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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

except for the customers!

Keep in mind that most restaurants have twice as many servers as they have computers, which can cause problems. They also have to follow managers rules about when to order food and in what order. Most restaurants have 'runners' who serve the food taking away the timing from the server.

Another dilemma faces the server: should he wait at the table for the customer to sign the charge slip? Many customers suspect a waiting server is really pressuring them to leave a bigger tip. To avoid this some servers leave to check on their other tables. Then again, this makes the customer wait on the server, who must return to pick up the signed charge slip.

Service too slow or too rushed? Inform the server. What should you do when a server forgets to bring a request? A polite reminder should solve the problem. If the server is busy ask another staff manager. Dissatisfied with the server? Instead of not tipping the waiter request the host/hostess or manager to change your server in a quiet, polite manner. Just say there is a personality conflict and you would feel better with someone else. I know you might not believe this but your attitude can make for poor service.

Remember that each server is an individual. Servers who refill water glasses after each sip annoy some people. Others (especially food critics) see it as attentive service. It's a rude waiter who removes a plate before everyone at the table is finished, some say; others who are finished eating , early or not, want plates removed immediately. Customers can give polite cues on the treatment they want.

A server's friendliness not only depends upon his personality, but also the guest and his response. Many factors--shortage of staff, a busy kitchen, food prepared incorrectly, etc.--justify customers' complaints but can easily be rectified. The customer only needs to communicate his wants.

Servers must prove themselves with each customer. One, who knows what he wants, and how to ask for it, is more likely to have a good meal and get more than his money's worth in service.

Just to set the record straight--I loved being a waiter and most customers were great to wait on and, yes, there are awful servers out there but you can do something about it besides leaving a bad, or no, tip--ask for another server. As a server if I was having a problem with a customer I would immediately turn the check, and party, over to another server. Ironically, more than once, the customer will give the other server a bigger tip then they would normally leave and make sure I see it, which is fine with me. No one needs aggravation on the job if they can avoid it.

PS If you don't like to tip for whatever reason, such as you think they should get a living wage, or you don't believe in tipping, don't go to a sit down restaurant--eat at home.
And, by the way, leaving a card explaining why you don't tip or thanking the waiter for his service but not leaving (as many religious people do) a tip, does not pay the bills.
I once waited on Ike & Mame Eisenhower and they left me a card that thanked me for waiting on them--my landlord wouldn't accept it in place of money for rent :o(

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