Let Me Just Be Frank Here.

(I feel like that title comes equipped with a Leslie Nielsen quote.)

I have watched this sort of .. phenomenon? movement? trend? .. take place here lately, and while I can typically just silently acknowledge these things and maybe remark on them under my breath or over pillow talk, I think this one particular thing has advanced so far that I cannot sit idly by in silence.

I will judge you by how you treat your server at a restaurant.

See, here’s the basis of my judgement. 1) I worked in food service for a LOOOOONG time growing up, so I am arguably more sensitive than most regarding this issue. 2) Servers are, you know, PEOPLE. It’s akin to how you treat children and animals. (Both of which are also scorecards for how I judge you as a person.)

I have always known people who are naturally bad tippers. That’s .. well, okay, that’s not fine, but it is at least more palatable to me because while they were cheap, they were never rude. But now it seems to be a growing trend that people are not only cheap, but also rude and condescending to their servers. And I CANNOT TAKE IT.

If you believe yourself to be superior to your server, to the point that you cannot even address them as a human being, then STAY AT HOME. These people are BRINGING FOOD TO YOUR TABLE. They are doing you a SERVICE.

Treating your server with disdain or condescension does not make you look assertive. It does not make anyone think, “Oh, that guy? That guy is a go-getter! Who knows what he wants!” No, treating your server – or any human being – that way? Only makes you look like an asshole.

If you have bad service, it’s totally okay to call over the manager and let them know. It is NEVER OKAY TO NOT LEAVE A TIP. NEVER EVER EVER. A lot of mistakes are not the server’s fault, and the server still depends on your gratuity to pay their bills. Would you blame the bus driver for your kid’s bad grades in school? OF COURSE NOT.

I’ve spent most of my life going behind bad tippers and righting their wrongs. If we’ve taken up a large table and then my companions left a measly tip? I’ve gone behind them and fixed that. I don’t mind that. (20%, y’all. 20%. Not a dollar or two.)

But if you’re with me and you’re just a downright ASSHOLE to the server?

Not only am I going to compensate for your behavior, but I’m ALSO going to gift the server of something even better: me letting you know exactly how I feel about it.

51 Responses to Let Me Just Be Frank Here.

  1. Lisa June 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    We were in Steak & Shake Saturday morning. James, me, my bro, and Olivia. Almost as soon as we sat down, Olivia decided she was having none of this, so James took her to the car and asked us to get his order to go. They were running reeeeeeeally slow that day. I think a cook had called in sick, and it took almost 40 minutes just to get our order to go. Our waitress kept apologizing all over herself and I couldn’t catch her long enough to tell her it wasn’t her fault. I think she assumed that we wanted it to go because they were running behind, and I wanted to tell her, no it was because Satan Toddler was currently possessed acting up.

    She probably assumed that because Douche-Canoe at the table next to us gave her a verbal lashing about how slow they were. Really dude? What fault is it of hers? Ask for a manager, ask for the franchisees contact info if you want to know why they don’t have more cooks to call (?), but don’t yell at the waitress. Jeez. (And he was alone! Reading the paper! Possibly with no place to be!)

    • Sarah Lena June 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

      Tony and I went to IHOP a few weeks back, and the table next to us LACERATED their server because they didn’t have cage-free eggs. Or pasture-raised sausage.

      Um, dude, you’re in IHOP. You’re eating in AN ACRONYM. Simmer down.

      (I totally overtipped.)

  2. Zoot June 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    Donnie and I agree, although me more severely than he does. We did have bad service once at Mellow Mushroom, and a lot of it was our ditzy server and her space-cadetness. We were super-nice still and tolerant (even though we ended up there for TWO HOURS) but Donnie said maybe I should only leave a 10% tip as opposed to our usual 20+%. I left 15%. Which is SUCH a big deal to me, that I dropped it to 15% instead of 20+% that it has stuck out in my memory forever.

    Also – I add MORE of a tip when we are part of a large party where the include the tip. Because they only include 15% and I like to leave 20%. And if they were good I like to leave even more. I ALWAYS have someone say, “You know they already charged us the tip, right?” Like…they’re confused why I’m leaving more. *sigh*

    • Sarah Lena June 4, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

      I DO THAT TOO. And people will always point it out to me. Like those automatic gratuity charges are to scam the good folk of the world. “Oh, y’all, ::hushed whisper:: THEY INCLUDED THE GRATUITY. Hmph.”

      You know WHY they do that? Because otherwise, you all would leave a dollar a person, even though you’ve taken up my biggest table, run me ragged, and snapped your fingers at me like you’re calling a dog. THAT’S WHY THEY ADDED THAT.

  3. Aunt Gee June 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    I am just bad at math. If I can’t clearly read the tax to double it… the server is at the mercy of my math skills. BUT I am a lot nicer now after a brief stint in food service. I couldn’t physically keep up, but knowing how demanding it is physically, my threshold for bad service has gone way high.
    Aunt Gee wants you to read ..Thanksgiving: A tradition steeped in blood and served with a side of artery-clogging awkward family food moments. And pumpkin.

    • Sarah Lena June 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

      I am seriously glad to hear this. I think EVERYONE needs to work in the food industry in some capacity to truly understand how exhausting and thankless it is. Gah, it’s almost worse than parenting. 🙂

  4. LizzieV June 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Fellow service veteran here. I’m all about the 20% (15% if the server is at fault,) and I’ve trained my husband that way, too. I can tell a trainee from a pro (and I don’t need Cracker Barrel’s “Rising Star” apron to warn me) and I keep that in mind– hey, everyone need to learn how to do their jobs. And when I start clearing the table by stacking the dishes & coralling the napkins? I usually get thanked. I try to be a good customer to make a server’s day better; a happy server is a better server (I also sympathize with servers & sales help when I witness them dealing with stupid-heads.)

    Keep preaching, sister! The world needs to hear your gospel!

    • Sarah Lena June 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

      YES. I am notorious about bussing my own table. It drives my family nuts, but they’ve learned not to argue anymore. I try and make it so the server can clear us with one pass, and just need to wipe down after we leave.

