Tales from the Restaurant

Tales from the Restaurant
Where you'll find all the restaurant dirt you'll ever need.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Let's Blame the Kitchen!

Servers usually have six or seven thousand things on their minds at any given time. Throw in the fact that their performances are uniquely rewarded with gratuity. Also, throw in the happenstance that sometimes, the people servers wait on aren't the most understanding people, nor have ever had to work in a restaurant.

When these things all come together, you find that on a nightly basis, waiters, bartenders, and support staff can get very crafty when it comes to diverting the blame for their individual screw-ups.

Here's what I mean;

So naturally, the server in this picture forgot something. Harmless enough, but in order to sustain the belief that the guest has the best waiter in the whole world and would never tip that waiter less than 20%, the waiter resorts to;

The guest is then somewhat pleased that his or her order will be arriving soon, and that the waiter is now going to tear someone in the kitchen a brand new set of assholes.

In reality, this is what is usually happening;

This is a strategy I share with new people to the business. It saves you from being yelled at by irate guests, it familiarizes you with procedure in the kitchen, and it absolves you from blame coming from all directions.

Of course, there's always the possibility that you did everything right, and the kitchen actually bastardizes your order.

In that case, it's karma that rears its ugly head. You did everything right, and no matter how much you tell them that the kitchen fell right on its face when it sent out her order, you have become the restaurant Satan right at her table. You're basically out any amount of tip money, can't go back and fix anything, and may as well have someone else close it out for you.

True enough, I tell everyone that a good waiter is only a good waiter if he or she is good at damage control. If you constantly fuck up orders and are too slow, you'll do decently enough if you can make all of your guests love you and forgive you for everything. Even if the kitchen has to take one for the team every once and again.

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