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I'm keeping this post public for a while. Link it if you don't mind. I don't think the people on my friend's list fall into this category but you might know someone who does.

Here's something you might not hear often, but this is you, the guest, through the eyes of your server:

Guest: Yeah, there is ten of us. Can you seat us now?
Server: We don't have a table available right now for ten. If possible can your party be broken up to sit at two different tables? I can seat you now then.
G: That was a problem the last three times we were here. And, to tell the truth, the last three times things weren't exactly 'up to par'.
S: Then do you mind if I ask why you keep coming back? (okay, I am a smart ass and had to know)
G: We're hungry.

In my city there and hundreds of different restaurants. You being hungry does not tether you to my place. Also, you're walking into a place with ten people and no reservation and look at me like I'm the asshole when I tell you I have nothing available and you can clearly see the place is packed? This also goes for walking in on a Friday/Saturday night or holiday and being honestly perplexed as to why there is a wait.

female G: Honey, on the door it says they don't take credit cards. Can you believe they don't take credit cards? Look here, it says they don't take credit cards!
male G: I guess they don't take credit cards.
fG: I can't believe it! They don't take credit cards. *looks to S* Excuse me, miss? Do you take credit cards?
S:*makes the 'you are stupid' face* No.

There. Are. No. Words. Funny thing is, this happens often. Even better, it says "No Credit Cards, Cash Only" on our door, menu, and check, and people STILL put a credit card on the bill.

S: How many to your party?
G: Five.
S: Follow me *takes people to table with seating for six since that is what is available*
G: Can we sit over there?
S: *looks at table they point to* I'm sorry but I can't seat you there.
G: Why not?
S: Because there are five of you and that table only seats four.
G: We want to sit there.
S: Then tell one of your friends to leave.

I mean, really?

Let me set this next one up. There is a line at the door. People have been waiting over 45 minutes for a table. I am seating as soon as tables are available.

S: Party of two?
G: Yes! We've been waiting forever!
S: Sorry about that but I have a table available now. Follow me please.
G: Can we have something by a window?

Once again, really?

Here are some more things:
`We don't care about your personal lives.
`You have drama with your significant other? Don't bring it out in public.
`If something goes wrong and you get pissed please keep in mind that it a FUCKING JOB to your server. Not that we don't care but take into consideration that you probably fuck up at work as well and it's not intentional against you.
`Do Not take your bad day out on your server. I have not messed with people's food but I know servers who have. That's not an urban legend.
`Do Not tell us how to do our job, we don't come to your job and place our unfounded knowledge on you. If we seat you somewhere do not ask to move unless you have a special reason. Hosts know their servers, where they sat someone recently, and who can handle what. If I take you somewhere I'm keeping all this in consideration and if you move somewhere else you more than likely jeopardized the quality of your experience.
`You coming into a restaurant ten minutes to closing for us is the equivalent of your boss handing you an extra assload of work right before you're supposed to knock off. Except it doesn't only keep you there but the people you're car pooling with as well (i.e., the kitchen and other staff members).
`We make $2.13 an hour and rely on tips. I'm not saying you should tip just because, if you get bad service tip like it. Chances are your server knows they did a bad job. Keep in mind tip percentage is 18, 15% went out ages ago. And if you 'camp' at a table (we refer to you as a 'camper' or a 'squatter', just so you know) tip to show the time you took up. Once you've paid if you continue to sit you are keeping your server from making more money as we are only allotted so many tables each in our section.
`We are not the kitchen. I do not cook your food. Nor am I the management. If you don't like how the place is run, or think you could do better, ask for an application. If the kitchen messes up your meal I am going to do everything I can to make it right because I know it's part of service. If your meal takes to long this, also, is not my fault. Trust me, I'm just as pissed as you because, as mentioned above, the longer you sit the less tables I have the less money I make.
`Don't take things off the server's tray. You're not helping, you're hurting. We balance things and chances are you'll end up with coke/tea/margarita all over you.
`Don't stack your plates yourself and don't try to hand things to your server while they're cleaning off your table. We have a system! We know how to do this! Chances are you'll end up giving us something unbalanced and things will fall.

