I am often asked about how one should order for yaya when dining out. In truth, each family is different. However, here are some guidelines that may possibly make the process less awkward:
1. Be practical: When dining out, budgets are always important. Know beforehand how much you would like to spend for the entire meal and what portion of it you would like to apportion for your yaya. Be honest with yourself, but also be fair.
2. Be considerate: If your yaya is too shy to order on her own, save her the torture of trying to figure out the different meals and what she should order. Once you have decided on your budget to be spent, help her focus --- does she prefer chicken? Beef? Pork? Seafood? Does she want rice or would she like to try some pasta? Be encouraging and kind with your inquiries. Remember, more likely than not, this could be her first “fancy” meal in her life. Make it memorable for her.
3. Teach discipline: Conversely, if your yaya is a bit on the presumptuous side and perhaps lacks a little “delicadeza” --- try to limit her choices. You can do this by not offering her a glimpse of the menu, but rather stating a range. For example, you can say --- “Yaya, anong gusto mo: yung spaghetti or yung hamburger?” You can always try to influence her choices by singing the praises of one dish versus another or maybe even say that one dish is your favorite instead of another. In either case, be positive.
Try to set limits without making it too obvious that these are boundaries that cannot be crossed. Always remember that often times, what we take for granted is a cherished luxury for many of our staffers. Be as accommodating as you can.
All situations can be seen as opportunities to teach your staff something new. Dining out with yaya can sometimes be a source of anxiety for both the employer and the employee. However, it should be seen as a chance for yaya to feel that she is really part of the family --- the Filipino values of “Malasakit” and “UtangngLoob” are built through time, through single situations --- consistently.
“Breaking bread” together is always an important occasion. Hence, it would only make sense that when dining out with yaya, the event is also seen as one of “building bonds”. After all, loyalty is never just given. It is always earned.