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(The New York Times)   Top 50 things restaurant employees should never, ever do in presence of guests   (boss.blogs.nytimes.com) divider line 533
    More: Obvious, flirting, seafood, Hamlet, restaurants, libertarians, butter, vegetables  
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27848 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Nov 2009 at 10:32 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-11-07 04:46:19 PM
Awesome list. I can't wait until next week to see the other 50.
 
2009-11-07 04:56:12 PM
The second half of the list has been posted here. (new window)

It's a great list for a "fine dining" place, but wouldn't hold up at a family dining type place. Meh.
 
2009-11-07 05:03:10 PM
fine. Remain neutral.

7. Do not announce your name. No jokes, no flirting, no cuteness.



AAAND Listfail!

Quicker than I thought.
 
2009-11-07 05:53:01 PM
Might work for places the waitstaff gets paid well in. The wait staff where I eat don't give a shiat about a lot of that, and that's fine by me. I'd rather have a mutual understanding that I and they are human beings than deal with obsequious people trying too hard to look good.
 
2009-11-07 05:53:52 PM
Top 50 things to make restaurant employees into mindless robots instead of servers. Awesome. I may as well get my food from a vending machine.
 
2009-11-07 07:09:05 PM
Don't expect a tip if you are a crummy waiter. And if you are left a penny, do not follow the patron into the parking lot and throw it at them.

/this has happened to me

as well as


If you screw up and forget to place the order in a timely manner, do not tell the cook that the customer is waiting and impatient. You just never know what the cook will say to the patron.

// have to agree with the "don't smell like the cigarette you put down 30 seconds ago.

/// could have added, do not let the customer see you scratch your bottocks or pick your nose when you are serving them.

as well as

don't let your hair touch the plate if you are carrying a tray on your shoulder (lice do jump).
 
2009-11-07 07:37:38 PM
Every time I order and the waitress says "no problem", her tip gets smaller...and I consider myself a great tipper.
 
2009-11-07 07:43:50 PM
17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.

Yeah, party of six. They're really going to want to order dessert when there's a slew of dirty dinner plates all over the table.

It's called busing the table, and it's what you're paying for when you go to a restaurant that's on a higher service level than Burger King.

This guy never worked in a restaurant and has no understanding of *why* good waitstaff get plates out of the way of their guests.
 
2009-11-07 08:35:04 PM
So this guy doesn't want the waiter/waitress to introduce themselves and don't clear the table? I hope he likes impersonal service and a cluttered table.

There are a few good comments there, but he goes too much into his opinion of how things should be.
 
2009-11-07 08:39:44 PM
DarthBrooks: 17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.

Yeah, party of six. They're really going to want to order dessert when there's a slew of dirty dinner plates all over the table.

It's called busing the table, and it's what you're paying for when you go to a restaurant that's on a higher service level than Burger King.

This guy never worked in a restaurant and has no understanding of *why* good waitstaff get plates out of the way of their guests.


I always thought that was a matter of courtesy to the people you are dining with. Nothing makes you feel more rushed than being the last guy at the table with a plate in front of him.
 
2009-11-07 08:40:45 PM
Top 50 things restaurant employees should never, ever do in presence of ghosts

That's how I first read it.
 
2009-11-07 08:40:45 PM
Christ on a Triskit. If you're that appauled by humans being human you probably need to be cook your own fecking food or eat the Automat.
 
2009-11-07 08:40:48 PM
78. Do not ask, "Are you still working on that?" Dining is not work - until questions like this are asked.

I hate when the server asks that. Working on it? It's my dinner, hopefully I'm enjoying it, not working on it.
 
2009-11-07 08:45:39 PM
51. Always act like a complete automaton and don't expect a tip ever because I'm a giant douche who wants waitstaff to behave like my personal slaves rather than human beings.

/At least that's the vibe I got off the list.
 
2009-11-07 08:55:29 PM
Well, my post was typo-ridden gibberish. Too human.
 
