I thought of this blog post the other day when I was I working both Sunday and Monday night. I always have to work Sundays and Mondays but this week was especially rough because of the holiday. My normal shift is 3-11:30 (or so) on Sunday and 5:30 – 11:30 (or so) on Monday. However, I had the joy of getting to work at 3 on Monday and basically having no real bbq joy. I know that isn’t the real reason for the day, but as a guy who works two jobs already, I would like to have a full holiday where I don’t have anything to do. Ultimately, if I have to spend a lot of time at work, I want to have a good time with good customers; however, that really doesn’t seem to be the case when you have customers who seem to not really understand proper etiquette when it comes to eating out. I figured it was about high time I let everyone know what it takes to be a good customer. I’m not assuming anyone who reads this is a bad customer or anything, but I need a place to vent and this is it. So, if you have never thought of a few of these issues before, here are a few things that get on this employee’s nerves when it comes to trying my best to take care of you.
Children – We have the joy of being considered a family restaurant. It’s really not all that bad. We get some pretty large groups of people who come in and rack up some pretty high bills. This of course helps to make for some hefty tips. Unfortunately, this also means that we have a lot of little ones running around. I don’t mind kids, I’m a teacher after all, but I don’t like having to play parent while you enjoy your meal. Pay attention to your kids. If they get up and start running around the restaurant be a good parent and get them to sit down and be still. If you can actually manage that, you then need to try to make sure they aren’t yelling, screaming, or banging on everything. There are people without kids eating in the restaurant too, and they don’t want to feel like it’s feeding time at your household. If your child starts to cry or have a hissy fit, you need to take care of it. I don’t care if you haven’t finished your country fried steak or peanut butter bacon burger; you need to take them outside and make things right. Finally, if you have a child who likes to throw food everywhere, you need to clean it up. If for some reason you don’t feel that is your responsibility, you need to tip extra for us literally having to sanitize the entire area before we can seat that table again. Yes this even goes for if you end up sitting on the patio. There are no wild animals on the streets of DC that will come along and clean up after you.
Ordering Food and Drinks: I understand you want things a certain way when you go out; however, it is nice if you actually have knowledge of what those things are before you tell me you are ready to order. I make sure to ask if you are ready to order before I actually stand there and listen to you. There is nothing worse, especially when I have other tables to check on, than standing there listening to you discussing options. If you’re not really ready, you can feel free to tell me to come back in a few minutes. Additionally, if you ask for 5-6 different changes to a food item, understand that it may be hard for the little immigrants working in the back to understand everything that you wanted altered. Also, a mistake in the kitchen doesn’t mean I screwed something up. It means the kitchen did; therefore, you don’t need to take it out on me or my tip. We normally comp your food or get you a new one, so you need to calm down. Finally, if you order a drink you’ve never heard of before, don’t you dare get mad when you realize you don’t like it. It’s great that you love Mad Men, but I don’t care if you though an Old Fashioned would be something sweeter or more delicious.
Common courtesy: We are human beings too, and I understand you may work for some big government agency; however, I like to be treated like one of God’s creatures as well. I don’t always want to stand in front of you and take your order, but I show up with a smile on my face. You want me to provide you with a service, so if you want the best possible service from me, you can smile right back at me too. If you’re having a bad day, I am not the one you take that out on. We don’t really have to come into too much contact; therefore, we should try to make it the most positive relationship possible. This also means you need to realize we want to go home as well. If you show up at 10:25 and we close at 10:30, you need to go down the street to the next option. I understand you really want your milkshake or meatloaf, but I work two jobs and want to go home to my wife. I’ll tell you the kitchen is open for another 5 minutes; however, that is not a time where you should high-five that you made it in time. You don’t know what those people working there have going on in their life, and I know they aren’t high-fiving that they got one more customer after they already got a head start on cleaning up the kitchen. I’m sure you’re not excited when something gets dropped on your desk five minutes before you head home.
I would trust I don’t have a lot of readers who struggle with some of these issues, but I need a place to vent. Even if you’ve screwed up in one of these areas before please keep these issues in mind from now on. Thanks for listening to my ranting!