchen. Never let waitrae take seconds when an outage can be alleviated through a quick consolidation, but never let the buffets run out of food unnecessarily (i.e. because the kitchen doesn’t feel like cutting more fruit or the outback doesn’t know where to find yogurt).
  • Monitor the hot cereal situation, adding more hot water when necessary.
  • Fill coffee pitchers when necessary and make sure there are seconds of coffee brewed and ready in the back.
  • Check that all your wanderers arrive on time and push them out the door when they do.
  • Retrieve/prepare meals for special diet people as requested.
  • Monitor the situation in the back-of-the-house and dish room, making sure your outback is on top of their duties.
  • Give advice to all captains regarding consolidation/breakdown timing.
  • Keep your staff moving, push them to clear early, especially at the beginning of the season. It may be easier to clear an entirely empty table, but no one will get out if everyone waits to do so.
  • Make sure the dishies return from their break on time and that the dish room is well-organized for their return.
  • Communicate with the first cook about the menu for lunch. Check the boater count for lunch up at the front desk. Redo your silverware board.
  • Help clear pitchers, break down chafing dishes, clear the cereal buffet, etc.
  • Consolidate sternos as they come back, using a plastic spoon to scoop the gel from one to the other. Discard all burnt matter.
  • Break down the Hostess table at 9:00.


  • Politely ask lingering guests if they wouldn’t mind continuing their conversations in the snack bar, lobby, or on the porch. Don’t rush anyone who’s still eating and never ask people to leave before waitrae have done everything else possible working around them.
  • Make sure the dining hall really is clear before giving the ‘All clear, run silver’ command or assigning a waitrae to do so.
  • Double-check that the waitrae know their chores and that the transition between clearing and cleaning is as quick as possible.
  • Turn the alcove tables, replace all buffet chairs.
  • Set the left-over buffet dishes out for lunch, checking to make sure all are clean.
  • Write the lunch menu on the chalkboard.
  • Return to Swet Ave to aid with the back-of-house chores.
  • Help waitrae set the tables. Usually the Hostess will set up the teacup pyramid before turning to set some alcove tables.
  • Do a final sweep of Swet Ave, the triple sink area, the butter cutter, and the entire dining hall to make sure all tasks are complete, everything is clean, and nothing is out of place or forgotten.
  • Sit your staff down for morning meeting.

Lunch routinesEdit


  • Check the final boater count at the front desk and make sure there are enough seats for everyone.
  • Brew however many airpots you’ve determined is necessary for that week’s lunch coffee station. (Usually something like one airpot 2/3 full, one airpot 1/3 full).
  • Set out your star basket, sugar basket, half & half and soy creamers and honey pitcher w/ saucer and teaspoons on the Hostess table. Also bring out a bowl of lemons.
  • Check that the baby items are clean.
  • Set out an attractive bowl of creamy peanut butter alongside another attractive bowl of jelly. Don’t let these get too nasty as the week progresses. Usually it’s enough just to transfer them into new containers and scoop out the cross-mixed bits. Put out both wheat and white sliced bread. Take the bread out of its sleeves and arrange it nicely in wooden salad bowls. You may wish to stage some extra sleeves of bread near the alcove door in Swet Ave during conferences like UCC 1 & 2.
  • Check that the cow is full and the tray is clean.
  • Set out half & half, sugar, and stirrers on the gray folding snack bar table.
  • Bring the airpots of brewed coffee out to the two coffee stations.
  • Brew two pots of decaf coffee.
  • As you’re setting out these items, you should be checking that the waitrae have all arrived at work. Just keep an eye on the dining hall for about five minutes and if there are any tables that have had nothing done to them at that point, check to see if their servers are around.
  • Spend some time walking around the kitchen and dining hall double-checking that all items have gone out. Walk up and down the aisles putting serving utensils in dishes. Make a mental check-list of the things that should be on each table (i.e. juice, water, salad, bread, cheese & cracker platter, butter, dressing, plates out). You should be able to tell at a glance when a table is missing one of these items and should convey this mistake to the server.
  • Once all tables appear complete, gather all waitrae in the kitchen for the menu. You should be present at the menu to make sure that all information is both given by the first cook and received by the waitrae. Make sure they are paying attention and maybe even quiz them afterwards. You should know the menu even more thoroughly than the waitrae, as it will be your job to determine which crazy diet people can eat what. Take this time to ask the first cook about any alternatives and maybe even take a trip with her into the walk-in to see what last-minute substitute meals you will be able to create.
  • Have the waitrae wash their hands.
  • Line the waitrae up in the following order: tables 11&22, tables 20 & 21, tables 9 & 10, tables 18 &19, tables 7 & 8, tables 16 & 17, tables 5 & 6, tables 14 & 15, tables 3 & 4, tables 12 & 13, tables 1 & 2, tables 29 & 30, tables 27 & 28, tables 25 & 26, tables 23 & 24.


  • Once the waitrae have lined up and are beginning to load their hot items, you should make a quick last sweep of the dining hall and then go to ring the bell. At lunch and dinner, you must secure the screen doors in an open position using the handy metal U-rods to hook the doors to the walls. After giving the warning and ringing the bell, the Host should stand at the doorway, smiling and welcoming guests into the dining hall. Make sure you look sharp and wear your nametag. People will be happy to see you and appreciate your attention to hospitality. If you’re going to be doing this, you should have your boat table server monitoring his table. If not, you should go do so… it is recommended you take the former option.
  • As the line dwindles, make your way through the aisle to the double Swet Ave doors. Check that all waitrae are loaded up. Wait at the doors until the main aisle is clear and grace has been said (if there is a grace), and then call in for the waitrae to reload if they’ve rested their trays on the counters, and then let them go. Hold the doors for them.
  • Stand at the head of the dining hall until all tables have been served so that you don’t miss any disastrous tray drops or boat table disasters. Return to the kitchen to check on the levels of seconds so you know how well the meal will run. Communicate with your outback about the ideal order in which he can run things in the back-of-the-house. If you have no outback, start doing things yourself but do not neglect your duties in the front-of-the-house.
  • Make multiple laps of the dining hall. Walk in both directions. Walk all the way out to the porch and around through the lobby. Walk only to the lobby doors and then turn around. Spend some time in the alcove. Make sure you are visible and look willing, ready, and able to help.
  • Prepare any special needs foods that the kitchen/waitrae can’t handle themselves.
  • Monitor the coffee and pb & j stations to ensure they don’t run out.
  • Start on side projects such as silverware, cleaning the Ave, consolidating returns, etc. but only do so in between slow, attentive laps of the dining hall.
  • Make sure the dishies come back from break on time and that they return to a well-organized dish room.
  • Discuss the dinner menu with the first cook. Check the boat count at the front desk. Rewrite your silverware board.
  • Start helping waitrae clear empty tables by prebussing them (throw away all trash, sort silver into piles, stack plates and bowls, put glasses in mugs, nest teacups in salad bowls, stage everything at the head of the tables) or just go around and collect pitchers.
  • Break down the coffee and pb & j stations at the end of the meal. (1:30 pm)


