Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Dec 18, 2005

Food Service

All right, this has got to stop; ditzy servers are ruining my meals out, which are supposed to be fun. So, here's my general advice for serving:

1. Drinks should be brought promptly and kept full. If they aren't, fill 'em. And don't make me talk to you in order to get my drink refilled. If I want it, I'll drink it, if not, I won't, either way it doesn't make a hoot of difference to you. Oh, and don't steal my glass in order to fill it up; bring me a new one. I like to enjoy the illusion that my drinks are poured only into clean containers.

2. Get my order correct. Writing it down might help. And for the love of money know what's on the menu and whether or not I get bread, salad, french fries, what have you with what I ordered. Don't play 20 questions with me, either; assume I want exactly what's on the menu unless I tell you differently. (On the flip side, if it comes with a bunch of options, know what those are, too, and do ask me about them.)

3. Don't make me chase you down to ask for silverware after my food has already arrived. Yes, I know it's the host's job to put it on the table, but the host is an idiot. You should have figured THAT out when he sat you that party of 15 and the two old couples that don't tip within about 5 minutes of each other.

4. Don't imagine that, when I come to the restaurant alone with a book, I need to be entertained and this is your cue to strike up a conversation with me. I'm trying to read, here. I don't need to know that the new short-order cook is cute, and I don't care, either.

5. Don't ask me 15 times while I'm eating (always coming up when I've just taken a bite and forcing me to choke it down so I don't spray food all over my companion or book) whether I want something else and then forget to ask whether I want dessert before you bring the check. I don't know whether I want dessert until after I'm done eating.

6. Your job is to serve customers. I know the store manager thinks it's your job to chop vegetables, roll silverware, bus tables, mop floors, etc. The store manager is also an idiot. Serve the customers first and smile at the manager when he starts to get testy, telling him that you'll get "right on it" just as soon as you can. The manager pays you peanuts, your tipping customers pay you in cash.

7. And PLEASE ask if I want the check split when I'm eating with someone else, even if it's a guy.

I've worked in food service, and I know it can be incredibly hard, but practicing good service actually makes your job easier: you get into the habit of always doing these things and you have fewer problems.

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