I always think the way to tell if a man is a nice person, is in the way they treat waiters and bar staff. As a waitress of 5 years, I can honestly say nothing makes your day more than a good old friendly customer. Have no doubt, if you're rude, all the staff will know about you and your table, but equally if you're friendly, I will happily sing your praises. As a waitress I've endured my fair amount of crap, from being called 'mentally retarded' for placing three mints on a table of fours bill, to having my bum slapped by a drunken customer or just the classic rude 'you're a waitress and therefore below me' customer who clicks their fingers at you. And please note, no amount of tip will make me like you after you've commented on what I look like or how I do my job. And if you make a rude comment I may be smiling and joking, but on the inside I am screaming. Loudly. So I thought I would write a good old list (we know how much I like lists) on general waitress life. I wanted to write it in a paragraph post, but all my thoughts got jumbled up and I just had to do it in list form. Grab a pen and paper or save this in your book marks and take note my lovely minions. Please.
1) Do not let your children or the children at your table run around the restaurant. It's not a playground. You may be happy to get them off your back whilst the adults natter, but who's going to get the blame when a 4 year old runs into a waitress carrying a tray of drinks?
2) Do not click your fingers. We are not dogs.
3) I will be less offended if you leave no tip than if you leave a 5p/10p. The latter implies you would've tipped more but something was wrong. If something was wrong, mention it.
4) Don't eat your whole meal and then complain about it. We both know nobody's going to ask you to regurgitate it, so tell the waiter/waitress when they do a check back.
5) 'What drinks do you do?' Read the menu, it wasn't printed for the pretty colours.
6)If you don't pay for something, or if you do a runner and short change us or we miss something off your bill and you don't fess up, guess who has to pay for that mistake? Yup, the waitress.
7) I know it's part of the job, but if your substitutions are really that complicated, why not choose something you actually like all round? A chicken caesar salad is not a chicken caesar if you take off the chicken, replace it with avocado, take off the anchovies, add gorgonzola, take out the olives, take off the tomato, add tuna and require 'absolutely no dressing whatsoever'.
8) Yes, waiters and waitresses are the face of the restaurant but if your food is taking a very long time, or we're out of something on the menu, or it's cold, there is nothing whatsoever within their power to do anything about it. If you want to go and talk to the terrifying humans who are the chefs, feel free, but please don't scream at the waiting staff over something out of their control.
9) (Unless as a waitress we forgot to send your order off- woops!)
10) Don't walk in at a peak time as a table of 10 and expect to get seated straight away. In fact, if you are a table of 10 or more, book way in advance, that way the waiter can mentally prepare themselves for your table.
11) Please don't complain about a service charge, unless the service genuinely has been terrible.
12) If your waitress has forgotten something or hasn't done a check back yet, just be patient. You may have only asked for a coke, but a woman on table 8 has a dairy allergy which everyone needs to be aware of and the baby on table 19 just knocked over a glass of water and table 12's food order is going cold on the pass.
12) Never be the customers who walk in at 10:24 when the restaurant closes at 10:30.
13) When asked if you're ready to order, be honest. It doesn't matter if you're not ready, the waitress can go and clean table 14's drinks or take the food order from table 9 who arrived at the same time as you. But please God don't say 'yes' and then spend 10 minutes contemplating whilst the waitress stands there doing nothing.
Despite this being, essentially, a list of complaints about customers. There are some perks to the job. I've made lifelong friends, I make more in tips than in salary most nights and there are so many inside jokes it's hard to count. But most importantly, it's taught me from a very young age, always be lovely to the waiter.
Ciao for Now!