Perfect Service to Me in a Restaurant

Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2005 07:47 pm
1. Greeting and Drink Order: The server greets you within 3-5 minutes. The server writes down the drink order and RIGHT AFTER the server should go get the drinks, NOT checking on other tables until the request is fulfilled, unless another table's food order is ready that ordered BEFORE the current order that was just taken. In other words, when I or my guest order, it's OUR turn now, so don't go greet the next table until you are finished with getting the soft drinks that my guest and I have ordered. If someone's food is done that ordered BEFORE me and my guest, then by all means bring the people their food FIRST, but don't go to 2 tables to check on them before fulfilling my request.

2. Taking the Food Order: The server writes down the food order and IMMEDIATELY after goes put the order into the computer. The server should be going in order that requests come in. So, if Table F placed their order just now, then Table F's orders should be getting into the computer as SOON as the server gets to the computer terminal. The server should not be going to Table D to ask them if they need a refill and grab their finished plates. In other words, do things in order so Table F will be getting their food cooked that much sooner if the food is in the computer, which goes to the kitchen, where the cook can start cooking the food. If the server goes to Table D BEFORE putting Table F's order in, that server is DELAYING Table F's food for NO REASON. It's Table F's turn, so FINISH Table F's turn by getting the order sent to the kitchen, instead of a HALF-WAY TURN meaning, if the server goes to Table D BEFORE putting in Table F's food order, that's giving Table F a HALF-WAY TURN. Table F is NOT getting a FULL TURN, because the server went to another table, which is going OUT of ORDER. It's almost like the server let Table D cut in a line for a minute or so. If it's Table F's turn, then it's Table F's turn, meaning finish with the task being requested, which is taking the order as well as putting in the order. That would be a FULL TURN.

Example: Outback waiter got triple sat. We got seated at 5:00p.m. exactly. He took my husband and I's soft drink order at 5:03p.m.(which is average greeting time), then proceeded to go the second table and get their drink order. Then the third table. The second table had around 5 people. I don't know how many the third table had. Anyway, he gets ALL the drinks for ALL 3 tables. He actually had the GALL to hand a drink to a lady at the SECOND table, instead of us which we ordered FIRST. Anyway, we didn't get our drinks until 5:10p.m. and still didn't get to order at 5:10p.m., because he was distributing the 2 other table's drinks. My point is, we waited 7 minutes for ONLY 2 soft drinks from the time we ordered our soft drinks and 10 minutes from the time we were seated. That's just RIDICULOUS for ONLY 2 soft drinks. If he would have gone IN ORDER, our drinks would have arrived probably 5:06p.m. at the LATEST, probably sooner. If he would have gone in order, he would could have said "Ill be right back" as he was handing us the soft drinks and went to get the second table's drink order, then the third table's drink order. This way ONLY the THIRD table would have waited the whole 10 minutes, NOT ALL 3 tables. He got about a 15% tip, because the service was AVERAGE, because I accounted for EVERYTHING that happened that was good, like our orders being completely correct and he was pretty attentive. It pissed me off that he handed that lady at the second table hers, before ours when we got seated BEFORE they were and we ordered BEFORE they did. I say GO IN ORDER that request come in!

3. Clean Up Work: Bussing a table should be done AFTER a request, NOT EVER before a request. Example: One time at Chilis, my husband and I finished eating. The waitress asked "Did we want any dessert or anything else?" I ordered a margarita and a refill on my soft drink. My husband ordered a refill on his soft drink also. She grabbed our plates, but then proceed to put them on the table across which was empty, but had lots of dirty dishes on it. She proceeded to stack the plates on top of ours and bussed the entire table INSTEAD of going to put our order in. HOW RUDE! So, those dirty dishes and dirty table on the side of was going to give her a tip, I think NOT! I could have had my drinks faster if she didn't worry about clean up work. Cleaning should be LAST and requests should always be FIRST. Customer's time is WAY more important than a clean table across from me. For sure, we could have had our soft drink refills brought to us by the time she bussed the table and put all those dishes in the kitchen. The bartender could have already started making the margarita when the soft drinks were arriving. She could have bussed the table right after our soft drinks were brought, then proceeded back to the kitchen to deliver the dirty dishes, then to the bar to pick up the margarita, then back to our table again to bring the margarita. Instead, she didn't think of the "CUSTOMER'S TIME", ONLY HER OWN TIME! CUSTOMER'S ARE FIRST, CLEAN UP IS LAST!

