So, as mentioned in my previous post, I have a new J-O-B. I’m going to refrain from using the company’s name on my blog (if you’re a friend of mine, you likely already know it) but I will tell you that I’m waiting tables.
I’ve been there for a month, and so far I love it! This is my first job waiting tables, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started. I’m extroverted, so I thought I’d probably like it, but a small part of me was also afraid that I’d hate it – I had heard horror stories from a few people who had worked in this field.
My experience thus far has been mainly positive, although I have encountered some of “those” people that others warned me about. I’ve learned a lot. A LOT. And I want to share some of it here for any of you who have never worked in this field before. I wish I had known some of these things before now. So…here are some tips (like that?):
#1. Christians. In restaurant world, you are known as bad tippers. When your server watches you bow your head to bless your food, he/she probably isn’t thinking “Wow, I want to know their God.” They are likely thinking “Great. I’m about to get a bad tip.” You know how I know? Because this is exactly what crosses my mind when I see people blessing their food. I feel bad for admitting that, but it’s true. And I think this way because it’s what I’ve experienced. I’ve had about five families pray in front of me so far. Out of those five, only one left me a good tip. The rest didn’t even tip 10%. One wasn’t even 5%. It makes me sad for my coworkers. I’m glad that I was the one serving these particular Christians, but I know my coworkers still get them too. I work with so many unbelievers…I hate that this is their experience of Christianity. How about we change it? 🙂
#2 Please do not fight in front of me. I’m serious. I don’t care if you’re mad at your husband for stealing an olive off your plate, or if you think your daughter needs to know how crappy her boyfriend is because he doesn’t have a job. Please keep that mess at home. Or at least wait until I’m gone from your table. It’s just awkward.
#3 Stop stealing my pens. The restaurant doesn’t provide those…I do. And yes, little old lady. I did see you admire my blue pen and stick it into your purse even though you knew it didn’t belong to you.
#4 If you like wine, and I offer you a free wine sample…TAKE IT. My managers keep track of my wine samples. I have to do a wine presentation for them if I don’t sample enough. Wine presentations make me nervous…so help me out by taking a free sample. Thanks.
#5 Write me notes on the back of your receipt. They actually make me smile more than big tips do. For real.
#6 If you’re unhappy with something, please tell me so that I can fix it. Before working in this industry, I was always afraid it would make my waitress angry if I told her my food tasted funny, or that it wasn’t hot enough. I’m finding now that I feel the exact opposite. I want to know if you’re unhappy so that I can fix it. I truly want you to be 100% satisfied when you leave to go home.
#7 Get off your cellphone. At least for two seconds so that I can greet you and take your order.
#8 Along the same lines. When I walk up to your table and greet you…please stop talking to each other and acknowledge my presence within 20 seconds. Why do I even have to say this?
#9 Be nice to me. Please? Believe it or not, when I’m taking longer than expected to get to your table, it isn’t because I’m lazy or not trying hard enough to get to you. It’s because there are “behind the scenes” rules that you aren’t aware of preventing me from getting to you. Like the one where if there is hot food in the window, I’m required to take it to it’s designated table, even if it doesn’t belong to me. On the weekends, this can really mess me up because there is ALWAYS hot food in the window. This means that anytime I go to the kitchen to get something for you, I’m going to be asked to run a tray somewhere else. Yes, I realize this makes it seem like I’m serving others before you, and I’m sorry. My manager made me do it.
#10 If you’re going to be sitting at your table for over an hour, please tip a little bit more. Just a little bit 🙂 I’m only allowed a certain amount of tables at a time, so when you stay longer than an hour, you are preventing me from making much money.
#11 Ask me questions. I love when people ask for my suggestions or what my favorite dish is. The other night, a lady asked about two dishes that I love equally! She told me to surprise her with my choice so I flipped a coin. She thought it was hilarious and I was glad to make her laugh.
#12 If I tell you that I haven’t tried a particular item on the menu, and you order it, please do not insist that I taste it once you receive it. I will be tempted to, because I am likely starving since I haven’t had a break, but I can’t. Can you imagine if my manager walked by and found me eating off your plate? Awkward.
#13 Bad tips hurt my feelings. I wish I could say just kidding, but they really do. When I go the extra mile to serve you, only to find a $2 tip in return, it hurts my feelings. I’ve even cried over it before. If you’re laughing with and talking to me while at one of my tables, and I’m doing a great job, please do not leave me a bad tip in return. It feels like a slap to the face.
#14 Please come back and ask for me. I want regulars!
#15 I enjoy your children! A lot of parents get embarrassed and apologize for their children making messes and being loud, but seriously…kids are my favorite customers. They are so much fun, and I love having them at my tables. Keep bringing them in!
Okay…I think that’s it for now. I’ve only been doing this for a month, so I’m sure I’ll have more things to say in the future. Hopefully, this post doesn’t step on any toes. If it does, I’m sorry.
I feel really fortunate to have found this job. It is physically demanding (I’ve lost 7.5 lbs in the past month) and tiring, but it is so much fun! It’s fast-paced and exciting. I love the people. And I don’t stare at the clock while I’m there. It’s pretty great!