Monday, November 9, 2009

Policing my friends at the restaurant

Dining out etiquette

Restaurant etiquetteThis is another item that has been on my mind to blog about. It's a topic I wish I could teach a class on. It's restaurant etiquette. What I am getting at, is now, when I am out with my friends and/or family... I kind of police the table.

My friends and family aren't animals, nor are they tourist morons. It's really nothing like that... they are actually in the rare upper 3% of polite restaurant diners. They say please and thank you, they don't snap their fingers to get the servers attention, they aren't those people who ask the host if they can change seats, they don't stagger their drink orders and run the waiter, etc.

I do, however, look for things that would bother me if I were their waiter. If I feel like they are going to ask a stupid question or zone out while the server is talking, I jump in. I find myself watching who ordered what, so when the server or food runner comes out with the food, I can help direct if people can't remember what they ordered. Why is it... by the way, people can remember what they ordered when the food comes out?

Rereading what I have just wrote, I realize it looks like I have control issues. I really don't... I just feel like it's my duty to help the waiter avoid any unnecessary headaches. For example, we were the big top just recently, and made sure all the extra drinks were accounted for (by the people who ordered them) when the waiter was asked to split the check. Yes, I said big top, I said split the check. I feel guilty.

Do you all do the same thing? When you are the customer, do you just relax and get waited on? Or are the 2nd waiter at the table like I am?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Waiting Nightmare/ Sever Dreams

Restaurant Nightmares & Dreams

Table Waiting Nightmare

I've now been in the restaurant business long enough to know that most servers get "the dream/ nightmare." Many coworkers have recounted their stressful slumber's night terrors to me. What is "the dream" you ask?

The dream usually starts off with you (the server), working a normal shift. Things either begin relatively smoothly or slightly hectic, and eventually snowball into a deep, dark hole of unmanageable waiting hell. Tables you can't get to, late food, angry customers, long drink times, crying babies, the host double, triple, quadruple seating. Basically, everything that can go wrong, that would stress a server out, does. That type of thing.

I recently had one of the hosts tell me that they had the dream... which kind of shocked me. It has been my experience that only new and veteran servers have this dream. I guess this is not the case.

Before posting this, simply out of curiosity, I looked up this phenom and found that there is a lot about it. One man's site (Joseph Campbell of Scholars and Rogues), noted that he had not waited tables for about 20 years, yet he still had these dreams. While reading his, I realized that he had had multiple instances where he had these dreams, over long periods of time. This fact is a little surprising to me, as mine stopped shortly after my training.

Do you all get these dreams?