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Free meal today! [Jul. 10th, 2009|12:50 am]
waiting tables

http://cowappreciationday.com/ Free Chik-fil-a today if you dress up like a cow...they even give you a costume you can print out :)
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The restauranteers [Feb. 23rd, 2008|03:24 am]
waiting tables

I came across this entry from like four years ago and felt it belonged here.

"TGIFriday's observation so far: every restaurant must have the same essential structure. Ex. -- 1: the socially awkward GM who makes corny jokes. 2: The angsty, lazy, socially awkward and generally pissed off dishwasher who will stand and watch you pile up dishes in front of him without lifting a finger. Later, when something is mentioned to him about this, he breaks things. 3: (This is the good one...) the Andy. There is no other word for it. The guy who is training me is tall, skinny, and thinks he's everything. Serving tables is his whole world. He takes way too many tables, he states his goal as being at least $100 at the beginning of every night (whether this is expected or not), and he makes the corniest jokes that somehow or another, customers actually enjoy. He's "on his way to being a Manager." This guy hums the same weird tunes. He uses the same phrases. I ended up writing them down by the end of the night because there were just too many to be true! I've actually come quite close to calling this guy Andy several times."

Of course, no offense to you awesome dish people, especially tank girl with the emergency kit.  I never got to work with anyone like you.  :-(
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Questions [Dec. 11th, 2007|02:59 am]
waiting tables
I've been serving/doing restaurant work for two and a half years, working for the first two years at a small sushi restaurant, and then I've been hopping jobs for the last six months (for a variety of reasons - moving around/going to college/leaving college, or just bad jobs that I quit because I hated). Because of the sorts of places I've worked, I feel really insecure about whether I have "real" server experience. There's two places I've worked as a server - both small sushi restaurants that were sort of informal places with mostly regulars. And then I've bussed/hosted at a couple other places, Macaroni Grill (a franchise/family restaurant type place), a sort of casual vegetarian restaurant, and an Indian Restaurant that was more fine dining-y.

I've just spent my first semester at college and am leaving again to work full-time for a while, and want to, of course, serve (although a part of my heart is with bussing, because sometimes I love the straightforward activity with less human interaction, but serving usually pays better, so...) But I'm nervous about my experience. Having worked in small places with only one or two all-purpose "servers" on a shift, I know how to be the server, busser, hostess, cashier and POS system all rolled into one, and to juggle tables and all that. But I don't know how to do any of the "little things" that really make good service - I've just never learned it because the places I've worked never really cared/taught me. So, I suddenly have all sorts of random questions:

-What kind of places should I apply to make the most money? I read some controversy about the bar&grill type of place vs. fine dining in terms of pay on the FAQ post... I've been thinking I'd like to go for fine dining if possible, because I'm not an incredibly extroverted person and tend to lean towards a more minimalistic service style but am good at noticing things like tables needing more water, etc. Anyone have info on the advantages/disadvantages? Feel free to expand beyond just bar&grill vs. fine dining, like franchises vs. independent, large vs. small, etc. Also, is it a lot harder to get a job at a more upscale/fine dining-y place (I'm not talking hardcore fine dining, but places that are sort of nicer than like, family franchise type places) without upscale/fine dining serving experience?

-I always find it so awkward to approach a table to ask how everything is, because they're almost always talking to each other, and I feel like I'm interrupting. Is it okay to interrupt to ask, or should you wait till they're not talking? If that opportunity never arises, is it better to interrupt and ask than to never interrupt at all? Or am I overly worried about something totally trivial?

-How frequently are you supposed to approach a table and ask how everything is/if they need anything else? I generally ask how the appetizers were when I bring the entree, and then try to ask sometime during the entree. Should I generally assume that they'll catch my attention if they need anything, or should I approach them from time to time asking if they need refills, etc, and if so, how often is enough/not annoying?

-How much are you supposed to talk to customers? I guess this depends on the place, but I sometimes feel a little robotic ("hi, can I start you off with something to drink, are you ready to order, here's your food, would you like anything else, thank you, have a good night") but at the same time, I'm not really sure how to be friendlier... things like whether I should be using more colloquial, or how I can change up the phrasing?

-What are little things I can do to make my service better?

If anyone has partial or complete answers to any or all of these questions, I'd really appreciate it! I'm sure I'll be back with more after I work my next shift and remember all the little recurring awkward moments where I'm not quite sure what to do, haha.
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Question [Nov. 1st, 2007|10:54 pm]
waiting tables

Anyone worked (or have friends who have worked) at either Applebee's or Baker's Square

I've applied to two of these restaurants as they are both near the college I go to, and am not sure about the pros and cons of either. 

Any insight is appreciated :).

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strike one for unprofessionalism! [Oct. 7th, 2007|07:12 pm]
waiting tables

 I went home, ranted and raved and swore, then sat down to write a more appropriate letter. This is standing up for the rights of good servers everywhere. I've eliminated all identifying information because it's both impertinent, unfair to all parties involved, and ... well, it was just the right thing to do. 

what do you think? i made sure to keep the letter very educated-sounding because we all too often get treated like the kids we're not, and i get very, very sick of it. don't you? 


~~ another server in paradise ~~ 

Dear XXX (GM),


Before I begin my letter, I want to apologize for not yet having met you in person. However, I'm a transfer from XXXX, and I only work a few shifts per week because of another full-time job.


I'm hesitant to introduce myself on a negative note, but after what happened to me after my shift today, I had to speak up about something I feel is just not right.


The situation I'm referencing took place at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7.


