A day in the life of a Restaurant Hostess...

Day to day stories of dealing with evil customers, the few nice ones.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

An introduction...

Hello fellow readers...

Usually I would tell my name, but for my jobs sake, I will just call myself Mia. And my restaurant will be called the Cafe. To clarify, just to get an idea of what kind of atmosphere and client base I deal with, I work in a chain restaurant. It is more of a "upper class" chain restaurant, but still with a family theme. Hopefully you all will enjoy my rants about working in a restaurant, and I hope even more of you will learn how to treat people who work in restaurants. It is NOT easy, and we don't get paid enough to get treated the way we do sometimes. So I've compiled a little list of what NOT to do in a restaurant. Someone sent my this, I added the Host portion. Here goes:


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An Ode To Servers and Bartenders (And Yes, even though Bartenders make good money, We still pay taxes, make $2.13 an hour, and have to tip out others. Not to mention dealing with drunk assholes all night!!)I wish I could send this out to every person on earth!!!!!! Repost and maybe we'll get everyone!1. If you can afford to go out to eat... but you can't afford to tip... hey.. guess what.. you can't afford to go out to eat! It's not acceptable to tip $1 on a $20 or more check.2. This is 2007 people. 10% is not acceptable anymore... Standard tipping for GOOD service is between 18 and 20%... Maybe back in 1995 when gas was around $1 that was fine, but gas is 3 times that now! And we're still making $2.13. Therefore, tipping higher ensures us we actually can pay our bills.3. Now I understand that 10% is good enough for God... That's fine.. but this isn't church.. and you're not tithing.4. If you order a well done steak, which everyone in the south does, it will constitute a longer ticket time. You will be okay. If you wanted fast food, you should have gone through a fucking drive-thru.PS: Well done steak dry? Wonder why - you just cooked it to death dickhead!! 5. It's really not necessary to snap at me or wave your hand in the air like you're having a spasm or getting up and following me. I saw you, I acknowledged you, you saw me. Hold the fuck on, and sit the fuck down. I am coming.6. When I take the time to be courteous and introduce myself, please don't be a rude bastard and cut me off. Sometimes the place I work at requires me to tell you about the specials and offer you an appetizer. When I ask you how you are doing please don't reply with what you want to drink. Manners, asswipe.7. I follow a strict rule that you should never reward bad service with a good tip. However, you should also never punish excellent service with a shitty tip because you're a cheap fuck.8. Please don't take it out on me because you have had a bad day. I'm here to make it better. Relax.9. When I deliver your food and I ask if there is anything else, you can tell me. I asked didn't I? Don't get all bent out of shape because I'm not psychic and cannot read your mind. How the hell am I supposed to know you needed A1? Also, please tell me the moment I ask everything you need. If you have to think about it that's okay. I'll wait. I'd rather spend a few more moments at your table then running back and forth to the kitchen because you forgot you needed extra something or other.10. I know sometimes you can't help it, but do you really have to ask for something every single time I walk past the table? I mean really. Jessica Simpson is not even that high-maintenance.11. Hi. Look around you. You are one of probably twenty people I am waiting on. Did you happen to notice that? So if you have to wait for a minute, be patient. I promise I will take care of you.12. Treating a server like a piece of shit and the scum of the earth because we are serving you is the quickest way to get the worst service you ever thought possible. We are people too and you are no better than me. I don't give a fuck what you do.13. Just think about it like this. Your tip left on the table is how I pay my bills. I am making 2.13 an hour, so no, I don't get a paycheck. After taxes and claiming tips I'm lucky if I even see one. Remember that next time you decide to be cheap. Please also remember when using a curbside take away service, that the people that bring out your food don't always make 7 or 8 dollars an hour. Most of the time they work for tips too.14. Last but certainly not least, don't assume that my job is easier then yours and I am some dumb shit who can't get a better job. The restaurant business is a fast paced environment with a high stress level. And you don't even see all the things we do behind the scenes. So have some respect. I don't come to your office and treat you like shit for sitting on your ass all day do I? No. I don't.15. Most people do not know that we pay taxes based upon what we claim to make. News flash, we have to claim at least about 10% of our sales. Often times we often must tip out other workers in the restaurant, i.e. bussers and hosts. What this means is if your are one of the scum of the earth that don't tip I just paid taxes on your meal that I worked to serve you. Thus meaning that I just paid to serve you. Better yet, if you walk out on your tab, chances are I just paid for you meal! Karma people. Karma.......