2009-11-07 09:02:19 PM
4. If a table is not ready within a reasonable length of time, offer a free drink and/or amuse-bouche. The guests may be tired and hungry and thirsty, and they did everything right.

This is the sort of stuff that will earn you a big tip, from me at least. I will happily pay for exceptional service.
 
2009-11-07 09:09:20 PM
Today I went to my favorite Baxter Street Vietnamese joint. Ordered the usual hollow vegetables and salt/pepper squid.

The guy told me I wanted a beer and I listened to him but pooh-poohed his recommendation on another side. I always order the same thing because they do it perfectly but I will never do that again.

This guy knows what I want more than I do. I can't stop wondering what the pork leg soup would have tasted like. He was sitting there slurping it up on his break and I was wildly jealous.

Respect the unsolicited tip.
 
2009-11-07 09:09:21 PM
Pretty good list, except feel free to interrupt conversation anytime to perform your task. Let's keep it moving.

Also, on cellphone etiquette - if someone forgets to turn it off and it rings, they get an embarrassing pass. If someone is talking on one, you must have a chainsaw at the ready to cut them in half, spattering their guts all over his/her table-mates that shamefully did not kill them already. Flick the running blade towards the inconsiderate table-mates as you guide them to the exit.
 
2009-11-07 09:15:47 PM
brap: Today I went to my favorite Baxter Street Vietnamese joint. Ordered the usual hollow vegetables and salt/pepper squid.

The guy told me I wanted a beer and I listened to him but pooh-poohed his recommendation on another side. I always order the same thing because they do it perfectly but I will never do that again.

This guy knows what I want more than I do. I can't stop wondering what the pork leg soup would have tasted like. He was sitting there slurping it up on his break and I was wildly jealous.

Respect the unsolicited tip.


Now I'm in the mood for Pho.
 
2009-11-07 09:27:21 PM
As a long-time restaurant employee, in every position including waiter and GM, I could not even finish that list it infuriated me so much
 
2009-11-07 09:29:05 PM
I worked in a nice restaurant when I was younger... our chefs and management would give you a heavy reprimand if you had a food auction...

"Who had the ribeye?"

"And.... who had the porterhouse?"

To this day when a waiter does that I want to throw something at them. If you can't remember who had what, you need to just get a job at Waffle House. Seriously, it isn't that hard. They have seat numbers, which correspond to items. If one is wrong it is still better than standing next to the table auctioning off the food.
 
2009-11-07 09:55:56 PM
I see "Masturbate furiously" is still ok, though...

doglover: fine. Remain neutral.

7. Do not announce your name. No jokes, no flirting, no cuteness.


AAAND Listfail!

Quicker than I thought.


Why so? I don't give a shiat what my waiter's name is. I don't want my waitress to be flirty, since it's only her trying to worm her way into a good tip through flattery rather than doing her job well. If I want a joke, I'll have witty repartee with my dinner partner.

The thing that gets me - and it's happened three times to me, which I find astounding - is when a server sits down at the table with us to take the order. Pisses me right off. When it happens, I just pay for whatever is on the table and leave. The best occasion was when the waitress had sat on my side of the booth - I slid out without warning her and nearly put her on her ass. Dropped a Ten on the table, stopped the manager and let him know why I was leaving, and never went back.

Servers are human, yes. But for fark's sake, just do your job.
 
2009-11-07 10:07:06 PM
DarthBrooks: 17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.

Yeah, party of six. They're really going to want to order dessert when there's a slew of dirty dinner plates all over the table.


That's actually fairly standard. Once all the plates are empty, get rid of them. Pour wine.
 
2009-11-07 10:18:57 PM
Manners and professionalism made into a do/don't do list?

Awesome.
 
2009-11-07 10:35:39 PM
Benevolent Misanthrope: When it happens, I just pay for whatever is on the table and leave.

Wow, that's uptight.

