Thursday Server Raves, Rants, and Tips

This week’s server post is brief this week. It was a short week this week because I had a lot less hours, which was awesome and allowed me to have a few days to breathe.

Two rants this week:

1) Customers that get upset with me over something obviously out of my hands. Please feel free to talk to my managers, but they are just going to shrug their shoulders and tell you they can’t do anything about it either. All I ask is please be understanding, I will apologize profusely if I really can’t do anything and I know it’s an inconvenience, but don’t take it out on me when you’re tipping. Take a step back, look at the situation, if I did everything I possibly could, don’t tip me 10% if you were happy up until that moment. I do take it personally.

2) THESE LISTS.

10 Rules For Restaurants by Larry Magid (Forbes)
Ted’s Rules for Restaurants
Top 10 Unspoken Rules of Restaurant Service Etiquette by Erika Strum
My 11 Restaurant Rules by Where Shall We Eat

The Bitchy Waiter posted a blog about the Forbes list today, and he was pretty spot on. Mind you, I have never worked fine dining, and I know rules are different there, but I feel like most people that come up with these obnoxious, entitled lists have never even worked in the food industry. If they had, I would think they would (SHOULD) preface their lists with the fact that they have worked in the business.

Because hey folks, why not allow me to tell you how to do YOUR job?

Each restaurant experience is going to be different because every guest has different expectations, every server has different skills/habits, and every restaurant has different requirements. There are going to be bad servers. I do my best to read my tables as well as I can, but every shift there is going to be someone that doesn’t want their check when I bring it, or doesn’t like the timing of the meal, or the location of their table, or the fact that I will try to up-sell bread sticks and salads, etc. So yes, sometimes my tables don’t like my serving style. It happens. But I’m not going to apologize for it!

I’m lucky. I rarely face people that that expect everything on the above lists; usually I get easy going, chill, understanding people (Yay Seattle!). But those lists still get my blood boiling. Please spend a couple weeks serving tables, followed by a couple weeks working in the kitchen, THEN feel free to reconsider those lists of RULES you’ve posted. GAH.

Raves:

1) PAID SICK LEAVE IN SEATTLE!!!!! What. For every 40 hours we work, we get 1 hour of paid sick leave. This absolutely has the potential to screw over restaurants, but at the same time, for us responsible employees that will call in hours in advance, or even the day before (!!!!), this is awesome. So awesomelly fantasticly fabulous. Check it out, hourly Seattle employees. Don’t get screwed over by your place of work!!

2) My new 3 year old BFF Bruno! First off, his name is Bruno. Kickass. He was roaring at me, and telling me he was a dinosaur. So finally, once most of my tables were gone, I roared back, and he went screaming and giggling away. So cute. I apparently I was the mean dinosaur, and he was the nice one, and then he was like:

Bruno: You come to to my house and play!
Me: No, I probably should go back to my house tonight.
Bruno: No. You come to my house!
Me: But you can come back and visit me here!
Bruno: Noooooo.

And it continued like that for a few minutes. I was cracking up hardcore and I hope he comes back and visits soon!

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3 thoughts on “Thursday Server Raves, Rants, and Tips

  1. Hello…thanks for the pingback to my blog….which hasn’t been updated in months and months, btw. You might’ve lit a fire under my *&#( to get it started again.

    In reading you post, you say this: “I’m lucky. I rarely face people that are THAT ridiculous or that expect everything on the above lists” What exactly on my list is so ridiculous? I’m not telling you how to do your job, necessarily, only what my expectation is. …and I don’t think they’re unreasonable. If you read any of my other entries you could see the context of the list.

    I see you’re only 24 years old so perhaps it’s just life inexperience that makes you averse to “these kinds of lists.” That wasn’t meant as an insult…only an observation.

    Your blog is really cool…I’ll look forward to looking through some of your recipes.

    • Hi Lily,

      Thanks for the comment, and I’ll do my best respond.
      (I am guessing your blog is “Where Shall We Eat” since that is the only one I found without a name, but please let me know if I’m wrong.) I will be honest, YOUR list was not unreasonable, and the “ridiculous” comment actually was in reference to something I ended up editing out…I will fix that, because it reads differently than I meant it to. What irks me with ALL of the above links overall is the attitude that accompanies these lists. You seem like a well-meaning person, but what you seem to not understand is it’s frustrating when we as servers do the best that we can to accommodate all our tables and their expectations, but we are never going to be perfect: we aren’t mind readers. You’d be surprised at how many people make us feel like we should be. Like I said above, every restaurant, server, and guest is different. So when people who have never worked at a restaurant post lists of what we should and shouldn’t be doing, it comes across as entitled and ignorant. Maybe you don’t realize it, but this is specifically what stuck out to me:
      “This page was originally a post but I thought it deserved it’s own page. If you’re in the restaurant service industry, you may want to refer to these every once in a while. You’re welcome.”
      I understand my job is to serve people like you everyday, an average family who enjoys going out to eat, and that my income is dependent on how much you enjoyed your meal and my service. But the lists: it would be like me coming in and writing out a list for you about how to do your job. Please, if you have worked a day in the restaurant industry, SAY SO on the list! It will give you more street cred with the service industry folks who stumble across it. 🙂
      I don’t disagree with some of the things on the lists. In fact, here is a list. You will find things from the above list on THIS list here:
      NYT’s 100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do: Part One & Part Two, and his follow-up
      But the fact of the matter is that this guy owns a restaurant. If I want to work for him, I WILL make sure I do all these things, and without complaint.
      I should also reiterate the fact that I do not work in a fine dining establishment. I work in a family pizza restaurant. Most of the things on the lists don’t apply to me, as family dining establishments have different standards than fine dining. For instance, I’m supposed to build up a familiar & friendly relationship with regulars (which would break SO MANY of those 100 Rules), and I do so gladly. And I love kids, and I love the food we serve. Hence the reason I love working where I work, and I’m in no hurry to move up, despite the fact it would absolutely make bill-paying easier.
      My age is regardless. Please read The Bitchy Waiter’s response to the Forbes list (he has been working in the industry for years), “Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress“, and “Waiter Rant: Thanks For The Tip“. You’ll find all of these people, who have years in age and experience over me, to have the same attitude I do. And I’m not nearly half as jaded or cynical.
      My blog is my experience and my opinions, just as your blog is your experience and your opinions. I will apologize on behalf of the service industry that you have not been treated well by servers. I love eating out, and I’ve been that guest; it’s absolutely no fun. But please do think about how your post comes across to those of us in the service industry who can actually do our jobs, and do them well. Like I said, it’s not what’s on the lists, but how it’s read. I would NEVER interrupt a prayer (please speak to a manager if a server does that and doesn’t apologize profusely; that’s absurd), and I will do everything in my power to keep a baby happy and from crying (but if they DO dump 2/3 of their rice bowl on the ground, please tip your server above and beyond (I’m talking 25%) if they were overall great…because cleaning rice out of a carpet is one of the worst. Right up there with mac & cheese).
      Again, thank you for commenting on my post. I appreciate your feedback, and I hope this response comes across as well meaning as I intended it to. I respect, and for the most part agree with, your suggestions, but I do hope you now better understand where my frustration with these lists comes from.
      Thanks,
      Heather

  2. Pingback: Thursday Server Raves, Rants, and Tips ? Magic Wands and … « umolecefocag

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