  • Politely ask lingering guests if they wouldn’t mind continuing their conversations in the snack bar, lobby, or on the porch. Don’t rush anyone who’s still eating and never ask people to leave before waitrae have done everything else possible working around them.
  • Make sure the dining hall really is clear before giving the ‘All clear, run silver’ command or assigning a waitrae to do so.
  • Double-check that the waitrae know their chores and that the transition between clearing and cleaning is as quick as possible.
  • Help waitrae complete their chores in the way you best see fit—count some silverware, wipe down some tables, put away food at the butter cutter, clean the beverage station, wipe down the dining room side boards, etc. This is also a fine time to start doing some extra Hostess chores or paperwork that you’d otherwise have to do after the waitrae leave.
  • Write the dinner menu on the chalkboard.
  • Send down your food-line waitrae once the boat is in the harbor.
  • Help waitrae set the dining hall (especially for lobster or banquet nights) and send another three waitrae to food-line when you see the truck pass the secret garden windows. If your staff finishes before the second half of food line is complete, you should send them to help as runners.
  • Check that the dining hall is perfectly set and then send your staff off to their afternoon chores or let them leave for their break.

Dinner RoutinesEdit


  • Do the exact same routine as for lunch but adjust the levels of coffee. You should brew three pots of decaf to start dinner and should brew more regular than you did at lunch.
  • After the waitrae receive the menu and wash their hands for a final time, they take their trays out to the dining hall for dinner service. Generally there’s a few minutes of downtime before the start of the meal. Use it wisely.


  • Same routine as lunch, but be even more aware of the levels of food in the kitchen.
  • Make sure your waitrae are getting accurate counts of diners to the kitchen. You may have to slyly redistribute some food if they mess up. To do so, have waitrae whose tables have extra food on them ask politely if the table is done with those particular dishes. Have them bring these dishes directly back to the kitchen to be redistributed. This should happen maybe once a month and should be done carefully and quickly.
  • Check that your waitrae are removing dinner plates before serving dessert, and keep a close eye on your coffee stations.
  • Same deal as lunch with working with or without your outback and communicating/coordinating with the dishies.
  • Make sure to get the next morning’s breakfast menu from the kitchen and bakery before they leave for the night.
  • Set out mugs for silverware.
  • Break down the coffee and pb & j stations at the end of the meal.


  • Hustle the shit out of your waitrae so you can go relax with your friends.
  • Move the buffet chairs quickly out of the way of sweepers so they can go faster. Have someone help you turn the tables.
  • Write the breakfast menu on the chalkboard.
  • Check that all the cistern pitchers have not accidentally been stored with the Pel Hall pitchers.
  • Clean the juice machine in whatever way the FSM has trained you.
  • Help move everything out of the way for the Swet Ave scrub.
  • Help scrub or squeegee the Ave, or help silverware.
  • Double check that the dining hall is done, the centerpieces are back up, the buffets are ready, and the chairs are neatly arranged.
  • If there is a musicale or Pel show scheduled for that night, put a sign on the buffet tables instructing guests to please not put chairs back at those tables (they will anyway and it will annoy you any time)
  • Turn the lights off in the dining hall and close the screen doors.
  • Make sure the aprons have gone down, the mats are in, the juice machine has been taken apart, the silverware is covered, the counters are clean, and dirty rags have been tossed.
  • Let your waitrae go. You may want to rearrange your charts for the next morning at this point, so that you can identify any upcoming scheduling issues.

Meal-time Conduct/Conference communicationEdit

As noted previously, it is very important that the Hostess take her public role seriously. While it may seem as though it is unnecessary to be out in the dining hall, conferees complain about this absence quite often. The Hostess can be someone who goes around schmoozing with the conferees, tickling their babies, and laughing at their jokes, but she doesn’t really need to be. What she does need to do is to be present and alert so that conferees know there is someone in charge who is monitoring the situation and is ready to respond if things go wrong. The conferees are aware that there is a Hostess position and are miffed when they can’t see this person. Even if you’re just standing at the front and walking around a few times, you’re doing what Star Island wants you to do. Conferees will begin to recognize you throughout the week and use you as a resource to solve their problems, while dietary needs people will latch on to you from the beginning and only slowly release if they recognize your staff are well-trained. If you happen to return to the Hostessing job for a second, third, or even fourth or fifth time, you’ll understand that you really are fulfilling an important hospitality role and should attend to this part of your duties, as people will be overjoyed and comforted to see your familiar face. The Host should be well-dressed, polite, alert, knowledgeable, firm with rude/inappropriate guests, welcoming to newcomers, helpful with young children, and good at anticipating the problems that often occur with initial seating, banquets, and breakfast buffets.

The Hostess should always take time to meet the conference chairs at the beginning of the week. They generally sit at the closest table to the microphone and make announcements, so it’s not too hard to figure out who they are. After you introduce yourself, you may have no other need to speak to them. However, the communication lines have been opened for both sides to use if something comes up. You should also ask them to point out the banquet chairs, as you’ll need to work with them to make sure clap-in and clap-out go well, and you may have to execute a particular service or prevent them from sprinkling half a million silver stars on the floor the night before you have to wax.

Finally, you should take time to meet your diners who have special dietary needs. On the first night of each conference, the kitchen supervisor will instruct the waitrae to go forth and collect allergy information. Waitrae should politely ask their table to let them know of any dietary restrictions they have that may affect their ability to eat our food. As this information comes back, you should identify those diners who have more severe or alarming restrictions. Determine which children have nut allergies, which diners are gluten-free, and which diners are secretly anorexic but publicly claim to have issues eating meat, soy, beans, nuts, grains, onions, garlic, and potatoes. Once you identify these individuals, you can work with the first cook to ensure there are options for them to eat. Many of these people set themselves up to never be satisfied with service and will merely snort at you when you bring them their food, unafraid that they’ll lose that special edge by being grateful, while others will kiss you every time you bring them a plain piece of chicken or a bowl of cottage cheese. The main goal is to prevent complaints and to make sure that no one leaves a meal hungry.

It’s also wise to identify which families are new or have multiple young children they need to sit with. Ask these folks if they’d like to reserve some seats at a table for the week so they don’t risk separation. Act as if you’re helping them, but know you’re really helping yourself.

In dealing with rude guests, try to be as patient and firm as possible. On the one hand, you need to be providing good customer service and alleviating any problems that may have occurred to due a fault of Star Island. However, if someone is being unnecessarily rude, try to firmly dissuade their behavior. In doing so, you are letting them know that it is not alright to talk to any human being in that fashion, even if they happen to be you or your young, vulnerable employees. Clarify passive aggressive statements, offer viable alternatives at the same time you turn down outrageous request, and always, always, always defend your staff. It’s best to approach these situations with the understanding that a lot of these people probably have miserable, unhappy lives as rude, entitled people, while you are beautiful and young and live on an island with dozens of awesome friends and maybe even a good lover or two. Take pity on these poor people, and walk them through their issues the same way you would a four-year-old having a tantrum.

