Mar 08

waiting staff

When the Applebees incident with Pastor Alois Bell occurred it sparked a lot of discussion on restaurants, servers and tips. One thing is for sure about this topic is that it’s a very subjective one unless you query people who work as waiters themselves. People who haven’t will have their assumptions but the following list of 25 things are some facts that you may or may not be aware of.

  1. Servers hope that you ask for separate checks BEFORE you order.
  2. Waiters and Waitresses like you to use their name once they tell you.
  3. If you’re Asian, black, or over 50 they don’t expect you to tip well or tip at all.
  4. Over-tipping will not change this attitude… it will only “other” you.
  5. If you have an accent they don’t expect you to tip well or tip at all.
  6. When your food is slow it probably is the kitchen so why take it out on your waiter?
  7. Hot tea is what you order when you want to piss off your server.
  8. Make eye contact when they talk to you – most wait staff see it as snobby when you don’t.
  9. The ejaculate in your food when you sent it back was probably from the kitchen not your server.
  10. Your kids playing with the napkins and the sugar packets makes you look like an asshole.
  11. If you’re in a hurry you should let your server know from the jump.
  12. It can cause an accident if you reach up and take your drink off the tray yourself.
  13. Being a regular who tips well gains you first class treatment.
  14. Tipping based on your food is asshole territory… waiters aren’t the ones cooking.
  15. Shaking your empty glass of ice at your server may end up with some spittle in your refill.
  16. If you ask your server if something is cooked with meat, chances are he will lie.
  17. Lemons are normally one of the dirtiest, nastiest things in the kitchen.
  18. Don’t ask your server what he/she likes on the menu, chances are it’s a lie.
  19. The long discussion after your meal and tip pisses most waiters off. You should leave.
  20. If a completely different waitress comes by to top off your water she’s checking you out.
  21. Complaining about your meal when it’s finished makes you look like a greedy ass.
  22. One way to piss off a waiter is to hand them your empty plate.
  23. Do not stay on your cell phone while the server greets your table.
  24. Servers want you to say “Thank You” even if you feel your payment is enough.
  25. Lots of people waiting already have a bad attitude, so remember –  it’s not always on you.
See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.
  • Lonnie F

    Tipping while black. You were going 10% in and 18% zone.

    #25 Sometimes I just hate engaging people who work with the public for that reason. I treat most people with these sorts of jobs well, but it often feels like a waste.

    • Man, this week alone had us (office lunch bunch) dealing with 3 #25’s out of 5… I almost feel like restaurants no longer screen who they hire. The only thing I can do moving forward is reward the hell out of the good waiting staff and ask for them by name when I go to places.

      • Yeah, but does the reward you give good staff get pooled and shared out amongst the poorer performing staff members?

      • I really hate that some places do this because I feel they are getting over on their staff for it. If you are divvying up tips and encouraging mediocrity then why not pay them good wages and tell guests to forego the tip altogether.

        I can’t control that stuff though and I am a good tipper regardless… what I do 100% do now however is ask for certain waiters when I go to restaurants I frequent.

  • Springs1

    “When your food is slow it probably is the kitchen so why take it out on your waiter?”

    Hate to break it to you, but this is certainly most of the time, NOT a fact, here’s why:

    As a server, ask yourself:

    1. WHEN do you put in my order? Do you wait or do you go put it in immediately after taking it? If you are double sat or triple sat, you can still go put in each order into the computer after taking each table’s order. By not doing that can result in a much longer wait and that would be YOUR FAULT. Do you also realize that servers wait to put in entrée orders if a side salad or soup or appetizer is added to an entrée so courses don’t run together? Sometimes servers wait too long.

    2. FORGETTING to put in an order. My husband and I have experienced this for REAL that servers ADMITTED to our faces they have FORGOTTEN TO PUT ORDERS IN. All of them were appetizers, bar drinks, and a cup of soup.

    3. Did you put in the order CORRECTLY into the computer? Have had many times servers ADMITTED to our faces they did not do that correctly. Have had wrong entrées before due to our server putting in the order wrong. Have had wrong bar drinks too due to the server putting in the order wrong.