      Also, because I worked in a place where we had to dig through the garbage for missing silverware, I always ALWAYS put that easily found on top of our pile. 🙂

  5. Michelle Smiles June 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    I used to totally judge dates on their tipping habits. And was never above going back and leaving more on the table. (See also dining with my grandparents – I always found a way to tip more.)

    A dozen of us went to a bar on Saturday night. We spent 4 hours taking up 3 tables. Our waitress did a great job of keeping us hydrated and keeping track of our orders. I tipped her like 40% because I know the other people I was with didn’t tip her nearly enough. Why do people think being in a group excuses them from decent tipping?
    Michelle Smiles wants you to read ..CSA update

  6. Becca June 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    I can’t even begin to tell you all my horror stories from the three years I was a waitress. I think one of the worst was a couple that didn’t tip me because the pen I gave them didn’t have enough ink. They somehow managed to find a pen and write me a nasty note explaining my horrible offense though. Assholes.
    Becca wants you to read ..Tell Me a Story

  7. Laurie June 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    I met someone recently who was rude to each server we encountered in the time that I was around her. I already had my suspicions but that was the kicker. I was a waitress for seven years — seven long, terrible years. Some people are good at it. I am not. But I learned a lot about human nature. I’ve also worked retail and if there is another place besides a restaurant table that I will calmly take a fellow customer to school it is in a store line. Have you ever read Waiting? I used to have it but have long since lost it to moves. Good insight into what it’s like from the inside.

    There are carelessly bad and rude food servers, too, sure, and that is not okay either. But to order someone around like a dog, to be rude for no reason, or to mess with their livelihood by not tipping at all or leaving a small tip, no. Cannot deal. And I too have been an overtipper in groups many times, just because it’s easier than dealing with that sociological nightmare. But I never forget. 🙂
    Laurie wants you to read ..Ring

  8. Springs1 June 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    “It is NEVER OKAY TO NOT LEAVE A TIP. NEVER EVER EVER.”

    Sorry, but sometimes it’s DESERVED. Here’s a good example of a time me and my husband stiffed. I feel if you treat me like shit, expect to get reported to your manager and possibly even get fired. This waitress got FIRED because of my complaint and she *DESERVED* it for the nasty way she treated us. Here is the story:

    My husband and I had a waitress at Chili’s. She wrote down my order, but SHE brought out my food with the most OBVIOUS things WRONG. I ordered “Grilled Baby Back Ribs with honey bbq sauce on them with substituting the bowl of cinnamon apples that the ribs came with it for extra fries, adding 2 sides of honey bbq sauce, 1 side of ranch, and 1 side of mayo. SHE came out with the BIG BOWL of cinnamon apples on the plate with only my side of ranch as well as NO extra fries and has the audacity to ask me when she brought out our food “So what did you order” when she WROTE IT DOWN. That was just showing how VERY LAZY she was NOT to REREAD the order. Aren’t we PAYING the server to *REREAD THE ORDER AS THEY WROTE IT DOWN TO GET IT AS OBVIOUSLY CORRECT AS FAR AS WHAT IS IN THEIR CONTROL TO NOTICE?*** She probably STUPIDLY threw the paper away.

    The manager told me she put in the order correctly. WHAT GOOD DOES IT DO TO PUT IN THE ORDER CORRECTLY IF THE FOOD IS OBVIOUSLY WRONG? The ticket being correct doesn’t matter if my food is OBVIOUSLY wrong, I STILL have my food OBVIOUS TO THE EYES wrong WITHOUT TOUCHING THE FOOD to notice these mistakes. Bringing it to me like that makes the server look like a complete IDIOT when that BIG BOWL of cinnamon apples was on the plate since she took my order. If another server takes my food to me, that’s an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT situation, but when it’s the SAME SERVER that takes the order there should be some *EFFORT* to make sure my food is taken to the customer correctly as far as OBVIOUS mistakes go by comparing their written order to the food for mistakes that you can see without touching the food. It’s like NO EFFORT on her part to make sure I had EXACTLY what I ordered.

    At about 15 minutes(9:18p.m.,ordered at about 9:02p.m. )waiting for my margarita she asks if I had been brought it, which I told her no, but I couldn’t help myself because of the lack of apologies and just showing she could care less, I told her about all my complaints, because I was really getting SICK of her horrible service without ANY *APOLOGIES.* Which I told her about that I had to ask for utensils TWICE before our food came out. She replied “That’s the hostess’s job” right to my face. I ended up reporting her to corporate and she got fired, most probably for SASSY me back with the “It’s the Hostess’s job” remark. Yes, we STIFFED the waitress, DESERVEDLY SO.

    She could have gone to check on my margarita after the 10 minute mark(9:12p.m.), NOT almost 15 minutes which is what she did. My husband and I were WELL finished our meals even with the mistakes she made by the time my margarita arrived. I NEVER got ONE apology from her, NOT ONE. I had reported this situation to the manager due to the fact that I had waited for a half an hour for. Turns out they were out of shakers that the Presidente’ margarita came in, so there was a mix up. The bartender made my margarita in the wrong glass. The bartender never told the server about the situation nor did she find out about it within a reasonable amount of time, therefore, I ended up getting my margarita from the manager after waiting literally a half an hour for it(9:02p.m.-9:35p.m.) way after me and my husband were done eating. Someone else apparently ended up getting the margarita that was mine. Any good waitress *CHECKS* on *WHERE THE HELL THE DRINKS OR FOOD ARE* in case if the ticket didn’t print or maybe the bartender threw away the order or the order got overlooked, either way, if she would have checked it within 10 mins. of ordering it, it wouldn’t have taken about a half an hour. When you take an order, you have to CHECK on it, NOT just put it in and not check up on WHERE the hell it is.

    The waitress NEVER ONCE apologized for all those mistakes. That was one of the RUDEST waitresses I’ve EVER encountered. If she would have said she was sorry at least once even, I probably wouldn’t have been so pissed off. Some servers are really UNCARING and MEAN. She could have apologized, went to check on my margarita sooner, could have compared the written order to the food BEFORE bringing out such obvious mistakes which she would have most likely caught most if not all the mistakes(cinnamon apple bowl she would have caught for sure since that was REALLY OBVIOUS), not had asked me to repeat my order at the time she brought out our food due because she was too lazy to do all of those things to PREVENT these things from getting to our table, could have apologized for utensils, and could have apologized for any of the mistakes should made.

