Twenty Ways How Not Piss off Waiting Staff!

7 09 2008

Weekends – always quiet on the blog front, sometimes I think I am the only person wandering around the big old internet *cough cough* I guess some people have lives and are out on the town, not like random old me who works six nights a week including Friday and Saturday nights.

Work, I hate it, I officially downgraded my life in 2007 moved out here to sunny Spain and became an out of work actress aka a waitress!

Thought got to admit in this new career (career that’s really spelt ‘dropout’) I have had my eyes opened to the ticking of the human mind. Meaning the worst kind of fucking people you could ever hope to not meet.

So today I am going to share with you a few thoughts on how not to piss of your waitress or waiter. Keep these in mind next time you decide to frequent an establishment, especially if the girl about to serve you has black eyes.

In no set order of importance (translate that as learn the lot of them and stop whining!)

1) If the Restaurant/café opens at 7, do not turn up 15 minutes before, the whole point of opening hours is that it ‘opens’ at that time – get it? Not such a hard concept. The reason we are there earlier than that is not to stand around and chat or serve you, its because we have things we need to get ready, all your doing is putting us back…so NO you can’t just sit down at the tables and wait, we need to tidy up – go get a drink somewhere and come back. If you’re willing to be a really good customer (and one that we will like forever!) make sure you never turn up earlier than 20 minutes after we open, that then gives us time to have a quick coffee and a cigarette.

2) Don’t EVER and I repeat EVER just waltz in and sit down, ok, so I know in cafes and bars this is acceptable but in restaurants its not. How do you know that table is not reserved for someone else? Simply, you don’t. Get some bloody manners, a bit of class and simply learn this sentence ‘Can we have a table for ___ please?’ not so difficult aye?

3) Following on from the last ‘rule you should be taking in’ if you walk into a restaurant and the place is busy, but they say they can have a table ready for you in say ten minutes. Don’t go and sit at the unmade dirty table. I repeat, don’t be a dumb ass and just sit there when you know we are going to have to set it for you or we might ‘accidentally’ spray you with whatever liquid we use to clean the tables! Just stand back and wait.

4) This one goes out especially to the tourists who hit us Mediterranean beach resorts in the summer months. Its August right? Its manic right? There are two waiters and fifty customers. Stop whining and give us some slack. We’re not rushing around for fitness, we’re trying to get to you. You’re on holiday, chill the hell out.

5) And how come when we finally do get to you, after hearing you moaning and tutting at us for the last ten minutes, do we find you have still not decided what you want and want to keep us there for another ten minutes why you have a discussion about it? Simple folks, simple, use that ten minutes you have just wasted moaning to make up your mind about what you want.

6) Steaks take longer to cook, as do all freshly prepared stuff. You want fast food? Go to Mcdonalds. Got it?

7) Just because we are your ‘servants’ for the hour or so you are in the restaurant does not mean it’s acceptable for you to go all pre-Victorian on us and treat us as skivvys. Finger clicking, OI!, You there or to my Spanish readers ‘chica’ is not an acceptable way to get my attention.

8) Every language has a way of saying please and thank you. Learn it, use it, repeat it. Using manners cost you nothing, not using them costs you good service.

9) If you have reserved a table and when you arrive the table before has overrun try and show some patience. Its not our fault, we are trying to get rid of them…

10) And on the other side of the coin, don’t sit at the table hours after you’ve finished, look around you the place is busy? People queuing for tables? Yeah great, you haven’t seen great Aunty Mavis for a year but please finish your meal and take your conversation to a bar. An hour and a half is more than enough time for you to eat.

11) Only stupid people ask to ‘talk’ to the Chef. Stupid people who normally say things like ‘I have owned/worked in a restaurant I need to talk to the Chef’ bullshit. Sorry, but anyone who has worked in a restaurant should know that the majority of chefs are cantankerous bastards who do not take lightly to being called out of their natural habitat i.e. the kitchen. Most chefs hate people and when people ask them to cook something that they think is running their already perfect meals they hate them more.

12) Chefs hate the waiting staff too. So don’t send the poor person back in there when they tell you the chefs says no. If the waiting staff are telling you with a smile that the chef said no that really means the chef has just told them to fuck off out of their kitchen. Don’t try and send the poor person back in there to make the kitchen angrier.

13) It’s very lovely that you bring so much with you to the restaurant, I’m glad that our tables provide a good place for your children’s colouring books, your laptop, bag … 42inch TV, but come on now? Where are we going to put your food with so much shite on the table … moving it out of the way when we are bringing your food would be most helpful. Thank you.

