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Food24's waiter rant

Food24 has its very own bleak waitron... welcome to his hell.

12 Oct 2011

You can tell when a patron at a restaurant has never been a waiter. Never dodged unsupervised children flying willy nilly across your path, steaming plates of food balanced on your arms, hips and sometimes head. Never been tipped R2 on a bill of nearly R800.

Never had to repeatedly return to a table pathologically unable to make up their minds or at least order in batches. These same people cannot hope to understand the unwritten etiquette of ordering drinks / food / bowls of water for the dog (...) and will, without fail, send their waitron into a murderous fury the moment he or she slips out of sight.

The trick to having good service is to treat your waitron the way he or she wants to be treated. Period. Follow these few rules and you will, barring the really horrible kind of waiter who just don't care either way, have a jolly old time. I shall be speaking frankly.

Rule #1

Never, EVER piss off the person(s) preparing or serving your food. This should be glaringly obvious - you have no idea of or control over what's happening to your plate of food before it gets to your table. I have never sabotaged a patron's food but oh, how I've been tempted. This is perhaps the most important rule of dining out and could save your waitron and yourself a lot of grief, so keep it in mind when you see - in the eyes of the overworked student attending your needs - those faint spiderweb cracks appear in his / her composure. We need no additional aggravation.

Rule #2

Order off the menu. Don't upset an already precarious balancing act just because you want your eggs poached instead of baked. A restaurant relies on things happening smoothly in order to make your time as enjoyable as possible. The more complications you stuff down my throat, the higher the odds of something going wrong. I'm having to waste valuable time writing ridiculous instructions or explaining to the chef your personal preferences. It's infuriating.

If you want seafood, go to a seafood restaurant. If you want burgers and chips, use your common sense.

Oh, and another thing, if the restaurant's name includes the word 'Tavern', do not - under ANY circumstances - order a Double Skinny Upside Down Semi-Dry Cappucino Cafe Lattmortalyoushouldnothavesummonedthedemonlord. If it says cappucino on the menu, consider yourself galactically lucky. Don't push it.

Rule #3

Tip. Properly. At least 10%. Don't tip less than R10 on a bill of less than R100. I'm trying to make a living here, not pocket change.

For the rest of the waiter rant click on and read away - and post your comments at the bottom of this article.

Will you be following the rules of "The Idiots Guide to Dining Out"?

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