Menu/silverware boardEdit

Information regarding the chalkboard menu can be found in the dining hall section of this manual. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is that this menu be written in a timely fashion each day. The Hostess should take special interest in the conference menu and should be able to communicate with the FSM as to how each meal is received by the conference, how the meal looks on the table, and how well the serve-out of the meal proceeds. The current format of the conference menu was designed in part by the 2006 Hostess, who recognized that there should be a certain number of dishes and a certain number of pre-sets for each meal in order to satisfy guests as quickly and fully as possible. As new food service managers come and go and try their hand at developing new menus, it will be even more essential for the Hostess to provide good feedback. Take some time to walk around the dining hall before and during meals, observing the food on each table to judge how well it is being received, how accurate the initial servings sizes are, and how attractive each dish looks as it is served. Much of the success of our presentation comes from the ability of each waitrae crew to create a symmetrically set dining hall at the beginning of each meal. Dishes should be clean and unstained, pitchers should be aligned, flowers should be fresh, food should be served with appropriate serving utensils, and hot dishes should be kept hot while cold dishes should be kept cold.

Filling out the silverware board is one of the only Hostess-specific tasks that must be done on time each meal. An example of a properly done silverware board follows:

Tables: 27 Trays: 13.5
Pork Loin (f)

Rice (ss)

Asparagus (f)

Salad (T)

Bread (T)

About a half hour into the meal, the Hostess should get the most current boater count for the next meal, grab the silverware board, clean it, and bring it into the kitchen to meet with the kitchen supervisor over the bowling alley. The kitchen supervisor should give the Hostess the menu she has prepared, and the Hostess should use this time to inform the kitchen supervisor if there aren’t enough items on the menu and to figure out what should be served for butter cutter items. The Hostess will also use this time to inform the kitchen supervisor of the most up-to-date table count and to discuss the service style for this particular menu. As the season goes on, it will seem unnecessary to do this whole process as the meals will become increasingly familiar. This meeting should never be skipped, however, as it will lead to the sorts of problems that always occur with communication breakdown—i.e. the soup will be different that particular day, there will be nuts in the salad that should be noted on the chalkboard, the butter cutter items will be different for that day, or the kitchen will forget to put out an essential butter cutter item. After filling out the table and tray counts and writing the menu and butter cutter menu, the Hostess should mark in parenthesis next to each item which serving utensil she wishes the waitrae to set for that dish. She can then fill in the numbers underneath each silverware item, adding the serving utensils to the normal silver count per table. Remember that the waitrae will double the numbers you write, so unless you really want them to put 44 forks on each tray (necessary for banquet night), you should halve the full tray count.

Egress speech/Fire capacity/fire safetyEdit

[In 2011 Joe Watts eliminated this entire speech as he felt the interruption of conferees first dinner was unnecessary and disruptive.] During the first meal of each conference, the Hostess must make a speech informing diners of the fire exits available to them in the case of an emergency. This speech is given by dictate of the Rye Fire Department, and is also given at chapels, Pel Shows, and every other event during which a large number of people gather in one space. The following speech is more than adequate, and is generally well received:

“Good evening ladies and gentleman. Welcome back to Star. If you could please give me a moment of your time, I have an important message to give you with regards to fire safety. In the case that the alarms should ring while we are all gathered in the dining hall, there are five main points of egress that should be used. The first is located at the end of the dining hall. The second is the door into Eliot, which you should follow through Eliot and out the main Gosport doors. The third and fourth are the doors leading from the dining hall into the lobby. One is located right here in the main dining hall, while the other is over in the alcove. Please exit the lobby through its marked egress doors. The fifth emergency exit is located at the back of the alcove, where you can see a lit emergency exit sign. Please exit through that door, go down the stairs on the other side, and exit at the bottom. Thank you, and please enjoy your visit. I will now give a visual demonstration of this speech for any of you who had difficulty hearing this speech.”

You should then go to the main aisle and use both hands to point clearly to all exits, just as an airplane attendant would. They love this. You could even get a fake seatbelt and spice things up a little.

There should also be a fire capacity log for the dining hall made and kept by the front desk. This log is a binder that contains sheets on paper on which you write the date and time of the event (meal), the location of the event, the main crowd control person for that event (the meal’s Host), the signature of this person, and the location’s fire capacity (I think it’s 320 for the dining hall). Work with the primary fire marshal to determine how often this log must be completed. There have been years where the Hostess has had to fill this log out every single meal, and there are years we’ve done it once a day or not at all. In reality, this protocol should not be overlooked as long as we are still attempting to comply with all fire-safety regulations.

As noted, the Hostess is the primary crowd control person for the meals, meaning she should stay and help everyone evacuate before responding herself, unless she has a special emergency role and is the only person in that role on island to respond. She can also utilize her staff in the evacuation effort and should probably train them on how she’d like them to proceed (i.e. everyone with tables 23-28 should have their tables exit through the back, tables 12-17 should exit through the alcove lobby door, tables 17-22 should exit through the left lobby door, tables 6-11 should exit through the porch door, and tables 1-5 should exit through Eliot). The Hostess is also the only person allowed to light chafing fuel, birthday candles, and banquet candles. She can have someone help her do so, as long as she is present and watching all goings-on. She should definitely train all waitrae on how to properly extinguish chafing gel (suffocation by bowl or lid) and on how to deal with guests who abuse the banquet candles (extinguish the flame immediately). There have been small fires in the dining hall almost every year for the past few years, whether they be a trash can fire caused by waitrae dumping water out of the chafing dishes over the hand-washing sink without realizing there is still a lit chafer on the shelf, a flower fire caused by banquet candles, or fires that spread as the chafing gel is spilt onto the table. Waitrae should receive proper flame-handling training as well as extinguisher training to eliminate the danger in such situations.

Fire drills are often scheduled to occur at around 2 or 2:15 pm, due to the idiosyncrasies of both the conference and kitchen schedules. Know that this will happen often and that it’s pretty annoying when it does, but that it will be over quickly and every shift ends eventually. It is best for the Hostess to be part of the evacuation team so that she is able to return to her job at the same time as her crew. Hustle them back to work, send your food line people down on time, and remind them that fire drills are fun and necessary.

