Monday, January 09, 2006
be nice to your server
So I am a waitress. Its not the best job on the face of the earth, but it certainly pays my bills. It also allows for me to have a flexible schedule and I can easily change the days I work, and/or call out if I can't find a babysitter or something comes up. I have been at this restaurant for 5 years (come Feb) I am a mom, so i have to consider that if i go to work at a "real" job, i would need some sort of daycare, and i really dont want someone else raising my child. I am also a student. So that means, every semester, my schedule changes. Since I am taking upper-level classes, there just arent as many options as to when they are offered. So that means I have to take them when i can. I know that it is going to take me longer to finish my degree than others (it already has!) and i am ok with that. But back to what i wanted to say in the 1st place.
Where has everyone's manners gone? I mean, really. Some people are just very very rude to service industry workers. And i do understand, some service personal are just horrible and rude. But wouldnt it be polite to wait and see if the service person is nice or not 1st BEFORE being an ass to them? I am blown away on a daily basis by the rudeness of people. (Believe me- since i work in the industry I am especially critical of others in the business. I have a high standard to which i tip by because of this. If a server is good, then i tip huge, but if they arent...they lose out big time.)
The worst day of the week is sunday. After church. This is not a dig at people of faith. But it seems weird to me that I have to deal with a greater number of assholes on sundays. And i work in the morning, and from their conversations, i know they just came from church. Not only are they just plain rude and mean, they tip like crap. I know you are supposed to tithe 10% to God/church, but people: 10% does not pay my bills. And if you are one of those jackasses that dont beleive in tipping: stay home, cook your own food, serve it to yourself, clean it up and wish yourself a happy day
. I make my living off of tips. If i do everything in my power to be nice and polite to you, make sure your meal was right and fix anything that went wrong, then you should tip me accordingly. 5$ is a nice tip, sure, but not if your bill is $50! In case you aren't aware the tipping scale should go as follows:
20% - Very happy with the service. even if food was bad, the server did everything in his/her power to correct the problem, offered to get a manager or take the meal off, or replace it. Returned often to check on status, refilled drinks, cleared dirty plates/empty glasses.
15% - Decent service. Some more could have been done, but overall ok. Not the greatest, but not the worst by any means.
10% - Service was minimal. Probably only checked back once, maybe twice. Not very personal.
less than 10% - server was rude, didnt check back, refill drinks, overall just a horrible experience that was entirely the server's fault.
over 20% - By far the very best service ever. The server went above and beyond the call of duty to make your visit enjoyable.(If you are bad at math, here's a pointer: if your bill is 16.42, to get 10% just move the decimal one digit to the left and you get 1.64. If you want to tip 20% just double that and you get 3.28. If you only wanted to tip 15%, you would take half of 1.64 (which is .81) and add it to 1.64 and you would get 2.45. Make sense??)
Also, a few things to consider:
- If you are going to stay at your table well after you are done with your meal you shoudl keep in mind you are keeping that server from having more paying customers sit there. If you are in a place that has a bar and are continuing to order, then this doesnt apply to you. If you are in a BBQ restaurant (like where I work) where there isnt any desert or liquor to be served and the average table time is under 1/2 hour, and you sit there for 3 1/2 hours (i witnessed this this past sunday)...You should leave more than 4$ on a 30$ check. Most of us servers, when we go out, we agree, you should tip per hour, past the time you should have left. ie: if your tip originally is 5$ and you sit there for another 3 hours, then you should leave an extra 10-15$. Really.
- If something is removed from your bill, you should still tip on the original bill. Especially if your entire bill is taken care of by the restaurant. You would be amazed at the number of people who, after complaining, get a bill of $0. well i guess in their minds, 20% of 0 is ... 0!!! If I, as your server, did all the other things listed above under the 20% list, then i should still get 20%. Afterall, you arent paying for your meal anymore, so you are still saving money no matter how you look at it.
- Dont ask your server to break the rules and give you something that isnt usually allowed. (Like a free trip to a salad bar or sharing an all-u-can-eat). If they explain to you that it is against the rules, and they are polite, there is no reason to get crabby with them. And just because one server in that restaurant broke the rules, doesnt mean all servers there will or should. This shouldnt affect their tip in a negative way. If it is so important to get that free plate, then you should request the server who has no respect for the rules. But dont get too attached, that person will probably get fired for breaking the rules soon enough.
- The things you hear about people doing bad things to your food when you send it back is not usually true. In fact in the 10 years i have been serving, i have never seen anything gross done. But if you are going to worry about that anyway, here are some tips: If you arent an asshole about it (understand the server isnt the cook), we are HAPPY to fix your food. we want you to enjoy your food, because then you will come back. Just ask nicely for us to fix whatever the problem is. That said, Remember--you should be nice to your server. They are the last person to handle your food before you eat it. :)
- If you really like a server, feel free to request the server. We love having regulars! All you have to do is ask if that server is working that night and tell the hostess you would like to sit with them. None of the other servers will be offended. I promise. If you have two favorites, alternate, or just ask for whichever of the two is available first. Regular customers are a welcome break from the flow of strange faces. And eventually they start to remember how you like things and your visit gets all that much better.
Ok, that is a pretty long rant.
pass this along if you feel like it. I think all people should have to spend a couple weeks/months working in the service industry so they can have an understanding and maybe change their attitudes towards us. I wish more people would just remember their manners and the golden rule. I work hard and dont deserve to be treated like crap.I am going to edit this and make it more presentable, then I will repost it, And hopefully we can send it out to everyone we know...I will be working on that between classes this week.--k-
10:55 PM ::
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