I’ve been reading a different website recently, The Raging Server, and it is quickly becoming a favorite for me. Having worked in retail with the general public since I was 15, I can always appreciate stories about stupid people. This website is full of them.
Here is the author’s list of rules for eating out. I figured these were common sense, but that whole concept doesn’t seem to exist anymore.
Rule #1: When you sit down at your table, don’t wave at us, don’t holler and yell at us, and don’t sit with your arms crossed. We see you sitting down, and if we’re busy, it might take a minute. Rest assured, we know you’re there. If we don’t happen to be in the area when you sit down, someone WILL let us know about it. You pay our bills, we don’t like making you mad.
Rule #2: When we walk up to the table, and say “How are you guys doing today?” or “How are you today?”, we really do want to know how you are doing. That helps us to judge how the course of the meal is going to go, and what we need to do to stay on your good side. Grunting or immediately starting your order is not acceptable, and sets a tone that most of us just don’t want to deal with. Getting on our bad side is a bad way to start your meal, because at that point, we know you aren’t going to tip, and no longer care.
Rule #3: When we start our spiel of drinks, specials, appetizers, etc., please please Please do not interrupt us with your order. We’re doing our job, and we can be disciplined for not doing our job. Also, for those of you with the constantus interruptus issue, if we didn’t do said spiel, you’d say something to the management about our not doing our spiel with you, and we’d still be disciplined.
Rule #4: When we are waiting for your alcoholic beverage, and you see us standing by the bar with our arms crossed, unless you see us giggling and laughing with our friends, we are usually upset at the amount of time we have to wait for your drink. As I said before, pissing you off hurts our money, unless you’ve upset us first, that’s not what we want.
Rule #5: If you say that you’re ready to order, and we begin taking your order, that is NOT the time to ask us why we don’t have spaghetti and meatballs in the pasta portion of our menu. If it’s not there, then we obviously don’t serve spaghetti and meatballs. When you tell us that you’re ready to order, we take that to mean that you’re ready to order. Little questions are okay, e.g., “Does this have any nuts in it?”. If side items are not listed, then yes, by all means, ask us about the side items. Don’t get mad at us when we say that you can’t substitute something without an upcharge, we don’t make the rules, we just play by them.
Rule #6: If the kitchen is running long because of the restaurant being slammed, we have no control over how long your food takes to be prepared. Please please PLEASE do not take your anger at the kitchen out on us. We don’t want your food running long either because, after working in the industry for a while, we know that our tip suffers when food runs long. Most people don’t care if it’s our fault or not, we still have to deal with the consequences.
Rule #7: When your food is delivered, if something is given to you that you didn’t order, please don’t say to us “Well, last time I was here, I got….”. Usually, that’s nothing but a lie, the menu doesn’t change every week at most places, especially at corporate places. If you ordered a Blackened Chicken Pasta, that’s what you’re going to get. You won’t get a normal Grilled Chicken Alfredo, Blackened Chicken is just that, blackened chicken. If you receive something you didn’t order, sometimes mistakes happen. If it’s our fault the mistake happened, we will happily admit our fuck-up, and we will do our best to fix it. If the food runner has given you something wrong, please don’t take it out on us, sometimes they just don’t read the ticket right. Don’t take it out on them either. Mistakes happen.
Rule #8: When we ask you how your meal is, we really want to know. Don’t just poke that lone mushroom around with your fork, if something is wrong with the dish, let us try to fix it. If you don’t, or don’t tell us anything is wrong, we can’t help you. Once again, don’t take your problems out on us, allow us to help with your problems if we can.
Rule #9: When we come by with a dessert menu, and offer you a few things, actually look at the menu before asking if we have hot fudge cake. Sometimes, menu’s varies between restaurants, and one place won’t have something another place has. Also, that “Last time I was here, I got…” statement doesn’t work in this situation either. We know our menu, we are trained well on our menu, and we train others on our menu. Asking us for something off the menu won’t change the fact that we don’t offer it, or have the things to make it.
Rule #10: When we drop off the check, actually take the time to look at and consider paying it. Don’t try to walk out, most of us will tackle you as your on the way out the door, and if we’re in a mall, you’ll be detained by security until we get our money. If there’s a problem on your check, let us know so that we can fix it. Usually, it’ll only take a minute…60 seconds…just let us know. Don’t use the ticket book as an armrest. Don’t camp for three hours. We need our table so that we can make our rent.
Rule #11: After paying your check, please consider tipping on our service, not on how long the food took or how the food tasted. Please tip on our attitude, along with the check amount. Tip on the total bill. Doubling the tax does not a good tip make. Two dollars on a hundred dollar bill does not a good tip make. That kind of tip is insulting, especially if we’ve catered to your every whim and done it quickly and friendly. We work hard to make your day, night, lunch, or dinner a good one, and we have bills to pay. Most servers make 2.13 an hour. Some make more now that the minimum wage laws have changed, but we still generally make below the poverty line before our tips. When you leave us less than 10% that’s just wrong.
Rule #12: If you have comments to make before you leave, please don’t bad-mouth us if we’ve done a good job. If you want to compliment our service, we can get you a manager, or you can feel free to call the restaurant at a later time. You can call our corporate office. Don’t just complain just to complain, or to get a free meal, especially if there was nothing wrong with it. We work hard, and you shouldn’t make light of our job.
So many people seem to think that servers are worthless, and are there to just deliver food. We run more than a lot of people who work in offices, and make less. We stay on our feet at all times, and have to take attitude from 60% of our guests. We try to stay polite and nice, because we’ll lose our jobs or not make our bills if we don’t. Please treat us with the respect we deserve. We don’t spit in your food if you are evil, this is real life. We don’t put hair in food just to be mean, because we wouldn’t want that to be done to our food. WE WORK HARD!