Tag Archives: restaurant

In support of those who bring us food and drink

My mother raised me and my four brothers and sisters on a waiters salary and taught us not just respect for service workers, but also what good service is and is not.

Now I am not talking about Louis C.K. describes 20 year olds working at Starbucks service worker.  I am talking about those workers who are doing this for living for whatever their reason is to put them into a high end dining experience, a diner or a casual chain restaurant.

Out of the 300 billion people we have in the states, approximately 1.5% are serving you food or beverages on a daily basis.  They work anywhere from 4 to 10 hours per day exclusively standing and walking.  The expectation from each customer is courtesy and efficiency from the person regardless of the courtesy or respect given.

In your higher end dining, knowledge of food preparation details, accompanying beverage options to accent the meal choice and a timing of service that allows full enjoyment of the food prepared.

Customers have many options to voice their displeasure with poor service

– in person directly

– in person indirectly to management

– by not returning (the most painful option, but not helping)

– by complaining via yelp, facebook, twitter, google or other sites

Yet, if a customer is rude, dysfunctional, or belligerent outside of management banning a customer from returning the service staff have no voice.

We have all sat near that table of loud mouth people who cannot be pleased as their insecurity is so large that they perceive everything as a slight.  Returning food time and time again, complaining about each and everything loud enough so others hear them making it in someway that they are fighting for all of us.

Fools.

There are places that have poor service and good places that have poor waiters.  I am not excusing them and please voice your displeasure.

There are poor customers who because of their insecurity or feeling of superiority or likely both will feel compelled to hurt a business with no desire to improve, only destroy.

Some simple rules I suggest –

  • Give respect to get respect
  • Be clear to your waiter or server on your dining experience wishes (relaxing meal or within a certain time)
  • Tip at minimum 15%, I start at 20% and go down for obvious poor service and up for exceptional
  • Tip in cash, even if you pay with a credit card

 

Good service at a restaurant

Let me start out by stating that I consider myself a fair cook and for the most part am able to make the dishes I love the most at home.  Be it beef, chicken, fish or vegetables, italian, chinese, american or mexican and so on.

Therefore, when I choose to go out to a restaurant it is partly due to the fact the restaurant serves a food I am desiring, but mainly due to the fact that I do not wish to cook that night or clean up the dishes.  So, the service of the wait staff is critical to the enjoyment of the meal.

I can tell you that it is rare that I am without complaint at a restaurant whether it be a diner or a high end steak house.  Now, I do not apply the same standards to a diner that I would to a high end steakhouse.  I like the homey ahh shucks style of diner wait staff, it is part of the experience.  Along with the attention and sophistication of the wait staff at a high end steakhouse.

However, these are issues that are common across all dining experiences which restaurant owners should take notice and correct.

First and foremost is when the patron is ready to leave, make sure they get their check promptly and have it processed promptly.  For some reason, wait staff once the entries have been cleared from the table forget that this is the critical time that most patrons are deciding on the amount of the tip.  They leave you there begging for the check and then have to hope against all hope that once you leave the check that you will be back in less then 15 minutes to take it.

I suggest that wait staff be trained to give the check to the patron’s and pause, asking how the meal was, is there anything I can refill (water, drinks, and so on) before they dash off to the next table who is just ordering their entrée.

Second, if you state you will be right back with a drink, a refresh of bread or that missing condiment.  Come right back, do not stop by your other tables or disappear into the kitchen for 10 minutes.

Lastly, management help your wait staff out during business times by being on the floor scanning faces and expressions.  You could be a great help by just catching that drink refill or the dirty knife found in the napkin.

If you would just get the check to us promptly that would be a great help.