The one thing that began my loathing of working in the customer service industry (Note that I still work as a waitress now) is the rare few who can ruin your whole shift by an unwanted attitude of thinking that they’re better than you. There are some people who downgrade the work of waiting tables as ‘easy’ or ‘simple’. (“Monkeys could do it” – Said by a customer of mine last year.) To those people; Please oh please show me one ‘easy’ job that requires ALL of the following skills:
- Multi-multi-multi tasking.
- Hand/body/feet/mind coordination.
- Heavy lifting/ Long hours on your feet.
- Walking. A lot.
- Money handling / quick mental math when inconsiderate idiots want to split it 3 ways and stare at you blankly while you do the maths for them. You have phones people!! Use them and save me 5 minutes while I have ten other tables staring at the back of my head wondering why I’m with you lot for far too long to take a payment.
- Mandatory good hygiene.
- Empathy and Sympathy for complete strangers.
- Public speaking.(Big tables / Parties)
- Sales & Pitching. Up sell up sell up sell!! “Would you like some onion rings with your burgers and chips and wings and prawns?” Funny thing is, 8 times out of 10 they say yes.
10. The ability to work quickly and effectively in a fast-paced environment with a smile on your face and an upbeat attitude.
The stories waiters and waitresses could tell. It would make you laugh, cry and on some points outright shocked. Luckily for me, the bad days are rare now that I work in a popular local restaurant only 10 minute walk away. But I have had my fair few of bad tables.
To all people who enjoy a nice evening out on the town and enjoy a lovely meal at a restaurant. If you follow these Do’s and Don’ts, you’ll not only have a wonderful evening but you would also have made your server’s job just that bit easier.
Think that you’re the first person to reply to our compulsory “How was your food?” question with “I didn’t like it.” handing them an empty plate. It wasn’t funny the first time nor is it funny the hundredth.
Snap your fingers. EVER. I’m not sure if I’ve just been unlucky with customers but the amount of people who have attempted to get my attention through snapping their fingers has surprised me. Don’t do it, it makes us want to snap your fingers off.
Come into the restaurant 15 minutes before we close. I understand that you’re hungry and you can’t be bothered to cook and no shops are open but- we’re tired, hungry and you’re extending our closing duties for another 40 minutes because we can’t DO any of them when you’re there!
Let your children run free. This is a restaurant. Doesn’t matter if its family friendly or not it is not okay to allow your kids to run around the waiters feet and then have a massive freak out when we step on your child’s foot. And if they’re screaming bloody murder please have the decency to go outside until they calm down. Not only do you effect the workers but you effect the other customers experience which most of the time effects our tip.
Ask “is that booth available?” or “Is that table over there booked?” No. No it is not, otherwise, I would have seated you there.
Be grumpy with the seat we give you when you haven’t made a reservation. If you don’t reserve we are obviously not going to seat you in the popular and BOOKED seats such as the booths. We all love a booth. However, if you haven’t reserved a table, please consider the booths booked until told otherwise!!
Order your food while talking on the phone. It’s outright rude and just whispering “Steak” doesn’t help.. “How would you like it cooked?” “would you like fries or wedges?” “Do you want any sauces with your steak!?” It makes our life harder and you won’t get the steak you asked for because we can’t read your mind on how you’d like it cooked!
Call us over and then ponder on what you want for ten minutes. In the time it took for you to order a diet coke with no ice and a burger with no bun and salad instead of fries with a side of onion rings, I could have taken table 8’s order, cleared table 12 and take payment on 11.
Be stupid, or order stupid things. Now this may be just a pet peeve of mine but I hate it when a woman orders a double stacked burger with cheesy fries and a milkshake. “Oh no! none for me, trying to watch what I eat.” When I offer the dessert menus. Then there are some orders I’ve taken are just plain bizarre as well as stupid; “I’ll have a decaf espresso please.”
And finally, Don’t ask stupid questions!!
“You’re fully booked? Are you sure?” / “What the difference between the pork and the beef ribs?” / “Do you have menus?”
Tip! Its a very small thing and not everyone does it however its common courtesy. We all know most waiters are on minimum wage, that little amount of only £6.35 an hour. But if everyone tipped that could go up to around £11.50 an hour! Think about it, every little helps. (Excluding pennies, they help no one. If you didn’t want them, then why the hell do you think we would?!)
Look at us when we’re speaking to you. Its such a simple thing that so many forget to do, they’re too busy updating their status on Facebook or instagramming their food instead of thanking the person who just got it for you.
Stay at home if you can’t eat anything we serve:
Customer: Do you have any Vegan options that are gluten free?
Me: We have salad, soup and olives.
Customer: *irritated face* nothing else?
Me: You don’t eat anything else…
Be honest when we do our check up. If you don’t like what you’ve got TELL US. Don’t say, “its fine!” when I come and ask how everything was at the end of the meal and then complain that you didn’t like steak because it was too rubbery and your side never came. We can’t fix the problem if you don’t tell us the problem in the first place!
Remember that we are human beings too, with feelings and shit. We do take it to heart when we get customers calling us stupid because they haven’t got their fries yet or the classic “You had ONE JOB!” Be nice to us and you’ll get a happier server. Happier server better service.