    This story is one of the few times when I lost my cool. I don’t normally do that, but she made me so mad with her lack of apologies, lack of admitting fault, lack of effort, and lack of caring. The not apologizing honestly is what made me lose it.

    This is one where a COMPLETE STIFF is deserved.

    SO WHAT I GOT SERVED? The waitress wasn’t nice, didn’t care, was rude, acted as if something wasn’t her job when it was once we had been greeted, etc.

    When you talk about to “NEVER NOT LEAVE A TIP”, think about how *YOU* are acting entitled to a tip always.

    In this situation, you would have still tipped something even though she was a complete UNCARING, LAZY BITCH, right?

    I treat people the way they treat me.

    WHY do you feel that people should pay for service that the server didn’t TRY THEIR BEST AND WAS EXTREMELY RUDE to you, huh? So I should still pay to get treated like a piece of crap? I don’t think so.

    So sorry, YES there are TIMES when servers DESERVE NOT to get paid when they mess up MAJORLY. Especially when they don’t do ANYTHING AT ALL to MAKE-UP for it like APOLOGIES, ASK MANAGER FOR COMPS WHEN SOMETHING MAJOR HAPPENS, etc.
    Springs1 wants you to read ..Restaurant Service – The NON-OBESERVANT SERVERS

    • Heidibide June 6, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

      If you asked me to substitute cinnamon apples for fries, I would bring you only cinnamon apples. That’s how “substitute” works. You *substitute* the thing you want for the thing you don’t want, not the other way around.

      Beyond that, I’d love to see this commenter work one day — make that one hour – in a busy restaurant. Then I’d love to serve her her words. Correctly.

      • Springs1 August 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

        Heidibide
        “If you asked me to substitute cinnamon apples for fries, I would bring you only cinnamon apples. That’s how “substitute” works. You *substitute* the thing you want for the thing you don’t want, not the other way around.”

        Why would you think I thought it meant something else STUPID ASS? YOU ARE DUMB! I DIDN’T WANT THE DAMN CINNAMON APPLES, BUT THE STUPID, DINGY, LAZY ASS WAITRESS BROUGHT ME A BIG BOWL OF IT. I sent her back with it STUPID IDIOT! You didn’t *READ* *********ANYTHING******** I WROTE, DID YOU?

        “Beyond that, I’d love to see this commenter work one day — make that one hour – in a busy restaurant. Then I’d love to serve her her words. Correctly.”

        Hey, at least I would put forth 100% *****EFFORT********, which is what I said she should have done. Compared her written order to the food *BEFORE* she left the kitchen.
        Springs1 wants you to read ..How to Be a Good Server in a Restaurant

    • silencesprings August 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      Please, invite me to your next party… you sound like SUCH an enjoyable person to be around. The effort you put into writing this ridiculous, long-winded post makes it clear you carry around an air of potential victimhood practically all the time. You oughta channel that vitriol. “[O]ne of the few times when I lost my cool”… you mean that day?

      • Springs1 August 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

        silencesprings
        “[O]ne of the few times when I lost my cool”… you mean that day?”

        NO, I meant that time. I am SOOOOOO MUCH NICER THAN SERVERS ARE TO US! I at least THANK THEM and BE NICE about a mistake in 99.9% of cases, but NO SORRY TO SPEAK OF IN MOST CASES OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS. THAT IS THE GOD’S TRUTH!
        Springs1 wants you to read ..How to Be a Good Server in a Restaurant

  9. Springs1 June 4, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    “A lot of mistakes are not the server’s fault,”

    Most of the mistakes *ARE* the server’s fault.

    90% of the time it’s the SERVER’S FAULT:

    1. They can put in the order wrong into the computer or if it’s a written ticket they submit, they could have written something down wrong or hard to read.

    2. They could have forgotten to put in the order in the first place.

    3. Servers can also misunderstand what the customer is saying such as 2 times when I ordered 2 sides of bbq sauce and the stupid idiot servers thought I didn’t want bbq sauce on my ribs when I NEVER ONCE SAID I didn’t and I didn’t say “ON THE SIDE”, I SAID SIDES, which means extra. One of those times I said extra even.

    4. Most mistakes with food are visible:

    A. Condiments of any kind regardless of who brings out the food can be brought out by the server ahead of time.

    B. If someone orders extra crispy bacon with their pancakes, then the bacon looks limp, not stiff, and you can even see some white fat on it, guess what? MY SERVER COULD HAVE SEEN THAT TOO AND TOLD THE COOKS IT WASN’T CORRECT, TO RECOOK IT INSTEAD OF BRINGING IT TO ME WRONG IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    C. Any wrong side dishes or entrees are the fault of the server if they bring out the food even if they put in the order right. You can tell the difference between a baked potato and mac n’ cheese, yet, a waiter at Logan’s Roadhouse was so stupid as to bring me mac n’ cheese when I ordered a baked potato. I noticed it within 5 seconds of the food hitting my table. Like DUH a baked potato looks completely different from mac n’ cheese.

    D. Any MISSING side dishes, appetizers, condiments, or entrees ARE the server’s fault if they bring out the food as well. Have had that happen a few times or so. Our servers aren’t blind, so they can tell if something is missing or not.

    E. I have seen a red steak delivered to someone before at Outback which means let’s say the customer ordered their steak well done, that the server could have noticed the color difference as in your example “Steak cooked rare instead of well done ? It’s not your server’s fault, they didn’t cook it, it’s the kitchen’s fault.”

    F. If something LOOKS burnt such as a piece of bread with the food and the person didn’t order it burnt, my server is at fault for serving me that.

    G. If my server forgets an item that an entree or appetizer comes with, that’s their fault if they brought me my food without the item such as a side dish or ranch.

