Sunday, July 02, 2006

1. Waiters and Waitresses should take an order, NOT try to change someone's mind.

Basically, NO pushy up selling if someone has placed their order. They OBVIOUSLY KNOW what they want already if they aren't asking questions and are giving their order as if they KNOW what they want. The tip-o-meter goes down some when servers do this to me. If I say I want a half of rack of ribs, don’t suggest I get a full rack. This has happened to me before at Lonestar Steakhouse. After I have placed my order, this waitress is like “Come on, why not get a full rack for only few bucks more.” That is just VERY PUSHY and ANNOYING! I ordered a margarita called an “El Guapo” at another restaurant one time and the INCONSIDERATE waitress had to say AFTER I have told her what I wanted “Do you want a TOP SHELF margarita for such-n-such dollars?” I had to tell her, “NO, I’d rather have the El Guapo.” A customer should NEVER, EVER, EVER, have to do that! I placed my order, that’s what I want, plain and simple! Don’t try to CHANGE MY MIND, because 100% of the time, I WON’T, because if I didn’t know what I wanted, I’d be ASKING my server “What kind of margaritas do y’all have?” If there is a *BETTER* deal like getting 5 ounces for $4 and getting 8 ounces for $5, then I can see trying to change the order to offer more ounces for your money, but to change the entire product is WRONG! Yes, it’s a margarita, but completely different one. The El Guapo is an orange type of margarita, the top shelf is just a regular type of margarita. These TASTE DIFFERENT, which is the MOST IMPORTANT REASON WE ALL EAT OUT IS TO HAVE GOOD TASTING FOOD AND DRINKS! I had already had the top shelf margarita and I didn’t care for it personally. I don’t see anything wrong when there’s a better deal for the customer though, because if I get more for my money, then that IS being helpful, but it’s NOT trying to change the type of taste it will have. It only changes the amount I have, which most people would get a $5 margarita for a buck more, because you get more for your money, but it is possible that someone wants to get a small drink, which I don’t think would offend someone to be offered a better deal for their money, but maybe some people might be. Most people would be glad to be offered a bit more drink for their money and would probably give the server more tip for offering such a good deal to help them save money.

2. Don't suggest a dessert UNTIL everybody is finished at the table. ONLY suggest "Do you need anything?"

When a server is pushy to get you out of there, it's IRRITATING. One time my husband and I were asked TWICE BEFORE I was finished eating if we wanted a dessert. Let customers FINISH eating first, then ask the dessert question. Only ask if we need anything else at the moment like a refill or anything at all, but don't SUGGEST a specific kind of food if the customers aren’t finished eating yet unless the server can see I could use a refill(which is NOT food, it’s drink). That time, I felt like I had to RUSH to finish and I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW if I wanted a dessert to share with my husband YET, because I was still eating my entree. HOW is a person supposed to know if they are going to be too full or not to eat a dessert when they aren’t even though with their entrée yet? Don’t ASSUME something like this: “Do you want another margarita”, if the person has ordered their first drink a margarita, because maybe the customer wants something else, so the customer has to say “NO”, which if the server would just say “Would you like anything else”, it would save time and wouldn’t be PUSHING a SPECIFIC TYPE of item on someone. WHY NOT just ask if they want another DRINK instead of being that specific? I’ve gotten margarita for the first drink, then a white russian or a long island iced tea for my second drink LOTS and LOTS of times.

3. Write my order down and REPEAT my order as well as ASK if you aren’t sure COMPLETELY what the customer is ordering!

I’ve had a couple of servers assumed I wanted “2 sides of bbq sauce” for ribs, that meant to them I wanted “2 bbq sauce’s on the SIDE”, but I NEVER said that. Repeating the order would be VERY helpful at this point. The server ASSUMES I want it on the side, but the customer ISN’T saying that at ALL. The waitress at Bennigan’s that I had this type of incident happen with in 2003, she came to the table with the ribs ALREADY DONE and THEN ASKED me “So did you want the bbq sauce on the ribs or on the side?” The ribs are warmed with the bbq sauce somehow on it, which is how they cook it she said, but I was delivered DRY RIBS. I think that was SO STUPID of her to WAIT until my food was DONE to find out if she got the order correct. Anyway, she took the ribs from me, because I did want the bbq sauce cooked on them because it DOES taste better that way and I had to wait about 10 minutes or more to eat my food all because she was TOO STUPID to repeat my order because she was confused and she could have simply ASKED if she had ANY DOUBTS WHAT-SO-EVER! My husband almost finished his food BEFORE I got to eat my food all because she NEVER ASKED about her doubts. REPEATING ORDERS IS THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO TO HELP PREVENT CONFUSION! It’s NEVER a guarantee, but it sure helps some. It may take more time, but, if the result is wrong, that is MUCH WORSE than wasting 15-25 seconds repeating a few orders.

