Make us your home page
Instagram

Hellas restaurant employee offers service with a smile

Server George Poulos chats with Cameron and Desire?Nicklaw at Hellas restaurant in Tarpon Springs. He says he enjoys meeting new people and seeing new faces.

ASHLEY GRANT | Special to the Times

Server George Poulos chats with Cameron and Desire?Nicklaw at Hellas restaurant in Tarpon Springs. He says he enjoys meeting new people and seeing new faces.

George Poulos has been all over the world, but no matter where he lands, his heart will be with the hospitality industry. He has lived in Australia, Greece, Illinois and now Tarpon Springs. His first job was as a hardware store cashier; then he worked as a grocery store bagger. But ever since then his family has been in the restaurant business. Poulos moved to the Tampa Bay area about 10 years ago and has been a server for Hellas in Tarpon Springs.

What brought you to Hellas?

I first moved down here for my brother. He had to go back to school for real estate because the laws are different here from Chicago and he needed help. I came down with his wife, who introduced me to the Tarpon Springs area, and when I came to Hellas these folks opened their hearts up to me like family. I decided to give working here a try and helped out with management. After I started having my own family and couldn't be at work as much I went back into the serving position.

In addition to serving what are your duties?

Helping out the other servers and helping out the managers. Making sure everybody is okay and tending to everyone's wants and needs. I help make sure that whether a guest comes back next week or in 20 years that the food and hospitality is always going to be the same. I have had customers come in that have never had Greek food before and I try to explain the menu. Some even tell me that if it wasn't for me as a server they wouldn't know what to order. I present them with things they might never have tried and match their tastes. They usually come back wanting it exactly the same way.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

I enjoy meeting new people and seeing new faces each and every day. You never know who you might meet. I serve people from all over the world. The atmosphere and the surrounding area are also very nice. Being involved with the Greek community feels a lot like being at home for me. We also have a lot of regulars so you get to know the people.

What is your least favorite thing about being a waiter?

The slow season. The economy has affected my job. I work here five days a week and every day is a surprise.

How do you get through the day?

I work double shifts a lot, but I get through it. I meet new people every day and I'm used to it and balance work and family life pretty well. I have older kids at home that help out and that makes things easier.

Do you like Greek food?

Oh yes! I love Greek food, but I explore every region's food. I love to entertain. I even have some of my regulars over for barbecues and I cook up everything from American to Greek food.

If you weren't a waiter, what would you do?

I am a good bartender, or I could even do management. Either way I would want to do something in the hospitality industry.

How much does a waiter make?

It varies. It could be anywhere from $20 to $100 a day. It could be more or it could be less. Maybe you're only working one shift and it's a slow day and you walk out with just $20 in your pocket. You never know. The busiest season is during the winter because all the people from up north come down here and we stay busy for a good three to four months.

What does it take to be a good waiter?

Be able to relate to the guests. You have to be friendly. Be prepared for a quick pace and to help each other out. All of us servers here help each other out. Everybody looks out for one another.

Do you have a cool job?

To be considered for a future Job Spotlight story, send an e-mail to baylink@sptimes.com, with "Job Spotlight," in the subject line, and tell us why we should feature you in BayLink.

Hellas restaurant employee offers service with a smile 08/16/09 [Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rick Scott appoints 'my friend,' Jimmy Patronis, as Florida CFO

    State Roundup
    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Local gas prices plummet as Fourth of July holiday travel approaches

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Local gas prices are enjoying an unseasonal dip around the $2 mark just in time for the hectic Fourth of July holiday travel weekend.

    The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $1.99 at a Rally station on Pasadena Ave. South and Gulfport Boulevard South, South Pasadena.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Air bag recalls, lawsuits lead Takata to file for bankruptcy

    Autos

    Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. CEO Shigehisa Takada bows during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators.
[(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi]
  4. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.

    Corporate

    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.

  5. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]