    H. I have ordered at Outback my fries “lightly cooked” “Not overdone and yellow not brown.” I have had their fries before cooked the way I like them before many of times before this time I am talking about. This stupid waitress decided to blame the kitchen staff for REALLY DARK BROWN FRIES as if she was blind or something and my husband even told me he could see that they were really dark. My husband may not agree with me on every subject of course, but with that, you could EASILY tell just by LOOKING that those fries were overdone and very dark. She said she put in the order correctly. I am thinking, SO? I wish I could have said “Are you blind?” That was HER FAULT she DECIDED TO SERVE ME THOSE FRIES THAT WEREN’T CORRECT. I noticed the mistake within 3 seconds of my food being placed in front of me.

    Continued next posts:
    Springs1 wants you to read ..Restaurant Service – The NON-OBESERVANT SERVERS

  10. Springs1 June 4, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    Continued:

    My server’s job isn’t just to bring out what the kitchen staff gives them, it’s also getting the order OBVIOUSLY correct to the table as much as possible in order to get that good tip. As someone said on a blog or forum “They just want to be tipped well and will do pretty much anything reasonable to get your money”, which that IS VERY REASONABLE to think OUR SERVERS ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT THEIR TIP TO GET THINGS RIGHT TO HAVE A BETTER TIP!

    You also can notice if someone has wing sauce “On the side” vs. “On the wings” themselves. This isn’t rocket science.

    Most of the things that are wrong with the food can be caught by the server if they bring out the food, even if they didn’t cook it. If it’s another server, they can catch obvious errors on the ticket and menu(such as menu states the item comes with bbq sauce and the ticket doesn’t say “no bbq sauce”) if the ticket was correctly put in by the original server that took the order. Condiments(in bottles or on the side in containers) can always be offered to be brought out ahead of time REGARDLESS of WHO brings out the food to the table.

    So most of the time when the food has something wrong with it, chances are, your server or another server could have caught the mistake before it got to you in most instances. I NEVER said ALL, but in most cases, it can be caught BEFORE bringing out the food(unless another server brings out the food with the ticket wrong), because then the original server that took the order is at fault for putting the order in incorrectly into the computer.

    There are few rare cases where the food being wrong is the kitchen staff’s fault such as raw food(such as raw chicken), slightly undercooked or overcooked food that you’d have to CUT into to know if it was under or overcooked, or anything the server cannot see with their eyes unless they were to TOUCH the food. Things such as a pickle under a bun the server can’t notice unless they lift the bun, so unless they put the order in wrong, they wouldn’t be at fault, but in general most food mistakes can be caught BEFORE bringing the food to the table.

    What I am saying is, MOST mistakes ARE PREVENTABLE by the SERVER if they bring your order to you that they can NOTICE things wrong by comparing those written orders to the plates of food.

    Once a waiter at Chili’s said “The kitchen forgot” when I had ordered 2 sides of mayo and 1 side of mustard. The thing is, my waiter brought out the food, so NO, HE HE HE HE HE FORGOT, the kitchen staff didn’t step out the kitchen to bring me my food and forget obvious missing containers from my plate that aren’t covered up by anything. MY WAITER DID THOUGH!!

    You walk in one room in your house with a plate of food, but forget the ranch. Even if your mom or significant other plated your food, which you even told her you wanted a side of ranch for your fries, but you bring it to another room. HOW IS THAT THEIR FAULT? It’s YOUR FAULT YOU LEFT THE ROOM WITHOUT THE RANCH AND DIDN’T NOTICE IT SINCE IT’S SOMETHING OBVIOUS YOU DON’T HAVE TO *TOUCH* TO NOTICE THE MISTAKE!!

    Even if he didn’t bring out the food, that waiter could have prevented that type of thing from being forgotten since it needs no cooking to bring it out ahead of time. It is always the person bringing out the food that is at fault for any type of mistake that you don’t have to TOUCH the food to notice the mistake, unless of course, the order was put in wrong by the original server that took the order with another server bringing out the food. Of course unless, the kitchen goofs up, making it correctly even if the ticket is wrong, but that’s highly unlikely scenario.

    I cannot believe you honestly think that the server is not at fault for most food mistakes. WE LIVED THROUGH THE “DUH” MISTAKES, SO WE CAN SEE WITH OUR EYES WHO WAS AT FAULT!!
    Springs1 wants you to read ..Restaurant Service – The NON-OBESERVANT SERVERS

  11. Springs1 June 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    “condescending to their servers.”

    Sometimes the SHOE FITS. NOT to be rude part OF COURSE NEVER BE RUDE, but to be condescending, because there have been MANY of times I have known parts of the MENU *BETTER* than the servers and managers even. It’s sad, it really is.

    I shouldn’t know how to do the job *BETTER* than you do or parts of the menu better than you.
    Springs1 wants you to read ..Restaurant Service – The NON-OBESERVANT SERVERS

  12. Springs1 June 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    “Would you blame the bus driver for your kid’s bad grades in school? OF COURSE NOT.”

    NO, that’s why when I really have a kitchen staff error or bartender error, I don’t blame my server. The thing is though, most issues are OBVIOUS to the EYES that are wrong or the server put in the order wrong to begin with or forgot to put in the order or delayed putting in the order too long.

    I only take off points when my service is bad, not if the kitchen staff or bartender made a mistake.
    Springs1 wants you to read ..Restaurant Service – The NON-OBESERVANT SERVERS

    • Sarah Lena June 4, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

      Because I really do appreciate civil discourse, I’ve allowed your comments here.

      But, DUDE. Brevity, wit, and all that.

      • Springs1 June 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

        “Because I really do appreciate civil discourse, ”

        I am just tired of servers with their “ENTITLEMENT ATTITUDE” THAT THEY CAN HURT US, BUT WE CAN’T HURT THEM(IN THEIR POCKET BOOK).

        I am also tired of servers saying that most mistakes aren’t the server’s fault, when that’s TRULY NOT TRUE. I don’t know HOW can you can say it’s not when most mistakes are caused by your server WHY you have issues.