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As a Host I'm gonna add a few more.... These are host related.16. When I ask "Hi, How are you doing?" Please don't respond with "2" "3" or even worse, not speak and just throw up 2 or 4 fingers. Just respond like I'm a human being. "I'm good, we have two" is acceptable. It's okay, I won't bite, I'm a person just like you! Business people are really guilty of this....I guess you think you're successful and better than me so you don't have to "get on my level"....17. If you don't want to sit in a certain section, I.E. the bar, please let me know beforehand before we go on a magical journey of musical chairs. I would MUCH rather you say "We prefer not in the bar area" or "We don't like that section" than having me take you in there, and then you tell me you want to go out in the dining room. Save you AND me some time! Especially when you see you are one of my 10 or so guests at the door...18. Don't be so freaking picky about where you sit! While I understand it's probably really hard for you to suck it up and sit in a "hard chair" when your butt deserves "so much more", please, just sit where I sit you. This goes back to the previous number. I take you to a table and you say "Oh...can we not have a booth?" Uhhh...sure you can, but you didn't say that. I would rather let you wait at the front until I can put you in a booth, than have to walk there and back again. You might as well say it beforehand rather than not, because you know you're gonna stop me once we get there anyway...19. Don't put all your problems on me! If you have an issue, I might be able to help you, especially if it's simple like "Where is the bathroom?" or whatever. But then you come up and explain your bad situation you just had with the server[and I AM concerned, it's just....what can I do about it?] when you should just automatically ask to see the manager if it's that big of a deal. I can't comp your food or get you a coupon, I don't have the authority. So save yourself some breath and just ask for the manager instead of making me feel crappy AND making a scene...20. ...that being said, DON'T treat us Hostesses like we're stupid or unskilled. I know you think hosting is easy, I mean, how hard is it for me to walk you to an open table, right? Wrong. It's not that simple.There are a certain amount of tables in sections, and there are a certain number of servers, and not every server can handle a certain amount of tables. Some servers are really good and can take 6 tables at once while other servers are new and can only have 1 or 2 tables. So before you go "I see all these open tables...Why can't I sit there?" Try to understand that just because it's open doesn't mean a server is in that section or that they are ready to take a table. Serving isn't easy, and until you've done it, you'll never know just how hard they work. 21. Just remember - We are people too! Granted some servers/hosts at some places can be rude... but for the ones that are nice and are trying to be friendly, please grant us the same respect and friendliness. Nothing is more unpleasant than someone being rude to you for no reason whatsoever. We all have to make a living.22. "To-Go" does not mean "Ready in 15 minutes or less". Just because you can come in to get it, and you don't have to sit down, doesn't mean it will be out and ready quickly. There isn't a seperate kitchen for To-Go orders. Depending what time you place your order, it can be 30 minutes for just one thing, and thats normal[especially if it's during lunch or dinner rush]. Don't scoff and act like it's unreasonable. There are only so many cooks and your order goes in along with all the orders in the restaurant plus other To-Go's, so it can take a little longer than you'd like/think. ALSO, if you order for your entire office, don't get upset if we tell you it might be 45 minutes or an hour. If 20 people come in to eat, they wait just as long for their food than if they did To-Go for 20 people on the phone. If you can't wait, theres a McDonalds on almost every corner... Time = Quality!22. Don't get all pissy when you have to wait, especially 5 or 10 minutes! If you can't wait that long, then you don't need to eat in a sit down restaurant. It could be worse. It could be 20 minutes or more. So be thankful! If it is 20 or more minutes, We're sorry. But that must mean the food and service is worth waiting for, so take that into consideration. And don't think telling me you're on your lunch break will make me feel sorry for you. Or that your mother is diabetic and needs to eat immediately. Oh, look! All of a sudden there's no wait. Here, go right ahead. No. You must wait just like everyone else. I'll give you some bread or something for your mom, but that's it. As for being on your lunch break, I can't just move you ahead of everyone else. We have to obey the rules. And trust me...if it was your day off and someone tried to skip ahead of YOU, I don't think you'd like it. PS - Do NOT roll your eyes at me when I tell you that your walk in party of 20 might take up to half an hour or more. Then, when it gets to over half an hour, you start harassing me. I told you it could be longer. If you can't wait, sorry, you should have called ahead. There are other large parties[who made reservations] in the restaurant and they are using the space you want. Think about that before you think you can walk in with 10+ people and not have to wait. I have yet to see a 20 top booth.23. "Put me with a server that's really good". Ok... yeah over in this section here's the decent people, and then over here we have to horrible people. First of all, we try to employ all "good" people. Why even ask me that? "Oh okay, yeah, you don't want [name], they're sorry. I'll put you with [name]". Yeah, that makes sense. You're also asking me to pick favorites basically. Everyone is typically"good". It's just dumb statement! At least ask for not a new server, or one of my favorites, something along those lines is much better!

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There is more to come.....