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I bartended for a few years and had to wait tables during the slow times, but never in a high volume capacity.
I think waiting tables is one of the best skill sets anyone can learn. Not because of a fall back job, but because it takes so much multi-tasking in different phases. You have to deal with every different kind of person while you're working, remember that somebody just asked you for some more water while you were taking somebody's order at a different table, get to the kitchen to get their food out, deal with the kitchen screwing up orders, deal with the people not liking what they got from the kitchen, remember who and what interaction you've had with the customer to keep them happy and without being overbearing.
I have a lot of respect for good waiter's. This is why I always tip 8%.
Kitchens don't screw up orders Perk. Their food sits in the window and gets cold while waiting for some lazy server to pick up their food. And cooks are way cooler than front of the house. If you want some drugs you don't go to a server, you go to the cooks.
Servers suck. Just ask anyone who has a real job in the restaurant and you will see how much they despise the server messing up. Very rarely is your food messed up.
"I was brought in here to change the culture. I'm going to coach with passion" - Fran McCaffery.
I am a very good server and a very good line cook. If you legitimately have questions about the service industry ask me. I've worked at the low end and I've worked at the high end.
If you're at a good restaurant the wrong order being brought out is 100% the servers fault. The cook who made it sees it being made, the other cooks see it, and the expo has garnished it and given it the okay. If it was wrong someone would have noticed. If the food is cold it is probably the servers fault. If your order takes a long time either you ordered something that takes a long time to cook or the cooks messed up and had to recook something and then reheat or recook the rest of the orders around it.
The last time I waited tables I consistently got 22-25% in tips which was 3-5% more than the next best server, who was an attractive girl. Waiting tables is an amazingly fun job to the people who enjoy it.
The key to getting good service at a restaurant where you're not a regular is to not be a douche. It is the server's job to serve you but it isn't their job to babysit you. I wouldn't go into your job and waste your time for no reason. The most annoying thing a table can do is say they are ready to order when they aren't. If I'm supposed to touch a table every five minutes and it takes your table five minutes to order because of discussions and pauses you've put me behind and negatively impacted all my other tables experience.
In memory of Tusks.
Most servers like to stand around and talk to other servers from what I have seen. The ones that take it seriously like it seems Ory do pretty good. But most are just there to talk and be on their phone all day. You know a good server when you see one. The majority aren't good IMO.
The majority of servers are terrible. It isn't a very hard job to be good at for that reason. The bar is set very low. The sad thing is that any attractive girl can make a decent wage just by wearing tight pants. I'm a good, maybe great, looking guy and when women pay I normally get tipped more. It's just the way it is.
On average though you'll get better service from a male waiter because since males normally pay the ticket male servers get more of their tips based on competence instead of hotness.
I don't know maybe it's just me, but it would have to be some super hot waitress for me to give them a big tip even though they sucked as a server. Even then I don't think I would. Do you guys do that?
Ory knows whats up. I've worked in food, but never served.. Picked up how by watching as a cook. He's right, and I believe he'd be a great server. I tip solely based on good to great service gets a large tip (usualy 20% - and I'm a broke college kid). If a hot girl thinks I owe her money for her looks, shes in the wrong business.
You posted as I was typing but I'm the same. Good service is good tip. Thats how I do it.
From the patron side, don't ask me if I'm ready to order if I'm still looking at the menu. There's a reason I'm still looking at the menu.
The will is not here, the will is at my office next to the hot plate with the frayed wires.
You're not a middle-aged guy going out to eat with his increasingly unattractive wife. Those are the guys that normally tip the attractive girls who are bad servers a lot. And middle-aged couples make up a significant portion of any restaurant's guests.
But me personally I tip based on how good of service I get. If it is a hot chick with a nice ass and she gives me good service in terms of my food she'll get more money than an unattractive person who gave me the same food service. I mean her appearance did enhance my experience.
No offense but not all customers are the same. Some people are socially awkward and don't like eating out and will constantly stare at the menu as long as it is in front of them. Then when I take there menu away they will stare at the drink menu the rest of the night. Serving can't have hard and fast rules like "Don't ask a customer if they are ready to order if they are looking at their menu," because then you'd never be able to ask some people if they were ready to order. Good service is about reading body language and making the customers comfortable.
If I were to go to a table and say, "Ready to order?" and not smile I put pressure on you to say yes. If I go over to your table not sure if you're ready to order and say, "Are y'all ready to order or do you need a few more minutes?" with a smile I make it a lot easier for a person to say they aren't ready.
Yeah I remember one pretty hot waitress that sucked but still made good money. I wasn't really saying it doesn't happen. Just wondering what people here did. Basically you need to be hot or have a good personality. If you are hard working with good outgoing personality you should be fine.
agreed, but there is still pressure. I'll tell the waiter I'm ready 9 of 10 times, even if I'm not, as a convenience to them. The only time I'll say we need more time is if it is obvious most others at the table have no idea what they want.
Perhaps it's social awkwardness on my part, but my only point is, it's not easy to ask a waiter to come back; at least for me.
If you have to ask them to come back they are a not very good server. If there is any hesitation on the guest's side when I ask if they are ready to order I'll tell them I'll be back in a few minutes.
Determining when to ask if a table is ready to order is the most hit-or-miss part of serving.
I've never done it as a job but I have helped out at a friends place when they expected it to be extra busy. I actually enjoy it but I'm sure it would be different if I had to do it every day.
I could definitely see that, especially with larger parties.
Feed me to the wolves, and I will return leader of the pack. #FreeDA
Good service doesn't always mean good tip. Some people are just tight asses and don't tip regardless of great service. I've seen it when i was a server, and I've seen it when friends I had were servers. Honestly, some people are poors and can't actually afford to go out to eat, so they make up for it by leaving no tip or a very small one.
My fiance is an awesome waitress, has done it for 8 years while going through high school and college and luckily will be starting to teach in a month and won't have to do it ever again. The other night, some hillbillies came in( I was sitting in the booth next to them) and ate and said how great everything was, blah blah, were talking the entire time about the food being good and what not, they had a $40 tab and left her 53 cents!!
My point, good service doesn't always mean good tip. Some people are just stupid and don't understand that tips are how servers pay the bills. I never leave anything less than 18% unless the service is awful. Even then, never less than %10.
I served too in college, and I got my best tips from groups of women. Just the way it was. Guys seemed to always leave a bit less. Definitely helped my communication skills though.
I served and bused tables for a catering service when I was in high school in the mid-60's. I did it for about a year and then lost my job over a slight disagreement with a drunk banquet attender. I was worth it to lose the job. Definitely why many of the other servers I have known hate the job.
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