4. Chit-Chatting With Server: Most people want to order their food and receive it in a TIMELY MANNER, NOT to make a friend. I don't like it when a server starts a conversation with me INSTEAD of just taking my order. I came there to EAT, DRINK, and socialize with the person or people that I am with, NOT the wait staff.

5. Correct Order: The order that is brought to my table has NOTHING missing and if there is something missing, the server should say their sorry for forgetting it. Example: A side of ranch dressing. If I ordered it with my meal, the server should reread the order BEFORE bringing it to the customer. If it is the completely wrong thing brought to the customer's table, that's a mistake in of itself. NEVER bring food to a table that is COMPLETELY wrong or is somewhat wrong! I have had my completely wrong food brought to me before. I ordered "Bar-b-que chicken nachos" and got "Quesadillas" brought to me from the SAME waiter and he wrote the order down. That's just PATHETIC! He admitted to pressing the wrong button and I only got a "Sorry", his tip was ZERO. He didn't even have the decency to give us the wrong food for free even, instead of throwing it away or whatever he did with it. He also didn't ask the manager what to do about his mistake or have anything taken off the bill for my delayed food. The customer should get a HUGE apology for a completey wrong entree. The server should ask the manager if he or she can take something off the bill for the CUSTOMER's INCONVENIENCE. That would be the RIGHT and CARING thing to do.

6. Check: When requesting the check, this should take 3 minutes or so, not 10 minutes.

7. Ringing up the check: This shouldn't be a 10 minute wait, this should be around 3 minutes or so, no more than 5 minutes.

8. Overcharging or Undercharging: This is the responsiblity of the SERVER 100%. A customer should NEVER have anything the customer didn't order on their bill. The customer also shouldn't be charged another customers table's bill on their credit card. My credit card was charged to another table twice. Both times I received no apology for my wait and that they were stealing from me. I also feel that the server should be responsible enough to "KNOW THE MENU PRICES." I have had an experience where I was in a restaurant for the first time and the waitress charged me for the salad without an entree price and I had ordered an entree. The overcharge amount was $1.51. I think it's PATHETIC when the CUSTOMER knows more than the wait staff about the prices. I have also had a couple of servers charge me $0.04 over the price it stated on the menu for an item. The server should tell the manager if the menu doesn't match the computer's price, NEVER, EVER, should it be the customer that has to bring the mistake up to the server. It's NOT the CUSTOMER'S fault that the menu states a certain price, it the server that is charging the customer the wrong price that is 100% at fault COMPLETELY!

9. Knowing the Menu: I have had times where I have ordered a dish and it stated it comes with "Bar-b-que sauce" or "Marinara sauce." The server didn't bring it to me when the food was brought out. I had to remind that server that "It's suppose to come with such-n-such." I think it's pretty lazy when a server can't "COMPARE THE MENU WITH THE PLATE OF FOOD." I also feel it makes the server look STUPID when THEY work there, so they SHOULD know MORE than the customer does, but the CUSTOMER knows MORE than they do, PATHETIC! I also feel just because a customer orders something extra that the server shouldn't assume they don't want what suppose to come with the food. A couple of times, I have had servers not bring the marinara sauce that was suppose to come with mozzarella cheese sticks(which was listed on the menu it came with marinara), just because I ordered a side of ranch dressing along with it. If the server had doubts, they should have ASKED me. They should NEVER ASSUME what a customer wants. Food runners should "REREAD the Menu" BEFORE taking the food to the customer, even though they actually didn't take the order. One time, a food runner brought out chicken tenders without the bar-b-que sauce that the MENU stated it came with. I had also ordered a side of honey mustard with the chicken tenders and of course that wasn't brought with the chicken tenders either. The waitress(not the food runner) brought the honey mustard, but I had to TELL HER that "The menu states it comes with bar-b-que sauce." That's just PATHETIC to me when a customer(which was me) only had been to this particular restaurant once before about a year or so ago, knew the menu BETTER than the wait staff did. Are wait staff just that dense that they don't know the food they are serving, that's SAD, REALLY?

