20 Secrets Your Waiter Will Never Tell You

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    by Reader's Digest Magazine, on Fri Dec 4, 2009 12:48pm PST

    By Michelle Crouch, Reader's Digest

    What would two dozen servers from across the country tell you if they could get away with it? Well, for starters, when to go out, what not to order, what really happens behind the kitchen’s swinging doors, and what they think of you and your tips. Here, from a group that clears a median $8.01 an hour in wages and tips, a few revelations that aren’t on any menu.

    PLUS: 20 More Secrets Your Waiter Will Never Tell You

    What we lie about
    1. We’re not allowed to tell our customers we don’t like a dish. So if you ask your server how something is and she says, “It’s one of our most popular dishes,” chances are she doesn’t like it.
    —Waitress at a well-known pizza chain

    2. On Christmas Day, when people ask why I’m there, I might say, “My sister’s been in the hospital,” or, “My brother’s off to war, so we’re celebrating when he gets back.” Then I rake in the tips.
    —Chris, a New York City waiter and the founder of bitterwaitress.com

    3. If you’re looking for your waiter and another waiter tells you he’s getting something out of the stockroom, you can bet he’s out back having a quick smoke.
    —Charlie Kondek, former waiter at a Denny’s in Central Michigan

    PLUS: 7 Funny Restaurant Customer Stereotypes

    4. If someone orders a frozen drink that’s annoying to make, I’ll say, “Oh, we’re out. Sorry!” when really I just don’t want to make it. But if you order water instead of another drink, suddenly we do have what you originally wanted because I don’t want to lose your drink on the bill.
    —Waitress at a casual Mexican restaurant in Manhattan

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    What you don’t want to know
    5. When I was at one bakery restaurant, they used to make this really yummy peach cobbler in a big tray. A lot of times, servers don’t have time to eat. So we all kept a fork in our aprons, and as we cruised through the kitchen, we’d stick our fork in the cobbler and take a bite. We’d use the same fork each time.
    —Kathy Kniss

    6. If you make a big fuss about sending your soup back because it’s not hot enough, we like to take your spoon and run it under really hot water, so when you put the hot spoon in your mouth, you’re going to get the impression — often the very painful impression — that your soup is indeed hot.

    7. I’ve seen some horrible things done to people's food: steaks dropped on the floor, butter dipped in the dishwater.
    —Waiter at a casual restaurant in the Chicago area

    PLUS: 25 Tips to Order Healthy Choices at Any Restaurant

    What you’re really swallowing
    8. If your dessert says "homemade," it probably is. But it might be homemade at a bakery three miles away.
    —Charity Ohlund

    9. I knew one guy — he was a real jerk — he’d go to Costco and buy this gigantic carrot cake for $10 and tell us to say it’s homemade. Then he sold it for $10 a slice.
    —Steve Dublanica, veteran New York waiter and author of "Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip — Confessions of a Cynical Waiter"

    What drives us crazy
    10. Oh, you needed more water so badly, you had to snap or tap or whistle? I’ll be right back … in ten minutes.
    —Charity Ohlund

    11. We want you to enjoy yourself while you’re there eating, but when it’s over, you should go. Do you stay in the movie theater after the credits? No.
    —Waiter at a casual restaurant in the Chicago area

    PLUS: 7 Lucky New Year's Eve Foods

    12. My biggest pet peeve? When I walk up to a table of six or seven people and one person decides everyone needs water. I’m making a trip to deliver seven waters, and four or five of them never get touched.
    —Judi Santana, a server for ten years

    What we want you to know
    13. Sometimes, if you’ve been especially nice to me, I’ll tell the bartender, “Give me a frozen margarita, and don’t put it in.” That totally gyps the company, but it helps me because you’ll give it back to me in tips, and the management won’t know the difference. —Waitress at a casual Mexican restaurant in Manhattan

    14. If you’re having a disagreement over dinner and all of a sudden other servers come by to refill your water or clear your plates, or you notice a server slowly refilling the salt and pepper shakers at the table next to yours, assume that we’re listening.
    —Charity Ohlund

    What tells us you’re trouble
    15. I get this call all the time: “Is the chef there? This is so-and-so. I’m a good friend of his.” If you’re his good friend, you’d have his cell.

