The Work We Do: Debra Holder, Cutchogue Diner waitress

My name is Debra Holder, and I’m a waitress at the Cutchogue Diner. 

I’ve been working here for about 27 years. It was just very convenient, I like working here.

I’m only here Saturdays and Sundays, and I got to know a lot of the customers. I’ve been a local for awhile, having graduated from Southold High School.

I started working here when I was 25. My sister worked here, she was actually managing at the time when I started working here. And I started by accident, because the original waitress had left and I was a fill in for Saturdays.

(Credit: Sascha Rosin)

My daughter got involved just by bussing tables and then eventually started waitressing. She went to Riverhead High School and Stony Brook University.

I’m only here Saturday and Sunday, so I usually open up the restaurant, and I do all the prep work, as far as getting ice, making sure everything is full. I cut lemons, make sure there’s coffee ready and then it’s waiting on people. That’s my day to day.

My favorite part is the socialization, I do enjoy people. I like the breakfast shift. I think it’s a lot easier, for me, it’s pretty self explanatory. Breakfast is breakfast, lunch there are more variations and it gets a little more complicated.

Quite a few people come back every year and say “Oh, I remember you!” or “How long have you been here? You’ve been here for a while.”

I enjoy being recognized, and for people to come back year after year, and they recognize me just as well as I recognize them.

‘The Work We Do’ is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. Read it first and see more photos every Monday on Instagram @thesuffolktimes and watch the video on

(Credit: Sascha Rosin)