Saturday, July 4, 2009

To be a server.

Since I started waitressing a little over two months ago, I have served in three different locations: Wolfpack Brewing Company, Canyon Street Grill, and Geyser Grill. All have their pros and cons, different food, and different environments. Yet one thing stays consistent through these three different locations: The customers. All different shapes, nationalities, and taste buds. But most importantly they all have different personalities.

The Complainer: "Excuse me, ma'am, my tea is too sweet, there is a sticky spot on the table, we waited too long for our food, I can't believe you would charge me for a side of ranch, this silverware is tainted, and our food isn't warm enough. " Complain, complain, complain. One thing I have learned from this personality is that you can NEVER please them. The coffee isn't strong enough, their seat is too much in the sunlight, there aren't enough vegetarian meals, the baby on the next table is too loud, blah blah blah blah. Basically, it is their mission to find things that are wrong, even when you are giving the best service. Favorite complaints thus far: Not knowing the exact price on chips and salsa and not having milk at a micro-brewery. ha.

The Mute: Customer walks in with a blank face, sits down and says no more than two words to the person they're dining with. Orders the most simple item on the menu and has a difficult time looking the server in the eye. Eats very slowly, no complaints or compliments, pays the bill with a standard 10-15% tip and leaves. Quick, painless, and boring.

The Mother: After serving this personality, I should feel like a baby Chihuahua. The customer speaks very slowly and looks at you with raised eyebrows as if you couldn't understand more than "hello" and "goodbye". Then after the extremely detailed order (substitutions for everything, extra sauces, each burger cooked differently) the customer looks at you and says, "Would you like me to repeat that for you, or do you understand?".... Yes I understand, there's a reason why I was hired and work here everyday for 5 plus hours ya bimbo. Basically, the assumption of this guest is that, the person serving is nothing more than a teenager who doesn't know a whole lot, and is using all of their tip money on weed or something of that nature. Gotta love em.

The PERFECT Customer: Patience with the server. PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE is the key to getting good service. No matter what you say, usually your food will come out just as fast and the service will be just the same. As a server, it's expected that you will have to know the menu, answer questions, and be friendly. The perfect customer knows that it is ok to ask questions, yet doesn't want to know "Exactly how many onion rings are in a basket, what temperature is the beer served at, and how many minutes will this wait be?" (Also, some customers believe that it is your job to tell them the whole menu rather than just reading it themselves). My perfect customer asks what my favorite dishes are (it's easier to convince someone to order a dish when you actually do love it), orders desserts, and always leaves a good tip. This doesn't necessarily need to be the above and beyond 40% tip or whatever. Just a good 15% tip is often appreciated. You'd be surprised if you knew what people thought was a good tip for good service (pocket change?- I might just chase you down and give it back for that house you always wanted). The perfect customer is pleasant to speak with and on a couple occasions will make you laugh. Thank you- to all of you who are out there.. ha

7 comments:

natalie said...

oh.. you little server you! I guess it makes me as a costumer think about how i tip and act and everything! overall, i'd say I'm a pretty good costumer though! :)

Laur said...

You couldn't have explained it better. Perfect. Exactly.

Andrew Gerald Hales said...

the mother one made me laugh, nice post.

Angie said...

Great list - I enjoyed the mother part the most. I always feel bad for all the waitresses who have to take my order because I have so many food allergies that I enjoy up giving the most annoying orders ever, but I apologize profusely for being difficult so I hope that makes up for it.

Brett said...

AMEN! I just have one to add. The compliment tipper- people who think it's ok to tell you that you were the best server ever and that they had a great time instead of leaving you a tip. I'm sorry, but I don't work for my self-esteem...love to hate 'em.

Casey said...

haha. the mother cracks me up. there's also the extremely stressed mother who's trying to look at a menu while four of her kids are climbing over her. that one always cracks me up.

Paul & Rachel said...

a-men. i used to serve at olive garden (in provo, as if it weren't bad enough) soup, salad and breadsticks for like $5 - which means even though you're running back and forth a million times refilling their food, while they act as though they are your ONLY table to take care of. they still tip you a whopping 10% or so giving you about a dollar for your troubles. gotta love people that have zero restaurant etiquette.

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