The French Quarter has clear European influences through its architecture, but it’s also a place to meet people from all over the world – especially if you’re Bobbie Williams, a Drink Waiter and Food Server at Pat O’Brien’s.
“They depend on me to show them a great experience while they are here, and I love to deliver,” she says of the global clientele bound to visit the iconic French Quarter bar and restaurant on any given day.
Williams understands the power of positive attitude, especially in a job like hers that requires focus and an ability to talk to just about anyone. But at the end of the day, that’s what has helped solidify her career in tourism: “It helps me live and provide,” she says. Read the rest of our insightful interview with Williams below.
How long have you lived in New Orleans?
38 years, I was born here.
What do you love most about this city?
The culture, the food and the people
Tell us about your role at Pat O’Brien’s.
I am a Drink Waiter/Food Server so I greet, talk and make food and drink orders for our guests.
What path led you to this point in your career? How did your career in tourism begin?
Before working at Pat O’Brien’s I worked at the Aquarium. So, when I left there I thought the French Quarter would be the next best thing for me. I’ve been working in tourism for about 8 years now.
What do you love most about your job?
I get to meet and talk to people from all over the world. They depend on me to show them a great experience while they are here, and I love to deliver.
What advice would you give to other New Orleanians or your peers about choosing a positive career path, perhaps in the tourism industry?
Be kind, open-minded, funny and be ready to talk. You pretty much have to have a good, positive personality because you will meet and talk to hundreds — if not thousands — of people.
How is your job personally affected by tourism?
Pat O’Brien’s has been around for 80 plus years, so we are well known and talked about. We have one of the oldest signature drinks probably in the city, the Hurricane.
What does tourism mean to you as a local?
It keeps the party going and it helps me live and provide. I love it!
What do you think the city of New Orleans would look like without tourism?
Boring and [with fewer] jobs. It just wouldn’t be the same.
New Orleans will…
Always show you a great time that you will never forget.