Birthdays/Lobster night/BanquetEdit


Guests will sign up through the lobby store or snack bar to have special cakes made for their birthdays. Some will not, and will just ask the Host or their server to have a candle put in whatever dessert is being served. The traditional way to celebrate a Star Island birthday involves lots of loud, ridiculous singing, and a long kiss line. If you are told (either by the bakers, the birthday person, a table-mate, or a friend) that there will be a birthday, try to identify the recipient and their location. Covertly inform that table’s server of the upcoming event, and have them notify you when they’re ready for dessert. Sometimes the server will be the one told, so make sure your staff still knows to warn you prior to the event. The server should clear the table and take the dessert order as they normally would, but instead of bringing out the dessert order, they will ‘surprise’ the table with the birthday dessert. As soon as the server is ready, have them collect 10 butter plates, 10 forks, a steak knife, and a serving spatula. You should be out in the dining hall collecting the waitrae for the kiss line. Make up a special hand sign at the beginning of the year that indicates it’s time for a birthday, or you’ll have to sidle your way between every other table to get your staff’s attention. Be discrete about the birthday collection, but make sure your staff immediately stops what they’re doing to join in. Remind any lingerers that they would want a quick response if they had a birthday, and that this is a team effort. Then you should return to Swet Ave, instruct your crew on the location and name of the birthday person, and pre-light the candles if you have time to kill. The candles will blow out immediately as you exit through the double doors, but it makes it quicker to light them if they’ve been lit once. As you exit the doors, you should begin the Happy Birthday song, by letting out a very loud, drawn-out “Haaaaaaaaaaa……” The entire crew will join in and you will end up drawing out the “Ha” until you reach the birthday person. Once you do, give a small signal to your crew to finish with “ppy Birthday,” and continue the song through completion. As they sing, light the candles, having waitrae help by lighting the remaining candles using the lit candles if necessary. Once the song is done, put the cake down for the person to blow out their candles. If it’s taking a long time to light the candles, you can launch into “For she’s a jolly good fellow…” until they are. Once the candles are done, you should begin the kiss line with a wet smooch to their lovely forehead. Make sure your waitrae don’t refuse to kiss the fat, ugly, or old people and that no one overcrowds the autistic folk. Sometimes you’ll have an anniversary to celebrate. Find whichever one of your waitrae went to YRUU and have them teach the Happy Anniversary song to the crew. This will always be performed terribly, but it’s funny. Don’t mix up cakes and don’t forget birthdays. It’s a good idea to check in with the bakers before every meal to see if they are expecting any birthdays and also to check that there’s a cake for every birthday you’re told about.

Lobster NightEdit

Read the lobster night section of this manual for setting and service tips. Aside from what’s listed there, you will also be responsible for selling additional lobsters as they’re freed up. Talk with the FSM about how many lobsters she ordered versus how many lobsters the conference ordered to identify how many extra lobsters are expected. As you get down to this number, check with all waitrae to find if any of them have guests wishing to purchase a lobster or if any of them have guests holding onto extra tickets at the table. Once you’re certain you can sell a lobster, have the waitrae point out who wants one. Deliver the lobster yourself, making sure the person has all the proper accoutrements necessary to eat it. Get their full name and then go to the front desk and tell them to add a lobster to that person’s bill. Make sure you tell the person they’ll be charged and how much they’ll be charged. If the lobsters run out, are undercooked, or are unsatisfactory for some reason, discuss refunds with the FSM.

This past year, the Hostess would also pass out wet-naps as she noticed people finishing up with their meal. This is a nice, personal touch, and lets you see how each table is doing. You can also just pre-set these items or have the servers pass them out, but try to only give out one per diner. You’ll also be supervising the puckey person, the general lobster clean-up, and the plunge. Make sure to coordinate with the housekeeping supervisor and dockies to ensure everything goes well.


Read the banquet night section of this manual for details about setting/service. You’ll have to coordinate with the conference banquet captains during the week to get them any information they need/receive any information they have to give. Use your judgment in incorporating their plans into the service plan, but try not to forget anything or mess it up because it’s really important to them. Communicate well with your waitrae and remind them of the meal plan before the banquet even if it’s just the normal routine. Make sure the dining hall and waitrae look especially nice, and that the meal is served warm. Guests will often arrive late on banquet night, and you should let the kitchen know that this is happening so they can cover and hold food hot. Be aware of the dessert serve-out rate and help any waitrae that are behind. The conference leaders will often become anxious as the night wears on and want to start clap-out sooner than you’re ready to, but warn them that they don’t want servers to be trying to take orders for/serve dessert during speeches. Everything always works out in the end, as long as you’re attentive and in control. Make sure to check all coffee stations before you exit the dining hall for the service, and keep an eye on the diners so they don’t exit and leave the candles flickering alone in an empty room. Watch out for banquet nights when there’s rain, as they’ll try to do the grand march in the dining hall. They should do the grand march in the lobby if possible and hold the rest of the events in Eliot. Be firm in making sure they leave the dining hall by 8 pm, as your staff has to get up at 6 am the next morning and it takes a while to clean up after banquet. The dining hall floor is too thin for the grand march anyway, and is so structurally unsound during synchronized stomping that the floor beams underneath the dining hall will be oscillating like plucked guitar strings. Be extra prepared for Hurricane and give good directions to everyone who comes, or they’ll resent you for asking them to help and then being disorganized. Don’t let your staff slack off because others are helping. Tell them they are mini-supervisors for that clean-up, and they should practice being calm, kind, and clear in asking for help/directing the helpers. Also, keep a special eye on the tablecloths or they’ll go down full of rolls, sugar packets, and untreated tomato stains. As the tables clear, you’ll need to being stain-treating the tablecloths. Add one scoop Oxi-Clean each to two squeeze bottles. Fill the bottles about halfway with boiling water from the urn, swish the Oxi-clean around to activate it, and then quickly, quickly, quickly top the bottles off with cold water. If you don’t do this last step quickly enough, you will receive severe chemical/hot water burns on your fingers. Squirt this solution liberally on all visible stains. Never treat a table with people at it, and never treat near something that will be saved (cream or butter). Create some sort of marking system to let both you and the waitrae know which tablecloths have been treated (i.e. flipping one corner up). Once the entire dining hall is clear and all guests are gone, the waitrae can remove the tablecloths, shake them vigorously in the middle aisle, and bundle them up to be taken (treated and free of food crumbs) to the laundry room. Don’t forget to wash them (or have housekeeping wash them, talk to the head of housekeeping about this) or to write the breakfast menu in the excitement.


In 2009-2011 we did not use table clothes for anything except banquet night. However,I agree with the logic of using them for every dinner, and would recommend that we reinstate the use of table clothes for following years if it at all possible.

We began using tablecloths for our dinner service during the 2005 season. The decision to do so was made by the Hostess, who happened to have been on the first full-service Star Island laundry team during the previous summer. This history is good to keep in mind as you will hear many complaints about the tablecloths from all parties, and it’s important to know that the tablecloth service is not something that has been forced upon us from above or by people who do not know the logistical complication. Of course, more laundry machines were fully operational during that first season (2004) than have been in the last few years, and it is now difficult for laundry to keep up with our tablecloth usage. Occasionally we’ve had to take some time off from the tablecloths and use them only on banquet nights, but all efforts should be made to continue using tablecloths as often as possible as it makes an otherwise shoddy dining hall look almost acceptable. Suggestions for making the laundry aspect of this job easier include: having a larger inventory of tablecloths so they remain a few cycles behind and thus feel less pressure, buying a more spill-resistant brand of tablecloth, trying a different color or pattern, using a laundry service for food service linens (also allowing for the possibility of cloth napkins), or just accepting that tablecloths may have to be set with stains. Usually once the food is set on the tables, the stains are no longer noticeable. Also, no one ever complains about the stains.

