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Waiting

You are the server on the screen. The point of the game is to make money and keep all of your tables happy. The dotted box outlines your section and you are responsible for all of the tables in that section. When a table is sat it is outlined in a darker line. On the table is the amount of the bill at that table and the meter above it is your table's happiness level. The happiness level determines your tip percentage of the total bill. The table blinks yellow when the people at the table need something and you have to click on that table and get them what they need by then clicking on the kitchen. This will happen for each table numerous times as you get their drink order, appetizer, entrees, refills, bring them the check, and whatever else they may need. When you click on the table you will walk over to that table, stay there for a second and then walk to the kitchen when you click on the kitchen and then click back on the table to bring what they needed back to the table. If a table stays blinking without being attended to, the happiness meter will go down. In the top right hand corner of the screen is the walk-o-meter, which tells you how many miles you have walked and the total money you have made in tips that night, with the total money after tipshare in the line below it (the money you actually make). There is no way to win the game, but the point of the game is not to lose. If one of your tables happiness meters goes all the way to the left (in the red) you are fired, and therefore lose and the game is over.

Analysis: 

I have been a server for the past three years and have come to the conclusion that a lot of people who eat in restaurants really don’t know what it is actually like to wait tables. This game simulation is meant to give insight to the process that servers have to go through to do their job. This game only takes into consideration one aspect of the job, which is time management in juggling different tables and different people’s needs in an efficient way, but that is really the key component to being a server. Being a server is really about the process, the walking back and forth and making the decisions about the order of when to get tables what. The walk-o-meter is meant to emphasize that point. I have worn a device that measures walking distance at work before and have been amazed to see that I’ll walk fifteen miles some nights. That doesn’t necessarily make the job harder, but it does make it more exhausting and adds another component that is easily overlooked. Sure, going to get you that extra sauce that you could have asked for a second ago when the server was already at the table isn’t a hard thing to do, but it takes up valuable time to walk from the kitchen to the table multiple times. The total amount made and the amount made after tipshare is meant to underline another part of serving that most people don’t realize. Servers only make $2.13 an hour, which barely covers taxes, and they have to tip out 3% of the total sales. This means that even out of a 20% tip, the server only gets to keep 17%. It also works the other way, if you don’t leave a tip at the table the server still has to tip out the 3%, which means they are basically paying to serve you. This game will also bring attention to some situational decisions that servers have to constantly make. For example, two tables need something, which do you help first? The table with the bigger check because if one of the checks is going to tip badly, it’s better if it’s on a smaller amount? The table that is most unhappy? The table that is most happy because you want to give them better service? At the same time, any table can get you fired. This is why there's no way to win, because just like in real life you can't really win as a server, but you can lose if you get fired. It will also bring up situations where the player sees how having a table sit for 2 hours after they are down eating actually takes money away from the server because they cannot get another table and make more money if you are sitting at their table. The point of the game is to show people that there’s a lot more to being a server than merely taking an order and bringing out food, there is a whole process behind it. After playing this game, I hope people would be a little more considerate and understanding of their server when they go to restaurants and tip them better once they experience even just this one aspect of the job. If you're going to sit for hours, tip more. If you have a small bill and are only going to be giving the server a few dollars, don't be high maintenance. If you are high maintenance, tip more. The customers at the table are not personified or even shown on the screen to make another point, when you go out to restaurants, sure you're having a great time at 8 pm on a Saturday night out with your friends, but your server's working and if you don't pay them, they don't make any money. Serving tables is only as good of a job as you, the customer, make it.

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