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what is the worst thing a server can do to make you mad? - Page 4

post #91 of 483
Years ago when our kids were 2 and 4 we went out for dinner at the Keg.  I packed my usual backpack full of colouring books etc to keep them busy while we enjoyed the meal, and the kids were amazing! We had the best time and decided we would go listen to some jazz before going home. (it was maybe 8pm at this point) So we went for a walk and found a place that had a band that early and we were greeted very rudely by the host at the door and they were looking at our kids as if they were going to trash the place or something but they did allow us in and we ordered dessert for them.  The server was just as cold as the host and honestly we let the kids eat their dessert and then we left.  I have never felt so unwelcome in an establishment as I did that night and you know.. they were judging our kids to be brats based on their ages as opposed to how well behaved they were in the place.  

Another time in Montreal we were at a place in the older part of the city and since they didn't offer kids portions, we split our meals with our kids.  I had ordered spaghetti for my daughter and myself and what they brought out was far too spicy for her to eat and when I sent it back the server insisted that I had ordered the spicy sauce when in fact I had ordered the mild and she made it out to be such a burden on her to go back and get me the right dish. 

So my complaints... pre-judging us as soon as we walk through the door and making their error appear to be my fault.
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post #92 of 483
After the absolute worst service possible, being followed into the cloak room an being asked "Where's my tip??"

Roman
post #93 of 483
That one's easy to deal with, Roman. Look the server straight in the eye and say: "OK, here's a tip: Consider a different career."

For year's I've threatened to make up rsvp cards and envelopes. The envelope will say "a tip for you." The cards will either say the above, or "change your attitude."
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #94 of 483
I bet after getting a card that says change your attitude they might just wake up the next time they see you... IF you choose to go back after having bad service.
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post #95 of 483
OK, I just can't resist.

This wasn't just the server, it was the chef too.

I like Mexican food, but don't have it very often because there are only a couple of Mexican restaurants in the area and the one I like is always packed right out to the sidewalk.

So . . .  I was talking to a friend and he said "You should try "X". (name withheld to protect the guilty, and because I think they're crazy enough to come after me). The food is awesome!"

First, it takes a private detective to find this place. It's not in Google, everybody I talk to has heard of it but nobody knows where it is. It's like the Secret Restaurant. Finally we got directions from someone. Turns out it's in an unmarked back section behind a bar that's built into the first floor of a house. (it's got "atmosphere" )  I got the phone number from the friend and called up to find out what their hours were. The woman who answered said they were serving until 10pm.

Cool. We get there at 8pm, it's mostly empty, so we sit down at a table and wait. And wait. And wait.

45 minutes later the waitress shows up, drops off some menus, and leaves. Comes back in 15 minutes or so and announces, unprovoked "My feet hurt and I itch". I feel bad for her, but the itching thing was way too much information.  We ordered some chips and salsa, I think I ordered a burrito and my wife ordered a quesadilla. She takes our order and leaves.

We're starving. No chips & salsa, no tortillas, no crackers, no drinks, no nothing, and we've been there almost an hour.

This is the best part. About 5 minutes later, the chef storms out of the kitchen and starts yelling at us and says "How about I come to your house a 9 o'clock at night and make you cook for me?!" I'm kind of on tilt at this point, thinking that the general purpose of a restaurant is that someone makes food and people come to eat it. Maybe I'm wrong. Who knows . . .

In any case, I have a personal rule about not antagonizing crazy people with sharp knives, so I just stared at him. When he went back to the kitchen we got up and left.

I can honestly say that was the worst and most bizarre service I've ever had.

Terry
post #96 of 483
One of the worst experiences I have had with a server is at my local pub.  I am not a stranger to the place and go with my family occasionally plus my girlfiends and I meet there once a month for food and beer.  At one of our regular outings the server asked us how long we were planning on staying because later they usually had 'regulars' who came by.  This was before we even ordered our food!  Keep in mind that the table was not reserved and we are also regulars - having been meeting there monthly for the past 10 years.  I mentioned that we were also regulars and the server replied that this wasn't our regular day. It was and I said so.  She replied that it wasn't our usual time.  It was and I said so.  I think we may have stayed longer than usual that evening.
post #97 of 483
Web monkey,

You wrote,

In any case, I have a personal rule about not antagonizing crazy people with sharp knives...

I sure wish people showed me that kind of insight and sensitivity.

BDL
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post #98 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefBillyB View Post

Pulling up a chair and taking my order, like i'm buying a used car.

