Old Photos: A School For Waitresses

Recently legendary Charles Ferruzza wrote in his article about the annoying habits of the restaurant servers:

​There’s no boot camp for waiters and waitresses, but there should be.

Apparently such a place existed in Wichita, KS in the late 1940’s according to this article in the Life Magazine.

The undeclared but stubborn warfare which exists between waitresses and the eating public has long been despair of restaurant keepers. Too often the comforting cling of an owner’s cash register dwindles rapidly because his employees hook an occasional thumb in the beef stew..  Other arguments for home cooking usually involve waitresses who assume that too-short skirts, bright ail lacquer and plunging necklines are superior to deft hands and tidy uniforms as serving assets. This keeps wives (and their husbands) away in droves. Such practices are dismaying to a 52-year r-old ex-bellboy named John O’Meara who has been touring the U.S. since 1931, spreading the gospel of good waitership.

And now for some vintage photos (original captions preserved):

Efficient waitress should have a crisp uniform, pleasant disposition and an uncrowded tray. © Time Inc., George Skadding

Waitress don'ts include long red fingernails like these. For handling food, nails should be short, clean and unpainted.© Time Inc., George Skadding

"Plate clutcher" illustrates messy serving styles by covering rim of glass and hooking a thumb into customer's fried egg.© Time Inc., George Skadding

"Table leaner" here shown taking an order, displays awkward stance which may not offend the male diners, but is sure to irritate their women companions.© Time Inc., George Skadding

"Garter fixer" draws admiring glances from male customers. But this practice is discouraged because it aggravates the wives.© Time Inc., George Skadding

"Tumbler juggler" trying to carry too many glasses often spills the whole load. The proper method is to use a large tray.© Time Inc., George Skadding

Loose hairdo falling over shoulders may straggle in to plates carried on a tray at ear level. This waitress should put her hair up or keep it bound in a net.© Time Inc., George Skadding

Licking a knife after it's been used to cut a piece of pie is an easy way to determine its flavor, but is hardly appealing to the customer.© Time Inc., George Skadding

Before taking the course waitress Marguerite Fisher displays an unappetizing appearance with her rumpled stockings, untidy dress and heavy smirk.© Time Inc., George Skadding

After the course Miss Fisher is set to attract new customers as she sports starched uniform, neat stockings, modern make-up and a warm smile. © Time Inc., George Skadding

© Time Inc., George Skadding

  • This has to be the most unappetizing thing you’ve ever posted; I wouldn’t eat one of those waitresses.

    • They were delicious after the training

  • I travel for JOOLS

    You’ve come a long way, baby. Cept, don’t stick your finger in my eggs.