Today’s post comes from a waitress from down under, Lauren Nugent. It seems that servers on both sides of the world deal with the exact same things. You can visit Lauren at her website Nourished Spirits or her Facebook page. Thanks! -BW
One. Ignoring the “wait to be seated” sign, and sitting wherever you please. This sign is there for a reason – so we can keep track of who sits where when. If you sit wherever you like and then complain about being ignored, you are the devil. If you are offered a table and then get up and move to another table (especially if it’s dirty or unset), you’re even worse. You are not at home, you cannot eat wherever you like. We’ll do our best to find you a table you like, but please try and be logical.
Two. Forgetting what you ordered when we bring your food to the table. Wondering why we’re standing there looking constipated? Two of the three plates we’re holding are piping hot and quickly branding our hands and arms. If we bring the wrong meal, we’re genuinely sorry and we’ll get that fixed up for you right away. But 9 times out of 10 we’ve brought the right meals, you just don’t listen or remember when we try to get your attention. And if we’re holding three plates and you rudely tell us there should be more meals coming – we’d like to remind you that we only have two hands.
Three. Not telling us about your dietary requirements, and then getting pissy at us when you can’t (or won’t) eat your meal. We take dietary requirements very seriously and we will always do our best to accommodate you and keep you happy and healthy – but if we don’t know about your severe onion allergy, how exactly are we meant to cater to it? You’re an adult, you’ve chosen to eat out, and it’s your responsibility to make us aware of your needs. Don’t waste our time and money by getting your meal remade – tell us, and we’ll get it right the first time.
Four. Clicking at us, yelling at us, waving at us rudely… If you wouldn’t try to get the attention of your mother like that, don’t do it to us. And if you would act that way to your mother, I feel sorry for her.
Five. Arguing with us that our workplace policies are stupid. Maybe you’re right – but that doesn’t change the fact that that’s the way things are done, and we’re not going to change it for you, especially if you’re rude or abusive. If the menus say “One Bill Per Table”, then that’s exactly what you can expect. If you don’t trust your friends enough to pay you back when you pick up the cheque, should you be eating out with them at all?
If you’ve never worked in hospitality you can’t possibly understand how we feel. Daily, we are treated as third rate members of society. Well we have news for you – we’re not. Yes, hospitality is our job. But it’s not who we are. Many of us are studying to be doctors or lawyers; some of us have already graduated and are job hunting. We might have a day job in an office and rush to get to our restaurant job afterwards to make some extra money. Or maybe we work full time as a waiter – but outside of that, we’re strong people with interesting, sometimes difficult lives, who deserve respect.
The customers is not always right. You can not come into our workplace and treat our family like we don’t matter. We are people – we are worthwhile, smart, brave, hard working people. And we will be treated as such.