PDA

View Full Version : Bad servers great servers your stories



CutFingers
09-02-2014, 03:39 PM
I know there are some great front of the house people who make the chefs smile at the end of a brutal day. Then there are awful servers who make the kitchen staff angry.

One of the better waiters I knew was always happy to be at work. Or he did a very good job showing he did not want to be at work. He always smiled, he always talked up the food, he never needed to give big spiel. His essence was so convincing. Even though the place he worked never pleased me foodwise, I always enjoyed his table service. Sadly he died of a spontaneous heart attack.

The worst server was responsible for serving a party of ten featuring my mother on her birthday. I don't think she should get preferential treatment. But she does deserve service. It was a bill of close to five hundred dollars. She only tipped 40 bucks because she was furious.

I don't think it is so much to ask to clear the plates in a timely fashion. I do think it is entirely rude and inconsiderate to put a clean plate on the table and place dirty silverware back on the table to be used for the next course. How was she supposed enjoy birthday cake without silverware?

JDA_NC
09-02-2014, 05:47 PM
Great servers.... Do you mean bartenders?

Zwiefel
09-02-2014, 05:56 PM
this is from a Yelp! review I did a couple of years ago, after experiencing notably good service:

Our waiter, Brent was truly excellent. He was that extremely rare waiter who is working so hard you can see the sweat, but just exudes calm causality. He has all the time in the world to chat with you...and to talk you into dessert...but the moment your attention moves to talking to your dining partner he seems to dissolve into the background until you need something. It wasn't formal service by any stretch, but the intuition and work ethic were impressive. In fact, we had assumed he was the owner until he said otherwise.

Salty dog
09-02-2014, 06:48 PM
Back in the day I worked for a prime rib chain. I opened a new location with several trainers from other stores. One was Larry. Great all around server but what was most impressive was that he could carry a twelve top of prime rib in various sizes on one arm. (He had two arms but you need to serve the stuff to.)

labor of love
09-02-2014, 08:06 PM
I have a theory that college towns usually suffer from a larger percentage of bad service as opposed to other cities. Employees approaching an industry that know they will exit in just a couple years....generally speaking they arent as committed.

ecchef
09-02-2014, 08:31 PM
I have a theory that college towns usually suffer from a larger percentage of bad service as opposed to other cities. Employees approaching an industry that know they will exit in just a couple years....generally speaking they arent as committed.

That could be true, but some college students, knowing that it's not a career path, also do a better job than people with no options that are destined to be wait staff forever. They use it to polish their interpersonal & time management skills and know that it's a finite situation. Also depends on the facility; coffee shop vs. fine dining, high volume/low tip % vs. low volume/high tip %, etc.

Money also has a lot to do with the quality of wait staff. Pay your staff just a bit more than your competitors and quality jumps way up. In my experience anyway.

ecchef
09-02-2014, 08:38 PM
On a side note, the consistently best overall service I've ever experienced is here, where 'no tipping' is the norm.

apicius9
09-02-2014, 09:58 PM
One experience really impressed me positively years ago. Well, it should, because it was at a Michelin 3-star restaurant in the Alsace ('Auberge de l'ill', Haeberlin). There were 4 or 5 waiters floating around us all the time which normally makes me nervous, but they were just excellent: A few times during the meal I realized that the table had been cleared and cleaned and I had not even noticed it because they were so unobtrusive. But somebody was there immediately if you looked up with a questionmark in your face (figuratively...). I felt perfectly taken care of without being disturbed in my conversations. Most places I can afford to go to these days too often have clueless servers who still think they are somehow important enough to get my attention whenever they feel like it...

Stefan

sachem allison
09-02-2014, 11:26 PM
I hate all of my servers with a passion. Not them personally, just their work ethic, lack of respect to the customers, cell phone usage, text messaging, not bussing tables, leaving dirty tables for hours, not knowing basic menu items even though they have been working there for years. getting drunk every single day. They suck. I try to train them and mentor them but I am hamstrung by the fact that the GM does the same crap and lets them get away with it because, she is drinking with them. Did I mention I hate them? I mean really hate them. our biggest issues on reviews and yelp is the complete lack of customer service and the few times we have good reviews about service, its usually about a new server who will be gone in a week or two because they don't fit in with the lazy lifestyle.

