I’ve worked in restaurants off and on since I was 16. Currently, it works quite well for me because I can work nights and weekends and don’t have to pay for childcare. Well not with money. I “pay” for it in the respect that I typically come home to a huge mess left by the husband and kids. But hey, it’s not money!
Here are some things I’ve learned working in a restaurant (and also some helpful hints!):
* Some people will sit with their menus for 20 minutes and still ask you what the sides are.
* People think they are slick by asking for water and pulling one of those powdered drink packets out. #weareontoyou
* Even if I’m clearly busy, there is always that one table that thinks you only belong to them.
* Sometimes they get more food on the floor than in their mouth.
* They think the menu is merely a suggestion and that they can create their own entrees.
* They order 4 glasses of wine and then complain about their bill being too much.
* Some think tipping is unnecessary. They would be wrong. It’s ALWAYS necessary.
* Side note: if you can’t afford to tip, go to McDonald’s.
* When I ask you how you want your steak cooked, “on a grill” is not the right answer and it literally hurts me when I have to fight the urge to roll my eyes.
* I’m not a masochist for offering dessert. It’s kind of my job. So don’t look at me like I’m about to murder you when I ask if you want some cake.
* No matter how cute your child is, letting them be an asshole in public makes you a bigger asshole.
* I’m a server, not a servant. Trust me…there is a difference.
* My name isn’t Diet Coke. Maybe let me get that part of my spiel out before you start barking drink orders at me. It also isn’t sweet tea, water with lemon or coffee.
* If you have a problem with your meal, don’t wait until you’ve eaten most of it to complain. It makes it harder to believe you.
* Don’t be mad when you waltz into a crowded restaurant on a Friday night with 17 people and can’t be accommodated. There’s this new thing called calling ahead and giving us some warning you’re coming.
* No, you can’t take your alcoholic beverage to go. This isn’t Vegas. (Obviously this doesn’t count if you’re in fact IN Vegas)
* If you use a coupon, you should still tip on the original amount.
* Also you should tip on to go orders. Not everyone knows this. No, you’re not eating in the restaurant. But your server is still taking time to ring in your order and package it up for you. They may even give up a table or two to tend to your order. So kicking down a few bucks is always appreciated.
* Don’t “camp” out at your table unless you’re going to compensate your server accordingly. You’re costing your server money by taking up their table for hours, a table that could be given to other paying customers.
* Most servers make very little money hourly and make a majority of their income from tips. Hence why I keep bringing up tipping. 😉
* It never fails, a table will always come in five minutes before closing and order something cooked well done.
* Business hours are posted for a reason.
* When you go into a business right before closing, you’re keeping the employees from going home. Just remember that.