I had just come out of the bathroom after changing into street clothes from my day shift. I was off the clock. As I was packing up my things to leave, I began making small talk with another in-uniform server standing nearby. Directly behind us was a fairly large group of uniformed servers, presumably chatting with each other because there wasn't much business in the store. Just as I was about to wrap up my conversation and exit the restaurant, manager XXXX came by. The first person he looked at was me. He said, loudly, angrily, and forcefully, "You." (pointing) "You're off the clock, you need to get out, now." He then proceeded to "break up this party" by telling the servers to get to work. I was still standing there, in shock at what he'd just said to me. When I asked why -- admittedly a bit timidly -- and whether I'd done anything wrong, he looked at me again. He then said, again loudly and angrily,  "GET OUT."


I am very upset at what happened for several reasons. First, there were customers nearby and I'm concerned they heard the unprofessional exchange. Secondly, I was offended that I had simply been chatting in a friendly manner to a fellow server on my way out the door, and was so severely reprimanded. Thirdly, I was embarrassed that it happened in front of numerous other servers. Finally, I don't believe I did anything to precipitate the use of such angry, abrupt language. I understand that XXXX didn't want the servers looking lazy. But because I'm off the clock, it is no longer my responsibility to know who is supposed to be working, who has just finished for the day, and who is not yet on the clock. That, I believe, was the responsibility of the server I was speaking with.


I have worked for XXXX nearly four years now and have overall very much enjoyed my experience. Since I've worked for the XXXXXX location, I have come in early to work for every single shift. I am helpful, respectful, and courteous to both coworkers and management (in fact smiled and said, "Hi, XXXX" when he came in tonight), and I don't think it's too much to ask to be treated with the same level of basic courtesy and respect. I very much DO NOT appreciate being called "You," being pointed at, and being thrown out of the restaurant for no legitimate reason.


On my way out the door tonight, I asked several servers whether they thought I had done anything wrong. They all told me, "Well that's just the way he is." To me, that answer is an unacceptable excuse for plainly unprofessional words and demeanor. It's merely allowing such behavior to continue negatively impacting a working environment, an environment in which we are constantly told to be always "on stage."


If XXXX felt it prudent to tell me that his servers should not be distracted (even though I clearly had no idea whether this person was on the clock), I believe he could easily have used my first name, and followed that by language and tone of a more appropriate, adult, and professional manner. Or, he could have done what I've seen other managers do, make a point through a joke and be done with it.


I am aware that many people tend to see servers as immature. However, every server that works at XXXXXX is a legal adult. Many of us have graduated college, are attending college, or are working toward other personal and professional development goals. As adults, we should continue to be treated as such, especially while we are off the clock and not directly affecting the normal course of restaurant business. The one obvious exception, of course, would be completely wrong behavior such as getting intoxicated and causing a scene, fighting loudly with someone, stealing, lying, etc. But not for chatting and a friendly good-bye.


I'm not asking for any major action with regards to the situation I have previously noted. In fact, a very simple, sincere apology would suffice. I've had no reason to dislike XXXX or any of (Location/Restaurant Name) management/team so far, and hope that can continue!


Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to read this letter. I look forward to meeting and talking with you soon.





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Who wears these? [May. 10th, 2007|08:02 pm]
waiting tables

If anyone out there ACTUALLY wears one of those diner dresses like in "Waitress" or "Monster's Ball," please let me know. Even though they're cute and iconic, I don't think they exist and I'm sick of seeing them on tv and movies.
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(no subject) [May. 6th, 2007|01:33 am]
waiting tables

So, after my first real weekend on the job at a Mexican restaurant and on Cinco de Mayo... I lost about $13 worth of slips for credit card tips. I'm really sad about this. I know, it's only $13, but still... I worked hard for those stupid tips.
Make me feel better- does anyone have good stories about losing something important, or losing money?
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Serving Ichuro ... [Apr. 11th, 2007|07:05 pm]
waiting tables


I'm a server in Boston ... 

...so today i brought Ichuro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners, who faces off tonight at Fenway against former Japanese rival Daisuke Matsuzaka (Suzuki is the leadoff hitter, Dice K is the new Red Sox Wonder Boy pitcher), his pizza. Traditional cheese, light sauce. Guess he doesn't want another stomach upset after yesterday's rout of his team.  lol. He's very skinny, dresses VERY metrosexual, and wore large sunglasses and a bright green scarf. He was carrying a Barney's bag. He came in with two translators. I think he drank Diet Coke. I brought him his food, he said "Thank you." I wished him good luck tonight, he said, "Thank You." A few people came up and asked him for his autograph, which he did graciously and amicably. His "people" tipped the server 20 percent.

I just thought it was all pretty neat.

That is all. : )

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rare good night [Mar. 10th, 2007|03:27 am]
waiting tables

thank you awesome tippers (including foreigners!) who made my friday night one of the best ever. Walked home with $135 after tipout. 

seriously, it was like this: $10 on $33, $14 on $67, lots of $4 on $20s, $12 on $58 ...

awesome. love nights like this, and the kitchen never crashed once! thank you kitchen for never fucking up.
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Co-Workers [Nov. 30th, 2004|10:24 am]
waiting tables

[mood |aggravatedaggravated]

you know those crazy old women who work at those breakfast places. they're not what they used to be. they're always locking their keys in their cars, asking for rides, calling in sick, being late to work, having tables walk out on them, never running their food... and so on and so forth.

yeah they're funny. but when i'm picking up all your pissed off tables just to make two dollars off of them while listening to them bitch and moan about how long they sat there with no service- i want to take you to the back and use the can opener on your face. does it look like i need the extra old people attitude? i've got enough rude people, on my hands- let alone having to take your table's food back because they found a hair in it- while your outback smoking a cigarrette and bitching about how rude people are. get a fucking grip. get it the fuck together...

you may be the cliche of what a waffle house needs, but we work at IHOP, and you're getting way too old to be waiting tables. and you suck hardcore.
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