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Educating Waiters and Waitresses 101

Updated on September 18, 2012

Is THIS YOUR waitress?

Smoking one cigarette (or something else) after the other in the stock room? Shouldn't she be serving you, her customer?
Smoking one cigarette (or something else) after the other in the stock room? Shouldn't she be serving you, her customer? | Source

NOTICE

This is NOT a critique of men waiters and female waitresses. This is simply "my" observations of how this noble vocation can be made better by doing some rather simple things.

THANKS, KENNETH


Other things that waiters and waitress "may" be doing instead of serving their customers

"NOW TO TEXT MY BUDS TO SEE HOW WHEN THE PARTY IS TONIGHT."
"NOW TO TEXT MY BUDS TO SEE HOW WHEN THE PARTY IS TONIGHT." | Source
"YOUR ORDER? WHERE IS YOUR ORDER? DO I LOOK LIKE AN INFORMATION BOOTH?"
"YOUR ORDER? WHERE IS YOUR ORDER? DO I LOOK LIKE AN INFORMATION BOOTH?" | Source
"MAN, I NEED TO PASS THAT CHEM EXAM TOMORROW."
"MAN, I NEED TO PASS THAT CHEM EXAM TOMORROW." | Source
"SHOULD I ACTUALLY GET UP OR JUST SIT HERE?"
"SHOULD I ACTUALLY GET UP OR JUST SIT HERE?" | Source
"MY HUSBAND LEFT ME LAST NIGHT AND I AM TAKING IT OUT ON YOU!"
"MY HUSBAND LEFT ME LAST NIGHT AND I AM TAKING IT OUT ON YOU!" | Source
"OOPSIE, LOOKS LIKE YOUR ORDER OF FRIES ARE ON YOU!"
"OOPSIE, LOOKS LIKE YOUR ORDER OF FRIES ARE ON YOU!" | Source
"I KNOW THAT  I SHOULD BE SWEEPING OR SOMETHING, BUT I DO NOT GET PAID FOR MENIAL JOBS LIKE THAT."
"I KNOW THAT I SHOULD BE SWEEPING OR SOMETHING, BUT I DO NOT GET PAID FOR MENIAL JOBS LIKE THAT." | Source
"WHAT A DAY FOR A DAYDREAM," INSTEAD OF DOING HER JOB, SHE IS STANDING THERE ENJOYING A DAYDREAM ABOUT HER NEW LOVER, "NEDD."
"WHAT A DAY FOR A DAYDREAM," INSTEAD OF DOING HER JOB, SHE IS STANDING THERE ENJOYING A DAYDREAM ABOUT HER NEW LOVER, "NEDD." | Source
"WELL, DEARIE," THE NON-CARING WAITER SAYS. "THIS RAW STEAK IS CERTAINLY NOT MY FAULT."
"WELL, DEARIE," THE NON-CARING WAITER SAYS. "THIS RAW STEAK IS CERTAINLY NOT MY FAULT." | Source

WRITER’S NOTE: I owe a talented hubber, davidlivermore, a “debt of thanks,” for his inspiration for this hub. He read my recent hub, “Why Do Waiters and Waitresses Hate You: The Essential List,” and suggested that a hub about (how waiters and waitresses should act) be published. David, your wish is granted. Kenneth).


The hours are ungodly. The pay is laughable. And sometimes the managers are not forthright.
They are on their feet sometimes ten to twelves hours at a time. Regardless of how rude, insensitive, and uncaring the customers may be, “these” gals and guys “have” to keep a positive attitude and a smile pasted on their faces.


Even when their bodies and minds are screaming for needed-relief.


“These” corps of special gals and guys are our waiters and waitresses for without their endurance, patience and down-right good-natured souls, we who dine-out would starve.


Cudo’s, to the professional waiters and waitresses. We owe you our full stomachs. And yes, I am totally-serious.


But, and didn’t you just sense that there would be a “but,” somewhere in this story?


Sorry, but, (there it is again), this story has to be published. I have given my word to a fellow hubber. And I do not want to be called a “liar,” either to my face or to my back.


Actually, this is not a “dig” or attack on our waiters and waitresses as much as it is an educational-piece that just might reform just one waiter or waitress into performing their duties the way that they are trained to do them. Professionally.


Do not misunderstand. This is not a story against women and for men. Or visa versa. This is an “equal opportunity” story that’s geared to the waiters and waitresses who are less-than-what they are supposed to be: Professional.


This offering is simply entitled: “Educating Waiters and Waitresses: 101,” and the premise is easy.


These are (just) 10 things that every waiter and waitress can do to make themselves a better employee, have more customers and that equates to a lot more (and larger) tips.

1.) IF YOU ARE SICK call-in. That’s only courteous and professional. You do not want your colleagues to be infected with your “bird flu,” or do you want to make your clientele sick. Use the phone. Don’t be a martyr.

2.) IF YOUR COMPANION leaves you, let him. Or her. This “problem” isn’t for your jobsite. Although it’s a sad to lose a lover, your customers are interested in only one thing: FOOD. Served by a smiling and cheerful waiter or waitress.

