This makes me mad !!

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by coolj, Mar 20, 2004.

  1. coolj

    coolj

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    Maybe I shouldn't be so sensitive, but something that just gets under my skin, and riles the bejeezes out of me, is customers who when they go to a restaurant, treat the waitstaff, like the slaves from 'roots'. Servers are not slaves, even if they only get minimum wage. I am really passionate about this, when you go to a restaurant you should at least treat your server with respect, that's my rule of thumb, if they dissrespect you then you can play their game. But you don't just go into a restaurant and get all slavemaster on the waitstaff, demanding this that and the other and 'it better not take too long'. And you don't call the manager the next day to have the server fired because they brought you tea instead of coffee, ( you get the drink mix up fixed on the spot). My friend actually did that, she called a place the next day to have a server fired because he forgot to take her drink order immediatley.
    That's my rant for now, thanks for listening.
    Jeff.
     
  2. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    Okay, CoolJ there is the "slave" componant of servers and service, but there is also the componant that says" We pay you to provide service to our customers". Servers who can't do that are as worthless as cooks who can't cook. And then there is the fact the the vast majority of servers have limited, if any training and expect to make 15-20% of the gross ticket average on tips. Many times that is more money than the owner of the restaurant makes off of a single transaction. I know this sounds cruel, but a lot of times servers don't work for their tips, they just coast along on a pretty smile and a good personality. I would rather have a homely hardworking server than a "spokesmodel" any day!!
    And as for the people who treat people in service industries like slaves, it is usually so they (the customer) feels empowered because they can order someone around. And in that case, appropriate butt kissing can smooth over just about anybody.BTW- I wait tables on a daily basis.
     
  3. jim berman

    jim berman

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    Great insights!

    I would like to offer this...

    Just because you can boss somebody around doesn't mean you should. That said, waitstaff are employees as are mechanics, bus drivers and athletes. They are expected to deliver at least 100%, 100% of the time. Compassion, though, is what separates us from savages.
     
  4. ritafajita

    ritafajita

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    I sympathize, CoolJ. I have to deal with the public a lot on the phone since we are a take-out/delivery place. People can be even more abusive over the phone than in person. I get really tired sometimes of being someone's punching bag just because they are having a bad day or hate their job. It bothers me even more when I watch one of my employees try to deal with a customer who is clearly being unreasonable. I always try to be polite with people and deal with reasonable complaints, but I won't tolerate abuse of my employees in order to accomplish that.

    RF
     
  5. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    You know what makes me mad? Servers who think you're dumb. Actually, anyone who insults anyone's intelligence makes me mad. The latest server incident with me was...

    "We don't serve pickled ginger with sashimi because it kills the taste of the fish."
    :eek:

    That was a good one.

    Kuan
     
  6. coolj

    coolj

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    Good call Kuan. Did you look at the server and say 'DUH, that's why you eat the ginger after you eat the sashimi'.
    While were on the topic of servers that make you mad, my latest incident was this past monday, i was up all night on sunday preparing sandwich and veggie platters for a funeral ( which was the next morning), so I'm working until like 230 in the morning, i get the stuff done, then I decide to go to tim hortons for some pastries, and the server just about bit my head off because i didn't have my order ready as soon as i approached the counter, I was with my folks, and we were the only three customers in the place ( remember 3am on a monday), and she's cocking attitude 'cause we are a little slow on the order.
     
  7. vidi

    vidi

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    If I go to a particular resturant and the servers are rude to me on more than one visit. I simply dont return. Same thing with bad service. Anyone can have one bad day. That I can understand and forgive. But if the rudeness is habitual and the bad service ongoing, I simply find another resturant that will appreciate my patronage.

    Ive been a waiter in the past. Not in any fancy five star resturant, mind you but the principles are the same

    Greet and take drink orders, return with drinks and take main orders, return within five minutes to check drinks and see if they would like to add anything to order, return with refilled drinks ( if applicable ), serve food, return within two minutes to check on them ( make sure the food is to their liking ), return again within five minutes to check again on drinks, return in ten minutes to take dessert order, serve dessert, return within two minutes to check on them and drop off their bill.

    Very simple really. I ALWAYS got fantastic tips. Even when I made mistakes, because I showed them that I cared about their experience.

    There is absolutely no excuse for a rude server. None. Ive been in the worst mood and went to work. I fake my smile until suddenly my customers are smiling back and me and putting me into a good mood. The ONLY thing worse than a rude server is a condesending one.

    Continued rude service equals bad tip and the end of my patronizing that particular resturant.
     
