How to behave in a restaurant…
While taking in the New York Times this morning, we saw a list of fifty essential rules for all waiters, waitresses, baristas, and other employees of the seventh circle of hell known as food service. This brought back all sorts of nightmare memories of playing tableboy to groups of surly, elderly, creepy, chatty, absurdly obese, and just generally unpleasant people known as customers. Yuck.
This isn’t to say that all customers are one or more of the aforementioned adjectives, it just has been our experience (in the glory days of youth) that a majority can be described as such. Even so, the customer is always right and should be treated as royalty. According to the NYT, these are a few pointers one must follow.
39. Do not call a woman “lady.”
40. Never say, “Good choice,” implying that other choices are bad.
41. Saying, “No problem” is a problem. It has a tone of insincerity or sarcasm. “My pleasure” or “You’re welcome” will do.
42. Do not compliment a guest’s attire or hairdo or makeup. You are insulting someone else.
Do not be a person. Do not have normal human interaction. Be a servebot.
30. Never let the wine bottle touch the glass into which you are pouring. No one wants to drink the dust or dirt from the bottle.
31. Never remove a plate full of food without asking what went wrong. Obviously, something went wrong.
32. Never touch a customer. No excuses. Do not do it. Do not brush them, move them, wipe them or dust them.
Do not let the customers see you breathe, sweat, or speak.
7. Do not announce your name. No jokes, no flirting, no cuteness.
8. Do not interrupt a conversation. For any reason. Especially not to recite specials. Wait for the right moment.
9. Do not recite the specials too fast or robotically or dramatically. It is not a soliloquy. This is not an audition.
10. Do not inject your personal favorites when explaining the specials.
Okay, we get it. You are a server, not a human. From the second you punch in to the exact moment you clock out, you are a slave to the food and should always remember that. You have no past, no dreams, no friends or family. You are a server. Welcome to Dante’s inferno. There is a four-top of demons who need their waters.