I am a waitress in a restaurant. I’ve worked there two years as a Hostess and finally this summer I’m now a waitress. Whether you know this already or not, let me give you a couple tips, because it will help me to get out my frustrations. (No offense to the guys, but it will make this easier if I use “waitress/hostess” for everything, so you can mentally put waiter in there if you like):
1. When you are asked if you prefer a booth or a table, the best answer you could give to the hostess is “It doesn’t matter, wherever you need us.” You have no idea how irritating it is for the hostess when you won’t sit where she needs you to sit just because you want a booth by the window instead of being nice and accepting a table. The more picky you are, the more likely it is that the waitresses get double sat. Then, the waitresses come up to the hostesses and complain because they are either getting too many tables in a row, or the others who aren’t being sat come up to us and complain because we aren’t seating them. Trust me, it is easier to give better service when you are given a waitress who actually has the time to take care of you because you are letting the hostesses follow the seating list.
2. Which brings me to number two…more like one and a half. I have gotten so many people that when i am looking around the restaurant at sections to seat people, the customers point to a booth nearby and say in a snotty voice “there’s a booth right there.” Yes, Thank you Captain Obvious. Good thing you were here or I would not have seen the booth staring me right in the fricken face. We know. Restaurants have sections. We are looking through sections to see whose turn it is to be seated; so be patient and give us a second to give you a seat whose waitress will be happy to see you. We are already putting up with crabby customers, and we don’t need you adding to our irritation levels by acting like we are don’t know how to do our jobs. We know the restaurant better than you.
3. Yes, you are the paying customer, but please don’t act like you are the only table that your waitress has. Sometimes when it gets busy, your waitress has desserts to make, prep work for food, tables to wash, busing dishes, orders to type in…it’s not like we are ignoring you. If there’s something you want or at least think you will want, tell her while she is at the table. I have gotten so many people that will ask for one thing, then when i come back, they will ask for another…I’ll come back again and they will ask for another. We don’t have that much spare time. Tell us everything right away so we can get it written down and get on to our other tables. If you can live without it, just let it be. If you have never worked in a kitchen, waitresses have a lot more to do than you think. Yes, I’ll agree some are just plain bad and don’t care about the customers…but don’t take it out on those that are actually trying.
4. Be a generous tipper. Some of waitresses I work with, their bills depend on those tips. A lot of people get lucky with their jobs, but some of them just didn’t, and they need whatever you can give them. I’m not saying give them your checkbook balance, but maybe instead of $2, give them $4 or $5. Every little bit helps, trust me. If you can tell she was trying, then give her what she deserves. Some of us put our hearts into making sure you are happy, and then when you’re smiling and saying everything was wonderful…and then you give a $2 tip…well, it’s really disappointing. Especially when it’s slower in the restaurant, tip a little nicer, for that waitress might not be making much because of the slowness of the day.
5. Whether you believe us or not, we want you to enjoy your food and come back again, so if for whatever reason your food may seem a little cold, as politely as you can, let them know so they can fix it. We get a lot of people who are already bitching and complaining at us. Some polite manners is a wonderful change. Plus, when you are more polite, we feel more willing to help you. When you tell us to hurry it up, you can bet the waitresses will feel like taking their time just to piss you off since you pissed off your waitress. Be nice. She’s trying, and sometimes things don’t go the way we were hoping them to.
I don’t remember where I heard this, but I was told that everyone should have a job serving people, like a job in a hotel or restaurant, because once you get a feel for what it’s like, you are much more understanding. If you haven’t worked in one, try and see it from our point of view.
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