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Dining out is one of the most relaxing and satisfying feelings that everyone experiences at least a few times in their life. Maybe not so satisfying for your wallet depending on where you choose to dine, however still rewarding mentally and physically after a full belly. But for the people taking care of you all day and night it can begin to take a toll if you just can't seem to be a decent human being while enjoying your meal. Whether it's a cashier who is ringing up your order or a server who runs back and forth to cater to your every whim or even the cook who slaves over hot grills and ovens to make you a tasty treat.
It feels like some people have forgotten what it was like to be in the customer service industry or at least it seems like that from all of the crap restaurant workers have to put up with. Partially because there are those select individuals who have never worked in customer service or food service and therefore do not know all of the hard work it entails. Well luckily for you I'm here to inform you so that at least someone reading this can understand and make the dining experience better for all parties involved. Let's get started!
1. Extra is extra and not all accommodations can be met.
The ordering part is quite simple. There is a magical little brochure of approximately 4 or 6 pages with pictures and prices (unless you're at some fancy place where they hide the prices because rich people can literally spend 100 dollars on water with gold flakes in it). You just take your seat and open that baby up and surprise the options are endless. Or in most cases 7 or 8 different choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner give or take a few. Now I'm not sure why this is so hard for some people to grasp but please keep the rage to a minimum if the menu changes, if the restaurant can't accommodate certain substitutions, or if your bill comes out to more than expected because you decided that your grilled cheese needed to have bacon, avocado, grilled onions, and extra cheese on it. None of those examples are the fault of your cashier, server, or cook. Those jobs are literally what they say they are, to cook to take cash and to serve. We do not have any say in pricing or menu items. Sorry but kinda of... not sorry. It's quite annoying to get yelled at for these things as if I'm in control of restaurant rules and policies. Im just a bystander her who needs my paycheck.
2. We cannot read minds.
If you have allergies, then you need to express that to the server or cashier in a cool and calm manner. It is not necessarily your servers' job to ask every single person that they wait on if they have allergies or dislikes. It is our job to answer any questions about what products come on or in the food you order but that's it. If you are allergic to onions, then it might be in your best interest to ask your server if they can make sure your burger has no onion product on it. Servers have a ton of tables during their 6 to 9 hour shifts and we have to remember all of them so a little help from you goes a long way. It takes two seconds for you to explain your allergy or dislike and for us to write it down and relay it to the cook. It really is that easy.
3. Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days (bonus points for guessing the reference).
Look, this point is a little more 50/50 on the scale. Because I do understand that you pay decent money to go out and be wined and dined by someone who is supposed to be excellent at their job. And most of us are indeed very skilled in our field. But no matter who we are or what we do, we all make mistakes. I sincerely apologize for forgetting to bring you that side of garlic aioli with your waffle fries, it must have slipped my mind while I was trying to remember the 7 other requests from other tables that I am also serving. OR could it possibly be that I only have two hands and rather than stuffing a tray with a million things and risking your entire tables worth of food falling onto the floor, maybe I am going to come back with your garlic aioli? I mean as soon as I set down your food there is no need to automatically assume that I forgot your request and then proceed to shout at me for 5 minutes about how horrible of a server I am and how I won't be tipped due to my forgetfulness. The 5 minutes it took you to yell and throw a fit, I would have been back with your request.
4. Please tip.
I cannot express this enough. I know that some servers gripe and moan because they don't end with a 20% tip but for me personally I don't demand a percent. I say that if every table I serve tips 2 or 3 dollars, then that's fine with me. It's just a small incentive to help out and to show that I did a good job serving you. Now of course if you come with a party of 10 or 12 people and you only tip 2 dollars, then we'd have a huge problem because you and I both know that just unacceptable. Some argue that if we can't make ends meet with our server jobs then why don't we get a different job but that's highly unrealistic to say. I could retort back and say that if you don't feel you should tip your server then don't eat out and cook at home which you'd then respond with "It's a free country I can do what I want," which I'd only chuckle and end the argument with "same bro, same." The moral of the story is tipping helps servers in more ways than you know. Just how you get bonuses at your big corporate jobs or commission in your sales positions. Well tips are servers' bonuses and commissions and that's how a lot of us pay for school or pay for gas to get to work or pay for new work shoes or just save up for our dreams. I'm currently saving for my first car and when people run me ragged for an hour and a half while they stuff their face and yell at me for things I can't control and then leave me to clean a filthy table of 10 plates and then leave me a quarter as a mean joke, well that's insulting and quite frankly embarrassing. So please think next time before you decide to skip tipping because you never know the kind of life someone else has to live.
5. Treat your server how you would want to be treated.
This article is NOT a ploy to make anyone feel sorry for me or to attack those who go out to eat. Like I said in my opening statement, these are only a small percent of things people do that seriously make it harder on us food industry workers to have a good time serving you. I love people and genuinely love the food industry but it shouldn't be this hard or stressful especially when the reasons for your behavior as a guest have no validation. The funny thing is some of the bad apples that act this way claim they used to be servers or that their children are servers and it baffles me to the core that they can justify their annoying and immature behavior. A servers sole purpose is to provide you with the best dining experience because you deserve it. So please treat us with some respect, help us help you, and for goodness sakes leave a reasonable tip.
Thank you so much for reading. A part 2 could be in the works. Let me know if you have other article suggestions and if you like you can leave a small tip. I'll see you next time for a new story.