Thursday, February 18, 2010

PSA Thursday- Rules for Dining Out (part one)

I am rolling out a new feature. PSA Thursday. For those of you not into acronyms PSA means Public Service announcement. Here, I will be addressing a plethora of topics and treating you to my immense wisdom. I hope you enjoy!

 Since making my way back into working for tips, I forgot how obnoxious some people can be. Then, after talking to some people I know, I realized many people are just not aware of what a server/waiter/bartender has to do.

I have always thought that a class on restaurant etiquette should be mandatory in High School, but since it's not I'll teach y'all myself! So here's the 411:

*Servers and most bartenders make $3-$4 an hour. Their tips are their lively hood. If you received decent service 18% is the LEAST you should leave them. This is for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I never understood why breakfast/lunch patrons think they should have to tip less. You server works just as hard. And if you can't afford to leave some sort of tip, then you shouldn't go out to eat. Plain and simple

*Servers often have to pay the bartender a % of their liquor sales. If you don't tip or leave a bad tip and you have ordered alcohol, your server is actually losing money. Not Nice!

*Please pay your bill promptly. Most servers get "cut" when a restaurant slows down. And servers can't leave if they still have open checks. If you no longer need their service, don't hold them hostage. Servers call people who do this "campers".

*Speaking of sitting at your table...Servers get a limited number of tables a night. Usually between 4-6. They make their money by "turning tables". This means if a server only has 4 tables he/she will make more money by getting people in and out quickly. 50 minutes for lunch and 90 minutes for dinner is usually par for the course. As a restaurant patron it is your right to sit at a table for as long as you like however, keep this in mind when you are tipping. Also, please don't use an empty table as a place for your belongings or for your kids to play. Every table that goes un-sat is lost money for a server.

* A restaurant is a place for people to relax and enjoy a meal. It is not a playground or babysitting service. Other patrons do not want to hear/see your children. Servers walk around carrying hot food, beverages, and often heavy trays. Balancing these things can be hard enough on it's own, never mind trying to do it while dodging children.

*If you get a discount/free meal/etc. it is customary to tip on your total bill BEFORE this discount, unless it was a discount because of poor service.

*Please don't be mad at me if you don't like what you ordered. I will be happy to get you something else, but there is no need to be rude to me because you tried something new and didn't like it. And don't eat the whole thing and then tell me you didn't like it. Tell me right away and I can get you something else. Tell me at the end and there is nothing I can do. Managers are often times unlikely to comp your meal if you liked it enough to finish the whole thing.

* It is rude to be on your cell phone when I am taking your order. I hate it when I go to a table to take their order and the person ordering is on their cell phone. They look at me half the time like I am annoying them by taking their order. Um, you came to me! Either tell me to come back or tell the person on the phone you will call them back. At the very least put your phone down for a minute, make eye contact with me, and tell me what you want.

And Lastly...

*Be kind to your server. Working the the general public can be very difficult at times, and kindness goes a long way. And if your server/bartender has gone out of their way for you or done and exceptionally good job, tip accordingly. They will be grateful and will surely remember you the next time you come in!

Now that you know the basics, head on over and check out Part Two: Advanced rules for dining out and how not to be a douche.

Do you have any peeves? Either as a restaurant patron or someone that works with the general public for tips. (Servers, delivery drivers, hairstylists) Leave a comment with your "gripe" of the week!


Alissa said...

Great Post! Two thumbs up from me :)

Alisha S. said...
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