        Overcharges are CAUSED 100% BY YOUR SERVER UNLESS FOR SOME WEIRD REASON your server doesn’t hand you your bill. We have been overcharged lots of times over the years.
        Springs1 wants you to read ..SERVERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OVERCHARGES OF ANY KIND

  13. Springs1 June 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    More to add:

    “A lot of mistakes are not the server’s fault”

    When food is taking a long time, ask yourself these questions as a server:

    1. WHEN do you put in my order? Do you wait or do you go put it in immediately after taking it? If you are double sat or triple sat, you can still go put in each order into the computer after taking each table’s order. By not doing that can result in a much longer wait and that would be YOUR FAULT.

    2. FORGETTING to put in an order. My husband and I have experienced this for REAL that servers ADMITTED to our faces they have FORGOTTEN TO PUT ORDERS IN. All of them were appetizers, bar drinks, and a cup of soup.

    3. Did you put in the order CORRECTLY into the computer? Have had many times servers ADMITTED to our faces they did not do that correctly. Have had wrong entrées before due to our server putting in the order wrong. Have had wrong bar drinks too due to the server putting in the order wrong.

    4. Did you FORGET ANYTHING I ORDERED such as a SIDE DISH? We have had this happen a number of times as well.

    5. Did you DROP anything I ordered? Luckily, we have not had this happen, but I have seen a server once drop some fries from a plate before and I did have a waiter spill some margarita martini when pouring into a martini glass. In other words, it is possible, not likely, but very possible.

    6. Did you remember to GET my food? We have had a server do that before. Also, we have had a number of servers forget bar drinks.

    7. Did you bring out my food obviously correctly if you bring my food out? Do you realize how many times OUR OWN SERVER brings out DUH mistakes like the side dish is wrong, the entrée is wrong, something obvious is not correct bacon that isn’t covered up isn’t extra, extra crispy when you can clearly notice that it isn’t without touching anything, etc.? Every DUH mistake you bring out is YOUR FAULT I am waiting for what I did order by you wasting my time bringing me the wrong item or wrongly prepared item or forgot something. While we all make mistakes, I would have to say a good 90% of the time, servers NEVER COMPARE THE WRITTEN ORDERS TO THE FOOD, because they are TOO LAZY and DON’T CARE!!

    If it’s another server, it still doesn’t make it the kitchen staff’s fault I have the wrong side dish for example since that is something that’s obvious. It’s either my server that didn’t put in my order correctly or this other server that didn’t compare the ticket to the food or that this other server did compare the ticket to the food, but just missed it(HIGHLY UNLIKELY, but possible).

    MOST of the time, your server had SOMETHING to do with HOW LONG YOU waited for your food or bar drinks. I didn’t say always, but most of the time, your server is WHY you are waiting longer in general. That is the truth, you can’t argue with facts. I KNOW, WE EXPERIENCED IT!! My husband and I have been going out to eat just about almost every weekend(2-3 times a weekend) since Nov. 2000 since we met, so we know more than you do!!

    I also thought about some more things that the server can control with how long you wait for your food:

    1. Once, we had a Red Lobster waitress had our 2 entrées on the tray as well as 2 side salads that were for a couple that wasn’t even there when we ordered. Anyway, instead of bypassing their table to hand us ours first since WE DID ORDER FIRST(common sense would tell you that it takes more time to cook food than it does to fix a side salad anyways even if it wasn’t our server that delivered our food, but it was our waitress that delivered our food), she decided to hand them theirs first off the tray. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS IN THE SERVER’S CONTROL TO HAND OUT THINGS OFF THE SAME TRAY IN THE ORDER IN WHICH IT WAS ORDERED IN!!

    2. Once, we had a waitress that greeted us which we ordered an appetizer as well as our drinks when greeted. I saw she tucking in chairs at empty tables and pretty much doing everything but coming back to get our entrée order. Well, I found out what happened. She brought out our appetizer and when I asked she said that she wanted to wait to put in our entrée orders. The thing is, that delayed us more by not at least coming to GET our orders. That way, when the appetizer was ready, we wouldn’t have gotten delayed eating our appetizer since we then had to give our entrée orders when we could have given our entrée orders WELL BEFORE THAT and we would have gotten our entrées faster due to that she could have just left to put our entrée orders into the computer after delivering our appetizer instead of taking time to order when our appetizer was sitting in front of us.

    The point is, SHE delayed our entrées as well as to be able to start eating our appetizer because she could have at least TAKEN our entrée orders and then when our appetizer would have been brought out, could have immediately gone to the computer to put our entrée orders in.

    What she did was make us wait while our hot appetizer was sitting in front of us, we couldn’t touch it, because we had to order our entrées and could have done that wayyy before that.

    She also delayed our entrées because we had to spend extra time AFTER our appetizer arrived to give her our entrée orders when we could have done that wayyyy before that.

    3. Once, we had a waitress that assumed that because they were out of raspberry topping for a cheesecake slice when we had ordered dessert that she’d bring us strawberry. Turns out, she knew when she put in the order that the computer had it the manager told us. So she did it on PURPOSE to be so lazy and uncaring as to not come to ask if we wanted the next closest thing. We didn’t, we sent it back, so she had MORE WORK. Also, she didn’t even think about what if someone is allergic to strawberries. I just honestly can’t believe someone would do that. If they are out of something, common sense would be to come to see if the next closest thing is ok. Not everyone wants the next closest thing. So it wasn’t like it was just getting the order wrong by accident or by not verifying the written order with what she was bringing or putting in the order wrong by accident, this was on PURPOSE to be LAZY and to ASSUME. I didn’t know at first that she did that. I thought at first she just was that stupid(or truly just messed up(highly doubt it)) to bring us strawberries on top of a cheesecake when we ordered raspberries.

    4. Your server delays coming to get your order or delays you ordering due to personal conversation. We have had that before as well. Once, we had a waiter that we didn’t know after waiting 15 mins. for a table on Mardi Gras day ask us BEFORE we ORDERED ANYTHING “How’s y’all’s Mardi Gras” “Go to any parades.” See, I don’t mind chit chat with a stranger, but be considerate to do it AFTER we have our orders into the computer so you don’t take up our time. THAT was in the server’s control as well. We have also had servers not come to get our order due to playing around. That’s in the server’s control too.

