I have been working in the food service industry for the past 6 years, actually the only part-time job I’ve ever had is working in restaurants (besides a 3 month stint at a grocery store that was absolutely miserable). I have had some of my best memories, and met people that I consider family, it’s honesty one of the best places to work in my opinion. If you haven’t had the opportunity to work in a restaurant, I would highly recommend it for a part-time, or even full-time job. As you can see I am very passionate about this, and I am. I can honestly say I am probably one of the few who enjoys and loves every minute of my part-time job thats just intending to get me through college. If I wasn’t already passionate about event planning and PR, it would absolutely be my second choice for a career.
Okay the real reason I am writing about this, is the fact that servers are people too, and I just can’t seem to wrap my head around how people treat restaurant employees sometimes. I have worked in a couple different restaurants, and I have had some of the best customers, which I will never forget. The ones the stick with you, however, are those customers who will stop at nothing to bring you down. Anyone who works in customer service can relate to this, where you have to hold your tongue while a customer yells at you for something that’s out of your control.
It really doesn’t bother me if someone tips poorly, that is their choice, but if they are rude on top of that, then we have a problem here. I have had some fantastic customers, that ended up tipping fairly poorly, but that never bothers me because of how friendly and nice they were. For example, I had a couple come in last week and they were incredibly friendly, and conversational (which are my kind of people, because I love to talk!). Anyways, we bantered during the duration of their meal, and then they left. I checked the tip later on to find out it was less than 10%, and that didn’t bother me one bit because of how genuinely nice they were to me.
Now, a couple years ago, I had a family come into the restaurant I was working at and they were sat in my section. The table started off smoothy, I got their drink order and rang in their food. This table wasn’t really anything too special, not incredibly friendly, but not rude either- that is, until their food came out. There was a slight mix-up in the order, if I remember correctly, the wrong food was brought out accidently. I immediately apologized and resolved the issue. This was their opportunity to let out whatever anger they had on me. They started yelling at me, and said the food and service was terrible. The only way I could “please” them was to comp their whole meal, and give them any coupons we had. Needless to say, they left me .92 cents as a tip, and that was the last straw. I broke down, and that was probably my worst experience working as a server.
I am writing this post for a reason, not to just complain, but for people to realize the effect you have on employees that deal with customers. Even if you never admit it, everyone has been rude and one point or another to someone working in either retail, customer service or food service.
To conclude this long rant, be nice to your server! They are people too, and they are there to help you out and give you what you came in for: FOOD. Now exceptional service is when the server, bartender, or host treats you with the upmost respect and is genuinely happy to serve you, so don’t take that stuff for granted.