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To do or not to do- Restaurant Edition

Updated on July 18, 2011

So I wrote this back in 2006 when I was working at restaurants. It was in a sense a vent post but not many people knew some of the things. I at the time was working in Hawaii at a restaurant as a hostess and food runner.

So I decided to post this here, just in case you never realized something. Please realize that this is some of my very early work.


To do or not to do- Restaurant edition...

1. If you do not see a 'Please seat yourself' sign, then that means there is a hostess there to seat you, so don't seat yourself.

2. For women, if you are wearing bright lipstick and wipe it on a white cloth at the restaurant, it's most likely that we will now throw out that cloth because it's stained.

3. Dinner specials are well, 'special', and the chef put a lot of work into it. That means that if you change it for any other reason than allergies, it is an insult to the chef. It's telling them, "You made it wrong and I want it this way." Sorry, the restaurant is not Burger King. The chefs actually went to college to learn how to make food.

4. If your rude to the server and expect that your going to get your way, unfortunately the server is going to find a way to make sure you don't get it. However, if your nice, the server tends to bend over back for you. Such as sometimes, if you're a regular, and your really nice, they may pay for that darn expensive salad you got.

5. You should tip your server at least 15% unless they gave you terrible service. However please realize that the tip does not just go to your terrible waiter, but it also goes to the bartender, which made that drink special for you, or the food runner, which took the food back and made the changes you asked for because you forgot to tell your server, or the busser that ran over and cleaned up that drink you spilt, and also to the hostess/host which followed you to the table you wanted and probably had a fun time trying to find a server to pick up your table.

6. So you've come into the restaurant maybe once or twice before and had the same server but she or he doesn't remember you. Don't feel bad, that single server has probably seen quite a few people since you last came in and has had many bad experiences. Also, people tend to remember the people that were difficult or rude rather than the kind so that they can hand that table off to another server when they see that person again.

7. If you don't like the table that the hostess/host was showing you, please realize that if you want to sit at another table, its quite possible that the server was just sat two or three other tables and is very busy so you just made your experience a little less friendly. Hostesses/hosts take you to a certain table because that server is available. We try to take you to the best available table at the time.

8. Don't believe the whole thing about people spitting on food and things like that. People get fired instantly over that. It doesn't happen unless it's a really run down place.

9. If the restrooms are completely dirty and the restaurant doesn't look that great, its most likely that the kitchen is the same way.

10. Not everything is made when you order. Most of the sauces, mashed potatoes, and things like that were made earlier in the day. So you may not be able to get the sauce less spicy or less salty.

11. If you order a 'well done' piece of meat, expect to wait longer to get your food. Just because the people next to you ordered after you and got their food before you doesn't mean you were forgotten. It just means that your food takes 20 minutes to cook and theirs only took 10.

12. Phone calls come second to people that are in the restaurant. Expect to be placed on hold if it's a night such as Friday or Saturday when it's busy. The hostess/host will get back to you when that guest has been helped.

13. If you have a party of 7 or more, DON'T JUST WALK IN, CALL!!!!!! Or at least expect a wait. You would be amazed at how many people will walk in with a party of 11 people or even sometimes 20. We had a party of 70 walk in once. You can sometimes be accommodated if it's slow but other times, its puts major stress on all the workers that deal with your party. If you call before, they can give you a time frame for when they are available for you and so when you come in, the table will probably be ready for you.

14. When making a reservation, most people will ask for your first and last name, a phone number, and any special requests. That means that if you don't want to give out your phone number and the restaurant has to close down, then you'll get ready and drive there only to be disappointed.

15. If it's a holiday like Valentine's Day, make a reservation. Most people go out and eat on that night. Other holidays such as Veteran's Day or Halloween tend to be slower. This also includes any Friday or Saturday nights. They are always busy.

16. Manager's are difficult to find if you are calling for them so expect the person who answers to take a message.

17. Call if you can't find your credit card. Most, if not all places, put it into a safe and the manager's keep track of them. You'd be amazed at how many people just forget them and they will sit in that safe for years.

18. One of the most stressful jobs in the restaurant is the hostess/host so don't just think its an easy job. They are the ones that take the reservations, know all the special requests and let the servers know, remember that this person has some allergy or there is a kid over on that table that needs a high chair, or there is a phone call on line 1 for this person and line 2 for this person, or they need 3 tables on the patio for upcoming reservations. They also take care of making sure each server has an equal amount of guests as well as making sure the server isn't overwhelmed. If the managers need something done, they tend to be the ones they will ask. The hostesses/host also make sure the restaurant looks presentable so they clean a lot. So be kind to the hostess/host, they probably have 10 million things running through their mind.

19. If your cold, bring a jacket. Just because your cold doesn't mean that they will turn the air conditioning off for you since the guests two table from you just came off the beach and want the air conditioning turned on more.

20. If you're a vegetarian, allergic to certain vegetables, AND don't want any carbs, stay home.

21. If your unsure if you want your meat to be cooked medium or medium well, go for medium. It's easier and quicker to take the temperature up rather to start a new piece of meat.


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    • pageantgirl31413 profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather Nickless 

      9 years ago from England

      Aw thank you! If it helps someone, that would be awesome. I personally think that restaurants should switch to darker or disposable napkins.

    • Helen Cater profile image

      Helen Cater 

      9 years ago from UK

      I shall have to remeber the lipstick one as me and I am sure lots of other women have made this mistake. I am pleased you published this as it will help lots of restaurants.

    • K Partin profile image

      K Partin 

      9 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

      Points well taken. Very informative. Still holds up even from 2006. :( Good job.


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