4. When greeted DON’T SUGGEST something SPECIFIC, ONLY GENREAL THINGS like drinks or appetizers, NOT specific drinks or appetizers!

When greeted, only ask if the customer wants something to drink and if they want an appetizer. Do NOT say "Would you like to start out with a specialty margarita?" or say "Would you like to start out with our Bloomin Onion?Why suggest specific item besides general things? Just let customers order, considering they can READ the menu for THEMSELVES. Let CUSTOMERS decide what they would like to order. If they want ANY suggestions, they will ASK, otherwise, don't waste their TIME telling them about the specials or soup of the day or a specific new item they want to sell, just TAKE THEIR ORDER, it's that simple!

5. If I order a soft drink and ask for a refill or acknowledge that I want a refill, bring another glass.

I absolutely hate it when they take the SAME GLASS and I am without drink for that amount of time. Even if you feel it's saving dishes, it's making the customer be without drink for a period of time for truly NO REASON unless they are out of clean glasses, otherwise, I'd rather them not take my glass.

6. Don't bring me another of the SAME drink WITHOUT KNOWING FOR SURE if I actually want another of the same drink!

Just because I order coke the first time, DOESN’T mean the second time around I want another coke. Don't WASTE TIME getting something you may not have to get to being with. Basically, DON'T play the MIND READER game!

7. Bring STAWS with ALL drinks unless it’s coffee or something like that like hot tea.

MOST of the time, people want straws. Be PREPARED when you serve drinks to have straws. I’ve had quite a NUMBER of times when the server didn’t have any straws or if they did have in their apron, they forgot to give them. It’s IRRITATING to have to ask for things that should be AUTOMATICALLY BROUGHT to the table like utensils and straws. Basically, these things are necessary to eat and drink with.

8. When customers are greeted, notice if they have utensils.

Basically notice if the host or hostess has done their job correctly. Customers shouldn't EVER have to fetch their own utensils themselves. I’ve had to fetch my own utensils quite a NUMBER of times. That’s RIDICULOUS! I’ve also have seen a few instances where I heard people next to us say “Can we get some utensils?” It happened when they were served their food, come on now, by then, the SERVER should be SMART ENOUGH to NOTICE THAT WAY BEFORE THE FOOD ARRIVES! NO ONE SHOULD BE BROUGHT FOOD WITHOUT UTENSILS EVER!

9. When bringing out the food, make sure the correct items are ALL there that can be seen without touching the person's food by COMPARING the plate of food with the menu as well as the written down order.

If I’ve asked for beans as a side, DON’T bring me fries. If I’ve asked for a side of sour cream, don’t bring it out to me without the sour cream unless you’ve brought it before hand. I shouldn’t have to tell you that I am missing things I can see without touching my food even. If I can see it without touching the food, YOU can TOO! I am ONLY talking about if the server takes the order and brings the food, NOT if SOMEONE ELSE takes the food to the customer that didn’t take the order down. The other person may not know if the ticket was printed incorrectly that the side dish is wrong. ONLY the person that actually TOOK THE ORDER KNOWS WHAT I'VE ORDERED!

10. NEVER make COMMENTS about what a person orders.

I've had 3 servers do this to me. Their tip went down(which it wasn’t possible one of the times, because I had already paid), because their comments were mean, nosy, and unnecessary as well as totally INAPPROPRIATE.

One time I ordered 4 sides of ranch with my salad and mozzarella sticks that I ordered as my meal. The waiter said "You know it's a small salad" after I told him I wanted 4 sides of ranch. I ended up telling him I like the ranch with the mozzarella sticks as well as the salad. He should ONLY be taking down my order, that's IT, unless he is confused about what I have said. I SHOUDLN'T have to EXPLAIN WHY OR CHANGE MY ORDER ACCORDING TO HIS OPINION. IT'S NOT WANTED OR NEEDED! WHY WASTE MY TIME AND EVERYONE ELSE'S FOR SOMETHING THAT'S NOT THE SERVER'S PLACE TO CHANGE MY MIND WHEN I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF ORDERING? Personnally, I found it to be a pretty big salad, being that it was only a side salad. I've had side salads that were HALF the size of this one before. He shouldn't be trying to save a little ranch for the restaurant if I waste it or be TOO LAZY to bring me all of those containers, because that’s HIS JOB to SATISFY THE CUSTOMER. He should have cared about his tip and my time as well as my feelings by just taking down my order as I had told him, not making ANY COMMENT of “HOW BIG” the salad was. It's NOT his right to say that. If I want 8 sides of ranch(which I've never ordered that much), but if I did, just get them as I've requested. NO COMMENTS should be given to a customer, unless they want to say “You may be charged more for this”, which I feel is ok to tell me that although I have talked to some people that state they don't care about that and don't like if when they are told they will be charged extra; they just want what they want. I used almost all of the ranch by the way. If I would have only ordered 2 sides, I would have had to wait until he would have came back to my table to eat the rest of my food the way I enjoyed it. I ordered the amount I wanted from the get go so not only I could have my food exactly the way I like it, but that he wouldn't have to make a separate trip to get me more ranch. Just because someone orders a LOT of something doesn't mean that they want it just for themself or that they may not want all of it. JUST TAKE THE PERSON'S ORDER AND ASK ONLY IF CONFUSED AS WELL AS REPEAT THE ORDER! NO COMMENTING ABOUT THE AMOUNT PEOPLE ORDER OR THE SIZE OF THE DISH UNLESS THE CUSTOMER INQUIRES ABOUT IT!