Thank you. I might add more to this as I remember things. This kinda links to this in the past but I feel this is worth mentioning again.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 29th, 2008 06:42 am (UTC)
This reminds me of a book I need to tell you about, but can't remember the name of...soon, my friend, soon.

And ack, people are jerks, aren't they? I mean, every Sunday at home, we go to the club restaurant, and we know it's going to be cramped, and busy, and we won't get our food on time. It's what happens. Now we just poke fun of the fact that we keep going despite the waits and the food not arriving all at the same time.

May. 29th, 2008 06:50 am (UTC)
you know how much I've been reading lately, so put up woman!

I have places I like to go like that. I know the food is going to take forever, and the service is so-so, but the food is afuckingmazing so I really don't mind. The point is, if you know in advance that's how it's going to be then keep it to yourself and deal because you walked in already knowing this. The first thing happened at my second job where the average price of a meal is eight bucks. Really, how much WOW are you expecting for eight bucks? Best part was when I went back to tell her her tables were ready she said, "I think we're going to take your advice and never come back here." I smiled and told her that was a good idea. If you come in w/ a shitty attitude you ruined your meal from the start for yourself, as with any experience. As a waiter I don't want to deal with someone's already low expectations and ideas of my job.

And you should allot more time for your meal if the place is busy. Common sense says the kitchen isn't cooking just your food. Just some people make me ARGH!
May. 29th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
Found it!

Seriously, it's quite good. There's a line I'll always remember from it:

Guest: How's the duck?
Server: Dead.

Heh. It's a memoir thingy.

I tip as much as I can, when I can, but never when the server has been an ass, or when the order never even made it to the kitchen. What the hell? I order. You write it down. It goes to the kitchen. What happens along the way? Some kind of note pad black hole?

Sorry, but that's the one thing I can't tolerate from any restaurant I go to-whether I know the service is going to take a while or not, if my order doesn't make it to the kitchen and I only find that out when everyone else has finished their food, then I'm ticked.

Edited at 2008-05-29 03:54 pm (UTC)
May. 29th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
I have that book! It's on my 'to-read' list! I've started at the top of my first bookshelf and I'm making my way through catching all the books in between that I haven't read. I'll tell you when I get to it.

Yeah, that does suck, and it does happen. It can go one of two ways... the server makes a mistake and forgets to put it in (I've done this with appetizers and salads, never with entrees) or the printer goes down, there is no communication, the server doesn't find out, and fifteen minutes later is when they discover there is no ticket. When it's my fuck up I'm the first to admit it, I tell the person, and offer up whatever I can while the kitchen puts it on priority. If that happens while I'm waiting I know I pretty much killed my tip (or the kitchen did) and my table is getting free dessert. I'm a comp queen.

The things that kills a tip for me is a) empty drink b) my son's food comes late and c) no personality/ bad attitude. Other than that I'm pretty easy going but I guess because I do it for a living.
May. 29th, 2008 01:38 pm (UTC)
I ask to move sometimes, but it's because my butt is so big that I won't fit into some seats. And it's never when a restaurant is packed with people. *says a mea culpa anyway out of guilt*

Question, though. If the service has been really terrible - I mean a half an hour wait between getting drinks and someone taking the order, the food arrives stone cold, no checking back to see if refills are wanted, and another long wait before the check arrives after having had to ask one of the attentive and cheerful wait staff for other tables if it can be brought by our surly server - how low a tip is it acceptable to give, and does the message get through that's there's a connection between the bad service and the bad tip?