This absolutely makes me want to leave a restaurant.
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post #99 of 483
 It irritates me when you're ready to pay the bill and leave and suddenly, the server that has been hovering all during the meal is nowhere to be seen.  I'd think they'd want to collect the bill so the next party can be seated.  It doesn't upset me, but it's confusing when the server tells me their name; what am I going to do with that information, call them by name when I want something?  I'm polite, but I'm there to enjoy my friends, not get to know the server.  

The one thing that did upset me was when the server took the sugar packets from my table without asking if I was done (I wasn't) to give to another table.  We're not talking a dive restaurant, this was Max's Opera Cafe in Palo Alto.  What I really wanted was a refill of my iced tea but by the time she finally reappeared, all we wanted was the check.
post #100 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by PBCook View Post

 It irritates me when you're ready to pay the bill and leave and suddenly, the server that has been hovering all during the meal is nowhere to be seen.  I'd think they'd want to collect the bill so the next party can be seated. 
+1. Many times when I've been out for lunch and had to go back to work in the afternoon, I've had to get up and go to the reception or the pass or whatever to ask to pay for my bill. Other times I've asked the waiter for the bill right after we ordered, explaining that we had to leave right after we were done. Generally that doesn't work, as you have to ask them for the bill again 3 or 4 times since they're probably used to their usual procedure.

Another thing is when ordering take out. Why do they make you wait for your food to be ready, then once the package arrives from the kitchen, they take your payment? Just more time wasted, and more time for the food to get cold. I wish they'd always get the payment out of the way first, but unfortunately many restaurants don't do that.
post #101 of 483
I just reread all one hundred posts in this thread.

D_mn, we're a hard to please lot.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #102 of 483
We were a large group in an Atlanta Applebee's after spending the day working a trade show: on our feet all day and looking for some food and adult beverages.   When I'm out to dinner, I'm courteous to wait staff and normally pretty nice as they are usually the only smiling face I've see all day.

This night 8 of us came in for dinner and took almost 30 minutes before we finally got our drinks.  The blood is starting to heat up a bit but it gets so much better....

3 of the guys order the EXACT same dish.  The guy next to me is a vegetarian and asked for his meal with no chicken (shouldn't be a problem) and me, I order fajitas.   Well after an HOUR the food comes out and I'm not happy.   The 3 guys with the same dish... all 3 portions are different sizes and they give the biggest portion to the smallest guy and the one who looks like a wall gets the smallest.   The Vegetarian has chicken in his meal and all I have is tortillas, sour cream and guacamole; no fajitas.

The manager just happened to come by and I started in about the inequality and the meat in th veggie dish...and the lack of my fajitas.   Well, he scoops up the veggie dish and has a server bring me my fajitas immediately.

Now for the best part... my fajitas are cold.   Not heat cold: COOLER COLD!!   The manager comes back to the table and asks how everything is now.   I ask him to hold out his hand.

Yes, I did.... I put a whopping scoop of ice cold fajitas right in his palm and asked him with a smile.. "what do you feel??"..........   The look on his face was priceless and he couldn't get that plate from me fast enough!!!

The guy next to me was new with our company and a southern boy... I'm born and raised in the Bronx!!   He thought we were all going to die!!

The result: we got the whole meal, drinks too PLUS dessert on Applebee's.   I never did that before and probably wouldn't do it again but I needed to make my point.

I did....
post #103 of 483
Not a surprising story to me, because Applebee's is the most inconsistent chain I'm familiar with---not just one to another, but within the same location.

As I told the owner of a local franchise, who offered us freebie coupons after an experience almost as bad as yours, "what good is a free meal if it's inedible?"

To be fair, we've never had a situation, at the local one, where the servers were anything but helpful and oriented to us having the best meal possible. But, unfortunately, a smile and a willingness to please don't overcome bad food. And we just don't go back.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #104 of 483

Last week here in Edmonton, I had not only the server being rude, but also the manager.  It was over a complaint my friends and I lodged with the server on the drinks.  We were ordering double hi-balls at this high end steak house downtown and the the drinks that were supposed to be doubles, clearly were not. 

After the second one being only a single in a tall glass, I proceeded to let the waiter know that thwe bartender was pouring what I believed was only singles.  The waiter responded "What do you want me to do about it?"  Showing some restraint, I bluntly said "We want a proper round of doubles on the house thanks."

