Edited by ChefBoyarG - 2/4/13 at 8:23am
Edited by ChefBoyarG - 2/4/13 at 8:23am
Some of the items mentioned are dead-on. A server should never touch a glass by the rim when serving, it is unsanitary. Drinks should be filled before empty, but you should also be a little understanding if a server has a large section. You're likely one of many tables that person is taking care of. Thing is, there are too many personalities to really have a definitive answer of what's "the worst thing a server can do", because things one person may like-such as attentiveness-may come across as annoying to another guest, who wants to be left alone unless they ask for something. It's impossible to know off the bat what every person is going to be like unless you've had them before.
Oh my goodness, I get this at the supermarket from the cashiers. I just stare at them with 0 personality. Works all the time.
This simple phrase... uttered slightly above a whisper, usually works very well.
"Get A Helmet"
This is from the kitchen side of things, not the customer side, but promising something to a guest that we either do not have, is not on the menu, or telling them it is served one way when it is in fact served another. For example, I had a server tonight tell his guest that her cake was in the oven and would be out shortly, so she was expecting a hot piece of cake. In fact, our cakes are baked elsewhere and we serve them from the reach-in (due to the mousse layer in the middle). She was upset when the server brought her an obviously not fresh-from-the-oven piece of cake. Had it been fresh from the oven (or heated up as the server tried to ask me to do) the it would have been ruined.
I agree Colleen , they come across as being on an ego trip and it undermines the whole purpose of what the owner/establishment is trying to provide.
Bad service is one thing, I'm not one to accept it, but having served for a little over a year at an upscale place and then reading through this thread confirms my thoughts from when I did, a lot of people seem to go to restaurants to have their own personal Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares or whatever show is your favorite. They come to the restaurant with their little mental scorecards and instead of enjoying the meal and expecting proper service they are praying for F'ups so they can complain and start a problem, so when things aren't going bad they invent unreasonable requests and expectations. They aren't there to relax, enjoy good food and drink and the patrons company with which they came, all with good service. No they are their to pettily pick apart every aspect of the experience whether the overall was very good or not. They are their to test those people who are below them on the food chain, pun intended.
There is no pleasing some people, they are miserable and looking for problems. Unhappy, or pretentious and spoiled, maybe high on their own past/current work or career, whether in the industry or not, who knows?
Bottom line is, which someone alluded to, the server is their to serve you, but they are not your personal servant.
A server should do his/her job properly, with respect and without some look of annoyance on their face, without any condescension and without being overly aggressive or annoying, but sometimes customers think they're also supposed to shine their shoes, walk their dog and gargle with their spit.
Now, a server should do everything they can to make you happy within reason and maybe even go a little above and beyond as long as it doesn't start a domino/trickle down effect on the other tables, wait staff and kitchen that negatively impacts the rest of the paying customers.
But as someone else alluded to, the server shouldn't be looking to freelance either, they should adhere to their establishments expectations, rules and style. Sometimes when people use the phrase "within reason", it leaves a lot of room for interpretation by the bearer of the phrase.
What is above and beyond within reason? Should the server even be making that judgement call?
I guess a lot of that comes down to how well the specific establishment is ran and therefore how well they hired and the common sense of the individuals who are employed there.
There are a lot of bad servers out there, there is no doubt about it and I wouldn't stand up for them, I am not standing up for them. But there are a lot of good servers who people will label as bad, cause well, those people are probably just dicks.
And I'd like to comment on the introducing themselves by name thing... For serious? Come on haha. I mean I get the dislike for the 2 and a half minute introduction with life story followed by specials and special drink run down the list with no real care, but it still takes an additional 4 minutes and it's fake and mistake riddled. I'm not a fan that either.
But there are people that get annoyed by a simple 8 second, "Hello, I am Donnie, I will be your server tonight.", thing with nothing really else?
I prob shouldnt answer this rt now, still fresh in my mind from today....
1) blaming me or us for their screwups, then treating us even worse thereafter.
(todays example: choice of potato on the dish, only she doesnt ask, she puts the order in,
then we get her back and tell her mashed. She rolls her eyes says nothing and runs rudely
back to tell the cook, because she'd put in french fries. Oh but we're being problem customers.
Went downhill from there.
2) running around abruptly slamming things down, cutting off your sentences cuz theyre sooooo
ing busy, when they only have 3 tables.
3) NOT bothering to flirt with me when theyre messing it all up, then I cant even tip them for THAT.
MAN that bugs!
When ordering I asked about how big the salad greens was that came on the plate with the special, because if it was small, we'd order an additional salad. A very cordial and friendly waiter said it was like a garnish. I ordered the endive walnut mustard vinaigrette salad for $14 to split with my partner. Salad comes, we eat. Main comes and that salad was no garnish. It was a full size salad. He said garnish to make us spend another $14. He did bring two glasses of wine for me to choose from though. I ordered mussels. The guy kept emptying the pot cover (for empty shells) constantly so I had to put the shells in with the sauce again since he didn't get back in time. Obviously. He only had to empty it twice, since the lid was half the size of the contents of the pot. Another runner told me to put the bread in with the wine saffron sauce as he walked by with an armful of empty plates - thanks, it not my first bowl of mussels. On top of all that the food was mediocre.