In any case, the amount of work these tablecloths add to the waitrae duties is minimal. Waitrae must spread the tablecloths before setting them after lunch and must also shake them out and remove them at dinner. Keep in mind they eliminate most of the work for after-dinner wipers-down. The Hostess absorbs most of the additional work created by tablecloths as she is the lucky stain-treater. As tables clear, she treats all visible stains with OxiClean and also starts the wash cycle for the tablecloths at the end of the night (see Dinner Duties section for details). All-in-all, not a big deal.

Chafing dishes/SternoEdit

Dining hall chafing dishes are set up almost exclusively by the Hostess. The chafing dish set-up consists of a stand, a water basin (looks like a deep hotel pan with a rim), and a lid. Our current chafing dish stands are beginning to come apart at their seams and should probably be fixed in some fashion prior to the start of the 2010 season. The handles are not secure on quite a few of them, and it is only a matter of time before some poor soul pours scalding water all over their front while carrying them out at around seven in the morning. To create a proper chafing dish set-up, place a water basin in a stand, fill it with 1.5-2 pitchers of boiling water, and cover with the lid. Take this assembly out to the dining hall and place two full, lit cans of sterno fuel underneath them. As noted earlier, these dishes are designed to hold in heat, not to conduct heat, therefore their ability to keep the food hot depends on how hot the water is that you fill them with and also on how long the chafing dish is left without the heating aid of the sterno fuel. Use boiling water only and remember to light the fuel as soon as possible. Do not use water from the hot water tap on the coffee maker to fill your chafing dishes as you will usually be taking hot water that will be needed for brewing coffee. Learn to use the steam kettles in the kitchen for boiling water. They’re much faster to use anyhow. Remind your waitrae repeatedly not to bring the water basins to the dish room or they will end up being stashed with the deep hotel pans in the kitchen and used for kitchen purposes. If you don’t keep a good eye on this, you’ll find yourself transferring left-overs in the walk-in at 6:45 in the morning, trying to get your last chafing dishes together on time.

Sterno fuel is highly flammable and is also pretty nasty stuff. Don’t ever make skin contact with the fuel, and know that it will stain any surfaces it touches (including the dining room floor). If left open and unlit, the fuel loses its flammability and can no longer be used, so make sure all fuel is covered with a lid when not in use. To light fuel, pry open the cans using a knife labeled for ‘sterno-use only,’ and then touch a flame to the fuel. Make sure the cans are positioned where you want them before you light them, as they will heat up pretty quickly. To extinguish the flames, suffocate them with the bottom-side of a china bowl that is then taken to the dish room. You can also sometimes suffocate the flames by tossing the lids right over the hole, but if you miss then the lids will generally catch fire, land on the table, and get a smear of burning sterno all over the table. Extinguished sternos should be left to cool on the table for a few minutes, before being taken carefully back to Swet Ave. Many cans have been dropped on this short return trip, leaving many a bright white stain on the beautiful dark wood floors. Warn your waitrae not to stack the cans precariously or balance them around the edge of a dining room plate for transportation. Once the cans are in the back, the Hostess should re-open them all, scoop off any burnt black or yellow fuel, and then consolidate the bright pink gel using a designated plastic spoon. Make sure your food service manager doesn’t order the wick kind of sterno or you won’t be able to consolidate them and you’ll often have to let them run out of fuel during service. Try to make a habit of consolidating the sternos during your breakfast clean-up routines so that you aren’t scrambling to do so the next morning. Recover all sternos carefully and store them away from food, preferably on the chemical shelf. Train your waitrae in all aspects of sterno-maintenance so they won’t screw anything up or light the place on fire.

During the 2009 season, the fire and safety supervisor purchased a small yellow safe for food service. It is intended for use as the storage space for oven cleaner and sterno fuel, as they are our most flammable items. However, this safe cannot hold even one case of unopened sterno fuel, let alone the oven cleaner. Try to keep some fuel in the safe to placate the authorities or insist that another safe (or a bigger one) be bought. Determine whether or not you should be storing opened fuel in there as well (because, I mean, isn’t that the point?), and whether or not the F & S supervisor has an idea for proper disposal of sterno cans and sterno fuel. The only problems we’ve had with sternos have been trash can fires and table fires, so it may make sense to take precautionary action with the expectation that these scenarios will be more likely than some incident where the entire unopened inventory is engulfed in flames.


It has taken a while for an appropriate flower routine to emerge after the departure of Lisa Jennings. This year, the rounder crew were very proficient about replacing the flowers in a timely fashion and in responding quickly to dead-flower emergencies. The Hostess should set up a schedule with the rounder supervisor to have the flowers done every two to three days. A good schedule might be Friday (unless the conference is doing their own), Monday, and Wednesday, or just Friday and Tuesday. A schedule should emerge as the weeks go by, and the Hostess can help the rounders by having her crew gather the vases on days they’ll be changed, toss the dead flowers, rinse them out, and stage them on the pb & j table. They can also reset the flowers when they arrive for the next meal. If ever the Hostess notices the flowers are noticeably dead or rotting, she should have all vases removed immediately until the rounders can next refill them. Give feedback to the rounder supervisor as to which member of her crew makes the nicest arrangements, and emphasize that arrangements should be bright, neat, and full. There are plenty of flowers on Star Island to gather, and arrangements should reflect the most current blooms. Make sure the arrangements do not contain poisonous flowers, flowers that shed excessively, or flowers that irritate sensitive allergies. Flower vases should be soaked every few weeks in a solution of silverware presoak and run through the dish machine.


Scheduling the waitrae crew is one of the more difficult yet rewarding aspects of the Hostess job. At first it may seem difficult but soon feels like filling out those stupid newspaper logic puzzles that only have two or three tricks. The first key to making sure scheduling is easy is to set up a firm deadline for day off requests. Have your FSM order a desk-top calendar to hang on the Swet Ave bulletin and write near it clearly your deadline for requests and the number of people that can take off each day. To determine how many people you can allow off each day, take the number of staff on your crew and divide it by 6. For a crew of 20 waitstaff and one Hostess (whose days off are covered by a non-crew member), you would divide 20/6, getting 3.3. You can’t have 3.3 people take off each day, so you should allow 3-4 people to take off each day and expect that you’ll have two days with four people off and four with three. Let people take more than one day off if you’re able to, and don’t let people save up days or work over 46 hours in any week. Keep yourself updated on the weekly registration numbers so that you’ll be able to give a heads-up to your crew about low-enrollment weeks (extra vacation time) or high-enrollment weeks (only one day off). Generally it’s a good idea to have your day-off deadline be Thursday at dinner and be firm about it. You can then write the schedule on Friday, just in time for everyone to see their changeover assignments. You should always write your schedule as Saturday-Friday, as that format reflects the pay period and you can use each week’s schedule to accurately correct time sheets at the week’s end.