Benevolent Misanthrope: The best occasion was when the waitress had sat on my side of the booth - I slid out without warning her and nearly put her on her ass.

Yeah, that's, uh, great. You seem really sane.
 
2009-11-07 10:36:28 PM
I would assume that juggling food is an unspoken taboo...
 
2009-11-07 10:37:03 PM
#52 kiss grits
 
2009-11-07 10:39:32 PM
doglover: fine. Remain neutral.

7. Do not announce your name. No jokes, no flirting, no cuteness.


AAAND Listfail!

Quicker than I thought.


I kind of back that one. Ok, I'd like to know your name and share a brief conversation about the specials, maybe a chuckle, but do not linger. I'm not at the restaurant because I'm interested in you or your life.
 
2009-11-07 10:40:52 PM
I was going to say 'pick nose,' but I could tell right away they were aiming higher. Still, I read the whole list to see if they stuck it in as a 'zinger.'

/scratch ass would be another good one.
 
2009-11-07 10:40:56 PM
Pretty good list. It's the kind of thing that separates the good and bad restaurants and the good and bad servers. I think the 'take the plates exactly when you're done' is a bad thing. It's very rude and makes people think that they need to leave as soon as possible. It makes you feel more welcome if you get the impression that you are in charge.

tl;dr: feeling welcome means bigger tips.
 
2009-11-07 10:43:01 PM
Yahoo had this on their main page a week ago.
 
2009-11-07 10:43:05 PM
SouthernManDunWrong: Don't expect a tip if you are a crummy waiter. And if you are left a penny, do not follow the patron into the parking lot and throw it at them.

/this has happened to me


You sound like an asshole.
 
2009-11-07 10:43:09 PM
Obdicut: Benevolent Misanthrope: When it happens, I just pay for whatever is on the table and leave.

Wow, that's uptight.

Benevolent Misanthrope: The best occasion was when the waitress had sat on my side of the booth - I slid out without warning her and nearly put her on her ass.

Yeah, that's, uh, great. You seem really sane.


To be fair, he is a misanthrope.

But really, having a waitress sit down while you order is heinous. If some waitress did that to me she'd better have great boobs because I'm squeezing them.
 
2009-11-07 10:43:38 PM
AntonSzandorLaVey: As a long-time restaurant employee, in every position including waiter and GM, I could not even finish that list it infuriated me so much

Now I remember why I will never, ever, wait tables again.
 
2009-11-07 10:44:00 PM
This list is so excellent.

If you disagree with any of the rules, just imagine Gordon Ramsey screaming at you when you disobey them.

"Christ! You farking donkey! What the fark is this? This is a dog's dinner! fark! Shut it down!"

having fun with the Ramsey-isms, but seriously. In a decent restaurant these rules are golden.

Sure, I don't expect quite that much in a Denny's. But though I may love the occasional greasy spoon as much as the next man, when I'm in a restaurant I like the servers to be professional. Which is exactly what this list teaches.
 
2009-11-07 10:44:58 PM
double negatives.. why
 
2009-11-07 10:45:37 PM
Cubansaltyballs: To this day when a waiter does that I want to throw something at them. If you can't remember who had what, you need to just get a job at Waffle House. Seriously, it isn't that hard. They have seat numbers, which correspond to items. If one is wrong it is still better than standing next to the table auctioning off the food.

How do seat numbers work when people come and go and we're pulling tables together???
 
2009-11-07 10:45:42 PM
Next week: 51-100.

Never bring half the meal and then muchlater bring the other half. Bring everyone their food at once.
 
2009-11-07 10:47:32 PM
Cubansaltyballs: I worked in a nice restaurant when I was younger... our chefs and management would give you a heavy reprimand if you had a food auction...

"Who had the ribeye?"

"And.... who had the porterhouse?"