I figure after all we have just racked up a food and spirits bill of around $500.00 so this one complaint after all that we ate and enjoyed I might add, we ask for a proper round of doubles.  We get it..yum.. nice job bartender.   So we decide to have a couple more rounds now that the bartender knows what we want right?   Wrong,  The bartender sends back a round of the singles in a tall glass.  I've had it.  The manager is called and instad of being appologetic he basically condescends us with "Are you accusing us of short pouring?" which was never implied.  We had the chef come out and tipped him a hundred and paid our bill  because he was the only credit to that establishment that night.  

 

"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
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"Ye can lead a man up to the university, but ye can't make him think."

Finley Peter Dunne
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post #105 of 483
Lol this reminds me once of a place where the waitress demanded for a tip even though she was rude, yelling at us, and even wacked into one of our friends when serving (she didn't even say sorry). We were leaving the restaurant without going to tip her because she was so rude then she comes out screaming at us demanding for a tip. Our friend was so nice that he gave her a tip. It was the worse restuarant experience that I ever had.
post #106 of 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef21 View Post

Lol this reminds me once of a place where the waitress demanded for a tip even though she was rude, yelling at us, and even wacked into one of our friends when serving (she didn't even say sorry). We were leaving the restaurant without going to tip her because she was so rude then she comes out screaming at us demanding for a tip. Our friend was so nice that he gave her a tip. It was the worse restuarant experience that I ever had.
This sounds like a nightmare! Or a scene out of a film noir. "Pelle the Conqueror" comes to mind.
George
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George
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post #107 of 483
 American-style service: I don't need a stranger to ask me how I am and I don't want someone hovering behind me refilling my glass. And that's for sit-down restaurants; bars with fussy service are just beyond the pale... pubs that /have/ service other than the pouring of pints and the dispensing of pork scratchings are unimaginable. 
post #108 of 483
Not pick-up their orders on time!
I have disembowled servers in my time, for various  disagreements ....but when it comes to my food! PICK-UP!
After all is said and done we are hopefully laughing about it at the end of the night.... maybe one of us buys the other a beer and we are then officially cooled off!
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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post #109 of 483
I once had a server who had bad breath!  Needless to say I lost my appetite right there and then!
post #110 of 483
I'm a newbie to this forum and I instantly gravitated to this thread, which I find just fascinating. You guys have pretty well covered all my gripes and then some, but I will say that to me, the very worst things a restaurant staff member can do are 1. make me wait inordinately long periods of time for anything, and 2. not intervene when there's a screaming or otherwise totally obnoxious child at a nearby table.
post #111 of 483
The worst thing a server can do is not show up for work and don't bother calling to give you notice.  I hate flaky server/actor/models.  Sometimes it's best to hire people who have a little more bills and responsibility because they're always in need of that paycheck.  The average 20-something server/model/actor will ditch your important event to party with friends on a Saturday night.
post #112 of 483
We've actually had an experience where the server left in the middle of a shift to go party with friends.

The manager apologized, and then moaned that this was the second time that server had pulled such a stunt.

Me, I had to wonder how he'd gotten the opportunity to do it a second time.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #113 of 483
agree to all written so far,and would add to Nichole's issue "GRUBBY" in even a small way isn't small
lean forward and pass me the menu etc and my first impression is your dirty shirt or jacket
even worse your hands aren't clean
post #114 of 483
I have been in Restaurant Industry for 25+ years in both Server and Management capacities, so I feel I have a solid understanding of what it takes to successfully operate a Restaurant. During my long career, I have been extremely fortunate in that I have been employed by upscale and professionally operated Restaurants where this type of behavior is simply not tolerated.
110% of the reason for experiences such as these lies squarely on the shoulders of the Management for not providing the neccessary tools (Professional training) needed for the servers to perform  their job.
In this industry, you either have the capacity to provide the true hospitality required for success or you don't. This is very easy to determine during a properly conducted interview by a person, who themselves, has the passion and determination needed to be considered a success.
In all of the establishments I have been associated with, my passion for the industry has been clearly evident and I was offered and accepted the role of Lead Server/In house Trainer and was responsible for all initial  and ongoing training.
Over the years I have totally enjoyed doing my job. I realized early on in my career that in order for me to bring home a lucrative salary, I had to do my duties with emphasis being placed on carrying myself with the utmost Professional attitude and also requiring my coworkers to behave in a similar fashion.
So my advice to those of you who do encounter anything less than stellar service is to immediately get a Manager involved and allow them to do what needs to be done in order to bring that server up to speed. Since it is your money being spent you do have a right to voice your displeasure and to give them an opportunity to correct any deficiencies BEFORE you leave the building. Do not simply sit and say nothing....bring these concerns to the attention of the Manager while it is happening and not after. Give us the opportunity to correct our mistakes and allow us to provide you with an enjoyable experience...that is what we do and that is what you spend your hard earned money on.

