The worst mistakes diners make
When I checked my work e-mail this morning Hungry Hungry Hippo had e-mailed me this request:
A few weeks ago you ran “the ten worst service mistakes.” There were a lot of valid points made but in all honesty, most people don’t know how to eat properly at a restaurant. I would and most of the others in my profession (serving and bartending) would really love it if you ran a top ten list of mistakes commonly made by the diner, not the server. ...
I would be more than happy to provide as many as needed but if you could educate people on some things that they do that aren’t necessary. Like not removing a napkin so I could put a burning plate down in front of you. Or not holding off on the conversation so the order can be placed, and later blaming me for service being slow. I truly love it when I drop a check and go to pick it up, and the guest tells me that “there is a gift certificate in there and just put the rest on the credit card.” Do people really think they are the first ones to do this, and it’s not complicated, just because we’re servers (not real people) doesn’t mean we have zero common sense. I truly love it when I have refilled a coffee cup like 5 or 6 times, and each time the guest feels it’s necessary to remind me decaf. Another popular one is “it’s his/her birthday, or anniversary, or celebrating getting a goldfish. I have a hard enough time remembering my wife’s birthday, what makes you think I want to know about his/her birthday? Also on that note, how shallow have we gotten as a society that you get upset if a complete stranger (server) doesn’t bring you a scoop of ice cream with a candle on it and wishes you an insincere “happy birthday”? I could go all day but I realize you have other things to do and this may not even interest you, but thanks for your time
Hungry Hungry Hippo writes with graciousness, but I know there are a lot of servers and bartenders out there that must feel real rage at their customers. Is this a relatively new thing caused by a change in how we treat each other these days, or has it always been there simmering under the surface? I honestly never realized what a battlefield the restaurant dining room was until I started writing this blog.
Is there any interest in doing an actual Top 10? Or would it make more sense just to discuss it further because this isn't a list I could make up from personal experience (never having waited tables)?
I have to admit that I like the idea of a Top 10 that someone else is writing.