I have one hard and fast rule when it comes to waiting tables. No one dies on my watch. I have had several guests leave the restaurant in an ambulance, but none of them have died. It is a simple thing, but it helps me sleep better at night. I may not be changing the world with this rule, but I cannot imagine the guilt of breaking it.
This is why I am particularly careful about food allergies. Knowledge of food allergies is the most basic tool a server has to prevent guests from facing life-threatening reactions in their restaurants. This is too often treated lightly. I once heard a surgeon say that the only minor surgery is the one someone else is having. The same can be said of food allergies. While it may not seem important to every guest, the difference between a peanut and a tree nut can be the difference between an enjoyable meal and a trip to the emergency room for some of your guests.
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