It’s inevitable, people love to complain. They love to complain about the weather, their hair, their weight, etc. Well, let me be your punching bag! In fact, I would love to hear your complaints.
- If you work in a restaurant, what makes you unhappy?
- If you’re a restaurant customer, what didn’t you like about your dining experience?
I am going to do my best to inform restaurateurs how to create a better atmosphere for everyone in the FOH.
Servers’ Top Workplace Frustrations
- Crappy Tippers
- Side Work (e.g. Roll flatware, set tables, etc. – pre/post shift while getting paid $4.76/hour to avoid hiring an employee who gets paid minimum wage)
- When customers lay out their cell phone, iPod, sunglasses, etc., on the table and don’t move them when the server is trying to deliver food
- “Please wait to be seated” (e.g. Don’t walk into a restaurant and sit wherever you please unless there’s a sign that says “Please seat yourself”. The workload needs to be balanced among all servers and tables are often reserved.)
- Lazy Managers (Note to all managers – when you see your staff is busy, lend them a hand! Help run food, deliver drinks, bus tables and show your support!)
- “The customer is always right” – B.S. (Here’s a video to show that the customer is, in fact, not always right http://youtu.be/KMGWnKfGsDM)
- Double Standards (e.g. Servers don’t get a free meal but bussers and kitchen workers do… What the heck!)
- Paying for walkout customers (It’s not always the server’s fault when a customer walks out on an unpaid bill. What if the server was going above and beyond by bussing or running food to another server’s table?)
- Campers AKA the diners who never leave
- Coworkers (e.g. Suck-ups, brown-nosers, lazy workers, those who don’t return favors – not working for you when you picked up a shift for them)
Customers’ Top Server Frustrations
- Introduce themselves by name/nickname
- Touch you and think they are doing a friendly gesture
- Say everything that you ask about on the menu is “really amazing!”
- Talk about specials without mentioning the price
- Take your plate or drink away before you’re finished
- Tell you to wait for “your waiter” when you need something
- Squat, take a knee or sit down at your table
- Try to upsell you on everything
- Make you feel like a criminal because you just ordered drinks, or just dinner, instead of seven courses and four bottles of wine
- Ask if you need change
Now that I’ve highlighted each audiences frustrations, lets see what they agree on
- Cleanliness of the establishment (sitting area, dining room, bar and bathrooms)
- Food cooked to perfection (customers don’t like telling the wait staff to bring back a meal because it’s under cooked as much as servers don’t like bringing food back to the kitchen staff)
- Chip-free dinnerware and glassware
- Politeness (smile, be thankful and create a positive atmosphere)
- Food and drink presentation (food should make servers proud and customers excited)
- Determining if the bill needs to be split before ordering menu items
- Comfortable room temperature
- Mood lighting and music
- Readily available children’s seating
- Boucebacks (Allow servers to offer customers an incentive to come back again to create repeat business)
Let the vent session begin! What’s your biggest restaurant gripe?