Sorry, Mom. Sorry, God. (tygrrtygrr) wrote in bad_service,
Sorry, Mom. Sorry, God.
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Responsibility

Both the customers and the employees in a restaurant have certain responsibilities to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. It's all about meeting halfway.



Responsibility of customer:
When you enter the restaurant and the hostess tells you the wait time, it is up to you to then make the decision of whether or not you wish to wait the quoted amount of time. If you choose to wait an hour for a table, be prepared to do just that.

Responsibility of employee:
Be as accurate as possible with the wait times. If your estimation turns out to be off, apologize.

Responsibility of customer:
Inform the host of any specific needs before you are seated. If your father-in-law is grossly obese and won’t fit into a booth, please spare both the host and yourself the embarrassment of being led to a booth, only to discover that he cannot fit and must be put back on the list for a table. This also goes for parties with high chairs or wheelchairs who will need tables.

Responsibility of employee:
If you notice that someone in the party is large enough to be uncomfortable in a booth, or is in a wheelchair, make a point of asking if they would like a table or booth.

Responsibility of customer:
If it is a busy weekend night, cut your server a little bit of slack, as he/she may be busy. Five minutes may seem like a long time to you, as you are sitting and waiting; however, to a server making desserts, or drinks, or putting orders into a computer, five minutes flies by. If she walks by with her hands full and asks for your drink order, do not expect her to take your food order as well. A drink order is typically simple to remember; an entrée order is not. If her hands are full, she cannot write an order down, so you probably don’t WANT her taking your order at that point, anyway. Pay attention to what she says. “I’ll be right back to take your order,” means something different from “I’ll give you a few minutes to look at the menu.”

Responsibility of employee:
To you, five minutes may fly by, but to your guests who are sitting and waiting, it seems like a long time. If you cannot get to them right away, have another server greet them. If you happen to walk by the table with your hands full, and don’t think you will be able to remember drink orders without writing them down, simply pause at the table, smile, make eye contact, and tell them that you will be right with them. The worst thing you can do is make a table feel like they are being ignored or overlooked.

Responsibility of customer:
Prepare yourself. The menu lists the available entrées, what comes with them, what is in each dish, what side items are available, what salad dressings are available, and a detailed description of each of our steak temperatures. When you tell your server you are ready to order, be prepared to give them the following information: what entrée you want, what side item you would like with it, how you would like your steak cooked (if applicable), whether you would like soup or salad with it (if applicable), what salad dressing you would like/what soup you would like, and any specifications that may apply. If you have a question for the server about a dish, that’s perfectly alright. But if you say you are ready to order, BE READY TO ORDER.

Responsibility of employee:
Take notice of any specifications that your customer makes. If she asks for the bacon to be left off of her potato soup because she’s a vegetarian, inform her that the soup is made with a chicken base, and suggest another vegetarian-friendly option. If a guest asks your opinion of a dish, be honest. If your customer told you he is ready to order, but still needs to be informed of the side items or salad dressings, be patient and keep smiling despite the fact that he is keeping you from doing a dozen other things that you need to do.

Responsibility of customer:
Your server is making your dining experience more enjoyable by doing all the work for you. Show your appreciation. Saying “please” and “thank you,” in addition to making eye contact, goes a long, long way. Be friendly to your server. She is a person, not a robot. She appreciates a smile and some common courtesy now and then. Making small talk, or kidding around (so long as it’s not mean-spirited) is also appreciated; however, bear in mind that being overly chatty can sometimes be just as rude if your server is busy. Treat your server rudely and he/she will avoid you (why spend time at a table that’s going to treat you like a lesser species?). Treat your server with courtesy and she will fall over herself making sure that your dinner is excellent. Everyone has bad days now and then, or gets in bad moods. Don’t take your crankiness out on your server.

Responsibility of employee:
Be polite and friendly with your guests. They are the ones who are paying you. Why should they show any personality or friendliness towards you if you don’t do the same for them? Don’t make judgments on a table before you begin serving them. Treat each table equally. Anytime you pass a customer, even if you’re just walking to the kitchen, make eye contact and smile. Make them feel welcome. Kid them a little (be careful with this, though). The most basic part of your job is to be friendly and smile.

Responsibility of customer:
Kitchens crash, food gets backed up. Long ticket times are sometimes the fault of the server forgetting to ring an order in, but usually due to the cooks getting behind, or large parties placing orders at the same time, or other such instances. It happens, especially on weekend nights. Be patient waiting for your food, and don’t harass your server to keep checking with the kitchen to find out how much longer.

Responsibility of employee:
Keep your customers informed. If the kitchen is running long ticket times, warn your customers of this fact when they place their food order. Now, they will know that they can take their time eating their salads, or order another drink, or get involved in conversation without worrying about being immediately interrupted by a food runner. Read your customers. Two ladies chatting over cosmos are going to be far less concerned about the wait for their food than the elderly couple who hasn’t spoken a word to each other, refused your offer of more bread, and has long since finished their salads. The latter table would like to know how much longer they will have to wait; the former table just wants to be left alone.

