So when I was a kid my mom would take me out to restaurants occasionally and we were always taught very well on how to behave in a restaurant. I have recently (the last 8 months of my life) realized that not everyone learns how they should act in a restaurant or when going out to a restaurant. Of course this bothered me before when I would see people being rude to waitstaff or giving the bartender a hard time but now that I am working in a restaurant full time it’s gotten a lot harder to hold my tongue even when going out with family members. Guys, I know it’s hard to be patient sometimes but some of the stuff you do to these people gets WAY out of hand. That being said I worked retail for almost 6 years of my life and not even Black Friday Madness can compare to how people get treated when they work in a restaurant so lets talk about having some freaking manners! I mean how hard is it to simply be nice??!
When you go out on a Friday or Saturday night it is often a good idea to make a reservation as restaurants tend to hit their peek business anywhere from 4:30pm to 10:30pm and sometimes even later depending on the establishment. That being said if you aren’t going to make it or if you are going to be late then CALL THE RESTAURANT. I cannot express enough how important this is. I mean if you have less than 6 people in your party it generally isn’t that big of a deal but anything above that takes a lot of time and a lot of space. At the host stand it is our job to make sure your table is ready to be sat at precisely the time YOU chose when you made the reservation so if you have a party of Ten and you come in 15 minutes late with no phone call I will probably have given your table away if there is a serious wait on our hands. It’s nothing against you but I have a business to run and people to seat, I am not going to keep a family that has been there for 20+ minutes waiting for the table you reserved but neglected to show up for. That’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to the staff who, by the way, live mostly off of their tips so you being late wastes not only our time but theirs and as a server Time Is Money. Literally.
Now I have no problem if you want to make some adjustments to your meal, I do have a problem when you have an allergy and you don’t tell me about it before your food hits the table. This happens all. The. Time. If you have a serious food allergy we NEED to know. Between needing special gloves just to prep your food, we need to cook your food on a specific part of the grill so we don’t end up putting you into anaphylactic shock because your burger touched sea food. We understand that not everyone can eat everything, we are MORE than happy to accommodate that because we WANT you to leave happy. That all being said if you come to the restaurant and then do 10+ changes to your meal simply because you are a picky eater your server may resent you. A lot. Especially if you don’t tip well. As I said before Time Is Money, so when you make 50 billion changes to your Cheese Burger (Medium rare, no onions, add garlic, add spinach, no mustard, add mayo, toast the bun, bun on side, add bacon, sub fries for o-rings) you are delaying the time on your food and everyone else’s so please keep that in mind especially if you decide to eat during one of the rushes.
Servers not Slaves:
Servers may be here to serve your food and entertain you and your family but they are NOT your slaves or butlers or personal assistants. I’ve been a server, I know what you are doing to them and frankly it is not nice. If a server is busy with another table it is INCREDIBLY rude to yell at them from a few tables over until you get their attention if they are with another table. Usually they will try to make eye contact with you and let you know that they will be with you in just one second but if you keep up your childish antics do not be surprised when your fries are a little cold. Had you let them complete the order with the other table quickly instead of interrupting the server would have probably gotten the order, stopped by your table for a drink refresh, checked their other tables and have been back from the kitchen with your food nice and hot in the time that it took you to bitch at them for not giving you exclusive attention. Servers are quick on their feet and good at multitasking like that and if you let them do what they need to do and are polite they generally move quicker and give much better service. That doesn’t mean you aren’t going to get a rough server or your server isn’t going to have rough nights where they can’t move as fast and there really is some behavior that is completely inexcusable (If you have four tables this is probably not the best time to go out for a ten minute smoke break) and if this is the case then you need to bring it up with the manager on duty immediately so it can be fixed, you still don’t have to be a jerk to the server although I wont fault you for leaving a lower tip.
Who doesn’t like to drink sometimes? We all get wild and crazy and usually a little unruly but it is all fun and games, right? So let’s keep it that way and not get too drunk to function. At some point we will cut you off and if you respond badly we will either kick you out or call the police. The last thing you want is a Drunk In Public ticket. Oh yeah, and if you are going to projectile vomit all over my bathrooms because you can’t hold yourself together then at the very least tell a staff member but we’d prefer it if you took responsibility and helped us clean it up. The last thing anyone wants to do is clean up a Chicken Caesar Salad from the walls of the bathroom including us so please slow down, drink some water, relax and have fun. We aren’t rushing you.
You people are the freaking. Worst. Seriously.
I can’t even write about you because you make me so livid. Want to have a drink and talk for two hours? Find a bar.
So as I mentioned earlier Time is Money when you are on the floor of a restaurant. The time we waste running to get you the sauce you forgot you wanted for the third time could be $2-3 out of our tips which may not seem like a lot to you but it adds up quick. Especially when most servers only make $2.13 an hour. When I was serving in New Orleans I didn’t get a paycheck from the end of April when I started to the beginning of August when I moved. I relied solely on the tips that I was receiving because they tax the hell out of credit card tips and as you can imagine this made things really really hard some times. When we were in slow season I was so so thankful for my make-shift savings that I had put aside with the understanding that when slow season hit I was only going to be going home with as little as $8 a day which didn’t even cover the gas to get to work, forget paying rent or eating at all.
And finally the most important part: Restrooms:
Ladies, ladies, ladies, ladies. Let’s have a heart to heart here really quick. Do you like going into a dirty restroom? Do you like finding some strangers bloody tampon next to the toilet? Do you really want to sit in a puddle of someone else’s pee? No? Then why the HELL WOULD YOU DO THAT YOURSELVES!?!?!? I mean I get the germs thing and really that’s what toilet seat covers are for which are generally provided in any public restroom but even then you still leave the toilet seat covers strewn across the stall or the toilet paper so clawed at that it looked like it snowed toiletries all over the freaking place? Even the MENS room is cleaner and guess who gets to clean all of your mess up? The hosts and sometimes the people that handle your food. We do not have a janitor on site which means that we have to throw on some gloves, break out the mop and clean up things I cannot even describe to you because they are so. Nasty. So please let’s do everyone a favor: sit down, clean up and be considerate of everyone involved. As for the men, we know you don’t wash your hands. That’s icky. Please stop. Germs are yucky and during this time of year sickness is running rampant, mixing bodily fluids with your food probably wont help you keep from getting the flu.
And there you have it folks! Just these little things help us help you have a better experience being served, and I cannot even express how much we appreciate the little bit of patience you give us. Happy Holidays and remember: People in customer service are giving up time spent with their families to serve you, be nice.