Another time, I ordered 4 sides of ranch with 2 side salads at Red Lobster. The waiter only brought me one little bigger container. My second salad I wanted 2 more ranches, because he only brought me a little container worth, which I KNEW probably wouldn’t be enough, but I asked for 4, so he should have followed INSTRUCTIONS to being with. I tried to see if it was enough considering he brought out a smaller amount, but I was RIGHT, it WASN’T enough as I had ORIGINALLY ASKED FOR, which made me WAIT LONGER to eat, all because he ASSUMED HOW MUCH I wanted instead of FOLLOWING EXACT INSTRUCTIONS! After I paid and was ready to leave, this FAT waiter had the NERVE to say when he was bussing a table by us "Want some more ranch” and he was laughing. If we wouldn't have left the tip, I would have left less tip just for that asshole remark, but we had already signed the credit card slip, so it was TOO LATE. The NERVE of that guy to tell me that, when I'm not even 100lbs at 5’0” tall and he looked 300lbs making fun of me. If he would have gotten things correct from the start by following EXACT INSTRUCTIONS, he wouldn’t have had to make 2 trips. That was such an UNNECESSARY REMARK. That was just plain CRUEL!

Another time at Denny's I ordered "The Sampler" which has cheese sticks, chicken tenders, and onion rings as my meal, even though it’s an appetizer, I ordered it as my entree. I said I wanted 1 side of ranch, 1 side of mayo, 1 side of honey mustard(which it comes with), 1 side of marinara(which it comes with), and 1 side of bbq sauce. The NOSY waitress had the audacity to ask "So WHAT do you need all that for?" I was nice and told her I dip the chicken tenders with honey mustard and sometimes mayo, I dip mozzarella sticks with ranch and sometimes marinara, and onion rings with the ranch as well as the chicken. I also dip the chicken in bbq sauce. In other words, I dip one time in this sauce, another in that sauce. I could have been rude to her as she DESERVED by telling her “You don’t have to know, just go and get it”, but I am NOT a mean person as well as I didn’t want any retaliation to happen like spit in my food, so I went along with her stupidity and her WASTING MY TIME. My point is, it was NONE of her BUSINESS WHY I ordered all of that! She should have just taken down my order. WHY does she have to know? I SHOULDN’T have to explain myself or tell her in a mean way(which I was nice) to just get what I've ordered. WHY piss me off like that? It's like WHY would I order all of that if I didn't have a real reason to? Needless to say her tip was about 15%, instead of 20% for her WASTING my time and being so damn NOSY. It's NOT her place to know WHY, just get what I've asked for and if she watched me eat, she'd see WHY if she was THAT interested. She probably wasn't truly interested, it was because she didn’t want to go get all of that, because it was actually MORE WORK for her, but that is what the over 20% would have been for, but she RUINED that with her NOSY ASS QUESTION. She doesn’t need to know why. That’s not her job to know why. If she’s that lazy that she doesn’t want to go get all that, then she will get less tip. Her job is to SATISFY THE CUSTOMER, NOT HERSELF!

My main point is, making comments is NOT a good way to make good tips!

11. NEVER bring the check without *ASKING* or the customer saying they are ready for the check UNLESS the server states “I’ll leave this here for your convenience, but if you want anything else, just let me know.”

Quite a number of times this has happened where the server thought we were finished just because we ordered a dessert. I get 3 mixed drinks a LOT of times, so it takes time to drink alcohol. Meaning, I shouldn’t have to tell the server “I may order another drink”, because they should NEVER, EVER ASSUME I am finished. Just because its LOOKS that way because we ordered a dessert, doesn’t mean we don’t want ANYTHING else. It makes people feel RUSHED to leave and decide not to get something else they could have, which is making the tip lower due to the assumption as well as the more money the check would have been with the item that was wanted, which is a bigger tip, because the percentage of the tip would have been higher from the higher check. ALWAYS, BEFORE GIVING THE CHECK, MAKE SURE THE CUSTOMERS ARE FINISHED AND WANT THEIR CHECK!

