Monday, April 8, 2013

10 restaurant tips

I have recently fallen in love with Bitchy Waiter, a blog about the service industry. He wrote an article today for CNN's Eatocracy that got me thinking...

Some people probably don't know how to get good service in a restaurant. Here are my 10 tips to getting great service:

  1. Be happy and upbeat. Nothing makes a server dread going to a table more than when you walk in with a shitty attitude. They know they aren't getting a good tip and they sure as hell aren't going to enjoy waiting on you.
  2. Order off the fucking menu. For the love of God, people. If you are at Applebees, fine. If you are a restaurant that has a chef, those dishes were thought out and created a certain way. And trust me when I tell you that special ordering throws EVERYTHING off on a line and pretty much guarantees bringing that kitchen to a screeching halt. If it is slow, it is one thing. If they are getting their asses kicked, order off the fucking menu.
  3. If you do have special requests or allergies, be extremely clear to the server. Don't lie. If you say you are allergic to red onion, we are going to have a level 9 flip out in the kitchen because EVERYTHING has onion in it. Everything will stop while we make sure to not make you sick. No cook, chef, or server wants to kill someone. Respect us, we respect you. (I am looking at you, gluten allergy)
  4. This is something I am TERRIBLE at: order at the same time. If you have 1/4 glass of wine and your dining companion orders a drink, order one too if you know you are going to drink it. The server has other tables and doesn't want to wait on just you.
  5. Understand that shit happens. And trust me, the kitchen is typically full of a bunch of dumb asses with ADD. We screw up. Don't take it out on your server. They will come back and rip us a new one, no need to do the same to them.
  6. Spend money. Servers calculate tips based on what you order. If everyone gets water and orders the cheapest pasta on the menu and they have another table who ordered two bottles of wine and steak...well, do the math.
  7. Ask questions. Every server would MUCH rather answer your questions about a dish than send food back to the kitchen. We don't make it easy on them, trust me. We want to know why that food came back. If it is because they ordered the chicken dish over cous cous and the customer doesn't like cous cous, that server is going to have a very unpleasant talk with the kitchen. Every server is happy to make recommendations. If they say, "I have never had that, but it smells good," or some variation, get up and leave. If the servers aren't eating the food, you don't want to eat it either.
  8. If there is something wrong with the food, TELL YOUR SERVER. I never do this and just suck it up. The difference is, I still tip the same. Do not take bad food out on the server, they have no control. If you tip well, that server is going to remember you. They will also remember you if you tip poorly.
  9. Respect closing times. If you walk in at 9:45 and the restaurant closes at 10:00, you have pissed off your server and the kitchen, who probably already cleaned everything. Sometimes these people have been there for 12 hours and adding another hour to that is frustrating.
  10. Be nice, respectful, honest. Just don't be an ass hole.
I completely respect that the customer has rights too...I really do. If you have terrible service, the best way to deal with it is to smile and leave an appropriate tip for the service you received. It's never worth getting mad. But, being understanding and laid back is huge. You wouldn't want people coming to your job and yelling at your for every little mistake that you may (or may not) make.

1 comment:

J o s e y said...

Yes, yes yes. I agree with all of this, 100%.