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TOP 5 Things That Annoy Waiters the Most

Waiting tables isn’t easy. Greeting, understanding, and serving hundreds of people every night is a grand task to manage. Aside from dealing with co-workers, managing the tools the restaurant is using, and always being at the front of the house.

We conducted a little survey to see what are the most upsetting, or annoying if you like, things about waitressing. Each of these 5 things might seem small, but they can all make a big impact on the service we give and receive.

Here is a list of the TOP 5 things you will probably have encountered if you’ve ever worked in food hospitality, or for those who enjoy dining out, here are 5 things you should never do…

1. When clients treat you like a servant, not a server.

Answering the question “How Are You Today?” with a drink order will not save a lot of time or make you look more important, it will only feel rude. It is also a quick way to make your server feel subhuman.

Instead of rushing – wait for the server to ask for your order, they will let you know when they are fully focused on you. Instead of snapping your fingers – make eye contact with your waiter and smile at him/her. Waiters are masters in reading faces, they can see every micro mimic, and you don’t need to wave or shout.

2. Splitting a bill into a million parts.

There’s nothing quite awkward as when the bill arrives, diners start to calculate what they owe, and credit cards start flying across the table, meanwhile, the poor server tries to keep everything orderly.

The first and the best advice is – don’t ask the waiter to split bills more than two ways. It’s not the waiter’s responsibility to sort out which way the bill is split. Some may not like it, but the fact is that there are enough digital payment splitting options that your group should not be asking your server to split the bill more than two ways, at most. Requesting that they split the check five ways (even if it’s an even split) is just not okay. Why? First, you’re confusing your server by running so many cards; delaying other servers from closing out their customers, and slowing down overall service.

Whichever way you want to divide the bill, restaurants may cap the number of cards or deny multiple payers altogether.

3. Expecting order to be ready immediately.

The average wait (for food to be served) time at a restaurant is 23 minutes. The common restaurant rule says that a guest must to be acknowledged by a server “immediately, if possible,” even if no service can be rendered at the time. Drinks, bread service, or quick appetisers should be taken within five minutes. However, how fast the food should be served depends on many factors, such as:

  1. Type of the place. If it’s a bar, cafeteria, or a Michelin star restaurant.
  2. The busyness of the restaurant
  3. How many diners are at your table (if you ordered pizza and the dining partner goes for a steak, you will end up waiting until the steak is ready for all food to be served together.)
  4. How complicated your meal is to prepare and how many courses you have.

Consider the above, before you order and if you are very hungry – order some appetisers to ease your hunger.

4. Forgetting to cancel a reservation or showing up more than 15 min late and still demanding a table.

No-shows are a common feature of every restaurant’s business. Guests failing to show up for a table booked late in the evening is painful. The restaurant loses money; a chance of reselling their table; refuses potential customers, and more. So how long should a restaurant hold a reserved table? The common rule is fifteen minutes, however, if the restaurant receives many walk-ins, your table can be gone in 5 to 10 minutes. There is a simple way of keeping the table even if you are late – call the restaurant and apologies for being late, let them know when exactly you’ll arrive, and kindly ask to keep your table reserved.

5. The “What if I don’t want to pay” or “Oops, I forgot my wallet. I guess I’ll have to wash the dishes.” and other dusty Dad jokes.

It may be a piece of shocking news to you, but servers have heard it all. If you care about your waiter, you won’t make them pretend to laugh at these old lines again. You don’t have to prepare a list of bits in order to be an exemplary customer. You’re not there to be the evening’s entertainment so leave your funny jokes at home.

Working in catering is challenging enough, so next time you go out for a meal-be on time, don’t be stingy on smiles, and treat your waiter with respect so they’ll go the extra mile to make sure your dinner/lunch feels fantastic!

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