November 1, 2009

Waiting for Good, Oh! (or how to make me a happy diner)

A recent business blog on the New York Times Online has prompted this latest blog entry.
Recently, two friends and I went to a supposed upscale Nuevo Latino restaurant and the experience was abominable.  The waiter kept using phrases that should never be used and ended the meal on a sour note.  Here then is my list of waitstaff no-no's.

1.  When I walk in as a single diner please do not say "just one?", go ahead and ask how many are in my party.  And do not seat me at the crappiest table near the kitchen or clean-up corner or bathroom.

2.  As a single diner I should be treated just the same as a table of four.  I will be much less trouble to you than that four-top and I will tip better on average.

3.  When I say "thank you" the correct response is "you're welcome", not "no problem".  If it is a problem then you need to get into another line of work.

4.  Please do not hand me my plate.  Your job is to place the plate in front of me.  If I wanted to help myself I'd be dining at a buffet.

5.  I know that time means money for you but don't rush me.  If I haven't finished my salad, please do not bring my entree.  Most tables aren't big enough to hold salad plates, bread plates and the plate for the entree.

6.  Do not call me honey or sugar or sweetie or dearie.  Ma'am is okay (although it makes me feel older than I am) but don't over-use the word.

7.  Please don't refer to a table of women as ladies more than once.  You could say "would anyone like anything else?" or "how is everything this evening?" without interjecting the word "ladies".

8.  Just because you are waiting on a table of women does not mean you can ignore us.  Most of my female friends are fairly large tippers and treating us as second class citizens doesn't get you anywhere.  If you are too busy to give my table the attention it deserves then management needs to hire more waiters.

9.  Please make sure my beverage is replenished unless I say no.  I don't care if it is water or coffee or wine, I want something to drink with my meal and I shouldn't have to wait until it is empty to get more.

10.  Never ask if I need change when paying my bill.  Never assume that whatever money is left over from paying my bill is for your tip.  I will leave an appropriate tip for the service you have given me.  If you're good my tip will be good, if you're lousy you'll get what you get.

I hope this sparks some comments from my readers.  Happy Dining!