As is the case with most restaurants, Perkins on Peach Street has been looking to hire people as food servers.  But, the restaurant doesn't have to worry about the morning shift.  Those slots have been taken for quite some time.  

Shawne Scott has been serving tables at the Peach Street Perkins for 34 years. Berlinda Clark has been working there for 35 years. Doreen Steiner has been serving customers at the restaurant for 37 years.  And there’s Mary Mejia.  She's been working at the Perkins location for 41 years.

"It's just crazy,” says Mary.  “To think we've been here that long."   

People who have never served tables at a restaurant may agree that it is crazy to do that job for decades. There's the number of miles you must walk every day on the restaurant floor.   There's unfriendly customers at times.   But, it's the friendly customers that make a food server want to stay.

"You see different people.  You get to know them.  They become your regulars. You enjoy seeing them come in.  Once a week.  Every day. Whatever it might be.  You have fun when you see them come in,” says Mary.

Doreen agrees.

"When we first started here, you see families, young families come in with their little baby carriers.  The young children.  Through the years we watched them grow up.  And now they're bringing their own families in, which is very cool,” she said.

Berlinda says young people who have moved away from the Erie area also return to the restaurant when they come back to the city for a visit.

"Every time they come here to visit their parents, they always come in.  It's nice. They come home to visit and they come in here to see all of us and eat. That's nice too,” she said. 

The longtime servers think of their regular customers as family.  They also think of each other as family. So, who would want to leave?

"We're all like family we've been here so long,” says Shawne.  “We have so many regulars that come to see us.  So we stay."  

And that makes the General Manager Diane Markham very happy.

"Just knowing these girls are here and can handle anything coming their way is a great feeling, especially in this time and age when it's hard to get staffing,” she said.

Doreen, who has worked at Perkins for 37 years, has two daughters and a son-in-law who also work at the restaurant. They each have at least 16 years of service at the Peach Street location.