No one is perfect and on occasion negative things do happen. This holds true in any field. What does seperate a successful Restaurant from a not so successful, mediocre one is how they go about correcting the problem to bring you total satisfaction.
If, after you get a manager to realize the problem and notice he/she is not being proactive to the point of immediately resolving the issue, just do not return to the establishment. But don't let it ruin your entire night.
I would advise you to compose a well written letter the following day (give yourself a cooling off period) addressed to the owner (privately owned establisment) or to the corporate headquarters.
Doing nothing at all about bad experiences at restaurants will only serve to allow them to remain in business performing poorly. It also will cast a negative shadow on ALL restaurants and good establishments will unfortunately suffer as well. Also by remaining silent you will force other diners to experience what you have...a totally unacceptable dining experience.

In other words, voice your opinions, be they good or terrible and give us a chance to correct our shortcomings or to praise those who did perform admirably.
post #115 of 483
 My pet peeve is when they take one dish at a time off the table, as if there is a dish shortage and an urgent need to get as many dishes back to the kitchen, one at a time.  Why not wait until everyone at the table is done, and then clear the table like most people do at home?  Instead, they interrupt you a half dozen times to ask you about each dish, and usually they are asking too early before you are even done.  Why can't they wait?? What is this urgency?  Flipping tables?  And the #1 pet peeve bogus reason for taking away a dish one at a time: to get it "out of your way."  Why would it be "in my way"?  Am I about to put my head down and nap on the table or put my elbows on the table?  In the way of what? 

I could live on bread and cheese alone.

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I could live on bread and cheese alone.

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post #116 of 483
Colleen, I find it's more presentable and enjoyable to have a clean table. And often times, I find myself resting my elbows on the table with a drink in hand (or at least easy access to the drink). I particularly love it when they clear the dishes out of my way. 'Cause they really are in my way. Though not for taking a nap!  I suppose I just dislike the clutter of things I'm not using.

Normally I'll place an empty glass or plate closer to the edge of the table, which usually lets most servers know it's perfectly fine to snatch them on their next pass.
post #117 of 483
Colleen
I was trained not to do this as it could be considered an affront to the 'host' of the table by placing pressure on his/her guests to hurry up as in your case.
That said...Joshua
I was also taught 'Table Radar' (always knowing what happening on your tables at a glance) is core to good service allowing you to anticipate your diners' needs as in your case.

Discretion is the better part of service...

P.S. Many times I've sent a server onto the floor to hunt out a lazy soy dish/soup bowl 'cos I'm short!
"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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post #118 of 483
Josh, I can see your point of view, and you're right, I've done the same with a glass of wine in hand. And when the table is packed with dishes, I can see clearing some of it away.
Titomike, interesting on how you were trained.  Also, it helps to know that yes, you may truly be out of a dish in the back of the house!  

I could live on bread and cheese alone.

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I could live on bread and cheese alone.

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post #119 of 483
Here's another....waitresses who flirt with my OH and pretty much ignore me.  We are there to eat as a couple, because we want to spend a good night out just enjoying each others company - guess she's hoping for a good tip.

Or my husband being handed the wine list, but I don't get one.  When the wine arrives, only he is given a taste to accept it or not.  He will quite openly take a sip, then markedly pass it to me for a taste and opinion as well.  Then looks at me without saying a word and I give the opinion hehe - yeah we been together since Adam was a boy.

I know there are a lot of excellent servers out there though and good on you - it is not easy work.  It's a case of one bad apple spoils the whole barrel.  There's places that have been reliably excellent and we re-visit often.  They ask the women for their orders first, as old-fashioned as this may seem, it works for me.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #120 of 483
It should always be ladies before gentlemen.

Interestingly, for males on the floor a little gender bias done respectfully can ease things along....if wife is happy the husband usually is too....its a man thing 

As for wine service...the bottle should be presented to the diner who ordered it as this is point of sale. If correct the wine is offered to be tasted to agree it is not off...if not it's a done deal!
"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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