(This was for lunch right after my graduation ceremony. Near empty restaurant when we came in. It was a $47 bill, my mom was paying and said to just make it $50, I talked her up to $51 so it would be at least 10%. We didn't speak to the manager mostly because I didn't want the hassle on a special day. We normally tip 15-20%, more if it's a small bill, the wait staff was extra nice, etc. But, yes, I am wondering what the etiquette should be when service is genuinely bad.)
May. 29th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
that's a good question. i always wonder that too. my sisters boyfriend lives on tips, so he always tips well, even with horrendous service. not me. but, i still wonder, what is the "proper" thing to do?
May. 29th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
I take other things into account when I get bad service, like things I know happen behind the scenes that we can't see, but if it's just obvious that the server sucks so does their tip.
May. 29th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
I'd leave 5% for that because even the things that were the server's fault (cold food and if you had alcohol it could have been the bar; I had a table walk out on me once cursing over a drink wait and it wasn't me, the bar was busy and wasn't making the server's drinks. I had brought water, explained the situation, and they still left yelling about me to the manager) the no check back, waiting on the check, and having to ask another server for help.... yeah, bad waiter. They are out there and I work with some of them. If you don't want to talk to management if this happens again, keep the receipt and email or write the company and attach a copy of the receipt.

It would be bad to go off on your server or yell at anyone, obviously, because then it just makes you look like an irate guest who couldn't be helped and no one takes you seriously. Most managers will tell the server that you're an asshole and blow you off, but smile to your face like they care. If I'm upset with service I call a manager over, I don't deal with the waitress. Chances are they don't know they suck or are, for some reason, too busy to do anything about giving bad service. You'll get more satisfaction out of management regarding comping of your bill or discipline of the server.

Also, from the server's point of view, don't leave a note on the bill about the service. When those happen our usual reaction is, "Why didn't they say something while this was going on?" Then there is the whole 'fuck them' group bitch session that happens in the back room and nothing gets done. Basically, manager, manager, manager, corporate if it happens enough.

We had a situation at GB about a month ago where a girl got shopped (secret shopper, there are some things we need to do in order to get a good grade... I rated a 97 on my last one thank you very much!) and got a horrible review because the hostess sat her a twelve top way out of her section and expected her to wait on her full section at the same time. She's a good server, but there's only so much that can be done. This is a manager's fault because they approve things like this, I've never worked at a job where big tops didn't go through a manager first when they were sat out of a section. Some people just can't handle the busy and most managers are just too money hungry to care about what stress it puts the server under. Not saying that this was your situation but I've been at both ends where I've given shitty service and it was my fault completely and where I've given shitty service and it wasn't my fault at all. In any event shitty service is shitty service and I would expect a shitty tip.

It was a bit of a ramble but does that help?
May. 29th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC)
darling, i love you! you rock AND roll!

people are completely self-absorbed. thank the stars i don't have to see any of my customers face to face. they (aka we/me) tend to think the world revolves around them. i mean, people just don't see things. like the no CC sign on the door. or the fact that you have tables that seat 4, not 5 or 10 (at least not comfortably, i assume).

people believe that the customer is ALWAYS right, and that's just not so. there are a few people (thankfully a minority) who believe that they should have EVERYTHING given to them on a silver platter. they are insane. i'll deal with the rest of humanity, thanks!

i've always wanted to trying being a server, but i just don't think i'd last very long.

*bows in awe of your greatness*
May. 29th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
Something people don't understand is that fire codes and the like do exist, they're not just made up, and chairs cannot block isles no matter what.

But, oh, telling some no and being able to stick with it... that's better than smack! I don't think people truly get the sence of absolute joy that spreads through my system when I get to tell someone no.

*you shoud be honored by my lateness* <--- couldn't resist the Kanye poke.
May. 29th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
*that i would even show up to this fake shit*
May. 29th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
Sorry about tipping. I thought it was still 15%
May. 29th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
Depends on the place, honestly. Shoney's, Denny's, places that you go and don't pay much and expect crap service it is 15% but places like, idk, Olive Garden, GB, Semolina's, Bravo, the like, that's 18%. The difference is taking an order or giving service. Put it this way, if they had a special, soup of the day, or competent menu or ambience in the place, tip more.

Fine dining you're looking at 20-25%, maybe 30% if the server is knowledgeable and everything flows seamlessly.

Where have you been! What have you been up to?
May. 29th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
Been going stir crazy. I ended up in the ER last night
May. 30th, 2008 08:49 am (UTC)

I need to get on yahoo more often but I'm on AIM a lot if you have it.
Jul. 16th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
Wow. This has been hiding in the deep recesses of my inbox. My AIM is CapacinoSquirrel, but I don't have internet at home. So I'm not on often.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )