Sunday, November 18, 2007

An Open Letter

Dear Restaurant-goer,

Hi, It's me. Your server from last night. After a grueling, thankless night, I spoke with my fellow servers, and we decided that the only reason some of you are so rude is because you are sadly uninformed. I elected myself to give you a few hints. This may not apply to all of you, so if you treat servers like people and tip well- you may want to skip this post.

When your server approaches your table, greets you, and asks you how you are doing, please do not a.) ignore them b.) demand drink or bread c.) wave them away like a pesky fly d.) laugh when your child says, "chop chop" and waves you away. It's rude, and we will talk about you.

When your server repeats your order back to you, please do not a.) sigh and roll your eyes b.) ask us why we didn't listen in the first place c.) change your order completely. We do this because we want to make sure that everything will be correct when it comes to your table.

If your food comes out to your table incorrectly, please do not a.) yell at your server, it's probably the kitchen's mistake b.) suffer in silence c.) eat it and then want to get it for free. There is a polite way to address a problem. Yelling does no good, but then neither does not making the server aware of the issue.

If you need something, please do not a.) whistle for your server b.) slurp your drink as loud as you can until someone notices c.) assume that your server knows what it is you need without asking. I promise that if you whistle or slurp your drink, people will notice and the servers will not be the only ones talking about you.

When it comes time to paying the bill/tipping, please understand that a.) we make $2.13 an hour b.) we work for the same reason you do- to pay the bills c.) $1.01 tip on an $88.24 is not good (that one is for the table I had last night). Servers remember good tippers. We also remember bad tippers. And we have an uncanny knack for spotting both. And treat them accordingly.

I think that just about covers it. I will leave you with this advice. Just. Be. Nice. It won't hurt. Promise. Oh, and do you really want to be rude to the person that is in control of, well, your food?

I hope this helps, Chelsea and the rest of the staff at RL

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Rachel said...

Oh honey, thanks for the grins.
I 'grew up' in the restaurant industry and have done everything from dish washing to being the General Manager.
I feel your pain and hope more people read this.
It's a much more difficult job than people realize. Good luck!

Chris said...

This is GREAT!!!

Kelly Malloy said...

Those are great! I have never been a waitress myself- but I do feel for them. I especially hate when I go out with my mom and she bugs them for EVERYTHING. Like the time she INSISTED we needed spoons right now (even though no one needed one for their meal) because we had to have "proper" settings. I told her they were going to spit in our food. We apologised and handed the waitress a $20 for putting up with her!

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