10. Refills on Soft Drinks: I feel the server should ASK the customer if they would like a refill or a customer be able to ask the server for a refill, but NEVER a refill be brought to a table without it being ordered. There should NEVER be something brought to someone's table that was NEVER ordered. A CUSTOMER should be given the OPPORTUNITY to decide if they would like some more drink or even the same drink. I hate when servers make decisions for me, when it's the CUSTOMER'S DECISION if they want another refill or not, NOT the wait staff's. It's lazy when the server just brings a refill, instead of coming to your table to ASK if you want anymore drink. The customer should be able to order for THEMSELVES.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 6,655 • Replies: 26
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Joe Nation
Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2005 07:48 pm
Do yourself a favor, not to mention a plethora of waitstaff, and don't go to Chili's, Outback Steakhouse or other chain restaurants expecting perfect service. Go to highly rated and reviewed establishments only. They probably won't have mozzarella sticks, but you will get the service you are seeking.

Secondly, who goes to dinner and spends any time staring at their watch?
Relax. Enjoy the company you are with, gaze at the others in the place and discuss the events of your life. Dinner is about more than food, it's about companionship and enjoying the moment.

Get out your Zagat's and find a really good place to eat. Get yourself treated like a queen and don't wear your watch.

Joe(unless you have tickets for an eight o clock curtain)Nation
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Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2005 07:55 pm
You get what you pay for.
You go to someplace to Outback, you can expect to get low $ quality service.
Or, you can go to a restaurant that provides good quality food and service.
You will, however, pay for better service.

You have to decide what matters.


And put away your notebook and watch. They're not necessary at a downmarket restaurant.
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Reply Sat 26 Nov, 2005 08:35 pm
Yeah, you better bring a lot of money honey!
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Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2005 01:57 pm
I walk into any one of my six favorite restaurants,and I'm greeted like a member of the family.Handshakes,hugs,etc.Just like going round to a friends house to eat.And why? Because I like the food they serve and feel comfortable in their restaurant.And nine times out of ten,I don't have to pre-book.
I go out to eat for a good time,not to be treated like royalty :wink:

BTW Impressive first post :wink:
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Bella Dea
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2005 02:10 pm
I can tell Springs1 has never worked in the restruaurant business. I can tell he/she is one of "those customers" that all waiters and waitresses hate because I am sure you make the wait staff juggle while singing and dancing and ordering your food before you'll give them a good tip.

I don't completely disagree with you because I demand high service as well however, some of your standards are a bit far fetched.

At a high volume restaurant like Outback, you aren't going to get the kind of service you are asking for because 1) their turn over time is fast, with people in and out all the time which means more tables per person and 2) you have kids working part time for pennies, what do you expect?

I am not saying you can't get a satifactory meal at a chain restaurant because I know you can. My husband runs one and I know that he doesn't get many complaints because he expects his staff to meet certain standards but I also know that what you are asking is near impossible for a restaurant that seats 250 and all those seats have butts in them.

Work as a waitress or waiter some time and then come complain that it took them longer than 3 minutes to ring up your check. Sometimes it takes 3 minutes to get to the register and that's if another table doesn't grab you and ask you for something. Should they just ignore that table and say "just a minute"? Then you'd bitch because they brushed you off.

And if the waitress or waiter brings a refill to you without asking, it's free so what's your problem? If they asked you first, then you'd bitch it took them too long to get your refill.
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2005 02:11 pm
For me, another requisite of perfect service is having water glasses, butter plates and bread baskets refilled without my noticing.
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Slappy Doo Hoo
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2005 02:32 pm
Sounds like you have a lot of fun going out to eat...analyzing, timing the whole situation and looking for mistakes so you don't have to tip.

Leaving zero tip because the waiter made a mistake is being extremely cheap.

Go work as a waitress and see how easy it is to follow all of your steps perfectly.
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Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2005 04:42 pm
Being serviced in a resaurant is inconvinient, what with all the people around....
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Bella Dea
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2005 08:00 am
CrazyDiamond wrote:
Being serviced in a resaurant is inconvinient, what with all the people around....

Laughing Nice....
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Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2005 08:06 am
will come back to read later
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Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2005 04:46 pm
Well, I can tell Spring 1 really enjoys eating out at restaurants.