12. Give ALL change back, even it it’s just a penny UNLESS the customer states it’s the server’s to keep and NEVER ask if they want change!

My husband and I one time at a restaurant paid with (2) $20 gift certificates on a check that was $34.69. The waiter only gave us back a $5 bill. He left from the table fast, so I had to literally get up and get him. I was going to leave the change more than likely, but the fact is, he *ASSUMED* he was going to get a TIP AT ALL which is RUDE and he tried to STEAL FROM ME! When I went to get him, he did something else before even getting my $0.31 that I was owed by LAW! He only said “Sorry about that” when he gave me my change, NOT RIGHT AWAY AS HE SHOULD HAVE! We left him ZERO tip, because there was NO REASON FOR THAT. It WASN’T a MISTAKE, it was a PREDICTION as well as he wasn’t sorry that he made me wait for him to do something else when there was a MISTAKE made(which I think it was a PREDICITION), which should have taken TOP PRIORITY OVER ANYTHING ELSE! He thought he’d get a tip, so for him trying to predict that, he got NOTHING. My point is, GIVE ALL CHANGE BACK, EVERY LAST CENT, unless otherwise told not to! DON’T TRY TO PREDICT THAT THE CHANGE IS YOURS ALREADY WHEN THE CUSTOMER HASN’T SAID TO KEEP IT OR HASN'T LEFT THE RESTAURANT.

13. 2 for 1 happy hour drinks SHOULDN’T EVER be given at the SAME TIME!

I’ve had this happen at Chili’s a couple of times. I got a margarita, my waiter said it’s 2 for 1 and UNCARINGLY brings out both. NOW, BY THE TIME I GET TO THE 2ND ONE, IT’S WATERED DOWN! STUPID servers that don’t care about the customer, because they aren’t thinking if they were the customer, they wouldn’t want their drink to be watered down more than likely. Also, the customer may DECLINE the second one. Just because it’s FREE, DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN it’s WANTED. I’ve even declined a 2nd free margarita before myself. I had a white russian at Chili’s that was 2 for 1 one time and the waiter brought out both. These servers were LAZY, because if they weren’t they’d bring out 1 drink at a time like they do with drink refills. It’s not like the customer is going to drink BOTH mixed drinks at ONCE. Think about people’s feelings and the fact that drinks get WATERED DOWN! Have some CONSIDERATION for people, you know! I shouldn’t have to tell the server DON’T bring out both, it should be COMMON SENSE that I am drinking ONE at a time and that drinks get WATERED DOWN from ice. Even if I get something like a martini that doesn’t have ice, I still want ONE drink at a time, because I may decide I don’t want the second one as well as I feel pressured into drinking faster, which makes me feel RUSHED. Who wants to feel RUSHED when they are dining out? I don’t know anyway that does. When I order a coke refill, I don’t get 2 refills at once, so WHY bring me 2 for 1 mixed drinks all at one time just because it’s “FREE”? Also, the server could always *ASK* the customer if they’d like BOTH at the same time. Maybe some people wouldn’t mind, but I sure do! It’s simple; just ask “Do you want both at the same time or one at a time?” See how CONSIDERATE that sounds?


To start pouring water into a water glass is irritating if it is unwanted. I have had one time I remember that my water glass wasn’t even half-empty, but they start to pour BEFORE you have a chance to decline it. They wasted their time and irritated me by interrupting my dining experience for something I NEVER said I wanted in the first place and didn’t even finish my water. Have the DECENCY to ASK first. If I have tea, I sweeten it just right, then some server pours BEFORE I have a *CHANCE* to DECLINE. I feel NO CUSTOMER should EVER have to put their hand over their glass. Customers should be ASKED FIRST BEFORE POURING!

15. Bring all the dipping sauces with the meal or before the meal.

I can’t tell you HOW MANY TIMES I don’t get what is stated on the menu that “COMES” with a meal. It states it comes with honey mustard and you bring it to me without it, even though I didn’t request to not have it, is just plain ridiculous. It is IMPORTANT to have the things that are supposed to ACCOMPANY your meal to make it COMPLETE, whether it would be sour cream or marinara sauce, it is important to have these items that are listed on the menu. Customers read their menus, so they EXPECT what the MENU states to be TRUE. So if menu states a side of ranch comes with cheese fries, the server should make sure BEFORE they take the food to the customer, that the ranch is with the fries or bring it before the meal arrives whether it’s a food runner or another server or the same server, the employees should compare the menu with the plate of food or memorize the menu considering they work there and spend, hours, days, months, weeks there you would think I shouldn’t know the menu more than them, but sometimes I do, which is sad, it really is. Either way, the customer won’t have to wait to eat their food without the dipping sauces if it is brought before hand.

16. Don't explain about surveys on the check or even highlight it.

I can read my check for MYSELF, so DON'T WASTE MY TIME telling me about a survey!