Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mea Culpa

Ever been in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation? It happens to us all the time here at the restaurant.

A case in point, I happened to meet some of our customers at a restaurant trade show today. These customers had come in last week and for people in the business, left a 15% tip, which is our signal to the server that there are major problems. Many of us routinely tip 25% and more simply because we know how hard serving is.

I took advantage of the chance meeting to ask what the problem with service was and was told the server was very slow to approach the table. I happened to be in the dining room and saw the table in question and they were engrossed in conversation for a long time. The fault here lies entirely with me. I have trained the service staff not to interrupt a conversation at a table.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.


  1. In that case, I apologize to the waitress who got stiffed mojorly when I felt she was really ignoring my husband and me at a dinner a couple of months ago. I was further confused by her stand-offish behaviour when she smiled and chatted as I passed her on the way back from the ladies'. The two just didn't add. (My only other complaint was that she offered to clear one of our plates before the other of us had finished. Never, ever do that, please! I wouldn't let her, by the way.) --As for your "damned" comment, the overriding fact is that, however interesting we may find our dinner partner(s), we've come to your resturant to EAT, and so the server must interact with us at some point, no? Still feel bad about that tip, though....

  2. A couple of comments. Our servers are trained to never remove empty plates before everyone is finished (which irritates some customers terribly), so that should have never happened. I wonder if it wasn't one of our trainees that did that. Anyway, we'll touch on that again at the next shift meeting—thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Second, kj, you may have come to EAT and don't mind the intrusion, but the table beside you came to have a tête-à-tête and resents the intrusion. How do we tell you apart?

    From my vantage point, I would say that if you need something from your server that you're not getting, just get the server's attention.

    Also, if you feel your service is so bad that you want to stiff the server, have someone find me and let me know what the problem is so that I can correct it. I cannot fix problems that I don't know exist.