Push yourself to eat and drink new things
"Now that I've been in restaurants for this long, I've drank a ton of whiskey and am well-versed in it. But knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have drank Jack every time I went to a bar. You're in a world where you get access to valuable knowledge that other people don't. A lot of people don't realize how many whiskeys are on a shelf. I wish I would've drank different things as opposed to the same thing. That applies to food, too."
Be generous with booze and you'll be rewarded
"I could never be a warrior like the line cooks. But they're never as rewarded [monetarily] as much as the front of the house. I don't get into conversations with the back of the house -- all I do is go to the bar and buy them drinks. That's my form of tip-out. Because tipping out the kitchen isn't a normal practice, buying the back of the house drinks has helped me out.
"Sometimes in the middle of service, tables will add on something or request something outrageous. And the last thing a server wants to do is modify dishes. People who come in that are picky are the worst people to deal with. The kitchen sees the tickets, and if you have a lot of modifications -- even if it's not your fault, since you're not suggesting them -- there's a stigma associated with that in the eye of the line cook. They're machines, and they have processes to follow. They put out every club sandwich the same way, and then if you have modifications, it messes up their flow. When those special orders come in, I know they're not going to be as mad at me because at least they know the night will end with me buying them a shot of whiskey."