Saturday, November 07, 2009

100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do

Hello, friends, it's been a while! I've missed you so, and happy to be back from my six month hiatus.

Anyone catch this post on a NYT blog about Small Businesses? I find it so irritating. First of all, there are many points in here that I consider "Waitressing 101" and total common sense. Any server worth their salt should know them and if you're interviewing potential staffers who don't, it's indicative of a problem with management. For example, pointers #1, 12, and 13:

#1. Do not let anyone enter the restaurant without a warm greeting.

#12. Do not touch the rim of a water glass. Or any other glass.

#13. Handle wine glasses by their stems and silverware by the handles.

Other rules seemed simply silly to me, such this #23:

#23. If someone likes a wine, steam the label off the bottle and give it to the guest with the bill. It has the year, the vintner, the importer, etc.

When they are kind and sweet and generous, I love to take care of guests in my restaurant. I really do. And I'd happily supply a label for you from a wine bottle if only I could figure out how to do it. But I've tried this mystical "steaming the wine label off the bottle technique" and been left with a fistful of soggy paper pulp, a ruined label, a disappointed guest, and typically in the weeds because I've wasted so much time. Why not print business cards with space to write wine information on the back, then dole those out to guests instead?

Other rules, such as #43 confused me:

#43. Never mention what your favorite dessert is. It’s irrelevant.

I mean, the question I am most frequently asked by my guests is "what do you recommend."

And many rules made me want to gouge my eyes out, such as #40 and #41:

#40. Never say, "Good choice,” implying that other choices are bad.

#41. Saying, 'No problem' is a problem. It has a tone of insincerity or sarcasm. “My pleasure” or “You’re welcome” will do."

Yech. I find it so interesting when owners/managers set guidelines for acceptable vocabulary in their establishments. No profanity is one thing, but saying "no problem"? Come on.

I'd rather eat at Toro any day.


Carlos said...

It is good to see you post on your blog. We have missed your wit. Please write again soon.

Anonymous said...

Randomly found you, but glad I did. I agree with all you say, except for "No problem". WHen a server or salesperson says that to me, it makes me cringe. They may be trying to say they didn't mind helping me, it took no extra effort, etc. But, it comes across differently.
It infers that they did the least necessary to help me or the fact that it was no problem, means I wasn't a bother. It just has an overall negative inference, kind of like a back-handed compliment.

Hope you do a Holiday post. Restaurants and the holidays can be quite interesting.