We chose this job, you chose this restaurant, and we really want to make sure you have a great time here.
1. The best time to go
If you want a great dining experience, go either before or after rush hours. The earlier the better.
For breakfast (depending on the restaurant’s opening hours) this means 6-7 a.m. on weekends or 6-8 a.m. weekdays. If the place serves brunch, refer to the next section.
For lunch, (again, depending on the restaurant’s hours and how long they serve lunch), the best hours are 11 a.m. to right before noon. Since most people take their lunch break from noon to one, most places are packed from then to about 1:30 in the afternoon. Anytime after 1:30 p.m. to when the place stops serving lunch is best.
Dinner is similar; the earlier the better. Rush hour starts anywhere from 6-7:30 depending on how late it is in the week (not many people go out to dinner on Monday or Tuesday). It usually begins to slow down around 8 p.m. or so but if it is a small restaurant, they might have run out of some dishes.
2. The rumors of us are false
While we do mess up sometimes and forget something you asked for, we are not out to get you.
We don’t spit in your food if you are rude, we don’t mess up an order on purpose, we don’t make up rules that make you mad at us (oftentimes those rules are already put in place and we are the ones who have to tell you), and we don’t act emotional so you tip us better.
We are trained to give you the best experience possible during your time with us and try to turn any negative feedback into something positive.
3. Your patience is kindly needed
We are the first person you see after being seated, the person who takes your drink and food orders, gets you your refills, brings your food out, asks if you need anything, and brings you your bill. All that with multiple tables at once. Several times there are tables that demand our attention more or there are other things to do in the restaurant.
We want to spend time getting to know you and talking to you, but we are busy. Please be patient with us and realize we are human too and forget things often. If six tables call us over during a rush asking for something, odds are we will forget at least one of them.
4. We can help with kids
Here’s a hint:if you have a bouncy kid, ask us if we have any coloring pages, crayons, or a small food item like a piece of bread that we can give them to keep them happy.
We see kids a lot and see the parents/grandparents/caretakers stress over how long they can keep their tyke happy before all heck breaks loose.
We got you covered.
Yeah, we find tipping downright crazy too. An $8 sandwich easily turns into $11 after taxes and tipping. Something as simple as two eggs and a coffee can turn into $7 which is way more than you probably wanted to spend for that small meal.
And if you do have in mind that you will only spend so much on a meal and give nothing for tip if it goes over, that affects everyone behind the counter. I was talking to someone last week who had no idea servers were paid so low without tips. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act,
“Section 3(m) of the FLSA permits an employer to take a tip credit toward its minimum wage obligation for tipped employees equal to the difference between the required cash wage (which must be at least $2.13) and the federal minimum wage.”
Many people don’t know this, and think we are being paid the normal minimum wage and do not need tips to live. We really want to tell you that’s not the case and that, though it sucks, we do rely on tips to pay our own bills. Crazy.
We really like regulars. We like getting to know them (if we have a chance), getting to memorize their order and surprising them, and asking them about something they mentioned last time they were there.
Regulars typically know the best things to get, the best way to order, how long of a wait it will be, and realize how busy we are. We get to know the regular’s schedule such as what condiments they like to have on the table, how often they need refills, and exactly when they want their check.
We like regulars.