From My Kitchen: Singing For the Customer's Supper as Part of Restaurant

There are songs that should appear in the restaurant training manual. They sing of meals and favorite foods in ways that you might not have thought of. You might not have to sing them as part of your application for a job at a restaurant, but you'd be lucky if you went through an entire restaurant career without hearing them.

There used to be restaurants with singing waiters. Music was actually part of the required training to wait on tables in those restaurants. There are still a few of these musical eateries around, but the style seems to have faded with the passing of time.

Of course, most of the singing waitperson restaurants concentrated on opera, classical repertory, show tunes and barber shop songs. The singing for your supper places never seemed to focus on songs about food. Perhaps if they had, the customers would have ordered more to eat and the singing restaurant trend would still be popular.

After all, who could resist an appetite for good old soul food after hearing Bessie Smith belting out "Give Me a Pig Foot and a Bottle of Beer"? Of course, "A Taste of Honey" by Herb Alpert, "Apples, Peaches, Bananas and Pears" by The Monkees, or Led Zeppelin's "Custard Pie" might sell more dessert.

Pete Seeger singing "Beans in Your Ears" or Neil Diamond's "Porcupine Pie" wouldn't do much for hungry diners, but Jimmy Buffett's "Cheeseburger in Paradise" could set a few mouths watering. Customers who had trouble deciding what to have with their steaks could get Frank Zappa's "Call Any Vegetable".

Beverages are not left out of the musical dinner. The Andrews Sisters singing "Rum and Coca Cola" or Tom T. Hall belting out "I Like Beer" would get the thirst up, but the wise restaurant manager might avoid letting diners hear The Weavers telling them there are "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine."