Working in the restaurant industry can be a thankless job. You do what you are supposed to and you are just "doing your job." You screw up, and to some folks it might as well be the end of the world. A server's day can be ruined in an instant. So we constantly train (and retrain) our servers to not make mistakes. When we see one, we tell them about it. In fact, they probably get tired of us telling them about their mistakes. Usually they're busy, and the last thing they want to do is be criticized. Unfortunately, it is our job to critique them. And at the end of the day, we feel those critiques only help their monetary situation. Hopefully after their shift, they understand that.
I found a list of 35 things that restaurant servers do wrong. The list was actually composed by experienced servers (here we call them "buzzards") who were basing their list off of the things that their inexperienced co-workers have done. No, our "buzzards" did not create this list, or I'm sure it would have been much longer. But, I thought it would be interesting to share the Top 7 items from this list, things we are constantly preaching to our new and "in training" staff to never do. Oh, you would be amazed! But, all of us in this industry need to remember our first few days on the job... we probably didn't know any better either.
Read this list here and see if any of your poor dining experiences are related to items that made this list! I think it's a good list. In fact, I will share this with my staff.
1.) Leave food in the window. We hate this. If you get paged, go get your food or get someone to get it for you. Food can never sit under the heat lamps. It's a sure way to ruin a meal.
2.) Ignore a table cause it isn't in your section. If you see someone without a drink in front of them, ask if someone has been with them. Better to have 5 servers ask then 0! What, are you blind?
3.) Take the right away from a customer. I would be exaggerating to say I've seen people fired for this before, but it definitely counts as a strike and you only get 3 of those.
4.) Guess. If you forgot how a customer ordered something, don't be embarrassed. Go back and ask. The article states that it shows you care, and we feel that way too. It is our job to get things right, and if it requires dialogue and questions to get that result, so be it.
5.) Be unfamiliar with the menu. You probably have 2 jobs at the most. Can you please do some homework and know the menu?
6.) Panic. It shows. It makes me nervous, it makes the people you work with nervous. Walking fast and acting like a chicken with its head cut off doesn't make you work faster. Walk slower, stay calm, do what you can, combine trips, and be more efficient. That is the key to survival.
7.) Forget to write the seat number on the ticket. It's the only way we know who gets what. When they get this wrong, whoever delivers the food - usually me - is embarrassed. Yes, it makes me mad, and no, I don't forget.