Monday, September 27, 2010
This job would be great if it weren't for the customers
As previously discussed on this blog, I am fully aware that I don't *have* to wait tables, that I am capable of getting and holding down a more "stable" day job. But I like working in a restaurant most of the time. People behave rather astonishingly when they are dining out. Usually, I'm amused by the oddities I witness and strange requests (such as a martini with a straw) but sometimes my friendly, professional veneer cracks and I want to pour scalding hot coffee over all the patrons in my section. To avoid this fate, here are some handy tips on how to not be an asshole in a restaurant:
1. If you don't want ice in your Diet Coke, the time to tell me that is when you order it, not when I bring it to the table.
2. If it's not on the menu, we don't have it, even if you had it the last time you were here.
3. If you have a gift certificate, you should still tip on the amount you spent INCLUDING THE GIFT CERTIFICATE. If the gift certificate is for $50 and your total before that's deducted is $100, you should tip on the $100 (i.e. at least $15).
4. I heard you the first time when you asked for decaf. Ask again and it might be a looooog, jittery, sleepless night.
5. Please just sit where the hostess tries to seat you. You will get the same food/service no matter where you sit and it throws everything off sometimes if you insist on sitting where you want.
6. I am happy to make suggestions and tell you what I like, but I don't know your life. Chicken or salmon? Mushroom omelet or brioche french toast? It's all delicious. MAKE UP YOUR MIND ALREADY, I HAVE OTHER TABLES.
7. I mean, it's your dollar, but if you're ordering your steak well done and your fish cooked through, might I suggest dining at the Marriott down the street? The chef there is masterful when it comes to overcooking protein.
8. If you order a $75 bottle of wine with your meal and pay with a black Amex, I think you can manage an 18-20% tip, unless I do something egregious. My hourly is $2.65 and your annual fee is $2500.
9. Don't ask me to split the check 5 ways. Unless you're dining with total strangers you will never see again after this meal, I'm guessing you can work it out somehow.
10. Please don't talk to me like I have the IQ of a seared sea scallop. I'm a college-educated, self-supporting professional earning a graduate degree. I also happen to know a lot about food and wine, which is why I'm at your table. And I want you to have the best experience possible, so if you're polite, I promise everything will be lovely.