Titans of Industry

Weekly Tip from Your Friendly Server

With the weather as cool as it's been this week, it's almost easy to forget the brutal temperatures we face each summer. During that time, most establishments have an equally fierce chill blowing from the air conditioning.

I don't know if lease agreements with retail stores, museums, or movie theaters demand thermostats be set lower than 60 degrees throughout the year or if there's an underground Freon ring, but either way, cold indoor temperatures appear to be the norm here. And most restaurants are no exception.

If you've lived in the South for a while, you're probably accustomed to this and have adapted accordingly. But for those who haven't acclimated or get the chills often, here's a little tip from your friendly server:

When dining out, bring a sweater.

I feel your pain. I'm cold-prone, too, and get the shivers when I open my refrigerator door. But while I'm working, I'm constantly running around during the shift, so I'm always warm.

The majority of patrons have no complaints on the weather inside, but every so often, there are some who do. As much as I want to make your experience comfortable, if you ask me to dial up the thermostat, I'll surely empathize, but I can't make promises. The decision lies in the hands of the manager, and if he or she complies with your request, the temperature will go up only two or three degrees. The reason is simple: At most restaurants, it's necessary to keep the temperature cool to offset the heat from the stoves, ovens and grills in the kitchen. This is especially true for smaller restaurants that can't afford comprehensive cooling systems.

Other than marginally hiking the thermostat, as a server, I have a few alternatives for those who tend to get the chills while out and about. So bring a cozy sweater to keep yourself toasty.

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Nancy Kerschen