    16. The strangest thing I’ve seen lately? A man with a prosthetic arm asked me to coat check it because the table was a little bit crowded. He just removed his arm and handed it to me: “Can you take this?”
    —Christopher Fehlinger

    PLUS: 12 Funny Cartoons About Food

    17. We always check the reservation book, scan the names, and hope for someone recognizable. I’m happy if the notes say something like “Previous number of reservations: 92.” If they say something like “First-time guest, celebrating Grandma’s 80th birthday, need two high chairs, split checks, gluten allergy,” then I start rummaging through my pockets for a crisp bill for the hostess and I make sure to tell her how much I love her hair fixed like that.
    —Charity Ohlund

    How to be a good customer
    18. Use your waiter’s name. When I say, “Hi, my name is JR, and I’ll be taking care of you,” it’s great when you say, “Hi, JR. How are you doing tonight?” Then, the next time you go in, ask for that waiter. He may not remember you, but if you requested him, he’s going to give you really special service.
    —JR, waiter at a fine-dining restaurant and author of the blog servernotslave.wordpress.com 19. Trust your waitress. Say something like “Hey, it’s our first time in. We want you to create an experience for us. Here’s our budget.” Your server will go crazy for you.
    — Charity Ohlund

    What you need to know about tipping
    20. If you walk out with the slip you wrote the tip on and leave behind the blank one, the server gets nothing. It happens all the time, especially with people who’ve had a few bottles of wine.
    —Judi Santana

  2. MetalHead

    MetalHead Benched

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    Never mess with people who serve you food.
    Everytime I eat out,I always treat the waiter/waitress as if they were family.
  3. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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  4. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Yeah, I'm in this camp. I figure these people don't really have the job of their dreams, so there's no reason to treat them like they're your personal servant and disrespect them.

    There was a huge wait staff thread here a while ago and it got heated. People on both sides take this seriously.
  5. Teren_Kanan

    Teren_Kanan Well-Known Member

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    They are accurate enough, I've been a server for 6 years now. I could tell all kinds of stories.

    The #1 thing you learn as a server is that the average person is an impatient disrespectful ******* when they are out to eat.

    When you are rude to a server, even if you feel it's their fault, chances are you are eating things you'd rather not know about. ****ing with your food is the only pleasure we get to take sometimes when we feel you are a *****.

    I could write an entire essay on restaurant etiquette. People really have no ****ing idea how they work. The blame a server takes for situations out of their control is unreal.
  6. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    The only time I have ever been a little rude is when I went out with my wife and in laws. There was only about 7 of us including 3 kids. We all ordered and everyone but me gets their food. Everyone was almost finished eating by the time the manager brings my food and it was still made wrong. I ate it like it was because I didn't want to wait another 20 minutes. The manager comp'd my meal so it worked out and I have been back to that restaurant many times since then.
  7. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    I have a friend who is one of "those" patrons. If it is not right, he sends it back...no matter how many times it takes. I've tried to tell him that is not a good idea, but he insists. He always says I get what I want, how I want it, when we go out. And it is very rare that I don't because:

    1. The person waiting on me took the time to smile and tell me their name. I take the time to smile back and use their name and go a step further to ask how their shift is going.

    2. I ask their opinion even though I know that "everything on the menu is good". Sometimes you get that one server that says "Try ______, it is really good."

    3. No matter how small the service, getting more water, bringing my ticket, or anything else, I thank them and smile.

    It rarely happens that I have a bad experience at a restaurant.
  8. Teren_Kanan

    Teren_Kanan Well-Known Member

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    I very rarely have bad experiences at restaurants either.

    I like to say that if you feel like you have bad experiences and poor service nearly every place you go, it's you, not the places you are at.

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