After being a server for three years now, I feel as though I have developed plenty of new pet peeves. Here are a few of the biggest “Waitress Problems” I encounter on almost a daily basis. Hopefully, after reading this you can either relate as a fellow server, or (hopefully) you can remember these next time you go out to eat.
- 1.) “Which receipt do I sign?”
*sigh* The receipt clearly and boldy states “Customer Copy” on the top of the second receipt that is printed out. Therefore, I would assume that you are a customer and would then keep the customer copy and return the signed copy to me. That only makes sense, right?
- 2.) “Do I pay here, or at the table?”
I have never understood this question. Here’s a little rule of thumb to keep in mind, if you are eating at a sit down restaurant where you order at the table, eat at the table, and the receipt is brought to the table, then yes, you PAY AT THE TABLE. Make sense? Please do not approach me while I am ringing in a party of eleven’s order with cash in your hand asking me to pay the bill. I will politely tell you that you pay at the table and that I will be there shortly. (While silently cursing you in my head for making me forget what order I was on.)
- 3.) Finger Snapping
This is the one thing that will guarantee that you will no longer get excellent service from me. I have actually refused to continue serving customers because of this right here. Whenever we are incredibly busy, like on a Friday or Saturday night I will let my tables know ahead of time that the food may take longer to get out due to the rush and that service may be a little slower than usual for the same reason, but I do promise to do my best. When a table snaps their fingers at me to get my attention it makes my blood boil. How hard is it to politely stop me as i walk past? Last I checked I make eye contact with my tables as I walk past, nor do I have superhuman speed as to where they cannot get my attention as I pass their table. NEVER EVER EVER EVER snap your fingers at a server. We are not your dogs, we are not here to grant your every command, our job is to make sure you have a pleasant experience as our guest while serving you yummy food. It’s rude. I don’t like rude people. Sidenote: If your server “accidentally” spills hot soup all over you after doing this, it wasn’t an accident.
- 4.) Messy Kids
Lord bless the parent’s who teach their kids manners or parent’s who buy those nifty little disposable table place mats for toddlers. Now, being a big sister to a three year old little boy I am fully aware that kids are just messy little things by nature. I get it, I do. However, I also know that parent’s have the ability to tell their kid “no” when their kid is throwing food, deliberately, on the floor, across the room..etc. Who would have thought? I am not a custodian, don’t let your child leave a GIANT mess of squished up soybeans and sushi all over the floor and the table. If they make a mess, ask me for some napkins or if you leave me to clean it up then apologize and leave a bigger tip. Simple as that. Taking the time to sweep, mop, scrub the table, and pick up 49 pieces of squished rice and baby snacks that have been in a kids mouth takes time away from my other guests and is disgusting.
These things are seriously God-sent in a servers world.
- 5.) “There’s 14 of us, do you have room?” ….. “AN HOUR WAIT!? THIS IS RIDICULOUS!”
Rule of thumb: If you have more than 8 people on a weekday, call ahead and make a reservation. If it is the weekend and you have a party of 6 or more, call ahead. If you don’t call ahead and you walk in with a big party of people on a Saturday night during rush and you remind me that your party has been waiting for over 30 minutes and there has been various tables that arrived after you but has already been sat, I will kindly remind you that if you would call ahead next time I could guarantee you a table. It shouldn’t be rocket science. It also should make sense that if I have a table that can only seat two and there is a table of two that just walked in I will sit them a lot faster than a table of 8 that requires two open tables pushed together. Another thing that will drive your server absolutely bonkers is if you remind your server of how long you had to wait to be seated once you are sat. Just don’t do it. It’s your own fault you didn’t call ahead, we have no sympathy for you.
- 6.) When customers change their mind after ordering.
“I know I just spent twenty minutes staring at the menu to figure out what I want to order, and I know that you put in my order fifteen minutes ago and it will be coming out any minute now.. but I changed my mind and I actually want this instead.” Okay, that’s fine, people change their mind all the time.. BUT THEN DO NOT COMPLAIN WHEN IT TAKES LONGER FOR YOUR FOOD TO COME OUT OR YOU GET YOUR FOOD FIFTEEN MINUTES AFTER EVERYONE ELSE.
- 7.) Ordering Etiquette
Never ever talk on your phone while trying to order from your server. It is completely rude. I personally won’t even come to your table to take your order if you’re on the phone. The second thing about ordering etiquette is DON’T FREAKING WHISPER YOUR ORDER. If I have to ask you what you said over three times because I can’t hear you over the conversations of thirty other tables because you decide to whisper your order I’ll give up and just write down what I thought I heard and you won’t be happy. Is your dinner a secret? No. Speak up. Lastly, I get it if you don’t like sushi.. It’s a VERY acquired taste. I will suggest things to help you out, and even try to bend some recipes for your taste so that you can enjoy your meal with your family.. but do not sit there and tell me that you think our food is disgusting. It’s an insult. You chose to eat at a sushi bar even though you hate sushi. Shut up or go eat somewhere else.
- 8.) “How is everything?”
*blank stares from customers*
Wait… I’m sorry did I ask this in a foreign language? No? okay, THEN ANSWER ME.
- 9.) TIPS
I could write an entire blog solely on how to tip and tip etiquette.. but i’ll save you the trouble and just make a CONDENSED list about tipping.
- We are making $2.13 an hour and get taxed on the tips we do make. Therefore, our checks are always zero/void. Please remember that next time you want to leave less than 10%
- Servers expect 15% tips and are usually insulted if it’s only 10%
- Only leave your tip in coins if you have absolutely NO paper money to leave. We aren’t a bank.
- No, bibles, religious pamphlets, coupons to other restaurants, and business cards are not tips.
- When considering your tip don’t just think about how much your food cost, also consider how long you have sat at the table after your meal was finished. The longer you sit there, the less money I am making because you are occupying tables that I could seat.
- If you have a large party of over eight people, expect gratuity to be added. However, at the restaurant that I work at we do not have gratuity. Do the math and leave 18 – 20%.
- We remember bad tippers, trust me.. If you leave me a crappy tip I won’t serve you again. Just remember, we also know your name because your debit card said it. You have now been listed in our mind as a cheapskate.. and an a$$hole.
- 10.) Don’t even try to demand a refund when you ate all your food.
Felt this was best explained by a picture.
- 11.) Sit where I sit you.
There are very few exceptions to this rule. Servers can tell a lot about how their table will be by whether or not they sit where they are told.
- 12.) NEVER WALK INTO A RESTAURANT 15 MINUTES BEFORE THEY CLOSE
Only exception are To-Go orders.