I'd love to see this person have a meal in Italy. She'd probably have a stroke.

Besides, if I were the waitress, I hock up a big old lugie into her ranch dressing on the side every time she came to the restaurant.

I'd also rub her glass, baked potato, tortillas, and texas toast on my butt or armpits before delivering it to the table with a smile.
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Reply Sat 17 Dec, 2005 02:08 am
Going in ORDER!
Bella Dea

"I can tell Springs1 has never worked in the restruaurant business."

That's NOT TRUE at ALL. I worked about 2 years at a donut shop. We served donuts as well as kastle burgers, regular hamburgers, biscuits, pork-chop-on-a-bun, philly-steak and cheese sandwich, chicken tenders, crossiants, grilled chicken sandwich, country fried steak sandwiches, soft drinks, even beer at a certain time we the parish had video poker machines, milk, orange juice, soft drinks, tea, lemonade, and bar-b-que beef sandwich. That's the things I remember we sold. I served people, IN ORDER. One time I didn't know who came in first, and I served the second person, I got chewed out "We were first." I was serving the drive-thru so I didn't see who came in first since I was working by myself in the 2p.m.-10p.m. shift. I should have ASKED FIRST. It was MY FAULT COMLETELY! My point is, I'm NOT the ONLY person that feels "GOING IN ORDER" is the RIGHT thing to DO!

"Sometimes it takes 3 minutes to get to the register and that's if another table doesn't grab you and ask you for something. Should they just ignore that table and say "just a minute"?"

Acutally, I WOULD do that if I was a waitress, and I HAVE as a COUNTER HELP person at the donut shop I worked at for almost 2 years. One time a lady and a man were sitting at the counter and had ordered a couple of donuts a piece and a coffee a piece. I was in the MIDDLE of getting a lady's order that was a TO-GO order by the register, which was a mixed dozen that the lady had ordered to-go. That lady was sitting with the man at that counter had the AUDACITY to INTERRUPT me by saying she wanted a "BUTTERMILK DONUT." I told her to wait her turn that I was serving someone FIRST and that ANOTHER person was ALSO in LINE AFTER her. I waited until BOTH people were done to give her the ONE donut as SHE DESERVED! I did what was the RIGHT thing to do! I treated people as if they were in in LINE, NOT EVER OUT of ORDER if I COULD! I NEVER INTENTIONALLY served people OUT of ORDER, EVER!

At Quiznos, I was getting rung up for my sandwich and the lady cashier decided to ring up this person that had the AUDACITY to go in front of me, in the back of me to get a soft drink. Even though it was SELF-SERVE, STILL, it was WRONG because she had to ring it up. If I was that cashier, I would have said "Get into the back of the line if you want to order something else." The GALL of the cashier and the lady that was getting the soft drink, you know. If you are ordering something else, have the COMMON DECENY TO WAIT IN THE BACK OF THE LINE. The cashier was ringing my credit card up, but in the meantime, she could have rang the guy BEHIND me up, INSTEAD of the lady that CUT. That's WRONG! I NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, treated people that way. I treated people as if they were in a LINE like it's SUPPOSE to be, plain and simple!

" If they asked you first, then you'd bitch it took them too long to get your refill."

NO, HONESTLY, I APPRECIATE, that they would ASK me, instead of trying to ORDER for me. NO, I'd MUCH rather them ASK than to bring me an UNWANTED refill. I also RATHER them ASK so I can order for MYSELF! Tip o' meter goes DOWN as they try to ORDER for the customer. That's NOT EVER the way it's SUPPOSE to be. The CUSTOMER is suppose to order for THEMSELF! In other words, if I order a coke, that is ONE, that's IT! NOT a REFILL, whether it's FREE or NOT! If someone gave me, for instance. a "Pineapple upside down cake slice", I'd REFUSE it. I HATE pineapples. My point is, just because it's FREE, DOESN'T mean people want it!

"If another table doesn't grab you and ask you for something. Should they just ignore that table and say "just a minute"? Then you'd bitch because they brushed you off."

