Sunday, August 5, 2012

From an angry ex-waitress...

I an an angry ex-waitress.
I was a waitress for three years at 3 different resturants in town and I was a bartender for a year... and it always stuns me, literally stuns me how poorly people treat their waitresses/bartenders.

I've had a bone to pick with this for a long while now and finally I realized one day
"maybe people just really don't know how to treat their waitresses...
maybe some people just don't even realize how rude they are being".

Here is a collection of "please don'ts and please do's" I started scribbling down back in my serving days. Here are some FYI's - and if you are a waitress reading this, no need to thank me-
I got your back, girl.

If you take more than 20 minutes to decide what to order, why complain when the table that came in after you got their food before you?

Why do you ask me to list our dressings when I know you are going to choose ranch anyways?
99 percent of people ask what dressings are served, and 95 percent of them choose ranch anyways.

 Please don't tell me you dont want coffee when I'm standing there with the pot, only to tell me you do want coffee 3 minutes later after I put the pot down.

I. AM. NOT. A. SLAVE. I am a woman just trying to make a living, I have kids and a husband. So please, don't boss me around, don't degrade me, don't treat me like a second-class citizen because I serve you food and clean up your table after you leave.

Please, dont have 5 more people join your group halfway through the meal. It really throws me off.

If the resturant closes at 10, dont come in after 9:45. The cooks will dislike you immensely.
((at one place I worked every Friday night a couple would come in
5 minutes to close and stay until 3 in the morning,
every single week.
A server asked them to leave on Christmas Eve at 1 a.m.
so that he could see his daughter for Christmas
and the next day they called corporate office and got him fired.
this is just wrong. ))

  Remember we only make 2.33 an hour. We survive on tips. Please, please, tip well. Be kind, as after I am done with work today I also have to tip the busboy out of my tips.
((Note - now that I've been a server, I give about 40 percent tips. I don't go out to eat alot!))

 But heres the deal. You come into a diner and you order a breakfast for 3.45 and coffee for 1.25. Less than a 5.00 meal, right? Common knowledge is that about a 1.00 tip is fair. But seriously, 1.00? For multiple treks with my coffee pot? For my smile and my warm laugh? For getting your order perfect? For remembering your order if you are a regular? In my books thats worth at least 2.00, maybe even --gasp--3.00.

I just never, ever, ever feel right about leaving a server less than a 10.00 tip at a resturant like Olive Garden or Applebees. While that might seem like alot for service, this person made all of $2.33 an hour while I was sitting here. So what if they had other tables too - remember that most people do not tip well. I know that from experience, and I also want to be guaranteed good service in the future.

At one place I worked, there was a kind generous soul who tipped 10.00 no matter what he ate, every time. We literally fought over who would get to serve him every night. He got the BEST service in town. Is that shallow? No. It's about making a living.

Good tips guarantee good future service. Trust me, servers remember a good tipper. Your image is imprinted in our brains, same goes for a horrible tipper.

If you are elderly, make sure you are tipping just a TAD more than you did in the 1950s. Its rude to leave just a quarter. ((This sounds crazy, but you would be shocked at how many kind elderly souls I have laughed with, served, and listened to - only to find a 25 cent tip waiting on my table. That is just rude.
Some of my best tips have also come from elderly customers, so this is
just a generalization.

My last bit of advice - I am going to be blunt - alot of men, especially men in groups, think it is funny to make sexual advances, tell off-color jokes, or flirt with their female waitresses or bartenders. It's like this mis-conception that waitresses are easy or that trying to get with the waitress or embarress her is funny. Its so, so, so rude. Asking her for her number, being sexual with your waitress or God forbid, grabbing at your waitress - does not make your waitress think you are funny. If she does not
slap you across the face
it is only because she is so worried about getting a tip to feed her babies and pay the rent that she has decided to be the bigger person and let it go for the sake of a tip. I have seen waitresses treated like this, especially at the smaller so called "family-run" resturants and it is really disgusting. And yes, these things have all happened to me as well.

There you go. It's really all about respect, kindness, paying it forward...

and tipping well.
Don't forget to tip well. If you can't tip well, you shouldn't be going out to eat.
'nuff said.




  1. as a former waitress & married to a waiter/bartender at olive garden, i LOVE this! i have lots more to add to it, but i wouldn't be as nice as you were. you did it in the most kind way i have ever seen/heard a person who has served the public do. lol! i wish all places could have a video plaing in the lobby or a post huge sign of the "rules", just so people would be forced to learn some manners before they sit down to eat.