The World of Waiters: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The World of Waiters

1st Edition

By Gerald Mars, Michael Nicod


158 pages

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Paperback: 9780367028367
pub: 2020-04-30
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pub: 2018-12-11
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Originally published in 1984, The World of Waiters provides a close look at the area of everyday working life, focusing on the profession of waiters. The book addresses the complex world of waiters, look at the insecurities, hierarchies and ‘the politics of serving’ that come into play in the everyday working life of a waiter. The book addresses the issues facing waiters in everyday life, including the placing and spacing of customers, the process of ordering and tipping, and customer complaints – all of these are looked at through the lens of the rules adhered to by waiters. The book is created from data compiled by the from 5 English hotels at varying grades. This book provides an interesting case study of the restaurant industry, and will be of interest to any academics working in the field of sociology, in particular the field of the sociology of work and anthropology.

Table of Contents



1. Going Native in Restaurants

2. What is Service?: Giving That Little Extra

3. The Etiquette of Service: The Expert or the Friend?

4. The Politics of Service: ‘Who Gets the Jump?’

5. The Waiter’s Formal Career: Learning to be Straight

6. The Waiter’s Informal Career: Learning to be Bent

7. Hotels: A New Classification and Its Implications

Epilogue: The Customer’s Experience of Eating Out

Glossary of Terms



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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General