    Sometimes taking a long time or a longer time has A LOT to do with the server:
    My husband and I have had 3 TIMES where servers FORGOT to put food orders into the computer. We also have 4 times servers forget to get bar drinks from the bar. Once a waitress forgot to put in a bar drink into the computer. Two of the 3 times it was an appetizer and the servers ADMITTED doing so. The third time was a cup of bisque which is normally served before a meal just like a side salad is.

    We also have had delays due to that the servers delayed putting orders into the computer when they COULD have such as deciding to buss a table first or decide instead of a mini-greet(I’ll be right with you all), one waiter I saw decided to take a party of 6 people’s drink/appetizer orders instead of putting in our food orders into the computer. I can understand if they call you over, but if they don’t, you should be putting that order into the computer not delaying our food. The longer you wait to put in orders, the LONGER WE WAIT!!

    So truly think about that MOST of the time when you wait a LONG TIME for your food or bar drinks even, it could be the server’s fault.

    So remember that *******A LOT******** OF MISTAKES **************ARE INDEED YOUR SERVER’S FAULT OR ANOTHER SERVER’S FAULT(which this person is part of your service you are tipping on as well)!! Most of the time, the kitchen staff is *NOT* at fault in most situations. I didn’t say all, I am just saying most because it’s the TRUTH and you know it. You just don’t want to admit the FACTS!! WHY IS THAT HUH?
    Springs1 wants you to read ..Restaurant Service – The NON-OBESERVANT SERVERS

    • jonniker June 4, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

      You sound DELIGHTFUL to dine with. Shall we make a date at Chili’s?

      • Jen June 4, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

        I wish Sarah’s comment section had a ‘like’ button. I would totally ‘like’ Jonna’s comment. heh.

        (Seems like this whole thing is rather spammy to me. There’s a link at the bottom to a blog post about restaurant service? odd??)

        • Springs1 June 4, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

          “There’s a link at the bottom to a blog post about restaurant service? odd??)”

          Not odd, they have this on a lot of blog sits that you can put in your website addresses.
          Springs1 wants you to read ..Restaurant Service – The NON-OBESERVANT SERVERS

          • Jen June 4, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

            Right, I know that, but apparently your entire blog is about poor restaurant service. I didn’t click through, but seems like an awful lot of energy to put into something. You must REALLY get bad service at restaurants. Yikes.
            Jen wants you to read ..a follow-up on Audrey’s follow-up

    • Courtney June 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

      It sounds like you’ve had a lot of problems when you go out. I’m surprised you have so many stories and examples because if I got THAT worked up every time we went out to eat, I’d never eat out again. I’m just throwing that out there as a suggestion…
      Courtney wants you to read ..Welcome Baby Lila- A Birth Story

    • Joel June 4, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

      I am pretty sure I speak for every waiter and waitress in the united states when I ask that you never gO out to eat again . You are a disgrace.

  14. Hobbychanger June 4, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    Springs 1,

    Do you ever do something so often, occasionally things blend together? Have you ever made a small, minor mistake during a 8-12 hour day and essentially brought home less pay? That is all these “horrible” servers have done. Mistakes happen, they are a part of life.

  15. Sandi June 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    Sweet mother of god. How do these people find you, Sarah?

  16. Kate June 4, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    I absolutely judge people based on how they treat service employees. There was this one time. Ah, I may have been a leeeetle bit tipsy due to having some wine at dinner. I was out with a group of friends and the server had been run ragged the entire time due to people constantly having some new request every time he came back to the table. Goes to get someone some extra bread, comes back, someone else needs a different salad dressing. He bings the dressing, another person dropped a fork and needs a replacement. Total mess, but the server handled it fine.

    So the time comes to pay and people are dealing with their bills and I hear my friend’s husband asking her if it’s OK to just leave a couple bucks on the tip because he wants to pay cash but that’s all the cash he has. So essentially, to save him having to swipe his card, he is going to stiff the server by leaving $2 when his tip should’ve at least been $6-8.

    This culminated in my asking loud, incredulous questions (“SERIOUSLY? You think that’s at all APPROPRIATE? Was the service not TO YOUR EXACTING STANDARDS or do you just not care about other people’s WELL-BEING?”) and finally throwing a handful of dollar bills across the table at him so he could pay in cash and still leave a decent tip. I really put the icing on the cake by (loudly, drunkenly) muttering (not exactly a “mutter” at all), “It’s obvious HE’S never worked in a restaurant before!”

    People who were not even there that night still ask me about this story today, two years later, and dammit I still stand by it.
    Kate wants you to read ..Friends

  17. Elaine June 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    Wow.

    TLDR, indeed.

    At least Sally made her quirky little orders sound interesting and worth catering to, but it sounds like somebody goes into a restaurant expecting to be treated badly. You reap what you sow, because I don’t think even the most meticulous server would live up to this person’s exacting standards. Do us all a favor and cook at home, where you can have your side of apples, extra sides of BBQ sauce, 2 mayonnaises and 1 mustard.

    THE HELL!?

    Whatever happened to, “What’s the special today? Oooh, sounds good. I’ll have that. Thanks.”

    Keep it simple or stay the hell home. Gyah.
    Elaine wants you to read ..So Helen did this today

    • Springs1 June 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

      “because I don’t think even the most meticulous server would live up to this person’s exacting standards.”

      MANY HAVE and it should be EVERYONE’S STANDARDS that they want what *THEY* want for *THEIR* MONEY. You know you don’t want things to go wrong, just admit it.

      The server should be trying to live up to the customer’s standards if they want their money, DUHH, that’s what TIPPING is ALL ABOUT, ***EARNING YOUR PAY******!!

      The ones that don’t live up are lazy.
      Springs1 wants you to read ..Restaurant Service – The NON-OBESERVANT SERVERS

  18. Temerity Jane June 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    These are my exacting and ridiculous standards, and I intend to remember every detail of every time they are not met, in order to be able to recite these trespasses to you with much OUTRAGE.

    I said TWO BARBECUES. EXTRA. STUPID.
    Temerity Jane wants you to read ..I’m going to my first moms’ group tomorrow, so that’ll be something.

  19. Diana June 4, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    Dear lord. You know, I’m known for my excessive capitalization when typing, but HOLY EFFING HELL SPRINGS. CHILL THE EFF OUT. YOU MAKE ME LOOK LIKE A NOVICE.