3.) IF YOU ARE IN A BAD MOOD get over it. Bad moods can cause even the best waiter or waitress to snap fresh or vulgar remarks to the restaurant customers. This is “not” what you want if you are working for tips. And if you do not feel like getting in a good mood, do it anyway. Your job may depend on it. If worse comes to worse and you find it impossible to put your bad mood “on a shelf,” go home. Your manager should allow this if he or she values his establishment’s name and business.

4.) BE ATTENTIVE to your customer’s needs. Bring coffee refill’s on-time. Ask if their food is alright. Show your customers that you care. And don’t hide in the stock room and smoke cigarettes one-after-the-other, or some other substance, and believe that your customers will understand. Some will. Some will leave. And not come back.

5.) PAY ATTENTION to your customer. If they greet you friendly, return the favor. If you sense the customer is in a bad mood, greet them friendly anyway. When the customer orders, make absolutely-sure that the customer “who gets gas from fried eggs,” doesn’t get eggs and the customer who is “allergic to meatloaf,” doesn’t get meatloaf. Being a waiter or waitress is not a guessing game. Sure, mistakes will happen, but when mistakes outdo good performance, then you will be asked to go home. And not come back.

6.) APPEARANCE COUNTS so do not wear a uniform for three days straight. Customers notice things like wrinkles, body odor in clothes, and the fleas from your pet goat named, “Willy.” Remember, “a clean uniform means you care and that will reflect on your tips.”

7.) NEVER ARGUE with any customer. If you mess-up, apologize. Even if the customer is 100% right, apologize. Don’t kill me, but ask yourself this one question before you begin to argue: “had you rather be monetarily-successful or right?”

8.) FLIRTING with male customers in a family-type restaurant is taboo. Now unless the male customer and you are close friends whose wife understands, don’t do this. The same can be said to male waiters flirting with female diners.

9.) LET YOUR PARTY END the night before, not during your shift. If you attend or throw a “wild party,” at your place, and there is a lot of alcohol-drinking, make sure that you are “over” your “buzz” before you go to work. And that also applies to hang-overs. Customers aren’t stupid. They can smell the smallest scent of booze. Be smart. End the party early.

10.) RESPECT YOUR BOSS regardless of how much of a “jerk,” he or she is. Besides, you are there for two reasons: one, to make money and two, to build yourself a following. If you are truly a professional-minded waiter or waitress, you can handle it.


You should note that there is very little humor in this story. I planned it that way.


For there is nothing funny about a waiter or waitress who doesn’t really care about their job. Or their customers.

Is THIS YOU

wasting valuable time waiting for your food to arrive? This can get very frustating when you are THE ONLY customer in the restaurant.
wasting valuable time waiting for your food to arrive? This can get very frustating when you are THE ONLY customer in the restaurant. | Source

Comments

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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, David,

      You are welcome for the hubs, which I might add, were tough to write. I hope that someone was touched or affected enough to be a better waiter, waitress and customer.

      Thanks to you too FOR FOLLOWING ME. In your email in the next few days, look for a Personal Thank You Note from me for doing this . . .you will soon see that I do not take my followers for granted. I cherish everyone of you. You included.

      Thanks!

      KENNETH

      PS: time for coffee and a break.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, dear Tamron,

      And I agree with all you said. Waitresses and waiters deserve respect. I see that point of someone "just" sitting for hours--smoking, where permitted, drinking one cup of coffee after the other then leaving. What a jerk! I think that by some feasible rule, something like a small cover charge for people who only want to guzzle coffee and not eat. What do you think?

      Kenneth

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hey, DzyMzLizzy,

      LOL, I have senior moments all of the time. Don't sweat it. I enjoyed your comment too. Keep up the hard work of writing your super hubs and visit with me anytime and as long as you want to.

      Kenneth

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear tillsontitan,

      A sincere thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate your votes as well. This is a sticky subject because I know a few waitresses in our local Huddle House and these girls are THE BEST. They are tough as nails and can handle the smart alec's. I love them for being ladies, but also tough as men.

      Kenneth

    • davidlivermore profile image

      David Livermore 

      5 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      I am so glad you wrote this article. I feel it was very respectfully done, as now you have given both sides of the coin. It's bad that I have seen every one of those rules broken at one time or another. It's almost why I prefer buffets! Voted up, nicely done.

    • tamron profile image

      tamron 

      5 years ago

      I believe waiters and waitresses deserve respect. I have seen so many people abuse waiters and waitress.

      I also believe you should not go to a restaurant and not tip. I also see people order coffee and sit there for hours on end then leave a little change when a paying customer could have been sitting there and the waitress makes money.

      I also believe the waitress should not have to deal with an unreasonable customer that should be the managers job.

      I agree with everything you said about being professional and wearing clean uniforms.

      Vote Up

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      So true. Well said--let's just hope it gets seen by those who need to see it.

      I was going to say something else--a particular point came to mind when I saw the article title--"but," I was struck by a 'senior moment,' and have no idea what I was going to say....

      Voted up, useful and shared.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Since you started with 'buts' I thought for sure this would be funny but it wasn't. It was well written and you made your points very well. So many thoughtless people out there can surely benefit from this. Seems everything you write Ken turns out well.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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