Once your crew has finished filling in their days off, you can start creating your schedule. You should create a blank document in Excel that has only names and the weekday names as headers and use it each week. To start, fill in everyone’s days off as OFF. Then, fill in any babysitting shifts as B. Finally, go down each weekday row and fill in the early shifts as 1, making sure you always schedule eight early shifts per day. The remaining spaces are for the wandering shifts, and can be noted as 2. Finally, count down your rows to determine how many workers you are expecting to show up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner shifts that day. Sometimes you’ll have people take off for one meal only and you’ll often have days where you’ll definitely have boaters for lunch but only potentially have boaters for dinner, so it’s essential to have all three meal counts. Once you’ve done this, you can determine how many extra waitrae you expect to have per shift and have them reassigned to another crew by the FSM. You may find instead that you have meals where you’re short one or two waitrae, and you should inform the FSM of the meals in question so that she can schedule the FS Rounder or request outside rounders as needed. Check to make sure that all waitrae have an even (or about even) number of early shifts or they will complain. A completed schedule will look like this (note – It is much easier to schedule a staff of 20 than it is to schedule a staff of 16 or 17. If you have a smaller staff, you will have way less late shifts, sometimes none, and your schedule will be significantly harder to write):































































































1 (D off)













































































































Never let anyone change the schedule once it’s posted except for you. Try to appear firm enough that no one will ask you to do so, but try to do so when asked if it’s a legitimate request.

Chore chartsEdit

At the beginning of each season, you will have to make chore charts for Swet Ave using poster board and Velcro tape. You can also make your crew do these for you during orientation if you’re not artistically inclined. The Hostess is the only person allowed to change the names on the chore chart. You definitely change things around and let people swap chores, but if you’re not strict about this then at some point or another, changes will be made, all people involved will not be informed or aware of the change, and things will be confusing and incomplete. Either after your crew has left for the night or in the morning before they’ve arrived, look at the schedule for the day and stick all names where they’ll be for the day. Be sure to remember that candle-lighters and babysitters will not be available for after-breakfast chores, and you should stick those three names sideways on the lunch/dinner board with the chores wipe-down & microwave, sweep, and Swet Ave. Remember to make new name cards for end-of-seasoners and to make a rounder card or two, so you’re not relying on people to remember who else’s name they are.

The breakfast chore chart should look something like this: [NEED PHOTO]

The positioning of the items on the chart is not important, but all information shown on this sample chart is all essential. The squares on the chart are for the Velcro names, and the corner box is for extra names. The lunch/dinner chore chart should look like this: [NEED PHOTO]

The lunch/dinner chore chart should look exactly like this, with the exception of the flavor of decoration. All table numbers and chores must be in this place. Do not move them around or you will be confused.


At some point during mid-season, you will be asked to evaluate your crew. Ask your manager to schedule your assistant to cover an extra lunch and dinner shift for you and spend the whole afternoon doing evaluations. Next, set a schedule up for the next week where you evaluate one waitrae after breakfast, two waitrae after lunch, and one waitrae after dinner. Have your evaluation meetings in a private space. If you follow this schedule, your evaluation process will not last through mid-August. Your waitrae deserve to be able to have an on-time midseason evaluation so that they know where they stand with you, how they can improve, and can give you some feedback on how you’re doing as their supervisor. If you wait too long, you can’t expect them to have a clear understanding of their work performance. You can also have your waitrae fill out their own evaluation before coming to the meeting, so you can compare thoughts and reasoning and understand where they’re coming from. It is highly important that you be as informative and honest in your evaluations as possible. Waitrae are often first-years, and the waitrae evaluations are often the main source of information for hiring staff to use in deciding second-year placements. Talk to your staff honestly about any social issues you feel may play a role in their hiring, as they deserve the warning and the chance to change things/clarify rumors. These employees are often young children and have poor self-awareness/awareness of proper self-conduct, so you should kindly teach them. Make sure to show them everything you have written and give them the opportunity to write a confidential response to your evaluation. Be patient with anyone who disagrees with your evaluation and offer to have a meeting with the HR Director to clarify all points. Understand that what you write will have a large effect on future hiring of this employee and that you should be as fair, honest, and clear as possible at all times. Remember to write your final evaluations on time so that you can meet with each of your employees face-to-face and show them your final assessment. Evaluate all end-of-season workers, even if they’re only around for a day or two, as you’ll want to at least let the island know about any crazies.


In years past, the Hostess was responsible for making sure all needed waitrae-related items were on the white board to be ordered. These items included most food in the butter cutter, napkins, sterno, dishes, etc. There is now a more standardized food service inventory list that includes most of these items. However, the Hostess should still warn the FSM when items are running out, as she has hundreds of other items to keep track of as well. Crockery should be inventoried and ordered at the beginning of the year with the intention of having it last through the end-of-the-season. As weeks go by, you may need to order a second round of silverware, glasses, and maybe plates or bowls. These items are not constantly monitored by the FSM, so you should inform her when their numbers are low. You should also order candles and Oxi-clean when necessary, as they are currently not on the list either.

Morning MeetingEdit

It is a long-honored Star Island tradition to have a waitrae morning meeting after breakfast. This is no reason to think the meeting is unnecessary or merely routine. Morning meetings are essential brain-storming sessions in which a waitrae crew becomes more and more well-polished. Use this time to give suggestions, make corrections, deliver speeches comparing waitrae to jedis, panthers, or zen monks, plan for upcoming pranks or parties, rag on each other, moisturize, share sentimental feelings, passive aggressively comment on your most annoying crew member, etc. This is your daily strategy session, your touch-base moment, your group huddle, etc. Don’t skip it.

Training weekEdit

Sample waitrae training scheduleEdit

I. Intro/Overview/Expectations

A. Role of waitrae

  • You are the face of the pelican community
  • Provide customer service
  • Serve/Clean

B. Schedule

1. Meals

  • Breakfast: 6:45 or 8 until 10ish
  • Lunch: 12 – 2:30ish
  • Dinner: 6 – 8:30ish

2. Extras

  • Food line
  • Luggage line (Changeover)
  • Corn shucking (Wed.)
  • Field Day
  • Babysitting

3. Scheduling etc.

  • Days off - 4 ppl/day

àHostess days off

  • Timeclock
  • Payroll
  • Complaints/Sexual harassment
  • Evaluations (Mid-season, end of season)

4. Uniform

5. The Others

1) Food Service

  • Dishies
  • Kitchies
  • Bakers

2) Chamber

3) Everyone else

4) Sr. Staff

6. “Don’t Be that Guy”

  • Drug/Alcohol Policies
  • Social Behavior
  • On vs. off work

7. 1st Year Pep Talk

  • Morning meeting
  • Crew bonding
  • Dating


'A. 'Dining Room/Traffic Patterns

'B. 'Dish Room

'C. 'Butter Cutter

'D. 'Back Porch

'E. 'Kitchen

'F. 'Swett Ave.