14) Ok, so we know you are trying to be helpful, but please when have you ever seen a waiter/waitress carry stacked up dishes like a school dinner lady? We don’t, so stacking up your plates on the side of the table is not really helping us. Sure, move them to one side if they are annoying you and we are taking too long (preferable the side that is easier for us to get too) but please don’t stack them like you would dishes in your sink.

15) Don’t try and take things off our trays, its stupid and when something gets dropped on you because of your stupidity you will blame us and try and send us the dry cleaning bill.

16) Here’s a biggie guys and gals: we all make mistakes. We’re only human, sorry for that … but sometimes its not actually us that makes the mistakes, if you order something wrong or you change your mind when you get your food because you’ve just experienced food envy of the person next to you don’t try and make out its our fault. What might seem funny to you is bad for us, the chef already hates us and you’re just making it worse and in some places waiting staff have to pay for mistakes like that.

17) If you can’t afford a few euros/dollars/pounds for good service, you really can’t afford to eat out … so why the hell are you?

18) Everything is shite, drinks taking too long, food taking too long, bills too slow coming to your table. Keep in mind that there is a whole chain of command, its not only us, so when your screaming at us try and keep in mind that it might be pissing us off as much as it is you, but we just have no control over something things.

19) The Restaurant closes at 12, its five to 12 … there’s no people left eating, we’re just tidying up to go home … listen closely now, NO we don’t want you to come in now. I know, I know your hungry diddums – but we want to go home not stay there especially for you. Sorry but your just a bloody nuisance.

20) It’s the end of the night, you have eaten, polished off the wine, had coffee and brandy’s or whatever it is you want, you’re the last table, we’ve cleaned up around you, stacked up the terrace tables, the staff are all standing around waiting …. Come on guys what do you think we are waiting for? World peace? NO, we’re waiting for you to get up and go. Yes, you maybe be on holiday, you may be with friends who you haven’t seen for a while how…how…how wonderfully lovely for you. You think ‘oh its just one night’ but you know what its not just one night, we have a table like you every bloody night. We’re tired, hungry, have babysitters to send home, friends we want to see, parties we want to go too, second jobs/studying we need to get up for in the morning. Please, piss off now. Thank you very much, Ciao!

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8 responses

7 09 2008
Tylor

I do not envy you your job. I will be sure and keep all this as law.

7 09 2008
Paula

Lots of things to remember for future. I don’t understand why some people get off on treating waiting staff like shit.

7 09 2008
Duma Key

lol….This is so like my pub! The big one I hate (Sunday is my busy day) is the people who wander in and plonk themselves down on a table for 6 when there is only two of them! O and the people who can see how busy we are, but do not want the table we have reserved for them!
I am with you on the fast food as well…A well done fillet takes however long it takes to cook! Thats that! Ok I need to come down from pub mode ready for office mode tomorrow!!!!
I do wonder though if half my customers have any common sense!!!!!

8 09 2008
glaize

Blog front? I’ve seen you around but as always, I am the invisible particle floating in the Internet 🙂

Anyways, though I don’t visit restaurants much and even if I do, tipping is not a culture here in M’sia, this is still a good read!

25 09 2008
enreal

The restaurant business is one of nightmares… I know… I live it too… hang in there… it is your job… not your life…

Great list…

5 10 2008
oracleofthepearl

LOL–You forgot to bring up the various joys of diners with children, and I do mean the inconsiderate type of diners. You know the ones–the world is their babysitter?
Think impromptu audition for Riverdance while trying to deliver plates, or maybe just that unplanned game of Dodgeball.

Love your writing, and your list has brought to mind my own, embarrassingly long one.
Actually, I have one just for the above mentioned diner. LOL.
Honest, I like kids.

6 10 2008
Daisy

Oh How much i agree, and also the pushchair/pram brigade, wheeling them around like missiles taking out anyone in their way, barging into tables and seated customers, thinking it perfectly acceptable to squash the nearerst customers, when the children clearly old enough for a high chair., then the doting grandparents (not parents, see above, they too busy chatting usuing the waitress as baby sitter), with the toddler, walking them round and round the resturant for everone to notice they are learning to walk, whilst you are trying hard to balance plates of fire cause you’ve upset the holy chef, by asking for something for the customer off the menu, so he heats the plates to burning level.!!!

20 08 2009
Lou-Lou

I just read the comments on this back and had to laugh, the ones you added are soo true as well!! The joys of being a waitress, maybe I just found one good reason for leaving Spain 🙂

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