1. Your weekends start on Sundays.
Monday through Friday, 9 to 5? Try Tuesday through Saturday, 5 to 11. TGIS forever.
2. Wanting it to be busy but also wanting it to be soooo sloooow.
Get busy and make money that you desperately need, or stay slow and get cut in time to have a social life? DECISIONS ARE HARD.
3. People who switch tables a hundred times.
‘This one is too dark. That one is too bright. This one is too secluded. That one is too loud.’ This table will take up maybe 45-90 minutes of your life. You are not Goldilocks. Please suck it up.
4. Being ignored after saying hello to a table.
Gotta love those people who think that drinks, food, and requests for lemon slices and extra ketchup are magically appearing at their table at the hands of the Invisible Restaurant God. Oh no wait, that’s me.
5. The agony that is the question “What is your favorite thing on the menu?”
“My favorite thing on the menu is whatever you want my favorite thing on the menu to be. Or the most expensive thing we have. Take your pick.”
6. Or even worse, “What kind of food do you have here?”
Oh, but you can. And funny story - that’s what menus are for! That way I don’t have to recite everything that is literally in your hand, in front of your face right now.
7. Substitutions. Of ANY kind.
The kitchen staff is hot and greasy and tired, and asking for the sweet potato fries we have at lunch instead of the risotto that was specifically designed to be paired with that particular dish will most likely ensure your imminent death by frying pan. Shortly after mine.
8. People saying they’re ready to order when they are soooo not.
“I’d love to listen to you debate the food choices that you told me you made 10 minutes ago when I arrived at this table, but I have to go do literally ANYTHING else. Plus I was seated with four more tables while you were talking. Nbd.”
9. Accommodating “dietary restrictions”…
Five years ago, hardly anyone knew what “gluten free” or “vegan” meant. Now you have a memorized list of all every flourless, dairy-less, animal product-less menu item the restaurant has, as well as any menu items that could potentially be made flour/dairy/animal product-less, and you hate yourself for it.
10. …or people who are just plain picky.
You are not allergic to extra salt, the kitchen cannot “whip up” a raspberry vinaigrette for your salad, and no, we are not going to pick the tomatoes out of our bruschetta because you don’t like them.
11. Not having enough glassware/silverware/plates/etc.
The restaurant seats 130 people. There are 50 wine glasses in house. This gets super fun during peak volume on a Friday night when five people at your four different tables want pinot grigio and malbec. * panic *
12. Being blamed when food takes a long time to come out.
I am not in a chef’s coat because I am not the chef. I do not cook the food. I am a server. I serve. But table 74 gives you and your empty hands dirty, dirty looks every time you walk by, and that’s when you discover just how many ways there are to get around the restaurant without having to make eye contact with them.
…unless you really did forget to send their food order in.
13. That person who needs an extra side of dressing. And when you come back with that, they need a sweet tea refill. And when you come back with that, they need another napkin. And when you come back with that…
I super appreciate the exercise, but I do my running in the morning with my Nike’s on. Make a list. Ask for it all at once. Pleaseandthankyou.
14. Being flagged down in any way, shape or form.
Please please please, for your safety and my job security, do not shake your glass of ice at me indicating you need a refill. Chances are, I’ve already noticed and it’s on my list of a million things to do. Chances also are that if you shake that glass of ice at me again, I will dump it down your shirt.
A.k.a restaurant jail where servers go to die just when they think they’re finally, finally free. “I have a medical condition that prevents me from polishing silverware. It’s weird and rare and highly contagious so I should probably leave okay bye.”
16. Last minute walk-ins.
Closing at 10pm does NOT mean that you can (or should) come in and order a three-course meal at 9:59. The sheer intensity of the death stares you receive will probably burn holes through your clothing. Just don’t do it. Under any circumstances. Ever.
17. This also goes for people who got there at 8:00 and want to sit around until midnight.
No, I will not give you another refill. Your coffee is cold because I poured it three hours ago. Get out.
18. Bad tips.
This is a serious PSA: Servers make $2.13 an hour. Two dollars and thirteen cents an hour, and (all and I do mean ALL) of that is taken by the government for taxes. We literally live off tips, and thanks to tip sharing, we don’t even get to keep all of those. It doesn’t matter if you’re at Waffle House, a local bar or Ruth Chris. If you can afford to eat out, you can always, always, always afford to leave a 20% tip.
If you need help with that, here’s a little tip etiquette for ya.
19. But it’s not all bad! Most guests are very happy and pleasant…
Regulars are the BEST and if you banter with me, I will be your new best friend and might even try to get you free dessert.
20. …and we leave with cash every night.
We don’t even have to wait until Friday because every day we work is payday. I make it rain $1’s and $5’s, bitch.
21. It’s practically a requirement to go out drinking with our coworkers once we’re off…
We’re here, we’re ready, and there’s only two hours until all the bars close. CHUG.
22. …and as a result, we make some pretty awesome friends.
You may not always love your restaurant, but you’ve gotta give them props for hooking you up with some your best friends. #RestaurantBiffles4Lyfe
- In 2011, the death of Mark Duggan - an unarmed black man - at the hands of police officers in north London sparked nationwide riots.