Thursday, January 22, 2009

Are you a grown up?

I have cut down my hours at the Bar so my run-ins with diners have been restricted. I did, however, have the supreme luck of running into the type of diner that makes servers want to spit in their food, serve them things that have been dropped on the floor, etc. This encounter lasted a mere 45 seconds.
The lunch rush of the day consisted of 7 tables coming in at noon and closing out their tabs at one; all at once. As I was at the register closing the last tab, two guys, who looked like grown up adults, walked in. My boss, who was at the front on the phone, grabbed two menus and handed them to me. I took them with one hand and continued to hit the proper buttons on the screen to close the check I was handling.
"Can we just sit?" asked one of the guys.
"I'll be happy to seat you in just a second." I say flashing him my customer service smile as I hit the last button needed to close the check.
"One second, OK?" I say, again smiling, as I walk 3 feet away to grab two sets of silverware. None of the tables had been reset since the tables were vacated seconds before. As I walk the 3 feet back to the guys at the register I confirm the number of people in their party.
"Just the two of you today?" I ask.
"You know what, forget it." one of them says. They turn around and walk out the door.
They were obviously upset at having to wait seconds to be seated and did not understand why they could not be seated the second they walked in the door. While the Bar only runs a one person floor and there is no need to worry about who's next up to get a table, we do ask that customers wait to be seated when dining in the restaurant area. This serves many purposes, one of which is to make sure each party is seated at a table that has been cleaned and set. True, there would have been little harm in letting them seat themselves, but they would have waited for me just the same, even longer. There was little harm in having them wait.
Is this a case of poor customer service on my part? Simply impatient customers? I can't imagine they were in a hurry since they left to go elsewhere (I assume), which just took more time than waiting 30 seconds.
Well, to the guys that are not grown up enough to wait their turn, the women who run their waitress for lemons for their water, and the people who do not tip the server or bartender (or only tip the bar) at an open bar party, I have my eye on you.
I am done being treated like a lower life form by customers. I will continue to provide excellent customer service and dining experience to those who treat me like a person. I will continue to do my best in all cases where I am being treated with respect. Not too much to ask for right? In all other cases I will not be rude, but I will not smile and eat shit. Should be interesting...

4 comments:

banquet manager said...

Even though I'm a banquet manager, I did manage a restaurant in the past. There too we had only 1 server/bartender in the "bar half" of the restaurant. He was responsible for not only service all the guests on his side but be the bartender for the other side of the restaurant.
Too many tables and responsibilities for 1 bartender. The managers should schedule another server to maybe float between both sides of the restaurant. This way you would still have a server to seat the guest/reset the table and still be able to close-out the checks.
What was the manager doing during all of this? Just handing you 2 menus?

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Good for you. Those two were acknowledged by you and could have waited. That is just being rude on their part.

Lone Waitress said...

The manager was talking on the phone. Unfortunately, business is too slow to have more than one server. Some of the other managers will play host during lunch, but even then they only hand people menus to seat themselves or walk them to a table without asking for a drink order.

MikeTheWaiterDotCom said...

It sounds to me like you are coming into your own.... you have found the confidence and understanding that ... this ain't the only restaurant in the world ... sometimes we need to be aware that if they don't appreciate me here, I can move elsewhere. I love it!