'G. 'Pel Hall/Laundry


'A. 'Breakfast Buffet

'B. 'Lunch/Dinner


'A. 'Pre-Lunch/Dinner

'B. 'Pre-Breakfast Buffet


A. @Table

B. In Dishroom

C. Leftovers/Trash/Yomp – etiquette


'A. 'Swett Ave/Outback

'B. 'Sanitation Talk



A. Start them on tray carrying by having them carry small things arpund the dining hall and gradually move them up to crocks, etc

B. When you feel they are ready, have them carry a metal bowl of water on their tray down to the pier and ceremonially toss the water into the harbor, cheering to a good season or something else like that


'A. 'Changeover

'B. 'Side chores

'C. 'Fire Drills

'D. 'Lobster/Banquet (quick briefing)

à Plunge

'E. 'Birthdays

Tips and AdviceEdit

Don’t stress too much about training week. You waitrae will seem very young and confused, which they are, but they will be tan, buff, cool Pelican superstars by the end of the second or third week. Be clear with your explanations of everything, demonstrate anything you can, give them lots of breaks, try to create some hands-on activities, ask them questions to make sure they’re paying attention, and reassure them constantly. Do not expect them to pick everything (or anything) up just from listening to you talk, and make sure you let them know you don’t expect this. The most useful part of training week comes after the sessions listed above, when you have the waitrae wait on for all three meals of the last day of orientation (or Lunch and dinner one day and breakfast the next. Work it out with your FSM) Split your crew up as much as possible so everyone gets at least one table and try to do two breakfasts so everyone gets a chance to see one run. Run the meals very slowly: talk them through pre-setting when they arrive, go over the meal-time routines after they receive the menu, stop them after the tables are cleared to go over their post-meal chores, and halt everything again when you’re setting. Walk around while they’re clearing and help them load their tray efficiently, have your assistant or a manager in the dish room throughout the whole meal, and make sure you have a meeting after every shift to go over mistakes and give pointers. You’ll have to continue this micro-managing for the entire first week until they really get the hang of things.

Remember that your face may be the only one they recognize out of all the scary older Pels and take them under your wing for a while. You’ll get your space eventually, but they’ll resent you if you desert them early on.

Specific Conference ItemsEdit


Arts drinks a lot of decaffeinated coffee. Make sure to have at least a full pot ready for dinner. There are numerous gluten-free people and also Lolly, the crazy vegan lady. This conference enjoys complaining a lot and actually take pride in having that be one of the distinguishing traits of their conference. Luckily, they also come during a week that historically never fills. Do your best to work with the kitchen to ensure that all diners have ample food options. This will be hard as it’s the first week, but if you pull it off the year will go well.


YAC is great. They’re pretty laid-back (but not total push-overs) and are very understanding of first-time waitrae mistakes. Put your strongest waitrae on Arts and test out the dumber ones on YAC. YAC sometimes shows up late, especially on banquet. This conference has a few children, mostly babies.


This conference is fairly similar to Arts—lots of special dietary needs, elderly diners, lots of decaf drinkers. They’re also not all-to-pleased to be forever married to YRUU, so warn the NHC waitrae to be calm and mature. Don’t let the Halloween costumes get out of hand.


YRUU is often one of the waitrae’s favorite conferences as the youth skip breakfast, leave meals early, and sometimes stack their own dishes. After the first day, you can probably set one or two less breakfast tables for the entire week. Find out when love-feast is and don’t put out tablecloths. Make sure there’s a grilled cheese day and prepare your staff for the eating contest. Be careful in how you assign waitrae to YRUU tables and explain to everyone before their arrival that these people are still our guests, even though they’re kids and often people’s friends. There is a lot of line-crossing and some general inappropriateness (not sexual) that goes on between the waitrae and YRUUers, but staff should be able to remain professional at all times. Don’t let jokes go too far and don’t tolerate rudeness from either party. Check on your ex-YRUU waitrae every now and then to see that they’re not slacking in their duties.

All Star I and All Star IIEdit

These conferences play salt and pepper bocci on the alcove tables, particularly at night. Prepare old banged up and cracked salt and pepper shakers filled with rice or ice cream sprinkles for this activity. Pull the regular salt and pepper shakers off tables in the alcove, and leave the special ones out on a tray with a friendly note. Understand that these conferences also take pride in being difficult. Help your crew get through these weeks by letting them know that the All Stars are the most difficult of the summer. Again, don’t tolerate rudeness from anyone. Watch out for the chauvinists. Prepare for the babies. These conferences are the largest and will probably be the most stressful as you may not feel your waitrae are ready; they are. Try to limit extra time off this week and encourage the waitrae to take care of themselves so they don’t get sick, you really will need all of them.


This week is pretty laid-back and generally doesn’t fill. Use it as a down-week and let your staff take off extra time if possible.


IRAS will not be returning after 2010.


IA is pretty much exactly like the All Stars—full, demanding, and loaded with kids. They also tend to be more wealthy and worldly than the other conferences, which can lead them to be either charming and understanding or entitled and condescending. They will respect well-trained, intelligent, well-mannered staff.

UCC I, UCC II, and LaityEdit

Grace is said before every meal. This is a tradition that is extremely important to these conferences, so make sure that there is no loud music coming from the dish room or kitchen. Also remember that this is happening at lunch too so wait an extra minute or so before loading up with soup. At dinner, wait until Grace is said before the waitrae introduce themselves to their tables.The UCC conferences are very friendly and polite, but also expect the dining hall to be run professionally and for traditions to be respected. The both have separate youth programs that should have designated seating near the porch end of the dining hall.

LOAS 1 & 2Edit

Though the LOASs are also generally full family conferences and have a lot of notorious Star Island leadership in attendance, they’re some of the best conferences on island. They’re generally pretty laid-back (especially LOAS 2), as they’re used to getting the shaft on both food and service due to the staff being in a state of upheaval from end-of-season departures/arrivals. Do what you can to make these conferences go smoothly, but know they won’t absolutely slaughter you if something goes wrong.

Pelican ReunionEdit

Pel Reunion can be difficult because many of the conferees will have been on Waitrae before and have a specific idea of how they think things should be. Try to plan ahead to have this conference fully staffed so you can do family-style service and eliminate some of the complaints they have surrounding buffet. If you can’t do family-style, work double-time to ensure there are no run-outs of buffet food (even temporarily). Have the kitchen make (and waste) extra food to avoid any disasters. Spare no efforts. This weekend can cost people their jobs.

midweek 1 & 2, ISHRA, most other end-of-season conferencesEdit

Mildly confused old people. Don’t change anything up on them midweek or they’ll have significant issues adjusting.

The RulesEdit

1) No pitchers on trays.

2) No glass in the kitchen.

3) No chewing gum.

4) No going behind the head of the table. (Okay to break)

5) No going against traffic patterns.

6) No saving food from the tables.

7) No eating or drinking in the dining hall.

8) No swearing in the dining hall.

9) No opening the china cabinet during dining hall hours.

10) No open-flame in the dining hall unless the Host/ess is present.

11) No going behind the line.

12) The Host/ess only clears with a tray on changeover mornings.