    Anywho:

    When I get poor service at a restaurant, I typically let them know that I’m unhappy DURING the meal so that they can start to make corrections (if, in fact, it is an error by my server). At the end of the meal if I feel my service wasn’t up to par, I leave the tip anyway and write them a note on their receipt stating that I was displeased. If it was REALLY awful, I talk to the manager. But I never don’t leave a tip. Everyone has off days. I have had incredibly unproductive days at work where my work was just not my best, but no one docked my pay. I feel everyone is entitled to an off day.
    Diana wants you to read ..What Do You Do With A Baby?

    • Springs1 June 4, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

      YEAH, that’s REALLY GOING TO TEACH THEM TO BUST THEIR BUTT, YEAH, they are going to REALLY change their ways with you paying them NO MATTER WHAT IF THEY ***** ON YOUR HEAD, YOU WILL STILL PAY THEM, THAT’S BS!!

      YOU ARE IN THE TYPE OF PEOPLE THAT ARE CAUSING SERVICE TO KEEP GOING BAD. If you TEACH THEM WITH THAT THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO PAY THEIR BILLS WITH A LOW OR BAD TIP, THEY WILL ********LEARN************ TO STOP THE BAD BEHAVIOR.

      Think about it, if I give you a 20 dollar bill to sit on your butt and do nothing or you can CHOOSE to *WORK HARD* for it by serving customers, obviously, you’d take the easier way out, am I right?

      So when that server serves you again, they will say to themselves “That’s the people last time that paid me 20% or 15% no matter how poorly I did, so I don’t have to bust my butt for these people.” IT’S TRUE!!

      “But I never don’t leave a tip. Everyone has off days.”

      When they have off days, they should have STAYED OFF AT HOME INSTEAD OF **RUINING OTHER PEOPLE’S OUTINGS***!! I know what I would and wouldn’t deserve. I don’t do that.

      If you pay them with little or no tip when they have an off day, they will have LESSER OFF DAYS, otherwise, they can’t pay their bills, can they?

      “but no one docked my pay. I feel everyone is entitled to an off day.”

      NO, everyone is NOT entitled to an off day when it comes to tipping to be **********LAZY ON THAT DAY**********!! There are NO EXCUSES IN THIS WORLD TO NOT TRY YOUR BEST!! If you can’t try your best, GO HOME, WE DON’T WANT YOU SERVING US!!

      You took the job KNOWING that you cannot have an off day unlike when you have an hourly wage paying job that makes no tips.
      Springs1 wants you to read ..Restaurant Service – The NON-OBESERVANT SERVERS

      • Lyndsy June 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

        I’ve found that if I go somewhere regularly and consistently tip well, the service gets better and better, not the reverse.

        Have you ever been a server? Do you really know how it all works?

        I’m so thankful I’ve never been in a service job where I had to provide service to you. I would have gotten fired because I would not have been able to stop myself from handing you back some of your own nasty attitude.

        I’m pretty sure if your attitude toward servers were a dish, it would taste like crap.

        • Springs1 June 5, 2012 at 7:31 am #

          Lyndsy
          “Do you really know how it all works?”

          Do *YOU* realize how it works that you ****************EARN YOUR TIP, IT’S NOT A RIGHT***********?

          Do you realize you can’t be *LAZY AND UNCARING* ON THE JOB TO GET A GOOD TIP, RIGHT?

          “I’m so thankful I’ve never been in a service job where I had to provide service to you.”

          That’s because you are **********VERY LAZY AND VERY UNCARING*********** about others. You want the money, but don’t want to do the *************AMOUNT OF WORK************ it takes to get that money.

          “I would have gotten fired because I would not have been able to stop myself from handing you back some of your own nasty attitude.”

          HOW do I have a nasty attitude when I am ONLY GOING BY THE **********SERVER’S ATTITUDE*************, huh? I go by how I am treated.

          You don’t get to treat me like crap and still get a good tip. What goes around, comes around. You get what you give with ANYTHING in life.

          “I’m pretty sure if your attitude toward servers were a dish, it would taste like crap.”

          I’m pretty sure if your attitude towards customers were a dish, it would taste like ********LAZINESS AND BEING UNCARING***********, because otherwise WHY would you have such an UNCARING ATTITUDE, HUH?
          Springs1 wants you to read ..Restaurant Service – The NON-OBESERVANT SERVERS

      • Slynnro June 5, 2012 at 7:02 am #

        YOU ARE HILARIOUS. And I’m certain your dining experiences are in no way A SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY. Nope. Couldn’t be.

      • silencesprings August 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

        You moron. Many servers make $2.18 an hour and tips are expected to boost that hourly wage to minimum. Your choice to stiff your server on the tip means that server makes less than minimum wage. You are the ragiest, myopicest, server-hatingest person I’ve ever had the displeasure of encountering… thank goodness you’re only digital!

  20. Elaine June 4, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    Oh. Right. I got distracted by the shouting.

    I always leave a tip. If they pissed me off, I only leave 15%. If they’re average, they get 20%. Really awesome gets higher than that. One time my mom and I thought our waiter was really cute and I wanted to ask him out so we left him 30%. Turns out he had a girlfriend. But I know I made his day (and hell, he made mine. He was cute, and an excellent server).

    And the first time they fill my water/drink glass will get positive feedback from me: “Oh, yay! Thank you! I love it when you notice before I do!”

    WAY more positive feedback from me than negative. (In the classroom, too, incidentally.) I have found that a positive approach is FAR more effective than complaining. And I’m effusive with my thanks when they get something right. People generally like being praised, and are much more eager to serve a happier customer than a bitchy one.

    And I do try not to have compulkated orders because I don’t want them to call SEKURRITY. The most complicated I might have would be “no croutons” or “no bread” since I’m allergic to it. But I will find something presented the way I like it on the menu and order *that* rather than risk confusion. I talk with my hands so they might be distracted by the handflapping while I order and then it’s not their fault at all when my order is messed up. It was because I was trying to flag down a neighboring motorist.

    Or something.