  8. chefboy2160

    chefboy2160

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    I have sympathy for both sides having waited tables before and of course being a customer.I myself treat waitstaff like people and expect them to act that way. I had lunch with someone for the first time the other day who was one of those nice people who turned into the slave owner as the waitress approached . As he started his tirade about what he expected (in of course a very demeaning fashion) I gently asked the waitress to give us 5 where as I proceeded to rip this business associate a new one and told him if he wanted to have lunch with me than he had better act civil and lose the plantation mentality or else he could dine alone! I have zero tolerance for eating out with people who exhibit this behavior! Of course on the other hand if a wait staff person cares to be rude , pushy or maybe sarcastic ,
    well I as a cook and chef of many years can rip apart the wait staff with out even thinking about it if they want to go there .I still love the dozens ;) As you see , every coin has two sides . Doug......................
     
  9. wyoming

    wyoming

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    I had it out with my boss a couple of days ago over our wait staff. Most of them are pretty professional, but there are 3 or 4 who walk out of the restaurant making a grand in cash each week who:

    A. Are not familiar with the preparation of any of our menu items.

    B. I compile a sheet each day with Soup Du Jour, Veg of the Day, Starch of the Day, 86'd items, Desserts and Specials. They don't read the sheets. As a result, using tonight as an example, they don't sell the specials I have busted my butt making or they guess and when they serve the customer the wrong item, blame it on the kitchen staff.

    C. Come in late each day and immediately head for the employee break room.

    D. Continually ring in the wrong items because they are not familiar with the menu. This results in food being returned, the right item being prepared and the guest kept waiting.

    E. Never pick up their food. They stay on the floor and wait for me to send their food to a table with another server.

    :mad: :mad: :mad:
     
  10. chefkell

    chefkell

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    I agree and don't tolerate belittling, yelling or general jackassedness toward any of our employees here from busbot to dish to server.

    The guest will not...
    Yell, call names, physically intimidate, swear or have any physical contact with the emploees whatsoever. Period. We're a pretty nice place but I've had my share of booting people that think they can get away with this crap. All employees know this and come to me directly when it occurs and I deal with it personally.

    I actually had a guy try to poke me in the chest like I was his unrully offspring once. He left in a hurry.

    an aside here for Wyoming...

    I had one of the same issues with servers not mentioning specials and this is what I realized after talking to them.

    They don't want to push a special @ $12.95 for dinner when 90% of the entrees are $15+. It cuts into their check average and tips.

    Once I started pricing specials the same or slightly higher (with significant modifications of course) they sold like wildfire and the servers sold them with a fever. Just food for thought.
     
  11. headless chicken

    headless chicken

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    I have no real world experiance as a servant but I bused and served at the 2003 Toronto Taste event. I got a taste of what waiting staff go through and understand their frustrations but in the end, the customer is always right. Its a bitter pill to swallow but waiting staff has to put on a smile even if it cracks their face to pass on a good experiance for the sake of the business. Some restaurants may want to invest in angermanagement theropy for their waiting staff though ;)
     
  12. genevieve.m

    genevieve.m

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    I think it is important the the server keeps the same cool manner about them all the time. If they come crying to the kitchen about a customer that they can't serve, I tell them to take their story to the front of house manager.

    The manager usually pays me a visit first then deals with the customer them selves. I think this is best as most inexperienced serving staff don't have the confidence or skills to deal with difficult a customer. Nothing worse than the server coming back to the kitchen 3 times asking for something not on the menu or building for that matter.

    No manager minds if their staff asks for help and a disaster is usually averted and everone is happy. Some times I think the customer is to blame and sometimes the waiter.

    We have all received bad service in a restaurant right?
     
  13. crazychef826

    crazychef826

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    I have seen a change over the many years in our industry, and that change is shared by both costumer and server. Costumers have now entered our establishment with attitude even before they sit down. The world seems like a cruel place for them, but the restaurant they have control and "they are going to work that little server!" and by god nothing is going to be right. The serving staff has changed over the years into an 80% greed principle. It seems in my eyes you see more and more servers looking at customers as dollar signs. By the way people thats not the concept, you are there to create an experience, and by the way if you look at your favorite places to dine you will fine that plays a big part in your return. Oh and by the way this would be referred to as a talent, so look at it that way. We can do nothing about the costumer but my rule is simple if you are a costumer in my restaurant and you don't treat my servers as humans than I use what used to be a sign in every restaurant "we exercise the right to refuse service to anyone." No ones pocket is to deep to lead me away from this rule. Only have used it a dozen or so times in the twenty plus years I've been in a spot to do so. Keep the smiles on out there, and use the cooks to plot the customers murder in the back.
     
  14. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    People who enter a restaurant with the intention of treating any of the staff like servants make me nauseous. They have no right to feel so superior, I don't care what they do for a living or how much money they have. Unfortunately, this attitude is abundant.
     
  15. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    Am I the only waiter here? Its really not that bad. And the money is good.
    Really, there would be more waiters here to defend themselves and their position but the computers at home must be broken. "It doesn't do anything when I touch the screen." lol.