Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Where's Our Waiter?"

Restaurant Rage

There I am.... busiest night of the week. Kind of in the weeds, but working hard to get out. I'm probably seven to eight tables deep at the moment.

Two are cashing out, one needs drinks, and two others need to be greeted. I prioritize my trips. I head back to the server station and run my checks, head to the bar and load a tray with drinks. I walk by my tables, addressing the new tables with a quick "Hi guys! I'll be right back after drop this stuff off."

Things are going smooth and I start to see a clearing in the proverbial weeds. I grab up my two credit cards that I need to run, after dropping off the drinks. I head back to computer and run the cards. I stuff the credit slips in the books, drop the books on the tables, and thank those tables. Time to go address my new tables right?

I greet the first, they don't know what they want to eat, so I (like pulling teeth) extract a drink order from that first table. I jot it down on my pad and head to the second table that needs to be addressed. "Hey folks, how are you doing tonight?"

"Where's our waiter?" is the response I receive. "It seems like we've been here forever, can you get our waiter?" Unimpressed... but yet still very polite, I answer "Oh, that's me. Sorry about the wait, as you can see, we are very busy tonight."

"Well, our waiter said they'd be right back..." they continue. He looks at his wife and then she starts in, "We've been here forever now, this is just weird." It takes everything in me at this point to not correct them and say something along the lines of "Oh no... you've been here for roughly 3 minutes and six seconds... if it would have been forever, you'd look much older than you already do."

They continue for roughly seven or eight more seconds before I loudly interrupt: "Do you guys have any questions on the menu!?" They try to keep nagging me. I continue: "What can I get for you folks?!" The get the clue that my apologizing is done and that I'm not taking any more shit tonight.


  1. I love the way people exaggerate--I think peoples' internal clocks start counting the second they walk in the door. Even if they take ten minutes after sitting down to decide what they want, you're still too slow if their food isn't out with eight minutes of when they sat down. :)

  2. Weird. I love when you get people who bitch about waiting, yet have no fucking clue what they want.

  3. @ Purplegirl: Totally. People expect a mind reader. I should know what they want, with what side item, and how to cook it. Then have it out within minutes of the order.

    @ K.H.: Completely true! They never know what they want!

  4. What the hell is your manager doing? A waiter should never "be in the weeds" unless his manager is goofing off in the office. Get his ass on the floor to bus some tables or run a check or two.
    Take care.

  5. BM you havent worked in a restaurant in a LONG time-very few managers bother to pitch in and help pulled weeded servers back to civilization. Why ? they are all incompetent and/or lazy some would argue but upon reflection I seem to think its cost cutting. Lots of places dont have dedicated expos so when its busy the manager has to man thew window which creates a whole another problem but they will quickly discover who is weeded and sending in fubar'ed orders. Thats why I get away with talking smack to the level I do with my kitchens. They always tell me how I rarely send in screwed up tickets and usually catch my own miss orders ahead of time.

    Rest Rage -you demonstrated a technique I call "Smacking Guests Around" which is done whern you need to establish who is in charge with a more difficult than average table by setting them straight in a non confrontational maaner but leaves no doubt to how this will go down. It not something you can teach-you have to figure it out at your own pace.These type tables will walk all over you and run you like a marathon runner if you dont and they will tip you like they dont respect you on top of it all.

    Good job fellow server!

  6. I work in food service, and I hate when people come up to the counter and say, "excuse me, I'm checking on my order...I ordered over a half hour ago."

    I get a LOT of satisfaction from checking their receipt time and saying, "Actually sir, your order was taken 11 minutes ago so it should be up in the next five minutes or so. Thank you -"

    It's never the time they claim. Impatient morons.