    4. Did you FORGET ANYTHING I ORDERED such as a SIDE DISH? We have had this happen a number of times as well.

    5. Did you DROP anything I ordered? Luckily, we have not had this happen, but I have seen a server once drop some fries from a plate before and I did have a waiter spill some margarita martini when pouring into a martini glass. In other words, it is possible, not likely, but very possible.

    6. Did you remember to GET my food? We have had a server do that before. Also, we have had a number of servers forget bar drinks.

    7. Did you bring out my food obviously correctly if you bring my food out? Do you realize how many times OUR OWN SERVER brings out DUH mistakes like the side dish is wrong, the entrée is wrong, something obvious is not correct bacon that isn’t covered up isn’t extra, extra crispy when you can clearly notice that it isn’t without touching anything, etc.? Every DUH mistake you bring out is YOUR FAULT I am waiting for what I did order by you wasting my time bringing me the wrong item or wrongly prepared item or forgot something. While we all make mistakes, I would have to say a good 90% of the time, servers NEVER COMPARE THE WRITTEN ORDERS TO THE FOOD, because they are TOO LAZY and DON’T CARE!!

    If it’s another server, it still doesn’t make it the kitchen staff’s fault I have the wrong side dish for example since that is something that’s obvious. It’s either my server that didn’t put in my order correctly or this other server that didn’t compare the ticket to the food or that this other server did compare the ticket to the food, but just missed it(HIGHLY UNLIKELY, but possible).

    So QUIT LYING to the public, because what you are saying isn’t true MOST of the time. MOST of the time, your server had SOMETHING to do with HOW LONG YOU waited for your food or bar drinks. I didn’t say always, but most of the time, your server is WHY you are waiting longer in general. That is the truth, you can’t argue with facts. I KNOW, WE EXPERIENCED IT!! My husband and I have been going out to eat just about almost every weekend(2-3 times a weekend) since Nov. 2000 since we met, so we know more than you do!!

    I also thought about some more things that the server can control with how long you wait for your food:

    1. Once, we had a Red Lobster waitress had our 2 entrées on the tray as well as 2 side salads that were for a couple that wasn’t even there when we ordered. Anyway, instead of bypassing their table to hand us ours first since WE DID ORDER FIRST(common sense would tell you that it takes more time to cook food than it does to fix a side salad anyways even if it wasn’t our server that delivered our food, but it was our waitress that delivered our food), she decided to hand them theirs first off the tray. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS IN THE SERVER’S CONTROL TO HAND OUT THINGS OFF THE SAME TRAY IN THE ORDER IN WHICH IT WAS ORDERED IN!!

    2. Once, we had a waitress that greeted us which we ordered an appetizer as well as our drinks when greeted. I saw she tucking in chairs at empty tables and pretty much doing everything but coming back to get our entrée order. Well, I found out what happened. She brought out our appetizer and when I asked she said that she wanted to wait to put in our entrée orders. The thing is, that delayed us more by not at least coming to GET our orders. That way, when the appetizer was ready, we wouldn’t have gotten delayed eating our appetizer since we then had to give our entrée orders when we could have given our entrée orders WELL BEFORE THAT and we would have gotten our entrées faster due to that she could have just left to put our entrée orders into the computer after delivering our appetizer instead of taking time to order when our appetizer was sitting in front of us.

    The point is, SHE delayed our entrées as well as to be able to start eating our appetizer because she could have at least TAKEN our entrée orders and then when our appetizer would have been brought out, could have immediately gone to the computer to put our entrée orders in.

    What she did was make us wait while our hot appetizer was sitting in front of us, we couldn’t touch it, because we had to order our entrées and could have done that wayyy before that.

    She also delayed our entrées because we had to spend extra time AFTER our appetizer arrived to give her our entrée orders when we could have done that wayyyy before that.

    3. Once, we had a waitress that assumed that because they were out of raspberry topping for a cheesecake slice when we had ordered dessert that she’d bring us strawberry. Turns out, she knew when she put in the order that the computer had it the manager told us. So she did it on PURPOSE to be so lazy and uncaring as to not come to ask if we wanted the next closest thing. We didn’t, we sent it back, so she had MORE WORK. Also, she didn’t even think about what if someone is allergic to strawberries. I just honestly can’t believe someone would do that. If they are out of something, common sense would be to come to see if the next closest thing is ok. Not everyone wants the next closest thing. So it wasn’t like it was just getting the order wrong by accident or by not verifying the written order with what she was bringing or putting in the order wrong by accident, this was on PURPOSE to be LAZY and to ASSUME. I didn’t know at first that she did that. I thought at first she just was that stupid(or truly just messed up(highly doubt it)) to bring us strawberries on top of a cheesecake when we ordered raspberries.