What happens to me quite often is being seated and ignored. Other patrons come in after me and get served first. Or they don't bring all the plates out at the same time for a table of four. I don't mean 30 seconds to go back to the kitchen if there aren't a million runners. I mean five minutes. Or wait forever to bring the check, and then draw a smiley face on it. Waiters also have the ability to avoid eye contact at all costs. Ones that act like they are in control, and if you are missing your glass of wine or bread, you'll have to wait until they decide it's time. I've had meals without my wine or side because they just won't look at you or are "too busy" to even acknowledge you are there - even though they can see you through peripheral vision. I understand what busy means, but at least acknowledge that my meal is incomplete and I'll wait until you get a moment to bring mustard or the the drink you forgot.
Another pet peeve is a waiter asking "are you still working on that?" I'm not working. I'm having a pleasurable experience, and eating is not supposed to be "work." Also, taking plates away from those that finished before everybody is done eating. Take away the plates all at the same time.
...I also don't like when they try to act flirty with my husband, and totally ignore me, thinking they're going to get a bigger tip if they honey-up to the man at the table. When that happens, I suggest to my husband he tips them a dollar, not a cent more. Nothing gives me more pleasure than sticking it to them like that.
I can have patience and be empathetic toward waiters/ waitresses. As long as I'm dealing with humans and not robots, I expect the unexpected. We all have a right to have a bad day and not have others judge us or make us feel like we are less. Being front of the house, they have to deal with all sorts of people in a matter of hours, e.g., people who are having a bad day and try to take it out on them or people that like to leave $1 in order to humiliate them instead of giving them positive feed back, etc. I won't however put up with rude servers... I don't care how bad a day he/she might be having, he/she doesn't have a right to mess with mine. I will not hesitate to point out rudeness and I certainly won't hesitate to stand up and go elsewhere. I learned that by being a server for 12 yrs: when folks decide to walk in my restaurant, they are giving me the opportunity to provide excellent service. These days there are sssoooo many choices, yet they gave me the opportunity to serve them and earn a tip...The least I can do is be kind and respectful
I agree with most of what others have said about bad habits and poor service. Bad service is the fault of bad management and due to absence of appropriate staff training.
However, I also really are put off by the staff talking down to me. Typical is explaining what a French or Italian phrase means. The younger the staff member is the more ridiculous this seems to me.
If a restaurant serves wine and has a corkage fee then they need to have a sommelier or be trained about serving wine.
I cannot stand being served and expensive bottle of wine only to have it served in a Mason jar glass.
If the wait staff listen to you when you ask a question or request and act accordingly things are good. “How was everything” has degenerated to a euphemism. If the restaurant is one where I actually will attend again, I take the time to emphasize the things the staff did well or shortcomings that need attention.
I tip according to the server’s performance.
(Photo of a totally unrelated restaurant and unknown server who did not serve me!). This thread needs a pic, that's all.
Yesterday I lunched with a good friend at a restaurant we each patronize on a regular basis. At meal's end, I used my mall discount card and my rewards card and the server emphatically and condescendingly informed me that I could not use both at once. After sheepishly explaining that I patronize the restaurant all the time and have used both in the past, she informed me that she is the training manager who trains the staff and that she knew I could not use both cards together. She then conceded that she would "ask the manager." She came back profusely apologizing for being wrong and that "no one told her they'd changed the rules."
Kinda put a damper on my thoughts of going back to my favorite restaurant.
The absolute, most horrible thing a server can do to me is not acknowledge me when I get seated. When I am in your section and you are headed to another table; say "hello", tell me that you will be with me shortly...heck, tell me that you don't like what I am wearing,,,just acknowledge that I am here.
I have had many nights where servers do not get a dime out of me. I have had many nights that no matter now busy a server is; they acknowledge every one of their guests and gives 100%; and that is who goes home with the prize when I pay for my meal.
I was a waitress for years and I expect top service whether it be from McDonald's or 14th Street.
Hi there, first of all to me service should be unnoticeable.Nothing beyond that is not right and that's the reason why it's a real work and not simply a job.
It's kind of hard to really achieve.I'm a kind of easy guy and rarely tell if anything goes wrong assuming they're not total jerks.I eat in restaurant to enjoy myself and the company of my friends. Food, atmosphere, service should tend toward that.I don't like when server does too much as to reassure himself or the other way does nothing so end up with empty bottle, plate,bread basket and wait (that's suppose to be their job) so the conversation slowly goes down and everyone on the table stare to each other annoyed.
To answer the thread I'll take it from a kitchen point of view : EVERYTHING but the most is that when they don't show up to pick up the plate when I call so the plate gently cools down on the pass. And also when they don't have a clue what's in the plate I don't intend them to know how to make hollandaise but they should know there's yellow eggs and butter in it and that sole is a sea finish.
Good waiter ,I' think, is not that common and when you get one it's appreciable. Oh when they ask "what table it is":I work in small restaurant, you ordered it, the ticket is on your side of the pass ,so quit asking.
I guess I' m an easy customer but at work I seem to have issue with waiters/resses.
And to be honest here in France tips is not a part of one's salary and is normally shared with everyone working in the restaurant except the owner (at least in small traditional restaurant.
"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."
"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."