ecchef
09-03-2014, 01:29 AM
I hear you, Son. But in NYC, there are no waiters/waitresses. They're all actors, models, singers, performance artists, yadda, yadda, yadda. Except for the real pros.
I used to routinely find wait staff's (usually contract labor) cell phones stashed in the kitchen. We had a special microwave oven just for those.

labor of love
09-03-2014, 01:44 AM
Ive worked at places in the past that slowed down alot in the summer, and never picked back up again. Its hard to be super demanding on a wait staff when theyre not making bank. On the flip side, if you waitstaff is pocketing $200+ a night the competition should increase, and the standards should be high. Servers jump restaurant to restaurant in search of business and volume. If your place is packed night after night you should be able to demand the best possible service or bring in new people who are willing to deliver. FOH managers that are too close with the wait staff is another can of worms. There has to be separation between work and play.

panda
09-04-2014, 02:11 AM
I think it's pretty snobby to complain about not getting extra forks to eat frigging cake. Lick your damn fork or wipe it on a napkin...

sachem allison
09-04-2014, 02:49 AM
I hear you, Son. But in NYC, there are no waiters/waitresses. They're all actors, models, singers, performance artists, yadda, yadda, yadda. Except for the real pros.
I used to routinely find wait staff's (usually contract labor) cell phones stashed in the kitchen. We had a special microwave oven just for those.

yep, just about everyone of ours is in musical theater and the one girl who has a masters in psychology. She actually is the biggest idiot. we call her princess. We actually, have an Irish server that the cooks address as "stupid" and she answers them every time. no joke.

sachem allison
09-04-2014, 02:51 AM
they are making tons of money. Our summer didn't slow down that much. The servers complain that they only went home with $200 today or $300 yesterday. for 5 hours work. FY!

knyfeknerd
09-04-2014, 02:46 PM
Son, all of your posts in this thread are priceless. ...

CutFingers
09-04-2014, 05:46 PM
LOL Panda...I don't think it's so much to ask to clear the plates. I was busy in the kitchen dealing with other tables. I came out to check on mom and the party. My brother is an OCD neat freak and he was begging me to help bus the table...I got the plates...but here's the kicker, we jammed out three courses and two of the courses dirty plates sat on the table over a half hour...If that ain't bad service I don't know what is. Who wants to eat lemon cake, with tomato sauce residue.

Here's what irks me...they gave my folks second class service. The previous night our high profile client was in...sure he spent more money...but they didn't dare take dirty plates and sauce infested silverware and slam it on the table.

Yeah servers...getting paid nearly 50 bucks an hour to smile and bring plates. I know there are some exceptionally deserving servers who should get paid. But so many just want to turn the tables, get the tips, pound a glass of wine on the house and go home.

In all fairness I pound a beer, but I don't simply walk to the fridge and take it. Either the boss brings one or I don't drink anything.

panda
09-04-2014, 09:15 PM
Not clearing plates is one thing, but silverware? Come on that's hardly grounds for bad service.

Majority of wait staff are lazy entitled little sh1ts.

Pensacola Tiger
09-04-2014, 09:29 PM
Not clearing plates is one thing, but silverware? Come on that's hardly grounds for bad service.

Majority of wait staff are lazy entitled little sh1ts.

Well, if you're eating at Leroy's House of Ptomaine, I'd expect that you'd get one set of utensils for the entire meal, but any restaurant that aspires to any degree of class will put fresh silverware out for each course.

rami_m
09-04-2014, 09:50 PM
At a bare minimum I expect a fresh set for desert.

rogue108
09-04-2014, 10:42 PM
yep, just about everyone of ours is in musical theater and the one girl who has a masters in psychology. She actually is the biggest idiot. we call her princess. We actually, have an Irish server that the cooks address as "stupid" and she answers them every time. no joke.

Is that the same Irish girl who waited on our table when we had mini gathering in June? She seemed nice enough but we didn't test her intelligence...


they are making tons of money. Our summer didn't slow down that much. The servers complain that they only went home with $200 today or $300 yesterday. for 5 hours work. FY!

I can't see how they can be bitching about those payouts. I would totally work as a part-time server at your place...

