I can honestly say that I learned more from my coworkers than my guests.
Here’s why. …
1. The College Graduate
When I was still in high school, I looked up to you. You were here, grinding your tail off, saving up and paying back your school loans (noble and respectable). The Liberal Arts or Psychology degree may have utterly failed you, but hey, look on the bright side.
Wait… You’re how old?
2. Mr/s. Professional
Your work uniform sits in the trunk, dry cleaned and ironed. You speed on over after you get off your 9-5 shift. Extra cash doesn’t hurt, but aren’t you tired?!
3. Mr/s. Smoke-too-much
Smoke: cigarettes, weed. I once worked with a girl who drank wine and smoked for breakfast. She extolled that it helped her stay awake. An excellent server, her communication skills were off the charts (said the bud helped), and yet … she struggled with short-term memory loss. (Of course she was fired.)
4. Mr/s. In the Weeds
Managers must do a better job emphasizing “high volume, fast-paced restaurant” during the interview process. There’s a guy (or gal) that can’t follow the current and it usually affects the entire wait staff. Basically the servers with the sincerest personalities are found in the weeds, because they’re in the back of the house mixing the perfect Shirley Temple that takes an extra 18.42 seconds off the clock. Hint: Guests, bring your own bottle of grenadine and order a Sprite, please (and thank you).
5. Mr/s. Trying to Help the World
If you don’t have tables, I’d understand but homie/honey, your six-top section is full. Either they’re your regulars, or you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Don’t get me wrong – some of these servers are so awesome at what they do, they can’t help it but to assist you. Ask them to refill your empty glasses.
6. Mr/s. Schemer
Beware of these wolves, argh. They feel the vibration in their pants and ask you to watch their section so … they can hide in the bathroom and text their friends. They secretly pay the host/hostess extra cash to ensure themselves 5-6 tops in their sections all night.
7. Mr/s. Can’t Save a Dime
There’s always one. Or two. These servers cash out with $200 at the end of the night and … dump it at the local bar.
8. Mr/s. Textbook
“Good evening, my name is ____, welcome to ____, is this your first time dining here with us?”
“It is? Welcome! Let me tell you a little about our menu…”
These spiels are rehearsed from Day 1. If you haven’t snapped out of Robot Land yet, hurry.
9. Mr/s. Nervous Wreck
Your trembling voice gives it away. It’s OK, they understand it’s your first job. Heck, sometimes that timidness pulls in more tips. Try it (on purpose.)
9. Mr/s. Overconfident
“I don’t need to write anything down because I know that you want your steak cooked medium-rare, no mashed potatoes, sub-carrots, extra dressing, no ranch, sub-French, cheese on the side, sub-Parm, and the soup with your meal.”
Then you get to the computer and you’re like … Did he want the asparagus?!?!?!?!
10. Mr/s. Hilarious
“Rebuttals” is the name of the game, and if this type of server can make you laugh, appreciate it all the more. They could care less about their tip percentages; they just want to make sure you have a fun night.
11. Mr/s. One More Round?
We’re trained to “read our tables.” Some do it better than others. Watch out for these lame-os, and make sure they’re not getting carried away with that pesky, “one more beer sir/glass of wine ma’am?”
12. Mr/s. Complain All Day
This is the most annoying type of server. S/he is sobbing or throwing a pity party — cursing the “Restaurant gods” for the lousy tip Table 8 left behind.
“Why dine in at a place their budgets can barely afford?!” s/he asks, crying. There’s no law to tipping.
13. Mr/s. Awesome
After dropping off the check, these amazing butte balls let their guests know hey, it was my pleasure serving you — and if you enjoyed me bringing your food and drinks, feel free and request me the next time you dine in.
They’ll most likely request you again. And that… is how you build regulars.
Comment below with your best experiences!