Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Waiter Axioms

Anyone who wants a table a half hour before closing is an asshole.

If a customer never says “Please” or “thank you” during the course of the meal you’re getting 15% or less.

If a customer pays with the Discover Card – your tips probably gonna be bad.

If the customer says “You’re the best waiter I’ve ever had” – your tip is sure to be shit.

Women with fur coats seldom tip the coat check girl.

A person dining alone is the most likely to skip out on the bill.

Customers can’t tell the difference between Absolut and Grey Goose.

A customer who smells the cork is an amateur.

Serve Decaf – to everybody.

A customer who leaves the tip in cash was probably a waiter once.

The waiter who stays latest makes the most cash.

Pick new staff carefully. You can train a person to wait tables. You can’t untrain an asshole.

Never lose control of your station.

Ask for help.

If the waiters aren’t complaining then something’s wrong.

Coke head waiters work their entire shift. The Potheads always want to leave early. The Crackheads bolt as soon as they get their first cash tip.

Shift drinks are a mistake.

Never get on the bad side of the kitchen staff.

Never shortchange the bus people when you tip out.

A customer that never makes eye contact is a nutjob.

ID everyone who looks younger than you.

If a customer asks your name - it’s not because they want to be your friend.

Bitters and club soda are good for an upset stomach.

Visine does not give people the runs.

Wash your hands constantly.


Tea drinkers are a pain in the ass.

"Prix-Fixe" customers are a pain in the ass.

Hostesses are a royal pain in the ass. (Not to be confused with "reservation managers")

If don’t have clean pants for work - iron your dirty ones with Febreze.

Hide a spare tie/shirt at work.

Never leave your wine opener lying around.

Remember - the customer will eventually leave.

I agree with almost everything you say, but I must take issue with "Serve everyone decaf." I totally hate it when I'm falling asleep 20 minutes after leaving the restaurant 'cause the waiter didn't think I'd notice, at least not until after I leave the tip.
I lasted less than two weeks as a waitress - lousy memory - but your rants ring true, and have helped me be a better customer. And I *do* always leave my tip in cash. In the spirit of learning more, I have some questions.

If a customer asks your name - it’s not because they want to be your friend.

Why is it, then?

Shift drinks are a mistake.

What are shift drinks?

Open Table customers are a pain in the ass.

What are "Open Table" customers?

Keep ranting and I'll keep reading faithfully.
If they ask your name - it's so they can nag you later when your busy.

Open Table is an online reservation system for foodie geeks.

A shift drink is a free alcoholic beverage given to the staff per shift. Waiters drink enough. Besides - why drink where you can't really relax
I have to admit I'm surprised that at least one server doesn't like OpenTable customers. I always figured it was in the server's best interest to be warned about the bad seeds in advance. Conversely, you might know to provide especially good service if the customer has a good record.
Darling.. love what you say.. much better than my ramblings. I empathize, being a former restaurant ho, and still proudly tip well and try to be a good customer. I'm sure you have much more patience than I could ever muster and I wouldn't keep reading if you didn't write so engagingly..
We have to wear name-badges where I work, so you get the occasional over-jovial person who will peer at my chest a lot and say:

'Ah, hello, um... ANDREA. I would like a (fill in order). Thanks, ANDREA.'

Then when I bring it:

'Ah, well done...er...ANDREA.'

How pathetic are the efforts of the customer to be a Good People Person!
Pardon the ignorance, but does a waiter get less of a tip if it's left on a credit card? Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm wondering if the percentage that the restaurant pays to the credit card company comes out of the tip portion too. If so, I didn't realize, and will certainly make sure to always leave a tip in cash from now on.
I was a waitress for many years... those are so true!

I have to comment on the ask the server's name thing... an ex-bf used to do that ALL the time and be a TOTAL pain in the ass to whatever poor server actually provided that information. The first time it happened I should have know our relationship was doomed...

now, my end of shift drink was always very welcomed... first because it signaled the end, and then we always went out for a few more, somewhere where we could relax.
I didn't mind being their "friend" when I brought their food, as along as they returned the friendliness in the tip!
Visine does, in fact, do the job. As well, tobasco sauce dries colorlessly and odorlessly on a seat and will be reactivated with sweat... If you want to watch people squirm.
I agree with most of his rants. I don't know about the online reservation. open- table where I work meanse no asses are in them yet. I actually found there is very little difference in cash tips v. credit card tips except for with cash people may have $35 bill and leave 2 $20's because they don't have enough to leave a good tip. I realize 3.5o is 10 percent and 15 would be about 5 but I average about 18% - 20% ( on smooth-running tables).

the name badge thing is annoying especially for the women servers where I work. they'll have a guy look at her chest and say hi...jane. tips alot of it is not in the service but in the relationship you can build. if anyone would like to learn some tips about that, let me know and I'll be happy to share
Being a long time service industry type...I agree with everything to certain degrees. People are either 1. ignorant or 2. stupid or 3. A little bit of both. I just don't know how people, when the go out to eat, can act in such a disrespectful fashion. Do they go out to be upset? I tell you what, stay home, set 100 bucks on fire and spare me the treatment. Appologies to everyone who has hooked me up but the worthless patrons are in the vast majority. How can you snap you fingers, complain, act like a moron and not tip? The good news is, we can smell you coming...when you get lousy service or when I spend more time with the polite folks just know why. Oh...and yes...we do talk about you before, during and after the dining experience. Rock on.
Are tea drinkers a PITA just because you have to bring them the little pot of hot water? Or is it something more inherent, like they ask for little things constantly? I ask because I don't do caffeine and don't like coffee, so ask for herbal tea, but only when it's winter and I'm bloody freezing to death. I certainly hope that otherwise I'm not a PITA.
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