To this day when a waiter does that I want to throw something at them. If you can't remember who had what, you need to just get a job at Waffle House. Seriously, it isn't that hard. They have seat numbers, which correspond to items. If one is wrong it is still better than standing next to the table auctioning off the food.


Seriously? This is an issue for you? Wow.
 
2009-11-07 10:48:35 PM
I need to know the waiter's name so that 30 minutes into the meal, when my side/wine/whatever hasn't shown up yet, I can stop someone and say, "Could you send me someone other than Bob"?
 
2009-11-07 10:49:24 PM
7. Do not announce your name. No jokes, no flirting, no cuteness.

Management requires that servers do this.
 
2009-11-07 10:50:44 PM
scratching your ass then licking your fingers is mysteriously absent....
 
2009-11-07 10:51:26 PM
Sliceablekitty: DarthBrooks: 17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.

Yeah, party of six. They're really going to want to order dessert when there's a slew of dirty dinner plates all over the table.

It's called busing the table, and it's what you're paying for when you go to a restaurant that's on a higher service level than Burger King.

This guy never worked in a restaurant and has no understanding of *why* good waitstaff get plates out of the way of their guests.

I always thought that was a matter of courtesy to the people you are dining with. Nothing makes you feel more rushed than being the last guy at the table with a plate in front of him.


yup-something along those lines. manners are awesome! most folks don't know this rule... truly sad.
 
2009-11-07 10:51:45 PM
Benevolent Misanthrope: The thing that gets me - and it's happened three times to me, which I find astounding - is when a server sits down at the table with us to take the order. Pisses me right off. When it happens, I just pay for whatever is on the table and leave. The best occasion was when the waitress had sat on my side of the booth - I slid out without warning her and nearly put her on her ass. Dropped a Ten on the table, stopped the manager and let him know why I was leaving, and never went back.

A good waiter or waitress should be able to read their guests, but newsflash, if you're in the kind of restaurant where the server might sit down and you're the kind of person who'd leave because they do, it's a good thing for you to leave and isn't going to get anyone in trouble. They are going to be relieved a problem customer left, and that's exactly what you are.

If you have no idea what your server's name is, how do you address him? "You, BOY!" Waitresses, in general, hate being called "Miss" because rude pricks make it sound so insulting. It's a dining experience, and it should be pleasant. If you want fine dining, go to a fine dining place. If you get huffy because your server at a family style restaurant is friendly or doesn't think they are subservient to you, you're in the wrong place.
 
2009-11-07 10:51:46 PM
i absolutely hate it when conversation is interrupted by the server. that should be number one on the list.
 
2009-11-07 10:53:47 PM
Out of all 100, this one is tops with me---#88. Do not ask if a guest needs change. Just bring the change.

You might just as well stand there with your hand extended, palm up, or ask outright "how much of a tip are you giving me?" Rude as fark. This must be something new, 'cos I've only seen it in the last 10 years or so.
 
2009-11-07 10:54:03 PM
Shazam999: But really, having a waitress sit down while you order is heinous. If some waitress did that to me she'd better have great boobs because I'm squeezing them.

Well, enjoy jail.
 
2009-11-07 10:54:03 PM
]Mr Guy:



If you have no idea what your server's name is, how do you address him? "You, BOY!" Waitresses, in general, hate being called "Miss" because rude pricks make it sound so insulting. It's a dining experience, and it should be pleasant. If you want fine dining, go to a fine dining place. If you get huffy because your server at a family style restaurant is friendly or doesn't think they are subservient to you, you're in the wrong place.


Why do i need to address my server by name? The only time we should have to talk is when they take my order and when they come back after bringing the food to check if i need anything.
 
2009-11-07 10:54:42 PM
93. Do not play brass - no brassy Broadway songs, brass bands, marching bands, or big bands that feature brass, except a muted flugelhorn.

Yes, of course, except for a muted flugelhorn, not a trumpet, a flugelhorn.
 
2009-11-07 10:54:43 PM
This list is epic fail on top of epic fail.
 
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