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Waiter vs Customer

Everyone always complains about having a terrible waitress, but do you know what it's like to have terrible customers?

by: Food24: Kerry Gibbs | 10 Dec 2008

When some restaurants start out, they usually concentrate on how excellent the food should be and forget to train their staff properly. Terrible service can completely spoil a great meal.

I come from a family that works within the service industry and have waitressed for many years. Therefore I have been trained in the do's and don't s of good service.

Here are a couple of things you should expect from good waitrons:

• Your cutlery and glasses should be polished, the tablecloths must be ironed and clean, and tables should not wobble.

• The waitrons should attend to you immediately, with menus (within 60 seconds once seated by the maître d') and must be prepared to take a drinks order.

• Your waitrons must let you know what the specials are, if anything has been taken off the menu and what is not in stock. (It is so frustrating when you have your heart/stomach set on a meal and you end up not being able to have it.)

• They must always write down the orders and repeat them back to you.

• Make sure that you always have the correct cutlery; it is really difficult to eat steak with a butter knife or nothing at all!

• If you complain, it is important that they acknowledge a mistake has been made, always offer an apology and don't offer an excuse or blame the chef. When offering a solution to the problem they must do so with a sense of urgency, thus letting you know that they are genuine and care. A waitron must never argue with you.

• If a meal is taking longer than expected they must keep you informed so that you are not left in the dark. If possible they can bring bread, a side salad or veggies.

• Teamwork is imperative; all waitrons should be assisting each other.Just because someone isn't your waitron, doesn't mean that they should ignore you.

• At all times a waitron must act professional, be presentable, attentive and confident.

Now I know the customer is always right, but there can be exceptions to that rule. I thought I should add a couple of tips on how to be a good customer:

• Of utmost importance, please do not get drunk and sexually harass the waitrons, male or female, hot or not. And don't give them your numbers, especially if you are twice their age. We usually snigger to each other and burn the evidence, larger tips are more appreciated.

• When it is obviously busy do not decide to tell the waiter your life story, we usually have 4 or 5 more tables that also need our attention. (We might pretend to be interested but we really aren't)

• When you have a large party, please all order at the same time. It is time depleting to have to continuously return to a table to take another order. And annoying that somehow it is our fault when you receive your meals at different times.

• Also, please, when we repeat the order back to you, listen and pay attention. If we do make a mistake we can then rectify it.

• Don't complain about things that cannot be changed, like your butter not being salty enough, the bees that are flying around, or that the prices have increased by R1.

• Don't emotionally abuse your waiter by calling them stupid, idiots or crazy. We are still human even if you neglect to treat us as such.

• Most important of all, when the closing bell rings, please leave. We have been running around like complete maniacs serving people (usually drunkards) for 8 or more hours and just want to go home and pass out.

What do you expect from your waitress or customer?

- None


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