Let me begin by stating the glaring truth: BEING A SERVER IS CHALLENGING! Customers can be the most graceless, arrogant, idiotic, selfish, obnoxious, rude creatures that ever crawled out from under the swamp. I understand that. I have heard many horror stories about rotten customers who think the world revolves around them.
On the other hand, I have also heard many horror stories about horrible servers who think they are above doing their job of serving. And I understand that perspective as well.
I hope you will allow me to point out a few things which might help reach a place of mutual toleration between the sides.
I’ll start with those who are the Customer:
- When you come into the restaurant, put your cellphone away, especially if you wish to hear the specials or if you wish your server to clearly understand your order.
- Understand that your server is there to make your dining experience one you will want to have again. However, that does not entitle you to act like you are the ONLY person in the world and demand all the server’s attention.
- If you want your server to smile at you, then smile at them. If you want courtesy shown, be courteous. If you want your server to be polite, then be polite to them. The Golden Rule applies.
- PLEASE avoid wearing strong scents.
- Berating the server, manager, staff, bartender, because something was not to your liking or because some error was made merely proves you weren’t worth being served in the first place.
- Children…….please keep control of them and keep them quiet. This means you need to teach your children from day one how they are to behave in public. You have come to a restaurant, not a playground or zoo. Keep your little monsters contained!
Now, a few practical points for the Servers:
- I came to spend my money at the establishment where you work. I chose to come here when I could have gone elsewhere. Please appreciate that fact by at least acting like you are happy I came to your place.
- Ladies…..if you are wearing short sleeves or a tank top, please have the courtesy to SHAVE!
- Remember, older customers usually have more expendable income. NOT a group you want to ignore and then complain about getting bad tips from the younger crowd.
- Please do not wear strong scents.
- If I show you courtesy, please be courteous.
- Please stop saying “No Problem” when I ask you for something. If I thought it would be a problem, I would not have come to where you are to dine.
- Please be aware that if you show me your breasts, I will look but that will not alter the amount of your gratuity. Gratuity is based on SERVICE not the view! If I wanted a view, I would have gone to a strip club.
And here’s my final tip for both sides of this battlefield: If you want good customer service, BE A GOOD CUSTOMER! If you want a good customer, BE A GOOD SERVER!
Here’s my normal mode of operation, when my server greets me the gratuity starts at 75%. It will be adjusted according to how I am treated. I am not difficult, but I do have some expectations. For example, I like just plain food (not drowning in sauces or condiments), I realize the server does not prepare the food, but they DO communicate with those who do.
If you remember my name and greet me warmly, your gratuity has just increased to 90%. If you remember my name, greet me warmly, AND remember my drink of choice, you are entering the 125% range, because this means you have taken the time to get to know me, accept me, and want me to be a regular in your section.
Ignore me because I am older and no longer athletic looking and you have lost my respect, my patronage, and your gratuity!