Waiters and waitresses leave the restaurant industry all the time. Serving just isn't perceived as a career — or at least a professional
career — in the United States (unlike Europe), but more of a steppingstone job until something better comes along. (Believe me, I kno
w this from personal experience.) But David Hayden, who may be Kansas City's best-known waiter, finally made the decision to take off his apron for good last night after 20 years on the floor, the last three
at the Majestic Restaurant.
Hayden's celebrity status comes from publishing his own training manual for servers, Tips Squared
, now in its eighth printing; his five blogs about the hospitality industry; and his awards: Pitch
readers voted him "Best Waiter" in the Readers' Choice poll for the 2010 "Best of Kansas City" issue, and the staff voted him "Most Ambitious Server" in 2011 and "Best Server" the following year.
"I was down to two shifts a week," Hayden says, "and I still enjoyed it a lot, but my other business was taking more and more of my time."