Friday, March 03, 2006

Waittressing

I found something to talk about!!!!! So, I just had a meeting at work talking about how our servers need to be more professional. Apparently, I am the one they are choosing to do the evaluation on all the other waittresses. Now, some things are obvious when it comes to good service, but can you guys comment on what you expect from a server at a restaurant to just help me think outside the box. I guess it's not even a matter of what to do, but what not to do. Some of the points I want to address are as follows: Proper greeting Proper language Empty glass/plate removal Timely service Anticipation of customer's needs Follow up/closing Maybe you guys would have some stories of bad service or even just things you've noticed before. Sorry, that's about all I got. Work and school are my life right now, and I doubt you want to hear about Spanish, Algebra, or Accounting! :)

6 comments:

Oldnovice said...

We don't eat out often enough to have any good stories; I always gave giant tips to servers who went out of their way to indulge Lucky, though.

At Bitter Waitress Forum servers and customers discuss stuff. Here's a sample of one discussion regarding whether water should be served with/without lemon: [Spew alert!]

I HATE lemon in my water. Please dont assume people want lemon in their water. The best servers ask me first. I hate to fish lemon and seeds out of my water, then its *tainted* with lemon juice .........oh wait, I bet this will be deemed as my fault, I need to tell the server up front I dont want lemon in my water right?

Well it never fails if you bring water with no lemon you get looked at like you have bugs coming out of you eyes. Or if you do put lemon in the person is allergic to lemons. So if you have a specific like or dislike one way to get it the way you want it is to articulate it. By saying water, that is just water. However most that want water and lemon dont always add the lemon part, when ordering. Is it up to the guest or the server? I would say between the two maybe it can be figured out.

Unless someone is deathly allergic, I don't see how it's a big fucking deal.

You don't want a lemon? Take it off the glass. Throw it on the floor, whatever. It's a lemon, we're not trying to tattoo or pierce you; life will go on.

Lemons in my water give me explosive diarrhea.

in deadlobsterland people who make a scene about something as fucking stupid as getting a lemon in their water will be summarily executed in the parking lot and fed to homeless people.


Everyone enjoys waitress stories, and Alison Owings has the latest compilation in Hey Waitress!. Just judging from the reviews, it looks similar to what Studs Terkel put together in his Working...interviews with the workers. There was a little bar in the Randolph Street IC train station called The Caboose. If I missed my train home and had to wait an hour for the next one, I'd stop for a beer and conversation with a group of waitresses who hung out there after their shift. Fascinating women! Sometimes I'd get so interested in their stories that I'd miss the next train!

Th3Yungin said...

As long as she doesn't do anything terrible to my food, whatever waitress i have is great.

I don't mind a couple of plates on the table, and I'm not all that fussy about anything.

If nothing else, i worry more about being another dick customer to someone who has to deal with pricks all day...

Diane said...

Ya know what I hate the most? When the waiter/ress reaches *over your plate or glass* to get something from or place something on your table. All kinds of things can fall off of the hovering arm and shirt sleeve into your food and drink. Lint, dust, skin cells, body hair... Ew.

Sweeping around us while we're eating. I know. It seems to be common sense not to do that but it happens all too often.

Other than that, all we ask for is friendliness, checking back on us once in a blue moon, and tossing a few extra napkins our way for when one of the kids inevitably spills a drink. Oh, and refilling empty water/tea/coffee/whatever glasses as needed.

Seven Trees said...

We went to a thai place when we had somewhere to be soon. We mentioned it to the server, and he was so nice and attentive. He made sure we got our check fast, so we didn't sit there with empty plates, wondering where our bill was while the clock kept moving. He also kind of hunkered down next to the table to tell us the specials, which was kind of nicer than being leaned over and talked down at.

On the bad side, one place we went to, knowing we'd want to box up a good part of dinner for later, really pissed us off. We paid a fair amount for the entree, but the waiter only boxed up what fit in their tiny doggy boxes. No regard for the fact that we paid for a hell of a lot more than that. They probably tossed out a meal's worth of food. Even if htat was restaurant policy, not a waitress decision, she could have explained it to us. Not that I could have crammed more down my gullet, but I paid for it!

Another good story, we had a friend visiting from Africa and wanted to take him to the world's best fish & chip place. It's on an island with a small population and we didn't know in winter they only did take out pizza certain nights. They had no wait staff, but the cook was so sweet, she let us have a table and served us beer and pizza and was so cool about us just hanging out chatting while she served the locals take-out. Now we're regulars and try to tip as big as we can afford.

Seven Trees (also known ans PrepNut)

Link away Anita, and thanks!!

Oldnovice said...

If you're still lookin' for tips, I finally have one from personal experience:

We fell down the rabbit hole on our first day in Louisiana this week, so it was after 9pm by the time we got around to dinner. We like to cater to the restaurant across the street from the cheap motel because we're old and can't see well to drive after dark. This particular restaurant closes at 10pm.

We were the only customers there, so the only server only had to serve US. Hadn't taken 3 sips from our water glasses before he was asking if we'd like more water. That was only the BEGINNING of his catering to our non-needs. TIP: Don't cater automagically to non-needs. Check FIRST!

We knew everyone was waiting on us to close and go home, so we didn't linger and left a good tip for the boy who was probably as tired as we were from a long day.

No. 2 said...

Hmm. That's interesting. I know I tend to over-check on my tables, but I more or less just walk by randomly without saying anything so that if there was a concern or need, atleast they would have the opportunity to stop me. On the other hand, if I see a just about empty glass I would ask if they needed another beverage.

My theory on drinks is that if they are going to be ordering dinner, have just about finished their beverage, and haven't finished eating or haven't received their food, I automatically bring them their free refill with out asking. If they are about done eating and have an almost empty beverage, I always ask if they'd like another.

Yet, when it comes to drinks that aren't free refills, I ask everytime, and try to wait until there are just a couple sips left in the beverage before I ask.

My goal is to anticipate the customer's needs even though every customer is different. Diane, I liked your comment about the reach over. I noticed that I have done that sometimes and have since made an effort not to do that. I would have never even thought of it!

Thanks!