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.
ALSO READ: No student hospitality jobs, the 500m rule and other concerns regarding SA's new liquor law proposals
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 the night.
So here are my top 5 things that waiters can do which adversely affect the tip I give when I visit restaurants – and I would love to hear what your worst pet hates are as well!
1. 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 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.
2. ‘Sorry, that’s not my section’
Nothing 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?
4. Hanging out at the POS (point of sale machine)
No-one 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’ bills and calculating his probable tips – you do that to me matey, and yours is going down every second.
5. Encouraging the double tip
If 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.
ALSO READ: UK Michelin star restaurant caught paying staff below minimum wage
Follow Cathy Marston on Twitter @CathyMarston
Article gifs: www.reactiongifs.com