NO, because when I want the check or something for that matter, I make sure I SEE what's going on if I can. I WOULD, if I was a waitress right now, if I was going to get a request and someone at the table would say can we have 3 refills, I'd say just one moment, but say" I have another request first", "But I'll be RIGHT back." See, that way, They'd KNOW, I'd be doing things in ORDER, which should be like a LINE! If I'd KNOW if the server had another request BEFORE mine, it's ONLY the FAIR thing to do, to do THEIR'S FIRST, plain and simple. If they asked for their check BEFORE us, I CAN'T EXPECT them to WAIT for me and my husband. I'm NOT selfish like that. I THINK of OTHER'S time.
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2006 11:35 pm
"I treated people as if they were in in LINE, NOT EVER OUT of ORDER if I COULD! I NEVER INTENTIONALLY served people OUT of ORDER, EVER!"

Honey, you sound kinda anal and high-strung here... sometimes life happens and when it does, you roll with the punches. Maybe someone's having a melt-down and needs their burger right NOW!! I understand your need for fair play, but your stance doesn't allow any laxity. I used to wait tables(100 years ago) and know what you're talking about... I considered myself friendly and efficient, but some of what you're describing is way over the top. Too rigid, babe.

Listen, I was in a leather store the other day and a Down's Syndrome adult was trying to buy a wallet for $10. All she had was $10 -- she didn't have the money for the tax (70 cents)... I listened as the two clerks explained at great length, very slowly, why she couldn't have the wallet. The Down's customer was starting to get agitated. Over what? 70 bloody cents? I said, "I'll pay the tax!", at the very same time that another lady said it... so this customer got her wallet. I was still looking around, listening to the clerks grumbling when the Down's lady came back wanting to return the wallet! LOL. They started giving her the gears, but she was adamant. She was also within her rights. So before she totally blew up, I said, "She has 7 days to return the purchase"... they said they had ripped up the receipt. I told them that was unfortunate, but they had to refund her money. Another lady jumped in there up and down all over the clerks....

long story short - the clerks are YOU - does this stuff really matter? Get the book: Don't Sweat The Small Stuff - it's too exhausting and quite pointless... you will have a heart attack. Life should be fun and enjoyable - get out there and loosen up a little.
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Bella Dea
Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2006 07:45 am
springs, you've worked at a donut shop and a Quiznos, which is far different than a full service restaurant. You have no idea.
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Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2006 04:38 pm
Great post, Mame.

That's the spirit that inspires me to leave tips! Laughing
Give me a break, I'll give you a break.

Service people aren't robots. I've waitressed, also cleaned rooms. I feel like I can usually tell when someone has been working in jobs such as those bc they are generally more considerate, undemanding, and they leave a tip if my work is well done. And if they don't tip, they usually are at least nice to me/ acknowledge me as a human.

Some people have no idea how much as a simple decent acknowledgement can further their service. You truly are screwing yourself over by being rude and demanding.
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Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2006 08:25 pm

Great story.

Reminds me of that scene in "terms of endearment when john lithgow helped out debra winger when the cashier was giving her a hard time about not having quite enough money.

lithgow gave her the money and said to the cashier "you're a very rude young lady"

the cashier told him "I don't think I was"

Lithgow "Well, you must be from New York"


yeah, springs 1 has her curlers rolled too tight.

She's probably home right now figuring the optimum # of toilet paper sheets for evryone to use.
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Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2006 09:04 pm
I'm guessing that springs is a fellow American ?
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Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2006 12:19 am
Springs would likely be asked to leave my restaurant and not return. Her standards aren't just high (so are mine), they are absurd. I don't mean absurdly high... just absurd. An economy of motion is what makes the machine hum. Empty hands are the enemy efficiency. This "one at a time, me, me, me" crap wouldn't fly at any decent restaurant I know. Only a fool wouldn't grab as many things, from as many tables as is reasonably possible on her way back to the kitchen. A busy night bottlenecks that area of your average restaurant bad enough without instructing your staff to take two trips instead of one; just in case a clueless patron with neither knowledge of the industry nor the common sense to keep their lack of same to themselves happens to be there.

If I printed the opening post and instructed my 16 year old hostesses to read it; they'd laugh like hell at the seeming cluelessness of the author and ask me why I wasted their time with such nonsense. I myself feel just a little bit dumber for having read it. Shame on me.
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Bella Dea
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2006 07:55 am
Isn't it fun, Bill, to deal with people who have no idea what it takes to run a full service restaurant? :wink:
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