Responsibility of customer:
Mistakes happen. Orders get rung up incorrectly, specifications are forgotten, steaks are overcooked. Your server cannot fix the mistake unless she is aware of the problem. Giving her a disgusted look when she sets your plate down in front of you does not count as informing her of a problem. Having another member of your party ask you (loudly enough for the server to hear) if you want them to re-cook your steak while you sulkily push it around on your plate does not count, either. A polite “excuse me, Miss, but this is overcooked/was supposed to have no onions/was supposed to be an entirely different dish,” is sufficient. Throwing a fit is not only uncalled for, it also makes you look foolish. Be courteous about the situation.

Responsibility of employee:
If you make a mistake, apologize sincerely, correct the mistake as quickly as possible, and follow-up to make sure the attempt at correction was satisfactory. Have a manager visit the table and make a judgment call as to whether or not any further steps should be taken (discounted meal, etc). Pay a little bit of extra attention to a table whose food or whatnot was problematic.

Responsibility of customer:
Know what you are ordering. If you are allergic to, or dislike, any specific food product, read the menu description to make sure it is not included in your dish. Double-check with the server if necessary. If you neglect to do so, and order a dish that you cannot eat, the restaurant has to throw the dish out. Your server is not obligated to recite to you the ingredients to every dish on the menu, just in case you may have neglected to inform her of your preferences. If a dish comes out with all ingredients, including those you did not want, it is YOUR FAULT if you did not instruct your server otherwise. In this case, it is customary for you to attempt to fix the problem first, before expecting the server to do so. You wanted a hamburger but ordered a cheeseburger? Scrape the cheese off. In the case of allergies, this is not always possible; however, a sincere apology on your part is courtesy.

Responsibility of employee:
Pay attention to your guests. If someone asks for no cheese on their cheeseburger because he is lactose-intolerant, and then orders a drink that comes topped with whipped cream, make sure they know what they are ordering. Similarly, if a guest forgets to tell you something he did not want on his dish, and is polite about it, give him the benefit of the doubt and don’t hold it against him. You would want him to do the same, had you been the one to make the mistake.

Responsibility of customer:
Sometimes, you may order a dish that you do not care for. The pasta is too spicy. The chicken tenders are too greasy. The salad dressing has too much garlic. Sulking is not going to rectify the problem. Informing your server of the problem and allowing her to replace the dish is. If you don’t say anything about the issue until after everyone is finished eating (this includes not saying a word when your server does a check-back and asks how everything is), then we are just going to say, “I’m sorry,” and still bill you for the meal. On a similar note, just because you don’t like a dish does not mean it “sucks,” or that the chef doesn’t know how to cook. If you are polite

Responsibility of employee:
Keep an eye on your guests. If one of them has stopped eating after only taking a single bite of their dish, ask if there is a problem with it. Offer a replacement meal, side dish, or whatever. When doing your check-back, ask specific questions. “How do the steaks look?” “Is your potato nice and hot?” “Is the lettuce nice and crisp on your salad?” Same with offering to get something: “Would you like any steak sauce?” works better than “Can I get you anything else?” Even if you are busy, keep an eye on the guests out of the corner of your eye. A good thing to watch is the hands. Are they folded under the table despite a full plate on the table? They may either be too full (from appetizer, bread, salad, etc) to eat. Are they holding utensils? The guest may just have paused in eating.

Responsibility of customer:
If you chose to eat in a service restaurant, it is expected that you tip your server. There are a thousand and one excuses for not tipping, but so long as you choose to patronize restaurants where tipping is expected, none of those excuses are valid (except poor service). The standard is as follows: 20+% for great service, 15% for good service, 10% for poor service, less for really terrible service (server was rude). Do not rate the tip based on how smooth your dining experience was; consider, rather, how the server handled the issues that did come up. Perhaps the wait was long, the drinks were warm, and the food was bad. If the server did the best she could to correct these problems, it is pointless to punish her for someone else’s mistakes. Oftentimes, servers will dismiss those who leave poor tips as cheap; it is to your benefit, then, to leave a brief note explaining why the tip is low. A small tip is more than just shorting the server some money; it’s your way of “rating” the service, and giving the server feedback. Tipping, if done properly, is a great system: you, as the consumer, get to reward those who provide excellent service, or inform those who have done poorly what was wrong with their performance. Unfortunately, many people abuse the system greatly. Don’t be one of those people.

Responsibility of employee:
If you get a poor tip, try to consider why. Use it as a way to improve your performance as a server. If you can’t think of anything that was wrong with the service, then it was probably just a cheap tipper. Don’t let one table ruin your night. Each subsequent table is a way to make up for the money you lost.


Crossposted to customers suck.
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