    4. Your server delays coming to get your order or delays you ordering due to personal conversation. We have had that before as well. Once, we had a waiter that we didn’t know after waiting 15 mins. for a table on Mardi Gras day ask us BEFORE we ORDERED ANYTHING “How’s y’all’s Mardi Gras” “Go to any parades.” See, I don’t mind chit chat with a stranger, but be considerate to do it AFTER we have our orders into the computer so you don’t take up our time. THAT was in the server’s control as well. We have also had servers not come to get our order due to playing around. That’s in the server’s control too.

    Sometimes taking a long time or a longer time has A LOT to do with the server:

    My husband and I have had 3 TIMES where servers FORGOT to put food orders into the computer. We also have 4 times servers forget to get bar drinks from the bar. Once a waitress forgot to put in a bar drink into the computer. Two of the 3 times it was an appetizer and the servers ADMITTED doing so. The third time was a cup of bisque which is normally served before a meal just like a side salad is.

    We also have had delays due to that the servers delayed putting orders into the computer when they COULD have such as deciding to buss a table first or decide instead of a mini-greet(I’ll be right with you all), one waiter I saw decided to take a party of 6 people’s drink/appetizer orders instead of putting in our food orders into the computer. I can understand if they call you over, but if they don’t, you should be putting that order into the computer not delaying our food. The longer you wait to put in orders, the LONGER WE WAIT!!

    So truly think about that MOST of the time when you wait a LONG TIME for your food or bar drinks even, it could be the server’s fault.

    So now you know why to take it out on your server, because chances are, they are at fault, NOT the kitchen staff. I didn’t say all the time, but most of the time servers are at fault as to how long you wait for your food.

    • Stu P

      A note from a server/bertender on #25. Yes we may be in a negative mood when you get there, which can be tough to avoid with so many patrons treating you like a servant. If you treat your server with mutual respect and a smile, chances are you’ll get better service and a smile in return at the end of your meal. I know I’m much more likely to give my attention to folks who seem to appreciate ot

      • Springs1

        What does all of that have to do with the server or bartender being at fault for slow food or bar drinks, huh?

        I am VERY NICE, actually *NICER* than most servers are to me. I tell them “thank you” and ask NICELY for things. Why are you sending “me” a message, huh???

  • Springs1

    “Servers hope that you ask for separate checks BEFORE you order.”

    Servers can also PROACTIVELY ****ASK**** if customers want separate checks when greeted as well and not always depend on the customers to do so. It’s called having *COMMON SENSE*, DUHH!!

    “Hot tea is what you order when you want to piss off your server.”

    That sounds VERY LAZY, because no order should piss off your server, NONE!

    The only things that should piss off your server is a bad tip for good service or rude customers.

    • To be fair, only in certain restaurants do you regularly get people that want separate checks, I’m not sure why it should be waiter policy to ask if you want separate checks.
      I mean, are they gonna ask if you take your wife and young kids out for dinner if they are all planning on paying separately?

      • Springs1

        “I mean, are they gonna ask if you take your wife and young kids out for dinner if they are all planning on paying separately?”

        I think you know I wasn’t truly talking about that, right? I was talking about a party of like 10 or 20 people, something like that, understand?

        THAT is what I was referring to, understand? Something OBVIOUS like that could very well mean they may want all separate checks or they could have one person paying or some people paying that you would have SOME separate checks like for example with certain couples or families.

        I do agree with you that you wouldn’t ask a family of 4 or 5 if they want separate checks. I was more thinking along the lines of large parties(10-20 or more people type of thing).

  • Springs1

    “Tipping based on your food is asshole territory… waiters aren’t the ones cooking.”

    What do you mean? Do you mean the taste? Of course that’s not your server’s fault unless they got your order wrong for things they can notice without touching the food to notice the mistake or mistakes.

    If you are talking about food mistakes, most of the time that is the server’s fault, because most errors you can notice without touching the food and a lot of times servers put in orders wrong into the computer.