The Name Game
Posted by Katrina Degel, CEO of The Waiter Depot on September 19, 2017
When we greet a table we never know what we are going to get, and I was often struck by the amount of regurgitated quips and “jokes” used by guests and other waiters alike (myself included, I’m sure). It is important for us to think outside the box for ways to communicate with our guests in order to build a rapport and have some fun too.
My name is Katrina, and I worked through hurricane Katrina*. For a couple years I would hear “Oh! Like the Hurricane!” from every single table. Every. Single. Table. Ugh. By 2012 it had dwindled to every third table or so. You might ask, “why not just use a nickname?” Oh, did I try. It was really a toss-up: if I said my name was Kat I inevitably had to repeat it three times and was still called Pat for the remainder of the evening; or I got to be Hurricane Katrina for the night.
I finally figured out this was not going to end anytime soon, so I began saying: “That’s right, like the hurricane – so don’t make me mad!” Then my table got to sit there and figure out if I meant it or not (just kidding, I always said it with a smile). Sometimes I’d even get the chance to remind them of my “name” if they were on the fence about ordering another drink or being a bit rowdy. Honestly, my name really did help me cut the ice with many tables over the years. I tried to keep it fun by rolling with it and keeping them on their toes as well. That didn’t stop me, however, from hoping each new table would just forget to ask my name.
I can only imagine each of you have your own stories to share regarding name-telling and making a less-than-enjoyable experience work out for you. I’d love to hear them, and will share them in the next newsletter if you are so inclined.
(see me in the picture when I actually was a little hurricane)
*This blog is not about the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, but I would be remiss to share that Hurricane Katrina was a hugely destructive hurricane in 2005 that decimated Louisiana. 1833 lives were lost and the area is still recovering twelve years later. For information on how you can donate to recent Hurricane Irma victims, go to: