6 Things You Love/Hate About Serving

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The Pros and Cons of Being a Waiter / Waitress

Serve chilled.

There are a lot of different points to think about before considering a job as a waiter or waitress. To some it may seem like a step back in their career, but don’t really understand that it has the potential of being an excellent line of work, whereas others may think it may be the best job without realizing the pitfalls.

So, no matter which attitude you’re starting out with, it’s important to consider a few things before getting to the Pros and Cons of being a restaurant server.

Think about the following:

  • What kind of lifestyle do you want?
  • What kind of pay/income to you need in order to feel secure?
  • Are you willing to give up your weekends?
  • Can you manage a customer service job?
  • Are you willing to go above and beyond for customers?

So, moving on along from that, let’s start off with the list of pros of being a waiter/waitress and serving tables.

PROS

  • Always having cash on hand. You make your money mostly on tips, so leaving with your cash after every shift can be refreshing and extremely motivating.
  • Working less hours, but still making money. A lot of times you have the chance to work busy shifts, but end up making a day’s pay in a few hours. Instead of a 9 to 5, 8 hour days, you can make your money in sometimes 5 hours or less.
  • Always active.   Serving tables means running around grabbing this and that, carrying trays, bringing plates to tables, etc. By constantly moving you are constantly keeping fit rather than sitting in one chair for hours at a time, staring at a computer screen. You’re always on the move.
  • You’re around people. Being around people means hearing interesting stories, interacting and laughing. You also get to witness some pretty crazy stuff (read our True Stories) because, let’s face it, there is always something interesting happening if you’re around people. If you’re a social person than this is your best opportunity because the friendlier you are…the better the tips!
  • You have the ability to control your income – a bit. Since most of your income depends on your tips you have a bit of control of how the customers will show their appreciation for your service. The better service you give, they better tips – or at least the better chance of getting a good tip. So if you can charm your way into your hearts and give them the service they need…ka-ching!
  • The ability to be replaced. A lot of restaurants will allow servers to replace other servers as long as they are equal in their capabilities and experience. Being able to be replaced for a shift is excellent if you want a night off or have plans with family. With other types of jobs sometimes you have to take a sick or personal day, whereas with waitressing sometimes you can just call someone up last minute and have someone work your shift!
  • You don’t have to bring your work home with you. Once you’re off the clock, you never have to take work home with you in order to meet deadlines or carry the worry of wondering if the stress of your shift that day will bleed into the next day. Once a day is over – it’s over. Tomorrow is another day, another chance to better your day!
  • Once you’ve worked as a waiter/waitress…you can pretty much work anywhere as a server. Restaurants are always hiring. It may not be the classiest of restaurants, but if you need to move or are stuck without a job you can always turn to serving tables. You can work in hotels, on cruises, fast food restaurants, family owned restaurants, diners…I mean the choices are endless. As long as there are restaurants, there are jobs for servers.
  • Extra money during the holidays and special days. Days like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and around Christmas time you make a lot of extra money. Those times of the year bring in more people, bigger reservations, parties, etc. So there are times during the year where you make a little more than usual. Consider it like your bonus!
  • The good coworkers. What makes working as a server worthwhile sometimes are the people you work with. Your coworkers who have the same kind of work ethic as you will band together and create a strong bond. If you’re lucky, you’ll have other servers helping you out when you’re in the weeds, rooting for you to make more money, help serve your tables if you need a bathroom break, etc. Some coworkers will go above and beyond for you if you’ve got each other’s backs.
  • Employee outings and get-togethers. If you work with a good team, chances are you’re going to want to hang out with the people you work with. Sometimes people plan outings such as going out to a bar for a drink after work, playing team sports on your days off, paintball, going to see movies, house parties, barbecues, staff Christmas parties, etc. If you have good people you work with it’s like a second family where no one is left behind.

CONS

  • With experience and loyalty comes great responsibility. That basically means that the more you know about the restaurant, whether it be from hostess to the back of the house, the more work you may have to do compared to your coworkers. People will rely on you and expect more of you, which could make for even more stress from you. Will you get paid for the extra weight you pull? Maybe not.
  • Having to work weekends. If you’re working in a restaurant, there is pretty much a 100% chance of working weekends. While all of your friend, family and loved ones are off on weekend getaways and having dinner parties, you are the one “stuck serving” all the people out for a night on the town.
  • Always having money on hand. Yes – this is also a pro! But, people who are apt to spending the cash they have could have a major problem with managing their money. Cash is so easy to spend, especially if all the staff is going out for a drink afterwards.
  • After a while – it takes a toll on your body. So many times, servers who have been working for years will feel the effects of carrying heavy plates and constantly being on their feet. Back problems and knee problems are not uncommon. Being a server puts a lot of stress on your body.
  • No benefits. Whereas other companies give their employees benefits from sick days to dental, most restaurants do not provide that for their employees. Are you sick? You have to show up or you don’t get paid.’
  • Having to deal with @$$holes. Yup, I hate to say it, but it’s true. People can be jerks and you will deal with a lot of them. It varies from people who know nothing about the restaurant business, impatient people, people who think you’re their slave, and just plain down-right MEAN people. I’m not saying you have to take whatever crap people throw at you, but if you don’t have a thick enough hide to let some thinks just roll off of you…then this is not the job for you.
  • The bad co-workers. Oh my goodness…there are so many of them! Bad coworkers will ruin your day and can make you lose your mind. It’s always the co-workers who are always late, constantly check their phone in the back, sneak out a million times a night for a smoke break, ignore their customers, talk back to the kitchen, are rude to your tables, asking for replacements but never replacing anyone, and run around looking like they are busy but never actually lifting a finger. It can drive you NUTS!!! Sometimes it makes you think “Why do I bother working so hard?” and can make your motivation just plummet to the ground.
  • Having to work with a different set of “rules” than other jobs. What I mean by that is that the restaurant business has a different way of working. Sure you have the same set of work code and rules as other places…but sometimes not. Now, how shall I put this? For example, the busiest Saturday night you could ever imagine. There are people everywhere! A large party in the back corner is partying it up and talking and laughing loudly. There are kids running around the restaurant and their parents don’t seem to care. The ticket printer at the kitchen is running non-stop and drinks are just flying out of the bar. It’s loud. It’s chaotic. Suddenly, you make a serious mistake. You sent a table’s order, but they wanted to wait. Now the customers are furious that their food came out already and they want you to bring the plates back to the kitchen because they are in no way ready for their meals. You’re scared, because you screwed up and walk back towards the kitchen. Whoever is managing the kitchen is working in overdrive, trying to control everything. They’re sweating from calling out orders, yelling out directions and trying to stay on the ball…and now you have to tell them that you effed-up and throw their whole system off. They look at you at first like they don’t believe you…then you get the “Are you f*cking serious?!?!” look. Next think you know they kick a small garbage bin into the wall and call you an idiot. Is that the way people deal with mistakes in other jobs? No…not really. But, in the restaurant business there is a lot of frustration, especially when under the pressure of a jam packed restaurant. People lose their cool, managers yell, dishwashers quit on the spot with no notice, hostesses won’t seat your section if you do something they don’t like, people back stab and try to screw you over. That’s just the way it works sometimes.
  • The high possibility of becoming angry and bitter. Serving tables after a while can leave you feeling angry and bitter. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself constantly bashing your customers to other servers in the back, judging customers as soon as they sit down, getting down right pissed off about the tips that people leave you. It can get so bad that to a certain point there is nothing good about serving any more. You lose your faith in the good of the human race. The worst is that this kind of behavior is contagious. If you’re around other servers who are constantly angry and complaining about the little things, you’ll start to feel that way too unless you are of VERY strong character. You can turn into someone you don’t like…so be careful.
  • Dining out. Some servers aren’t able to dine out in the way people who don’t serve tables dine out. They will start judging their servers more, especially if they are horrible waiters, and constantly be cleaning up the table or stacking empty plates. They expect the same level of service as they give…and sometimes that’s just not the case. They’ll watch the way people work, hear the phone ringing, watch as their drinks just sit at the bar as they wait, and they know when their steak is over or under cooked. They know how things work and it can distract them from just enjoying their night out. That and sometimes being in a restaurant just reminds them of work.
  • Alcohol/drug abuse. Being in the restaurant business and serving tables can lead to all sorts of alcohol and/or drug problems. Where are you going to go to unwind with co-workers after work at 1 am? Most likely a bar or club. And what do people do at bars and clubs? Well, the answer is pretty obvious. Also, the stress of working in the business can lead to people looking for ways to relax and escape the realities of life. If you’re working as a server at a bar, people by you drinks, shots, and are looking for you to have a good time with them. Sometimes it’s just too hard to say no.

 Just remember…

Not all restaurants are the same.  Each individual restaurant has their own sets of advantages and disadvantages to working as a waiter or waitress.  Part of the decision is at least knowing what could potentially happen and having an all around idea of the good and the bad.  Take both sides into consideration when opting to serve tables and be ready for the best…and the worst.

Good luck!

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Where’s My Food?!

“Serving up the surprising truth about waiters and waitresses”


The Waitress Confessions
recently received a post on its Facebook Page (join the club and like us!) about a documentary film that is in the works by Telsius Productions called Where’s My Food?!.

From what we can gather from the 1.5 minute trailer is that this awesome documentary is about the reality of being a server and how the restaurant business actually is – because let’s face it, you have no clue about it until you’re in it .  Nine food servers are interviewed and spill their guts on the reality of the crazy amounts of money you could make in one shift, the kinds of tips people leave, the disgustingly low hourly salary rate (and that’s my opinion), and “the dark side of the industry” – alcohol and drug abuse.  Not only does it discuss the dramatic side of serving tables, but also the fact that as servers we live off of our tips.  Out sick one day? Well then we don’t get paid.  No sick days means sometimes having to choose between staying home and getting well or going in sick and running ourselves to the ground just so we can pay our rent.

“Great blog, Marie! You should probably be aware of our soon-to-be-released documentary “Where’s My Food?!” that looks deep inside the world of America’s
hard working and underpaid waiters and waitresses.”

 

We thought this would be an excellent trailer to show to you all, whether you are in the service industry or not.  Take a look and tell us what you think.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @WConfessions!

 

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Sometimes It’s Worth It – by Ashley Parsons


Here at The Waitress Confessions we love hearing about your own daily lives as a waiter or waitress.  Here is a post that we found called Sometimes It’s Worth It by Ashley Parsons over at Why We Waitress.  Click here to view the original post.


Sometimes…image (1)If I had a dollar for every time I thought, “I can’t take it anymore. I’m quitting tonight,” I wouldn’t have to be a waitress.  We’ve all had those nights: it’s a half hour past closing time, and your table asks for a dessert menu, or right at last call, the birthday-drunk customer asks for 15 flaming Dr. Pepper shots. You think of responding with a laugh (or maybe flipping the table over), but you don’t. You plaster a smile on your face, ask if they’d like whipped cream on it, and tell them to enjoy the rest of their evening.

…but what about the good nights?

All too often, us servers forget about the times we don’t care how bad our feet hurt because we’re counting the cash in our hands. Every now and again, we get lucky, and customers actually give us what we bust our asses to earn. For example:

About a year ago, this cute couple came in for dinner. She was a nurse, and he was a writer – I guess opposites DO attract. Sometime during my usual schmoozy-small talk, I mentioned that I was an English major and very much into creative writing. When I handed them their check, WriterGuy started telling me about this old typewriter they had: no idea how old it is, but totally beautiful. It was just collecting dust in their attic.

(Side note: I’m obsessed with old typewriters.)

I spent about five minutes drooling over the details they gave me and fangirling over how cool it must be. Then NiceNurse said, “You want it?”

Uh…what?

They didn’t want it to go to some antiques road show. Said it should be with someone that will really cherish it. They didn’t know how much it was worth and didn’t care to.

A month later, they brought me the most beautiful machine I’ve ever seen: a 1936 Royal portable typewriter in almost mint condition, traveling case still totally intact.

Like I said — sometimes, it’s worth it.

by Ashley Parsons

That Restaurant Life by vickyamartin


Here at The Waitress Confessions we love hearing about your own daily lives as a waiter or waitress.  Here is a post that we found called That Restaurant Life by vickyamartin.  Check out her blog and read the original post


 

Back in 2012…

waitress pollwhen I was looking for a summer job, I remember countless people saying to me “Become a waitress!  You will make a ton of money.”  As a college student I thought, how bad could it be?  The money that came from tips sounded appealing and I worked as a cook in a pizza shop since high school so I had some restaurant experience.  I got hired at a Buffalo Wild Wings and there I learned what waitressing was all about. And after swearing to myself that I would never wait tables again for any reason after quitting that job, I decided to work at a local bar and restaurant once again this past summer.

On a busy Friday night, restaurants are a nightmare. Waiters and waitresses are bumping into one another while running food and drinks to tables, cooks are yelling at one another to complete orders, and the printer is spitting out orders to the cooks almost constantly.

As a waitress at a restaurant that has a bar, I have become accustomed to staying up until 2 a.m. waiting for a handful of customers to drink their final beer after last call.  I have met some customers who are always a delight to wait on.  Those people understand that the servers and bartenders are working for far less than minimum wage ($2.13 an hour) and their positive attitudes make it easy to enjoy my job.  They also understand what gratuity is fair and our paychecks are hardly enough to buy dinner at McDonalds.  Their tips are what we use to get by; they are the cash that goes into our pockets at the end of the night.  Then there are the people who do not understand said tipping concept, or the effort being put in my cooks, bartenders, and servers to keep the restaurant sailing smoothly. Whether it is ignorance or a bad experience that prevent these people from tipping, it still should not be the servers pay that suffers.  I work at a restaurant that does not add gratuity to checks and many of times have found that it should be mandatory.

One busy Saturday night in January, I was running around from table to table as usual; refilling Pepsi with the one soda machine in the restaurant, running beer and drinks to customers, taking food and drink orders, and checking to see how my eight or nine tables were doing.  I introduced myself to an older couple got them their drinks and took their food order.  While waiting for their food to come up, I ran checks to other customers who were leaving and took drinks to new arriving customers.

When the older couple’s hoagies were ready, I took them to the table and asked if they needed anything else, and left.  When I returned to their table, what I experienced was something worse than scorn you would receive from your own mother.

“This is unacceptable!” the old man shouted at me.  The woman chimed in and added that my service was terrible as they had watched their hoagies sit on the oven for a whole two minutes while I brought drinks to my other customers. When I offered to get them something else to eat on the house, suddenly nothing was good enough.  If they were not the center of my attention the whole night, I wasn’t a good enough waitress either.  I gave them their check and got a 13 cent tip.  The inability to understand how a restaurant works and lash out at your waitress for something they could not control shocked me. When waiting on many tables at once, it isn’t right to skip out on taking care of one table because of the impatient needs of another.

I realized from this experience why I enjoy my job as a waitress.  Interacting with people and making them smile and laugh while they are out to dinner also puts a smile on my face.  Seeing families together having a good time helps me suck up the fact that I am getting paid $2.13 an hour. And most of the time, goodhearted people are the understanding ones who have worked for minimum wage or less and are generous.

It is possible some people will find a reason to be cheap and skip out on tipping their waitress because of just about anything.  I came across an article from the Huffington Post about a waitress from New Jersey who was left a note instead of a tip by a family of four.  It read “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle choices.” The woman, who was gay, also happened to be a marine and posted a photo of the note to Facebook.  This is an example that people are unethical and look for reasons to not tip.  In this case, the family was banned from the restaurant and the waitress received an outpouring of donations after this incident went public.  While I do not believe that all non-tippers should be banned from restaurants—because sometimes there is good reason for not tipping—I believe if you are eating out at a restaurant and have a server provide you good service, gratuity should be mandatory.  Many people raise children, pay for their education, and pay living expenses from their tips as servers.

As a server, you have to have a backbone.  The bottom line is that if people are not working hard at a restaurant, the restaurant will likely fail.  If all restaurants added in gratuity that could be taken off in the event of terrible service, which does happen, servers would still work hard and things would run efficiently, perhaps even better.  Waiters and waitresses can go home with money to pay their expenses like workers of other occupations, rather than having their wallet pay because of someone’s personal issues.

Written by : vickyamartin

 

Share Your Story With Us!

Happy New Year!

Dear readers,

I hope this holiday season has been treating you well and all the best for the New Year.

I’ve finally finished working crazy hours and double shifts and am looking forward to some well deserved days off.  How about you? Was this holiday season a rough one for you as a server?

Please stick around for new articles and posts this upcoming month.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you all.

Here’s a little picture I thought might brighten your days.  As a server, I’m totally feeling this one.

Cheers!

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True Story: The Proposal

Romantic Dinner
Romantic Dinner by Samantha Ombregt

Last Wednesday, I was replacing a coworker of mine since she needed the day off.  I was getting ready for work when my boss calls me, saying he forgot to schedule a waiter to come in at 4 o’clock and asked if I could come in early.  I said “No problem” and headed off to work.

As I get to the restaurant, I see that there is a table just being seated and since I know it will be mine, I change as quickly as possible.The day waitress has already taken their wine order and is explaining to me the specials of the day when I see another couple being seated two tables down. I’m excited, since I won’t just be waiting around for tables to come in.

I head over to the table, say a friendly hello and inform them of the specials and ask if they want anything to drink.

Just water, thanks.” They both say.

I get them two glasses of water and give them time to look through the menu.  As I head back towards the kitchen, I start a fresh pot of coffee and see the man from the second table get up and head towards the washrooms.  I smile at him as he passes and he motions to follow him.  What the hell? I think.  I walk towards the hallway leading to the bathroom and ask “May I help you?”

He calls me further down the hallway without saying a word, and when we are out of sight of the rest of the restaurant he says:

“I need a really big favor from you.”

“Okaaaay…” I say hesitantly.  He’s reaching around in his pocket for God knows what.

He pulls out a little, tiny plastic baggie and says:

“I’m proposing to my girlfriend and would really appreciate it if you could put it in the chocolate mousse and bring it to the table.”

At first I felt relieved to see a beautiful ring inside and then extremely happy.  How cute!  Then the nerves kicked in after he left the ring with my after I promised to do my part.

What if I lose it? What if I drop it? What if she says no?

All these thoughts were going through my head and I could not imaging what he was going through. I tried to act normal at the table as I took their order.  He was drinking water like a fish (probably because of the nerves) so I made sure to refill it as much as possible, especially after he finished his meal.

She took 15 minutes after he was done eating to finish her meal.  I could feel the nervers as he played nervously with his napkin and probably thinking “Hurry up and finish eating! I want to tell you I want to spend the rest of my life with you!

Then I realized, as I picked up her plate (finally), that I never asked him if he wanted me to just bring the dessert or go one with the service as usual and he’ll ask me for it.  What if he’s changed his mind at the last second?  So, I went to get the dessert menu and told them I’d give them a few seconds to choose.  When I went back to the table I asked her if she was having dessert.  She said “Oh God, no.  I’m way too full!”  So I turned to him and asked if he’d saved any room.  He ordered the chocolate mousse and I said “Excellent choice. It’s my favorite.

So I went to prepare the dessert, place the ring on top of the mint leaves we use to dress-up the mousse, and started walking to the table.  Don’t drop it, don’t drop it, I kept thinking.  I decided to come from behind the woman so she wouldn’t see me approaching with it and so that he would see me from afar and prepare for whatever speech he was going to give.  I placed it on the table, gave him a confident nod and walked away.

There was a gasp and a huge smile, but she never put the ring on and he never took it to put it on her finger.  Did she say yes?  So after 2 minutes I walked by the table without looking, turned around to the man and he gave me a thumbs up sign.  Phew!  She said yes!  There were tears of joy, squeals of delight, kisses, hugs, and phone calls to family.  I brought them a little bottle of champagne “On the house! Congratulations!” I said.

He paid for their meal and hand in hand they walked out of the restaurant.

I was a part of someone’s big day, helped a man propose to the woman of his dreams.  It made my whole night.  Thank goodness I didn’t screw it up.

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Today’s Twitter Confession: Napkin No-Nos

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Surviving the Holidays as a Restaurant Server

DO_Lakeview Restaurant_ChristmasAS THE TEMPERATURE DROPS and December nears, you can feel it in the air that the holiday season is upon us.  Restaurants are a zoo this time of year and already you start to cringe at the thought of hearing those dreaded Christmas songs over and over again during your work shift.  Just knowing that this time of year brings throngs of family get-togethers and staff holiday parties will either make you ecstatic at the thought of all those tips you’ll be earning…or make you want to rip your hair out.

Before the holiday rush starts, you need to be mentally and physically prepared so that you don’t become (as my boss says) “burnt toast” by the end of it all.  Accepting the holidays for what they are is a big part of getting through it, but there are also a few things you can do to make this time less stressful.

Start shopping now.

If you’re giving gifts to loved ones this holiday season, do yourself a favor and start buying your presents as soon as humanly possibly.  The last thing you need is to scramble to find someway to get your shopping done on your break in-between shifts.  Just finding parking will take you at least half an hour!  Not to mention the lineups to pay and having to push through crowds of people at the food court.  You’ll end up feeling frustrated and rushed, which never helps when you have to get back to the hustle and bustle at work.  Getting this done sooner will help clear your mind while on the job, allowing you to focus less on all the things you need to get done for the holidays.

Accept that you will be working longer hours.

Sometimes it’s difficult to transition into the holidays as a server.  If you’re used to getting off work, for example, at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday nights and then all of a sudden you’re staying past closing time, it can be quite a shock to your system.  Plans you make fall through because the restaurant is busier than usual, your feet and arms are even more sore from serving more tables, and you finish your shift feeling like you’ve got no free time for yourself.  It can leave you emotionally discouraged and possibly make you bitter towards your manager for keeping you longer than usual, but you need to accept that that’s the restaurant business.  The sooner you accept that you’ll be working longer hours, the less of a shock it will be when you do.

Get plenty of rest.

I know it’s the time of year where friends and family gather and you’re invited to parties every single weekend, but keep in mind that going to too many outings or staying out until the wee hours of the morning is going to end up catch up with you at work.  Try to get the best of both worlds without compromising your sleep.  Trust me, you’ll feel fresh and alert and keep you going strong rather than waking up with hangovers, wondering how you’re ever going to get through your double-shift.

Remember to stay calm.

We all know the holidays bring around many different types of guests.  You’ll get customers who have never been to your restaurant before and will ask a million questions in the middle of the rush, you’ll have guests who are unaware of proper dining etiquette and leave you feeling like there is no hope for humanity, and you’ll serve tables that seem to have no clue about how the tipping process works.  Just remember to do one thing….breathe.  Go easy on your customers because they are just as stressed about the holidays as you are.  Some people only go out to eat around the holidays in order to treat themselves or just going along with what their family and/or friends want, so it’s part of your job to make them feel comfortable.  Smile and be patient.  If you’re constantly getting frustrated, it’s going to wear you out and tear you down before you even realize what hit you. The calmer you are with “difficult” customers, the more relaxed you’ll feel overall.

Stay healthy.

The holidays bring along a huge assortment of mouth-watering feasts, tasty cocktails and decadent desserts.  Try to stick to your healthy ways by remembering to get plenty of exercise and make sure you don’t overindulge in food or drink.  It will help keep up your energy while serving tables.

If possible, celebrate the holidays on your days off.

Having to turn down holiday plans because of work can really take a toll on you.  You feel like you’re missing out on family time and never get to see your close friends.  While everyone is off of work for the holidays, we as servers are stuck serving.  Our loved ones tell us “Just take the day off!”, but we all know it isn’t as simple as that – but, oh how we wish it were!  Try to organize a dinner party or holiday breakfast on your days off so that you can partake in the festivities as well.

Rant about work with your coworkers after your shift.

There’s nothing like letting off a little steam with the people who understand your job the best.  If you have some coworkers that you really get along with, go out for a drink after work and let it all out.  Get mad, laugh, go on and on about how great or how bad your shift was and get it all out of your system.  Holding everything inside will eventually cause you to explode – possibly taking it out on a customer or causing you to quit in mid-rush.

Reward yourself.

While everyone has time off for the holidays, you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off at work.  So, after the holiday rush is done and before Valentine’s day rolls around, see if you can find some time to take a few days or even a week off for yourself.  Think of it like a reward for working your butt off.  Or, if your prefer, put aside some of that extra money you earned and treat yourself to something that will help you recharge your batteries.  You honestly deserve it.

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This Week’s Customer Complaint

In your opinion, what is the worst thing a waiter or waitress can do while serving you?

Busy Waiter

“Not be present and attentive.  If the only time I see them is when they take my order, bring my food and take my payment, then they might as well be behind a counter asking if I want small, medium or large. Otherwise, check in – often.”   -Richard (Businessman)

Our Thoughts…

Great service is what should set restaurants apart from fast food chains and take-out restaurants. Checking in is one of the most important steps in service and one that should never be forgotten.  All guests want to feel like they’re special and that you’re genuinely concerned about their dining experience.  A quick “Is everything alright here? Can I get you anything else?” can make a whole difference in the eyes of your customers.

Photo credit: Ralph Daily 2011

This Week’s Customer Confession

In your opinion, what is the worst thing a waiter or waitress can do while serving you?

Busy Waiter“Question what I order.  It’s happened before that I ask for something a little unusual (add this, take this off) and the server will say ‘Are you sure that’s what you want?’ It really annoys me because the answer is ‘Yes. This is what I want, otherwise I wouldn’t order it.’  Please don’t judge my choices.”  – Emily (Store Supervisor)

Our Thoughts…

Judging customers choices of food can be extremely insulting.  Making comments such as “That’s a lot of food, are you sure you want that?” or “Not the best choice of wine, but if that’s what you want…” can be taken very badly, leaving the customer feeling self-conscious and anxious. Instead of asking the customer if they are sure of their order, repeat it back to them and wait for confirmation that the order is correct, especially when it comes to “strange” or “weird” food orders.   Never make your guests doubt their orders based on your personal tastes.

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Photo credit: Ralph Daily 2011

 

This Week’s Customer Complaint

In your opinion, what is the worst thing a waiter or waitress can do while serving you?

customers2“Purposely ignore me.  I was at a restaurant one day before 4 o’clock on a Sunday. The waitress took our order, brought our food, but then never came back. We had no utensils or napkins either.  After waiting a while, we saw her walking around and tried to get her attention, but soon as she saw our hands raised she just walked away.  We had to ask someone else to get it. Then, after our meal, we wanted another drink, but we couldn’t find our waitress anywhere. She didn’t even bring us our bill and at that point we decided to leave.  So, we went to the front to pay and saw her by the kitchen chatting up a storm with her co-workers. She saw us leaving and purposely looked away and continued her conversation.  We left and never looked back.”  -Laura (Massage Therapist)

Our thoughts…

This is a clear example of servers purposely ignoring their customers.  Both the guests and the server know it’s happening, which creates a very hostile environment.  Now, not only did the waitress’ lack of work ethic leave the customers feeling neglected, but it also lost the restaurant more sales.  Instead of checking in on her guests every so often and up-selling, this particular waitress treated work more like a social outing.  If you’re honestly looking to build up your clientele, do not purposely ignore them. If you see them trying to get your attention, get to them as fast as possible.  Keep on top of your tables and be readily available to anticipate your guests’ needs. Read more

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Today’s Twitter Confessions: Eat, Pray, Love

All waiters and waitresses feel the need to vent about their experiences in the restaurant business.  Here’s a look into what kind of rants and confessions these servers write about. Can you relate?

 

Want us to feature your Tweet?

Follow us on twitter and send us a tweet @WConfessions! Or, simply use the hashtag  #WConfessions for the chance to be featured on our blog!

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Featured in Total Food Service : September Issue

Good Morning, Everyone!

The Waitress Confessions - Total Food Service
Total Food Service Features “Regular Customers: How To Keep Them Coming Back For More”

I’m happy to announce that The Waitress Confessions was featured on another website!

Please check out Total Food Service  or click on the image on the right to view the article “Regular Customers: How To Keep Them Coming Back For More“

Also feel free to browse previous featured posts:

August 2013 : 8 Tips on How To Train a New Waiter/Waitress

See you soon!

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Today’s Twitter Confession: Water Woes

Want us to feature your Tweet?

Follow us on twitter and send us a tweet @WConfessions! Or, simply use the hashtag  #waitressconfessions #waiterconfessions, or #WConfessions for the chance to be featured on our blog.

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