Quick-witted Brenda Smith has been schlepping plates for so long she could almost do it in her sleep. (And if she's working her third back-to-back shift, she probably is.) That gives her that ideal "sixth sense" sassy veteran servers always have: They know, at once, which dinner needs to be delivered, which check has to be picked up, which customer needs another fork and which coffee cups must be refilled. Longtime servers understand this intuitive sense as "the beat," and if they lose it during a shift, the whole night can fall apart. Smith (who also supports herself as an astrologer, seamstress, jazz singer and tarot-card reader) rarely loses her beat -- or her cool -- anymore. "Waiting tables is in her blood," says Marwan Chebaro, who opened Café Rumi earlier this year and was immediately far busier than he'd imagined possible. "She has a passion for doing it and a good energy," he says of Smith. Her secret? "Be observant at all times, be nurturing, and develop enough intuition to read people's minds," Smith says.