Now, before all you waiters/servers/etc get all nasty with me…please note that I worked in the food industry for 2.5 years, and loved it. I loved the ridiculousness of the characters that make up the staff/kitchen/clients…I loved working at night and taking home fistfuls of cash. I didn’t even care that I smelled like a lobster boil everyday. So yeah…I’ve been there. Also, I’m going to use the word waiter…though I know people these days want to be called a “server”…you know what I mean.
5 Ways Food Service Could Be WAY Better:
1) Small Talk: This is a tricky one…because I HATE when servers don’t tell you their name or try to be moderately personable, but also…when Sharon wants to tell me about her drag-out fight with her boyfriend last night in the Applebee’s parking lot…I am at a loss. I wish servers would feel that balance just a little bit more and move in which ever direction the customer is leading them. If I am face down in my shrimp salad…you should probably stop bashing your management and telling me how you’re gonna get that job at the office supply company if it’s the last thing you do.
2) Be a Good Suggester: When I was a waitress, I perfected the disappointed glare. This facial expression is perfect and should be used frequently during the ordering process. But beware my friends, use with caution. This was my go-to move when someone is obviously ordering the wrong thing. How it plays out:
ME: “And what will you be having today?”
Customer: “I’ll take the sh*t sandwich combo, please.”
ME: (DISAPPOINTED GLARE)
Customer: “umm…Should I not get that?”
ME: “Don’t do it. Can I suggest something you might like better?”
This is where a big tip can be earned people. We don’t know what the hell we want most times…you work here so I kinda trust you. You also are the Tree of Knowledge when it comes to which menu items aren’t being impregnated by the weirdo cook in the back…so suggest away. Unless they look like a regular, because then they’ll just get offended when you tell them their ordering procedure SUCKS.
3) Free Shit: Giving people free shit was the way that I made TONS of money. And everyone…even super rich people…love feel like they are getting a deal. As a waiter, there are always things you can give away if you want…and no one is the wiser. Free beers may not be an option, but free after dinner coffee? SURE. 16 types of salad dressing on the side so they can do salad suicides all lunch long? SURE. At one point, a woman told me her pooch loved bacon…so what did I do? I brought a woman a bag full of chopped bacon and she showed her gratitude with a big, fat, $40 tip. I’m not advocating STEALING from the restaurant, but maximize the things that are pretty much free game and I promise your tables will love you.
** Protip: If you work at a mexican or italian restaurant…just bring more bread or chips and salsa…NO ONE DOESN’T WANT A REFILL. Just do it and if you make bottomless a reality, we will love you forever. These words have never been spoken:
“That restaurant was pretty good but you know what sucked? That asshole waiter brought us WAY too many free refills of chips and salsa”
4) Honesty: If you forgot something…just be honest. Sh*t happens and customers get that. You know what’s really annoying though? You blaming it on the poor kitchen staff when in actuality, you forgot to put the order in because you were doing shots of vodka smoothie at the bar with that mildly attractive bus boy.
5) Open Your Eyes: I f*cking hate when people ask dumb questions…especially when it’s interrupting an actual conversation that I’m having. Yes, it’s great to check in with people, but you asking how the food is, before I’ve even had a bite means you aren’t paying attention to the situation. Look around and observe. If I’m doing the Exorcist/owl head spin move…I’m LOOKING FOR YOUR ASS. If I’m longingly looking into my boyfriend’s eyes and close talking…I probably do not want the dessert tray shoved in between us at this point.
All this to say…be nice to your servers, people. They work hard, get paid nothing, and survive on your tips and tips alone. That goes for bartenders as well.
Cheers to the Soup of the Fucking Day,