It’s always fun for me to respond to an article about what some basic Becky has to say about a restaurant experience. Such is the case with an article called “Are These Unrealistic Expectations From Waitstaff?” that was written for a website called Times Union. For the most part, I tend to agree with the writer, but I still want to take each point and clarify.
- Clear the app and dinner plates before bringing dessert. Yes, I agree that this is how it should happen.
- Walk with some sort of purpose, and interest, throughout the crowded dining room rather than strolling at the pace of a 98-year-old with a walker after hip surgery. Well, listen Becky. Sometimes, after working two doubles in a row and making three dozen trips to the same table because they only know how to ask for things one at a time, my 48-year-old ass has no choice but to walk slowly. And I always walk with purpose, it’s just that sometimes the purpose is more for me than for a customer. For example, when I am walking out of the dining room because I can’t stand looking at my customers anymore.
- Know the menu. I agree.
- Check back within a few minutes of bringing the entrees to confirm everything came out right. I agree as long as customers agree to tell me that something is wrong within those few minutes rather than waiting until they have eaten two-thirds of it and then saying the steak was overcooked and now they want it taken off the bill.
- Take a drink order within five or so minutes of your being seated. I agree. However, don’t say you’re going to be ready and then not be ready. I do not have time for that.
- Not ask “well can you just eat it like that” when you’re pregnant and not allowed to eat blue cheese yet your salad is topped with veiny crumbles. I agree, but this sounds like a very specific happening and I don’t think it’s representative of servers at all.
- Introduce him or herself when coming to the table…it’s much more polite to refer to someone by name “hey you over there” if you’d like a beverage refill. Ummm, I’m not going to bother telling you my name because nine times out of ten you won’t remember it. And if you don’t know the name of your server, there are ways to ask for things other than saying “hey you over there.” C’mon Becky, that’s just rude. How about saying “excuse me, miss?” That would work. Just because you don’t know the name of the person who is serving you is no reason to be rude.
- Carry more than one plate at a time when clearing the table. Ideally, yes, but if a server can only carry one plate at a time, he probably has a good reason for doing so, like maybe his other hand is hidden in his apron giving you the finger.
- Not say “be careful, the plate is incredibly hot” then set said plate right in front of the toddler. Where else are we supposed to put hot plates other than the table? If there are four people and all four people have plates, chances are each one of them is going to get a plate set in front of them, hot or otherwise. If a child burns his hand on a sizzling fajita skillet, maybe the parents can use it as a learning opportunity and say something like, “Sorry, Junior. He told you the plate was hot. Maybe next time you’ll listen, you little asshole.”
- Not slap down the dessert menu when you explicitly state you’re full and not interested in dessert. Sorry, Basic Becky, but if you’re eating at Applebee’s or TGI Fridays, it’s part of the script. We have to say it. Restaurants know that if you see a photo of the triple chocolate crunch pie, you’re more likely to order it. Use your resolve, pretend the server just offered you a hit off a bong and just say “no.”
Here is the original article if you want to go drop your two cents.