Open UpEdit

Dining RoomEdit

  • Wipe down tray stands and chairs with ammonia and water. Send anything needing repair to the carpentry shop.
  • Scrub down all woodwork with a scrubby sponge, Murphy's and water, including baseboards, sills, and shelves.
  • Wash windows inside and out. Wash down all screens with a rag and soapy water.
  • · Scrub down tables with Bon Ami. Gently scrape any floor wax residue off with a razor blade. Rinse and wipe down with Go2 spray.
  • Sweep floor. Mop with Murphy’s Oil Soap and water. Wax floor with diamond shine (at least two coats).
  • Hang up curtains and plants (now dead).
  • Unpack salt and pepper shakers. Wash tops and shakers in dish machine. Bake at 300 F for 20 minutes to dry completely. When dry, fill with salt and rice, and pepper.
  • Unpack sugar/tea holders. Wipe out with rag, and fill with tea, sugar and sweetener. Insert table numbers, and place on tables, making new table number signs when necessary.
  • Clean glass and frames of pictures with Go2 spray. Spot-treat canvas backing for mold where necessary.
  • Scrub drinking water fountain and hot water sink with Bon Ami. Wipe down hot water pitcher shelves, and put out hot water pitchers (stack no more than 3 high).
  • Stock green cabinet with napkins, filters, and decaf coffee.
  • Have maintenance hook up direct-feed coffee maker. Test.
  • Wash pb & j table, cow table, and chalkboard. Buy new plastic tablecloths for pb & j and cow tables. Clean cow, plug in, test.
  • Clean all trash cans and line. Set up trash can/tray-stand stations.

Swett AveEdit

  • Thoroughly clean and set up triple sink area.
  • Send all dishes through the dish machine. Clean hot water & coffee pitchers and waitrae trays in the triple sink. As dishes are being washed, scrub their shelves. Scrub the tray-stands as the trays are being cleaned. Send silverware and their boxes through the dish machine.
  • Scrub all additional shelves and wipe down walls.
  • Scrub floors and squeegee dry.
  • Unpack aprons/tunics and tablecloths. Wash and store.
  • Make sure that you have an ample supply of: markers, nametag holders, notepads, golf pencils, tape etc. for waitrae use. Make the chore charts. Buy a day-off calendar.
  • Stock chemical shelf with buckets, rags, white paper towels, 1 spray bottle of windex, a roll of black trash bags, a roll of small clear trash bags, five spray bottles sanitizer solution, two squeeze bottles pink, two empty squeeze bottles for Oxi-Clean, three spray bottles bleach solution, a few spray bottles of orange degreaser, one box each size glove, a bottle or two of SSP, a bottle of comet, and large containers of pink, real-a-peal, and bleach.
  • Inventory crockery and place order, allowing about three weeks for delivery.

Crockery Inventory List






9 inch dinner plates


15 inch nappies


6.25 inch butter plates












tomato juice glasses




waitrae trays


brown trays


small crocks


medium crocks


large crocks


medium platters


large platters


small ovals


large ovals




small pitchers


medium pitchers


large wooden salad


cookie baskets


short shakers


tall shakers


shaker lids


sugar shakers


sterno stands


sterno dishes


sterno lids








tablespoons or


soup spoons

serving spoons


butter knives


clear pitchers


large metal pitchers


hot water pitchers




coffee pitchers






serving ladles


serving spatulas


glass coffee pots


Pel Hall cups


Close UpEdit

Dining RoomEdit

  • Do a “Dish Hunt” search pel rooms and pel areas for stray dishes. Bring to the dish room.
  • Bring all salt & peppers, centerpieces to SWET Ave – disassemble, wash shakers, store
  • Scrub table tops with Bon Ami and wipe down with Go2 spray
  • Murphy’s Chairs, Tray Stands – Stack on Tables
  • Murphy’s table legs
  • Bring trash cans out to dishie rock: scrub, let stand-dry, stack, store
  • Bring baby chair cloth seats & straps to laundry, store plastic parts in bags, murphy’s wooden high chairs, stack on tables
  • Wipe down walls in dining hall
  • Clean windows, take down curtains. Bag the curtains in a clear trash bag labeled “Dining Room” and bring to the laundry.
  • Remove tablecloths from cow table and bring to the laundry. Clean cow with soapy water, paying special attention to mold in gaskets. Polish cow with stainless steel polish.
  • Clean underneath cow table.
  • Bag hot cistern pitchers in plastic.
  • The fan above the cistern pitcher shelf needs to be taken apart and cleaned at the end of every season.
  • Return microphone to Conference Services.
  • Clean out green cabinet.
  • Sweep floor thoroughly
  • Mop the floor with murphy’s and water, and put down two coats of wax.

Swett AveEdit

Main ideas:Edit

1) Don’t bag anything wet. Or dirty.

2) Scrub the shit out of everything.

3) Polish anything made of steel. Bag all things steel or plastic, cover all things not.

Set aside all dishes/silverware/pitchers/appliances, etc. to be taken to Newton for the off-season.

  • Wipe down inside of china cabinet. Stack dishes by the fives or tens for easy counting in the spring and cover dishes with sheets.
  • Send all questionable aprons to laundry. Set all clean linens aside for storing in the walk-in.
  • Clean out conference services cabinet. Store pitchers in plastic. Cover everything else with drop-clothes.
  • Clean triangle shelf, bag cover dishes with sheets. Store metal pitchers in plastic.
  • Polish sterno lids, bases, stands w/ stainless steel polish and store in plastic.
  • Store all pitchers in plastic. Cover silverware. Wipe down shelves.
  • Wipe shelves underneath silverware counter. Cover all dishes w/ sheets. Cover tomato juice glasses w/ sheets. Polish soup warmers w/ stainless steel polish and store in plastic.
  • Take trash and returnables cans to dishie rock. Scrub and dry.
  • Clean cow with soapy water, paying special attention to mold in gaskets. Polish with stainless steel polish. Unplug.
  • Clean out microwave and move to Newton for off-season use.
  • Remove papers on bulletin board.
  • Store white and black carafes & lids in plastic. Do not triple sink, unless clearly necessary. Set any that are cleaned aside to dry, bag later. Scrub down shelves.
  • Scrub drinking water sink with Bon Ami. Dry w/ rag. Polish.
  • Clean waitrae trays and stack somewhere, cover. Scrub tray stands on dishie rock with a floor scrubber and Bon Ami.
  • Clean coffee machine, polish. Clean airpots using the skinny glass cleaning brushes stored in the foodservice office. Polish. Clean small parts, polish, and bag.
  • Wipe down butter cutter counters. Put square trays in plastic bags. Wipe down tray counter.
  • Scrub triple sink & counter w/ stainless steel & Bon Ami. Polish.
  • Scrub all carts thoroughly.
  • Send mats through dish machine (or scrub on rocks w/ real-a-peel). Roll up and store on dish room counter.
  • Working in a systematic manner, wash all walls in Swet Ave thoroughly. (Include area by butter cutter and foodservice office).
  • Scrub baseboards of Swett Ave w/ Bon Ami and scrub brush, then scrub the floors and squeegee dry.
  • Rinse out the floor drain
  • Consolidate chemicals, store low in crystal room (bring rags to the laundry)
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