Hands up out there who’s been a waiter at one time or another? It’s
almost a rite of passage for many students as well as a career choice
for thousands on an on-going basis, but it’s always seemed to me to be
one of the more perilous of positions.
Even if you’re really
good and give fantastic service, you are always dependent on your
customers not to be stingy and to actually tip you well at the end of
So here are my top five things that waiters can do
which adversely affect the tip I personally give when I visit
restaurants – and I would love to hear what your worst pet hates are as
Not knowing the specials
It’s all to do with
being prepared. If you can’t be bothered to ask the chef what kind of
soup it is before you come to the table, then I can’t be bothered to
order it. Write it down if you have to and it’s long and complicated,
but every waiter who comes to my table ought to be able to tell me
what’s on the menu today.
‘Sorry, that’s not my section’
annoys me more than an unhelpful waiter. I don’t actually know which
section I’m sitting in and as far as I’m concerned, you’re all here to
work as a team and help me have a good time. So don’t just refuse to
help me if I ask for an extra serviette. It takes no time at all to say
‘Sure’ and either do it yourself or pass it on to the correct person.
And if you do that, my waiter may even look after your tables and help
you out in return.
I’m here at your
restaurant to conduct a business transaction – I order food, you bring
me food, I pay you for food. Thank you very much and goodnight. If I
want a shoulder massage, I’ll go to a day spa okay?
Hanging out at the POS (point of sale machine)
likes to be hassled by a waiter, but one side of them I never want to
see is their back. A good waiter is always facing the floor, always
looking out for signs that his customers need him. Not hunched over the
POS, back to the customers, going through his tables’s bills and
calculating his probable tips – you do that to me matey, and yours is
going down every second.
Encouraging the double tip
I go out with a group of friends, I have no real problems if you add on
a service charge – hey, we all have that friend who ‘forgets’ to add
tip onto their share of the bill. But I have a real problem if you don’t
make it absolutely clear that service charge has already been included
and instead decorate my bill with huge letter ‘R’s all over the place
suggesting we add a tip. That’s called cheating and even though we may
have all had such a good night that we miss it then and there, I sure as
hell will pick it up the next day and will phone your boss to tell him
why he’s lost a whole bunch of customers.
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