Categories
Restaurant Life

101 Things That Are NOT Your Waiter’s Fault

Restaurants have policies that are set by management not waitstaff. Yet, all too often, the person serving must bear the brunt of the guest’s frustration when something goes wrong. It’s fine to give negative feedback to your waiter but just remember…

The following list of things are NOT your waiter’s fault :

1)   The prices are too high.
2)   The portions are too small.
3)   The chef changed the menu.
4)   Your favorite dish was taken off.
5)   You couldn’t get an eight o’clock reservation.
6)   Your party will not be seated incomplete.
7)   You don’t like where you are seated.
8)   You need to order everything all at once.
9)   You are not allowed make substitutions.
10)   The restaurant doesn’t have any Vegan options.
11)   The restaurant doesn’t offer gluten-free desserts.
12)   The restaurant doesn’t serve any non-alcoholic cocktails.
13)   Your date is more interested in her cellphone than you.
14)   The restaurant doesn’t have any beers on draft.
15)   You think it’s drafty.
16)   The font of the menu is too small for you to read.
17)   The dining room is too dark for you to see the menu.
18)   You missed hearing the specials because you were on your phone.
19)   The specials are sold out.
20)   Your food is taking too long. You are in a rush.
21)   Your food is being served too fast. You feel rushed.
22)   Your food is too salty.
23)   Your food is bland.
24)   Your food is undercooked.
25)   Your food is burnt.
26)   American Express is not accepted.
27)   Discover Card is not accepted.
28)   Your expired gift card is not accepted.
29)   It’s “Cash Only.”
30)   There is only one bathroom.
31)   The restaurant doesn’t have Wifi.
32)   The restaurant doesn’t have a cord to charge your ten year-old Samsung cellphone.
33)   The restaurant doesn’t allow corkage.
34)   The restaurant’s corkage fee is too high.
35)   The restaurant won’t waive the corkage fee because you brought a bottle of wine from your birth year.
36)   You think the wine by the glass pour is chintzy.
37)   We don’t have Pinot Grigio by the glass.
38)   We don’t have half bottles.
39)   The wine markup is too high.
40)   The coffee is terrible.
41)   We don’t have skim milk.
42)   We don’t have soy milk.
43)   We don’t have almond milk.
44)   We don’t have Splenda.
45)   We don’t have agave syrup.
46)   We don’t have Baileys.
47)   We don’t have Tanqueray Ten.
48)   We don’t have Johnny Walker Blue.
49)   We don’t have Red Bull.
50)   We don’t take reservations.
51)   You’ve been calling all day but couldn’t get through to the reservation line.
52)   The restaurant is fully booked.
53)   We don’t have a waitlist.
54)   The restaurant is not open for lunch.
55)   The restaurant doesn’t serve brunch.
56)   We should keep our kitchen open later.
57)   We don’t open early enough.
58)   We don’t participate in Restaurant Week.
59)   We don’t have a kid’s menu.
60)   We don’t do half portions.
61)   We can’t split your dish in the kitchen for you.
62)   We didn’t comp the food item you complained about because you finished it.
63)   We didn’t comp anything because you are a food blogger.
64)   We don’t give away free desserts for birthdays.
65)   The staff didn’t sing Happy Birthday to your grandma.
66)   The host gave your table away because you were a half hour late.
67)   The coatcheck girl lost your Hermés bag.
68)   You are not allowed to smoke cigarettes..
69)   You are not allowed to smoke e-cigarettes.
70)   You are not allowed to smoke even though the restaurant is empty.
71)   You are not allowed to push two tables together for your friends joining you.
72)   You are denied being moved to a larger table even though it’s vacant.
73)   You can’t sit in a booth.
74)   We don’t have a height chair for your baby.
75)   We can’t make a Shirley Temple.
76)   We don’t have chicken fingers.
77)   We don’t serve penne pasta with butter.
78)   We can’t make your child penne pasta with butter just because we have penne pasta and butter.
79)   You can’t have your dish with the sauce on the side.
80)   You can’t have your salad with the dressing on the side.
81)   We don’t have blue cheese olives.
82)   We can’t make you blue cheese olives just because we have blue cheese and olives.
83)   You’re annoyed that we let you order too much food.
84)   You’re annoyed that we should have encouraged you to order more food.
85)   You’re annoyed that your food isn’t coming out “whenever it’s ready.”
86)   We refuse to acknowledge anyone who orders steak “Medium Rare to Medium”.
87)   The chef hammered the shit out of your perfect Medium Rare steak after you sent it back.
88)   We don’t have A1.
89)   Your mother is driving you nuts.
90)   Your girlfriend is driving you nuts.
91)   You are nuts.
92)   You have a severe nut allergy.
93)   You can’t accept the fact that pine nuts are actually legumes and therefore you are not allergic.
94)   You are in denial.
95)   We don’t allow dogs in the restaurant.
96)   We refuse to recognize your dog as an “Emotional Support Animal”.
97)   We refuse to do something even though you insist “we’ve done it for you here before.”
98)   The person who “did it for you here before” isn’t working here tonight.
99)   The person who “did it for you here before” only exists in your imagination.
100)   You are certain we changed chefs even though we’ve had the same chef since opening.
101)   You insist that you’ve dined here before but it’s obvious you are confusing us with another restaurant.

Categories
Opinion

Trusting Your Inner Yelp

It isn’t easy to get people’s attention in restaurants these days. The waiter will approach the table to offer his expertise on the menu only to find everyone vacantly staring into the screens of their mobile phones. Are they texting someone? No. Are they “checking in” to make their friends jealous on social media? No. They are on restaurant review apps searching fan favorites and thumbing through pictures of menu items from the very restaurant in which they are currently seated.

The waiter asks if he can answer any questions. No, they say. They are ready to order. Like hordes who approach dining out the same these days, they have chosen to experience only the most popular dishes from the menu relying on groupthink rather than their own intuition. The modern diner considers preparation as integral to the act of dining out as eating. As menu prices rise, so does the price of bad choices. Restaurant guests now feel pressure to research in advance of their reservation, scouring the internet for Instagram pics and Yelp write-ups to avoid pitfalls and unearth signature dishes.

But is technology really helping us order more efficiently or is it reducing the act of personal choice to a Google-eyed algorithm? Mobile technology has disrupted the relationship that restaurant guests have with waitstaff. People trust their phones more than they do their waiters. How did we get here? The trend toward automation is not a new phenomenon. Technology has always invaded the way we consume things. The soda jerk was replaced by the vending machine. The bank teller became the ATM. It’s increasingly clear that the job of the waiter may go the way of the iPad. The less people value human service, the more hospitality jobs are in jeopardy.

At its core, dining out should be a spontaneous act. That’s what makes going out for dinner so unique from dining at home. At home, you control the elements—lighting, music, company. At a restaurant, the environment is unpredictable. No two dining experiences should ever be the same. Storyboarding your meals in advance limits the element of surprise. Ordering only popular dishes is like listening to only the greatest hits of your favorite rock band. It’s a safe choice. You know you love those old familiar songs. But, like audiophiles, diners must learn to appreciate the “deep cuts” if they want to really get into the music. Lucky for you, we provide the DJ.