Customer Confession

One of my sisters told me that not too long ago they were at a restaurant chain and there was a very drunk woman with a man at a table near them. The woman sprawled herself out on top of the table then vomited. The police were called and they left. What upset my sister was that the staff just wiped the table off and in their eyes it was good to go again. They haven’t been back there since.

– yourothermotherhere

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Dining Etiquette: How to Get Your Waiter’s Attention

There’s nothing more frustrating during your night out to eat than a waiter who is never around when you need them most.  Either you get the walk-by with no eye contact, the waiter who pretends they don’t see you, or a server that tells you “Sorry, I’m not your waiter.”

First of all, those sorts of things should never happen in a professional restaurant.  If you find yourself constantly being neglected, it may be time to find another restaurant to dine at.  But for all other regular circumstances, there’s are some key things you can do to make it easier to grab your server attention when you need something.

1.  Raising your hand

This is one of the simplest and basic ways to grab your server’s attention.  In order for this to work, however, your server must be on top of their game and circulating within their section, readily available for any sign you may be trying to give them.  But, you have to keep in mind that they are not mind readers and sometimes need a clear sign to know that you actually want something.  Be obvious with your hand raising.  Especially while dining out at a busy, rush filled restaurant.  Otherwise, the waiters may think you’re just tapping your hand on the table or talking with your hands.

2.  Learn your waiter’s name.

I’ve mentioned this before in another post called “Remember to Tip Your Waitress”.  As stated before, it’s actually encouraging for servers to be called by their name instead of something as rude as a finger snap.  Imagine your in a busy, loud restaurant and you need another beer.  You call out “Excuse me, Miss” but the waitress doesn’t catch what you said.  If you raise your hand and say “Excuse me, Ashley “, the chances are much better that they’ll notice you.

3.  Speak with a manager.

Of course, servers should be doing their utmost best to make sure your experience at the restaurant is a pleasant one.  If you’re a regular at a restaurant and sense that a server is disrespecting you or purposely ignoring you : ask to speak with the manager.  They may be able to switch your waiter or waitress and may even speak to the server who was ignoring you in the first place. If you find that you enjoy being served by a specific waiter, ask if it’s alright that you be put in their section each time you come.  Management loves to get feedback on the good…and the bad and will most probably do their best to try to give you the service you need as a guest.

4.  Treat your server with respect.

I can guarantee you right now that if you disrespect your server by snapping your fingers, yelling, making fun of them, or calling them names you will not receive the service you were expecting. I’ve seen waiters purposely ignore customers that were rudely snapping their fingers, so the solution is quite simple.  Don’t do it.  Period. If you are constantly getting bad service everywhere you go, take a step back and take a look at you table manners..  Are you making inappropriate jokes?  Do you find yourself swearing at them?  It may be time for a change in your dining etiquette.

There are always exceptions…

Servers are mostly responsible for being available for their guests.  The things, they aren’t machines.  They are responsible sometimes for quite a few tables and sometimes if one thing goes wrong, everything else gets dragged down with it.  If you see you server trying to take care of a problem with another guest, be patient and remember that they are doing their best in sometimes a crummy situation.  If you can help them out some of the time by making it obvious when you need something, it will make their jobs a lot easier and in return you’ll get the service you expect.

The Waitress Confessions

Dining Etiquette: Cloth Napkins

Have you ever been out to eat at a restaurant that had cloth napkins?  If you haven’t, then here are a few things you should know if ever you do step into a restaurant that has them.  If you have, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Cloth Napkins are NOT tissues

I cannot stress this enough.  I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve walked by a table only to see a guest blowing their nose into our cloth napkins.  To say it’s disgusting is an understatement.  As a server, I am obligated by the management to clear the table the best that I can after you’ve finished your meal – that includes taking off all the cloth napkins.  In all honesty, I do not want to touch a cloth napkin that has (for lack of a better word) gooey boogers stashed away in them.  It’s unsanitary.  So please, if you need to blow your nose, ask for a tissue or excuse yourself and make your way to the rest areas.

2. They are not free to take home

Some how, some way, cloth napkins seem to “fall into purses” or are accidentally left tucked in someone’s shirt on their way out.  Cloth napkins are not free to take home.  They belong to the restaurant.  Leaving with cloth napkins (or anything else of the sorts) is considered theft.  Please leave the napkins at the restaurant.

3. Cloth napkins will always be washed – even if you don’t use it

It’s very nice when guests inform me that they haven’t used their cloth napkin and I can reuse it.  But, to be honest, I wouldn’t want to.  Imagine you’re sitting at a table with your untouched cloth napkin on the table next to you.  Throughout the meal, people are talking with their mouths open, little bits of food may be flying off of forks or spoons, wine is spilled, and crumbs are scattered.  Would you want that napkin knowing it was on someone else’s table before yours?  I don’t really think you would.

You’re right, you may not have used the cloth napkin, but chances are that something has fallen on it.  We would never want to take that chance, so we throw them out to be cleaned no matter what.  It’s very nice of you to want to save us time and  energy, but we make sure they stay clean.

Please…

Remember these few things the next time you go out to eat.  Simple little things can go a long way and make your dining experience all the better.

The Waitress Confessions