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The Social Science of Service

on Monday, 27 February 2012. Posted in Magazine, Servers, Eat This! February 2012

TimLike all things, titles evolve. The gender specific "waiter" and "waitress" were uncontested until they melded under the dual forces of the Women's Lib and Political Correctness into the currently acceptable "server". PC as it is, "server" seems so servile and the reality is that waiting tables has evolved into an art form of its own. Perhaps the title is ready to evolve yet again … Eat This! has the utmost respect for all the men and women who deftly guide us through our varied dining experiences and this is our way of recognizing those particular servers who stand out. They are passionate individuals who take pride, not only anticipating their guests' needs, but also in providing them with a gastronomic experience they will long remember. They are career professionals. They are "social scientists" without a degree.

SUBJECT: Tim Willard Server, Bartender, "Soon to be" Certified Sommelier — FIG

ORIGINS: Rhode Island

EDUCATION: University of Vermont — Animal Sciences/Biology College of Charleston — Masters of Science in Environmental Studies

EVOLUTION: At 14, Tim got his feet wet, literally, in the dish pit of a Barrington, RI eatery. Within a year, he was plating pastries and working the line on grill and sauté. Tim admits that, though he found the industry exciting, the world in the front of the house seemed intimidating. All changed during his college years in Vermont when bartending lured him to the "front". When Tim landed in Charleston, he found his "server" legs at Coast, The Ocean Room, and now at FIG.

PASSIONATE DISTRACTIONS: Soccer, definitively. Tim, who played in college and as a semi-pro, has remained connected to the sport via local men's leagues and coaching up until recently. Tim and his wife foster animals and there is his continued interest in travel, wine and dining.

CAREER PATH: After 18 years on the F&B scene, Tim has embraced service as his career. Tim loves his work and is eager to see where the path takes him. Certified Sommelier is an impressive leap and perhaps management is a natural next step.

INTROSPECTION:Tim exercises his analytical foundation from his Science degree in his role as service professional. He feels that "reading" the guest — taking note of moods, energies, body language, expressions — is crucial to making their experience perfect. In essence Tim feels that "servers" have become "social scientists". His insight has given Eat This! a new angle on this spotlight.

PHILOSOPY: "Success is measured by Passion". Tim's is a passion for the moment, for the food and the wine and he hones in on these passions by continuing his personal education in all aspects of his job.

by Antonia M. Krenza and Laney Roberts

Whether they are career professionals or part-time "social scientists", if there is a server that you'd like to recognize, please let us know. Eat This! is taking nominations!

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