    I do think it’s sad that Springs up there is railing on and on and on about a dining experience at Chili’s that appears to have happened 4 years ago. Really? That’s just… sad.
    Elaine wants you to read ..So Helen did this today

    • Springs1 June 5, 2012 at 7:35 am #

      Elaine
      “And the first time they fill my water/drink glass will get positive feedback from me: “Oh, yay! Thank you! I love it when you notice before I do!””

      NOT EVERYONE DOES, I HATE IT!!

      If you want your server to do things you didn’t ORDER, you need to *ORDER* them at the greeting telling them “I would like refills without being asked throughout my service please.”

      NOT EVERYONE WANTS THINGS THE SAME WAY!! We are all DIFFERENT!

      “I do think it’s sad that Springs up there is railing on and on and on about a dining experience at Chili’s that appears to have happened 4 years ago”

      It will be in October 7yrs, NOT 4. This was in 2005.

      “I always leave a tip. If they pissed me off, I only leave 15%. ”

      That’s why service doesn’t improve, did you ever REALIZE THAT, HUH? Not teaching them to not do things wrong won’t teach them *ANYTHING* AT ALL!! They will still be able to pay their bills, so it’s not teaching them a darn thing.

      “I talk with my hands so they might be distracted by the handflapping while I order and then it’s not their fault at all when my order is messed up.”

      Actually it is, because they are supposed to *REPEAT* EVERY SINGLE THING YOU SAID and unless you say your order wrong when repeating, it’s not your fault, understand?
      Springs1 wants you to read ..Restaurant Service – The NON-OBESERVANT SERVERS

  21. Melissa June 5, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Ho. Ly. Crap.

    1. There’s a phrase: A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person.

    2. I don’t always believe in karma and the going around/coming around whatnot, but I truly believe this is an example of someone getting back what they’re putting out there. (Not that I believe the dining experiences were all that awful anyway. What I read of them, I stopped reading and started skimming about halfway through the first comment.)

    3. She may be my only waitress, but I’m not her only customer. I certainly don’t expect her to remember and notice when she brings my plate out that a barbecue sauce I asked for is not on my plate. Besides, how hard is it to ask for it when it’s missing?! “Hey can I get a side of barbecue sauce when you have a minute?” Easy, no trauma and I’m certainly not remembering 13.5 years later that it happened at 7:48 pm. (Who does that?!)

    • Springs1 June 5, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      Melissa
      “I certainly don’t expect her to remember and notice when she brings my plate out that a barbecue sauce I asked for is not on my plate.”

      I don’t expect her to “REMEMBER” ANYTHING EITHER. I expect her to *******TRY HER *****BEST***** BY *******COMPARING HER WRITTEN ORDER TO THE FOOD********* IDIOT!! What kind of UNCARING, LAZY SERVER YOU WOULD BE, FOR REAL!!

      “Besides, how hard is it to ask for it when it’s missing?! “Hey can I get a side of barbecue sauce when you have a minute?””

      The entire point of a good tip is to *EARN* IT that if she was too lazy to reread the written order when the food was ready, she should have ****BROUGHT THAT OUT AHEAD OF TIME***** instead of getting my order wrong.

      WHY do you feel a good tip should be given to for a server that was too lazy to even REREAD her written order IN FRONT OF ME EVEN when she asked “So what did you order” as if she didn’t write it down or something, when she did. She was TOO LAZY TO REREAD THE ORDER. WHY SHOULD I FEEL SORRY FOR A LAZY AND UNCARING HUMAN BEING, HUH?

      YOU ********WORK********FOR YOUR TIP, IT’S NOT SOME RIGHT!!

      No one should be “remembering” anything except for where they wrote something down.

      They should be making sure each component each correct with the list that was written down called an ORDER for OBVIOUS errors like that. That is why we are tipping the server. If they don’t care, WHY aren’t we just grabbing our food ourselves from the kitchen and leaving our servers out of the equation, huh?
      Springs1 wants you to read ..Restaurant Service – The NON-OBESERVANT SERVERS

    • Springs1 June 5, 2012 at 9:12 am #

      “2. I don’t always believe in karma and the going around/coming around whatnot”

      Why not, you will make them *****LEARN******* that way to stop doing that UNCARING, LAZY BEHAVIOR?
      Springs1 wants you to read ..Restaurant Service – The NON-OBESERVANT SERVERS

  22. Kara July 3, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Wowee woo woo…I was going to post that I think it’s okay to occasionally leave a smaller tip if the service person is egregiously bad, but now I’m scared to be in that group. Well, I’ll say it anyway…I always tip, but on the few occasions when it’s clearly the server’s fault that they’re slow or whatever (not everyone is good at his job) they’ll get a smaller tip. I’m not going to write them nasty notes, and if it’s not their fault it’s usually pretty clear, so I’m not going to penalize someone if they’re the victim of a situation they have no control over (staff being out, kitchen gets set on fire, whatever). But if they’re really rude or something like that then I’m not going to leave a good tip. It’s not okay to act like a butthead yourself, though, there’s no excuse for treating people like they’re your slaves.

  23. Therese July 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    My god.. Can the author of this post just block Springs1? There’s such a thing as constructive criticism..and then there’s bashing the restaurant industry and other commenters here. I think it’s gone past the “acceptable” stage and maybe more into the “abusive and rude” stage.

    I think it’s a fascinating topic, and while I don’t necessarily agree that a tip should always, 100% be left, I would never think to comment in the same way as Springs1! Yikes!

  24. JMH June 7, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    I worked in many restaurants over the years, from fast food to amusement parks to fancy country clubs. Springs1 has (obviously) never worked in the food industry. There are people like that everywhere! However, what goes around comes around 🙂 I plan to tip my servers extra well next time just to make up for people like that!

    • Springs1 August 6, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

      JMH
      “Springs1 has (obviously) never worked in the food industry. ”

      You are JUST TOO LAZY TO DO THE JOB CORRECTLY!

      “make up for people like that!”

      Like what, that TIP CORRECTLY ACCORDING TO THEIR SERVICE? How they are TREATED?
      Springs1 wants you to read ..How to Be a Good Server in a Restaurant

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