I am the leader of the server revolution! Taking the power away from the customers and putting it back in the hands of the bartenders and servers. Yelp off!!!
I’ve turned the tables writing this post. The 7 things that servers do that annoy customers, and your fellow servers. It’s definitely more than 7, but if I wrote more than that, I would change the premise of this blog. First of all, I have been guilty of many, if not all, of these habits. I have been disciplined and written up by management for some of them, while others I have observed throughout my career in the service industry.
A lot of my readers have ask me the same question, “do I evaluate my server/ bartender when I go out to eat?”
Yes. I. Do.
So here’s a list of these little habits that SOME servers do that needs to be addressed.
7. Servers Who Talk Loudly in the Side-station
I love talking about customers, or management, or whatever else is bothering me at the moment, but it shouldn’t be so loud that people can hear you out on the patio, over in the next county. Inside voices work for a reason.
6. Servers Who Never Have a Wine Key
Okay, this one probably doesn’t affect customers too much, but it annoys the hell out of me. But you don’t want to have a customer order a expensive bottle of wine, and you try to open it without a wine key. Not easy. I used to be that person who would have to ALWAYS borrow a wine key. Eventually my co-workers told me no, and I had to get a good wine key for myself. Then I would start to lend my key out, and sometimes I would never see it again. (RIP all lost wine keys.) I finally learned to say no as well, problem was solved, and I quickly learned that I enjoy telling people no.
5. Servers Who Don’t Know the Menu
UHG!!! There’s really no argument with this one. You have to know the menu. There are too many food allergies today not know the ingredients that are in the dishes you serve. Besides, it makes you look like you know what you’re doing when you can intelligently answer the questions that our beloved customers ask. When I worked for IDG at Rivabella Ristorante, my manager Brent was notorious for quizzing us on the menu. I hated it, but it paid off. Too many of the IDG regulars would ask all kinds of dumb questions about the menu, like “how many people does the Porterhouse for 2 feed?”, and I will be able to answer them holding up two fingers. And then, later, talk shit about them in the side-station… with my inside voice.
4. Servers Who Tweet and Facebook on the Floor
GUILTY AS CHARGED!!! I am very guilty of doing both of these. What can I say? If I think of something funny, I need to post it to the TWITTER or FACEBOOK of THE BITTER BISTRO or else no one will know what goes on during the middle of my shifts. However, let it be known that we are there to make money, and we can’t do that if we are ignoring our sections, and not refilling waters for that demanding-manly looking woman at Table 42. And with that being said…
3. Servers Who Don’t Refill Customer’s Waters
I live in California. Yes, there is a drought. But I like to stay well hydrated throughout my meal. This is actually one of the easier things that (we) servers can do to give the illusion to the customer that we are giving them good service. Just keep those water glasses full, and your customers will feel like they are your ONLY table, when in fact you have 8 tables, and you are just trying to buy yourself some more time before the kitchen kills you for putting in another order.
2. Servers Who Show Up Drunk or Get Drunk at Work
This might seem like another easy one, but for many, it seems to be the hardest to grasp. And yes, I’m talking to you Kim, or Kelly, or Rebecca. All the drunks at my work have been girls, but alcohol is not sexist. I’ve had plenty of guy managers who would get drunk at work, and then TRY to manage. In fact, one manager would make a vodka/soda, put it on a tray, walk through the restaurant saying it was for an outside table, but there wasn’t anybody sitting outside! Getting wasted at work makes you annoying and smelly, and it makes you act stupid around your tables. However I did witness one co-worker who had a table of 4 people who only spoke Chinese, and she was so drunk, that she could understand and speak Chinese. And she’s from Boston.
1. Servers Who Squat Down Eye-level at the Table
I really hate this one. As a server, it’s so much better to be in control of your tables if you’re standing up looking down at them. You NEED that power. As a customer, it’s weird to be looking at the menu, look up, and see my server down at my level, breathing on me. Get the hell away from me you squatter! And, I admit, I used to do that years ago when I worked at The Gardens on Glendon in Westwood. I don’t know why I did it, but for some reason it seemed to be the right thing to do at-the-time. Now I don’t do that. Mostly because it hurts my knees, but also because it makes you look unprofessional, and like you’re trying to tell your table a secret. #standupforservers.
Until next time… Server’s don’t pay their rent with compliments.
“Bitter. Party of 1? Your table is ready.”