Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Thought I'd leave you with an old rant of mine. This one's originally dated April 30th, 2003:


Out of all the types of people I have to deal with on a regular basis, waitresses are by far the most annoying. They're either too busy to bring me a god dammed bottle of ketchup or overly friendly and jab their jaw like I give a shit.

Sure, I know that waiting tables can be a pain in the ass. But, so what? So are a lot of other jobs. If you can't deal with people asking you for shit every other minute, then quit. I would be a shitty waiter. And when I was working my way through college, I never became one because I knew that I'd suck at it and hate it. I don't even like to get my own shit; much less get someone else's.

The problem is that, in America, where people have stopped eating at home, we have about a zillion restaurants... all needing waitresses, and anybody can become a waitress. Don't have a degree and need to support 2 kids? Working your way through college? Have no marketable skills whatsoever? Become a waitress.

Is there such a thing as a good waitress? Sure there is. You're about as likely to find a $20 bill in a wash-a-teria washing machine as you are to get a good waitress, but they do exist. A good waitress is someone that takes my order, turns it in correctly, makes sure it comes out correctly before putting it on my table, then checks on my table with a glance from time to time (drinks filled, I'm not looking around for something, etc.) Maybe she can stop by and ask me if I need anything one or two times after my meal has arrived. That doesn't sound terribly hard does it?

What I DON'T need from a waitress is new fucking best friend. Hooters is the WORST for that shit. Sure, that's kind of the whole gig, right? Attractive (that's debatable too sometimes.... unfortunately) waitresses flirt and shoot the shit with the patrons. I realize that I'm the only guy in there that goes there because he actually wants a Buffalo Chicken sandwich and some wings. But Christ, all those whores want is a bigger tip. And it's sooo obvious. I mean, I know I'm attractive and all, but it kind of kills it when I see them sitting on some ugly-ass motherfucker's lap who keeps ordering pitchers. I mean, c'mon. She wouldn't give him the time of day if they were to pass each other on the street. (I hate strippers for the same reason... feigning attraction for profit, but that's another story.)

I've considered telling a waitress straight out as soon as they take my order that they start with a $10 tip (for an average meal, that's a lot)... and that every time I have to ask them for something, they lose a dollar. If my meal isn't exactly what I ordered, they lose a dollar. If they ask me any personal questions, they lose a dollar. If my straw ever makes that slurping sound for lack of beverage, they lose a dollar. If I run out of napkins, they lose a dollar. If they ever ask me who ordered what when the meal arrives, they lose a dollar. If they have to ask who gets which drink, they lose 2 dollars because seriously.. they took my drink order... what... like 60 seconds ago? Christ. Unfortunately, I never had the balls to do this because 1) It'd take too long to explain it to them 2) They'd just get pissed and spit in my food 3) They'd more than likely end up in the negative tip range, and I'd have to stiff them on part of the bill, and I'm not that mean.

You'd think that since waitresses get paid a shitty hourly wage and that the majority of their income comes from tips, that they'd give a shit. They don't. They expect to get tipped no matter what. What the hell is that? And you can ALWAYS spot an ex-waitress at a restaurant. They're very sympathetic and always tip way more than they should. I hated dating ex-waitresses and going out to eat. I mean, I don't leave REALLY shitty tips, but when someone asks me why I only left someone 5 bucks for a $30 (that's just over 15% people, a reasonable tip) tab, I get pissy... especially if I just paid for their god dammed food. Needless to say, Claire has never been a waitress. I'd never get along with an ex-waitress.

Then there is the "If it weren't for tipping, food prices would be a lot higher because they'd have to pay the wait staff more." One word sums this up: Bullshit. They don't do this auto-tipping shit in Europe, and they don't have sky-high food prices. And why the fuck does it cost twice the price to order a hamburger, fries and a drink at a sit-down-to-order restaurant than it does at a drive-thru where you generally get it faster and it tastes just as good? And even if it did cost more to maintain a sit-down restaurant and perhaps pay the waitresses a bit better, I’d really rather do that and not have to tip all the time. The current method sucks.

BTW, today I found a $20 bill in a wash-a-teria washing machine.


sweet said...

Almost very well said. I'm a waitress, also train the new waitresses. Nothing pisses me off more, than one of my new hires not paying attention to a thing I say. They are so worried about how much they are going to make, but they don't listen to what they should do to make good money, and there is good money to make waitressing regardless of the fact that we only make an hourly wage of about 4 bucks.

In case anyone is interested, here are some idea's on how to make good tips. They've worked great for me, and those few newhires that do pay attention.

1. Smile - I'm not talking some goofy, off the wall smile. Just a smile that makes it look like you enjoy your job.

2. Work like you don't need the money. You'll be a lot happier and more attentive if your not constantly worrying about how much a table is going to leave you.

3. Don't judge the guests/customers. You'd be surprised how much a single person will leave over a table of four, and sometimes, service is all that is judged, and the size of the bill doesn't matter. I once had a grandmother, mother, and three daughters come in for Mother's Day. All they wanted was drinks and dessert. I didn't moan and worry that I would just get a dollar, I treated them like every other guest that I serve. I kept their drinks full, kept the conversation to a minimum, and thanked them for coming in. The bill was $10.98, when I went to the table after they left, I found three 5 dollar bills.

4. Pre-bus your tables. There is nothing worse than finishing your dinner and having a conversation with the rest of your party with a bunch of dirty dishes on the table.

5. Don't finish serving that customer just because they have finished eating. I know turning tables fast results in more tables and more tips, but if you keep serving a table drinks and make them think they can stay longer than they should, they are more likely to tip higher. I had these 2 business guys in once. They had a lot of stuff they were going over after their meal. So I just left them to do their work, but stopped by every so often to refill their coffee. Ya know I found $20 on the table after they left?

6. Rob's right. Don't ask the customer if they want a refill. Scan the table. Obviously, if they're sitting there and their glass is almost empty or empty, fill it.

7. If silverware is rolled and extra napkins aren't already on the table, bring a couple out with the meal. This is especially important when there are children at the table as well. The less a customer has to ask for, the happier they are and the happier you will be when you get your tip.

8. Make eye contact. The guest will be sure you are hearing them this way, and it will help you when you do bring out the order to remember who got what. My guest's are always impressed that I don't auction off the food. They always ask how I remember what everyone ordered.

9. Serve hot food hot. When it comes up in the window, get it out first thing.

10. My final thought is be an individual. Everyone looks the same in a uniform. Make yourself unique. A pin, or a flower or something else in your hair. Guest hate it when they can't figure out who their waitress is.

Katsu said...

That's pretty sound advice for any waitresses/waiters out there who aspire not to suck. I can't tell you how many times I've wondered who my waitress was because they all look the same.