Dardeau
09-04-2014, 10:53 PM
What enrages me is taking a dirty fork off of a plate and putting it on a clean table. I have had this happen at very nice restaurants, and it blows my mind.
I have, in the past, thought waiters were useless, but they have a skill set all their own. The unobtrusiveness that Stephan commented in is a great example. Some people think of that as bad service though, they want to be the center of the waiter circus.
Reading parts of Setting the Table were key to me understanding this. Not the parts about opening a BBQ joint in Manhattan. Ignore those parts.

scotchef38
09-05-2014, 06:32 AM
Great servers - 19 ,naked and waiting in the changing rooms before service.Oh to be young again.Bad servers - anyone that treats it as a chore,

Mrmnms
09-05-2014, 10:03 AM
I used to try to get some some of my wait staff to take the line from time to time, ( carefully supervised). After the novelty quickly wore off, it became an eye opening and humbling experience. Certainly help them all work as a team , rather than adversaries .

mr drinky
09-05-2014, 10:57 AM
Washington DC has some of the worst service I have ever experienced. I was eating at a place one time and they told me to go behind the bar and fill up my own water and choose a glass that I wanted my wine in as the wine glasses were all dirty. While I was behind the bar, I filled up glasses for 3 or 4 other diners.

k.

apicius9
09-05-2014, 01:46 PM
I only know that from our village pub when I grew up. Sometimes the owner just asked one of us to take over and sat at the bar drinking, or he went to bed and asked us to make sure the door was locked when we were leaving...

Stefan

Erilyn75
09-06-2014, 04:33 AM
I think it's pretty snobby to complain about not getting extra forks to eat frigging cake. Lick your damn fork or wipe it on a napkin...

As a former server, desert should always be served with new silverware. It's one thing to use the same fork for your salad/app and entree but unprofessional and quite gross to eat desert with the same utensil that's been through 2-3 dishes already.

MikeHL
09-06-2014, 11:56 PM
they are making tons of money. Our summer didn't slow down that much. The servers complain that they only went home with $200 today or $300 yesterday. for 5 hours work. FY!

Damn, Next time I'm at your place I should start serving tables. I could make my airfare back in one night....

panda
09-07-2014, 12:29 AM
i know it's standard practice to have new silverware for each course, but i just don't see what the big deal is. i would eat each course with my fingers if i had to and think nothing of it. i'm never one for 'service' anyway, only care about the food.

Mrmnms
09-07-2014, 04:55 PM
I usually hide my salad fork or app fork. I like eating my entry with a small fork. It stresses out some servers when I insist and keeping it. One less piece to wash.

cheflarge
09-08-2014, 04:45 PM
I'm with Son...... I hate all my servers, frickin' age of entitlement..... think they are "entitled" to be texting or talking on the cell phone while on company time. Meanwhile....... The customers get less and less "service."

labor of love
09-08-2014, 09:04 PM
Damn, Next time I'm at your place I should start serving tables. I could make my airfare back in one night....

Yeah, but keep in mind waiting tables is a pretty much an occupation for people without souls. Its prostitution but without sex. I may be broke but atleast I have my dignity.
:justkidding:

panda
09-09-2014, 02:23 AM
tell you what, if i ever had to wait tables i'd have been fired 10 times over by end of day.

Geo87
09-09-2014, 06:05 AM
they are making tons of money. Our summer didn't slow down that much. The servers complain that they only went home with $200 today or $300 yesterday. for 5 hours work. FY!

If I can add right... (Unlikely) that's between $40-$60 p/h ?? Is it like that everywhere in the u.s?Down here servers don't get half that. Does that mean they earn more than cooks? If so that's kinda ****

Chuckles
09-09-2014, 11:06 AM
Cooks make $10-15/hr. servers make about $50/hr. Here in Minnesota a law has been passed raising the pre tip wage for servers to $9.50/hr.

That's why it is so easy to rip on them.

I waited tables for a year and a half, my best night I walked with $875. Still not worth it. I hated it.

Geo87
09-10-2014, 07:48 AM
Waw I had no idea! From my brief visit to the states I remember tipping is pretty much compulsory.
Very different down here they get a flat rate of between $18-$25 p/h but virtually no tips. What you would call a line cook usually gets between 38k-45k per year salary but works 50-70 hours so adds up to peanuts anyway.
Definitely can't be in it for the money !

cheezit
09-15-2014, 10:48 PM
i know it's standard practice to have new silverware for each course, but i just don't see what the big deal is. i would eat each course with my fingers if i had to and think nothing of it. i'm never one for 'service' anyway, only care about the food.

You wouldn't toss a salad in the same bowl used to bread chicken, would you?

panda
09-16-2014, 01:21 AM
that is not even remotely the same scenario.