by Irene Tria, via FoodfindsAsia.com
Serving staff are those who work at a restaurant or a bar, and sometimes in private homes, attending customers—supplying them with food and drink as requested. A server or waiting staff takes on a very important role in a restaurant which is to always be attentive and accommodating to the guests. Each waiter follows rules and guidelines that are developed by the manager. The main rule is to always stay busy. Wait staff can abide by this rule by completing many different tasks throughout his or her shift. Such as food-running, polishing dishes and silverware, helping bus tables, and restock working stations with needed supplies.
So how can we help them, feel good despite their very exhausting and very demanding job? Here’s how:
1. Take your seat. Quickly.
Don’t block the main aisles of the restaurant as you take off coats and greet your dining companions, etc. Doing so brings traffic to a grinding halt, which is bad news for servers on their way to and from the kitchen.
2. Remember the restaurant is not your home.
Don’t rearrange tables or borrow chairs from other locations without consulting with your server or host first. If the restaurant is on a wait, those seats are meant for someone else. And it’s disrespectful to the other server, who has now lost a way to make money because you ran into an old friend.
3. Once you pick a seat, stay in it.
Each chair at a table has a number, and that’s how your waiter communicates where each dish should go (they may not be the one who delivers it to your table). Moving around invites mass chaos.
4. Be forthcoming about time constraints.
Don’t assume a server can read your mind (or schedule.) If you’re in the mood for a leisurely dinner, with lots of chatting over apps, tell them so. Or, if you’re desperately trying to make a movie in 30 minutes, tell them right when you sit down and ask for recommendations of dishes that can be delivered quickly.
5. Ask for additional condiments and sides when you place your order.
If you KNOW you want a side of ranch with your fries, or extra guac with your burrito, don’t wait until the food’s in front of you to speak up. Being a good server is all about time management, and if you give yours a heads up everyone will spend more time eating and less time waiting.
6. Hold them accountable for what happens at the table and nothing more.
Your server is a liaison between you, the bar, and the kitchen. They don’t cook the food, and rarely make the drinks. The best of the best will catch mistakes before they make their way back to your table, but not always. Slow food, flat beer, and the level of air conditioning are typically beyond their control, so don’t yell at them for it.
7. If you have a large party, help the server get everyone’s attention.
It’s incredibly humiliating to be treated like you’re invisible, or forced to shout over the din of excited voices. You can chat as soon as your server has taken the order. Promise.
8. Remember (or ask) their name, and look them in the eyes while talking.
Servers are often required to recite a greeting, complete with daily specials, by management. Even if you’re not interested, at least do them the courtesy of looking at them while it happens. And when you pay attention to their name, you can save yourself the humiliation of whistling, snapping or calling “hey you” when you need something.
9. Let them know if something’s wrong with the food.
Servers are pretty good at reading body language, but sometimes the signs are too subtle. If you got something you didn’t order, or simply aren’t satisfied with the quality of what you did order, don’t be a martyr — give them an opportunity to make it right. When your server comes back to check how you’re doing, calmly and respectfully request a do-over. They’ll call for it “on the fly” and you’ll be eating again in no time.
10. If the service is phenomenal, tell a manager.
It’s all well and good to say “thank you” and leave a big tip (and if you do these things, bless you), but telling their boss could earn your server more shifts, better sections, or even a raise. If you’ve got something good to say, spread the word.
11. Ask for the same server’s section the next time you visit the restaurant.
To be requested by name, especially if it means waiting longer to be seated, is the ultimate compliment to a server. Rest assured the host will tell them, and you’ll be a priority from the moment you sit down.