Over the years I’ve held a variety of jobs that have allowed me to live meagerly and afford the simple necessities of life like clothes, music and food. I’ve worked as a librarian’s assistant, restaurant cook, in retail and as a waiter, all of which have provided me with valuable life lessons. However, I recently came to the conclusion that everyone should be required to work in the restaurant business.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dealt with ridiculous people who have seem to have forgotten the rules of dining out. This brings us to my goal for today-to provide you, my gentle reader, with the necessary information that will allow for your next dining experience to be pleasant for both you and your server.
First and foremost, if you’re in a grumpy mood or rude in general, don’t go out to eat. There’s no worse way to start off a meal at a restaurant by snapping at your server right away. Your server’s goal is to make you happy. All you’re going to get from being rude is a server who is less willing to help you out if something does happen. I once had a lady snap at me because, “They hadn’t even looked at their menus yet,” and they’d already been sitting there chit-chatting for a few good minutes. Not necessary-a simple, “Oh, we aren’t ready yet,” gets the point across.
Remember, you’re not your server’s only table. One of the biggest pet peeves as a server is having a table who thinks that it’s the only one the server is waiting on. This is the table that is constantly yelling at the server for something else or complaining about something.
At a normal restaurant on a Friday night, your server probably has four different tables they are waiting on, and if each table is full that’s a possible 16 people they are trying to make happy at one time. You’ll get your refill or the extra napkins– just wait a few minutes.
Your server is probably putting in the food order for your table, running out food to another table, getting the drink order for the table that just sat down and then checking on your table and the rest of the other tables in the section to make sure everything is alright. It’s just like in elementary school-you wait your turn. As your mother always said, “Patience is a virtue.”
Anther issue: Don’t blame bad food on your server. Often times, how good or bad the food is makes a difference in how you tip. It shouldn’t. You wanted your steak cooked well, and you got it medium? It’s probably the fault of the cooks.
Like I said earlier, you’re server wants to make you happy, so when they put in your food order, they’re going to enter it how you want it. But they can’t control what the kitchen does. So, don’t get mad at your server when you receive french fries when you ordered a baked potato. Get mad at the kitchen and let your server know, NICELY, that it isn’t right. Remember everyone is human and we all make mistakes.
Along with that, don’t wait until you’ve eaten and gotten your bill to then complain about something that wasn’t right. There’s often nothing your server can do after you’ve already eaten the food.
Expect to get be asked for your ID when ordering alcohol. If you’re 23 or 24 you’re going to be asked for your ID. Don’t get angry when it happens. The general rule of thumb at a restaurant is 40 and under, look at the ID.
Your server doesn’t do this to be a pain. Servers do it be because they like their jobs; serving a minor results in a $25,000 fine to the person doing the serving, plus getting fired and then possibly getting sued by their employer. It’s not that hard, just remember your ID and give it to your server so they can take a 10 second look, and you’ll get your beer.
NEVER STIFF! Your server should ALWAYS get a tip. They’re getting paid $3.25 an hour, and the rest of the pay depends on you. They’re going to do their best job to make you happy. The job of your server is to: 1) get your order, 2) make sure you get your food, 3) check on you during your meal and 4) make sure you’re happy. If they accomplish this, they did their job.
Granted, there are times where you may get a grumpy server or your food may get mixed up, but this does not justify not tipping! They still did their job, so give them something. If you’re wondering what the going tipping rate is, it’s 15-20 percent
So, next time you go out to eat remember these five things, and everyone will be happy:
1) Don’t be rude-it just makes everyone angry.
2) You’re not the only one you’re server is waiting on-wait your turn.
3) Bad food isn’t your server’s fault-the kitchen cooks the food, not your server.
4) If you want alcohol, show your ID-your server wants to keep their job.
5) ALWAYS tip-even if your server was a mean jerk, they should at least get something for making sure you got your food.
If you do choose to ignore my advice, keep these words of advice from the movie “Waiting” in the back of your mind, “Never F%@K with the people that serve you food.”