Serving at a restaurant

12 Interactions Servers HATE As Much As Being Asked If They're Single By Their Customers

Chances are, I'm not actually interested in anything you have to say. What would you like to drink?

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I've worked in a restaurant for about 4 years now, mostly during the summers, but occasionally I will go home on the weekends to pick up a few shifts or see the staff. Working in a restaurant has taught me that I love working with the public, but I also hate working with the public.

You learn patience and you learn to let things go because in the midst of having an 8 top, being double sat, arguing with the kitchen over grill chicken for a salad, and having a customer upset because you forgot to bring them their third side of ranch, something is bound to go wrong.

Chances are unless you've worked in a restaurant before, most of them won't make any sense to you, but here are a few things that servers hate when you ask or talk about and how we actually react versus what we wish we could say.

1. Which is colder? Bottle or draft?

Drunk Beer GIF by Bayerischer Rundfunk - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy

What I say: "They are actually in the same cooler, so our bottles and drafts are about the same temperature. It's really whichever you prefer."

What I want to say: "I hate when people like you ask this. Honestly, dude, it's hot outside and it's a pretty day and I want a cold beer just as bad as you do. I promise I'm going to bring you the coldest beer I can find. So, bottle or draft?"

2. I want the appetizer to come out before the meal.

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What I say: "Of course. I'll put it in before your order and do everything I can to get it out as soon as possible!"

What I want to say: "Don't we all, but considering you ordered you an appetizer and your meal at the same time and the kitchen is swamped, good luck with that. I'll be sure to bring you appetizer plates and napkins in a few minutes to make you think it will be out soon."

3. What's your favorite thing on the menu?

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What I say: "Oh grilled shrimp for sure and our mac and cheese is amazing, but our sandwiches are good as well! There's not really much you can go wrong with on our menu."

What I want to say: "Honestly, I eat this food all the time and I'm probably going to beg the kitchen to cook me anything that's NOT on this menu as soon as my tables leaves so I'm just going to recommend one of the most expensive items and probably eat chicken tenders when I get off because I have the taste buds on an 8 year old."

4. Can I get a cup of soup? Actually, make it a bowl! I'm really hungry!

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What I say: "Absolutely, our soup is homemade and it really good. You'll definitely be glad you got that bowl."

What I want to say: "Did you know that a cup and a bowl literally hold the same amount of soup but you're paying a dollar more? HAHAHAHA. More tip for me. Thank you, next."

5. Oh, we are going to need lots of ranch. We love ranch. Your ranch is the best. RANCH.

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What I say: "Oh, I'm the same way. I love our ranch and I'll be sure to bring a few out before your meal."

What I want to say: "Did you know our ranch is literally made in 5-gallon buckets and I have no problem being a sarcastic ass and sitting the entire bucket on your table if your talk about our ranch one more time. Or maybe I'll be really mean and accidentally 'forget' to bring you some."

6. I know the owners.  Are they here?

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What I say: "Oh yeah. They are good people! They aren't here right now but I saw them earlier, I'll be sure to mention that you asked about them!"

What I want to say: "Really? Me too. No, they aren't here because they don't really work here, they basically just make money off of people like you and me. Oh, and when I say they were here earlier, they were really just having a beer, not actually working."

7. Your eyelashes are so long! 

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Maybe this one is a little specific to me but I hear it way more than you would think.

What I say: "Awww, thank you so much" *batts eyes*

What I want to say: "Wow, I'm surprised you noticed through the sweat dripping off my brow. I feel forced to do my makeup for every shift because the tips are better when I look cute."

8. Oh honey, you are so pretty.  Do you have a boyfriend?

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What I say: Well thank you and no, I'm single. What can I start you guys with to drink?"

What I want to say: "Thanks a milly but I'm just trying to take your order so I can go stand in the walk-in because it's so hot and no, I do not want you to hook me up with your 30-year-old son who probably lives in your basement. What. Do. You. Want. To. Drink?"

9. What time do you get off?

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What I say: "We normally stop seating at 10 but the bars are open until 2 so I'll be here a little while."

What I want to say: "Are you asking because you want to wait until the last minute to order food or because you want to buy me a drink after because my answers are going to be very different depending but honestly I just want you to get up from my table."

10. Your accent! Where are you from?

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What I say: "I'm actually from here. I grew up about 30 minutes from here."

What I want to say: "I know I sound like a hick but I'm actually from here, you Yank. Maybe I can use my southern belle accent to charm you into leaving me a better tip."

11. You're really tall and you've got some nice legs.

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This one's also pretty specific to me.

What I say: "Haha, yeah", I say awkwardly as I squeeze out a smile.

What I want to say: "Thanks for commenting on my body. Yes, I played basketball. Yes, I lift weights. Yes, my thighs are thick, you should see how chaffed they are from running around this restaurant and waiting on pigs like you. Thank you for making this awkward."

12. Honey, can you wipe this table off for us?

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What I say: "Absolutely, give me just one second to drop this check off and I'll be back to wipe it down."

What I want to say: "Or better yet, you can just sit there in filth for a few minutes since you walked passed the 4 signs that say, "please wait to be seated" and the host herself to seat yourself and I'm not even your server. If you think that table is dirty, you should see the kitchen floor after a Saturday dinner shift. You can wait. And don't you dare ask me for menus and silver wear."

Honestly, servers are some of the sassiest people you will ever meet. They have to deal with rude customers and even worse, they have to deal with co-workers that have to deal with rude customers.

Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy being a server, it's probably my favorite job ever, but it can be quite the headache sometimes. Occasionally you will meet a customer that is genuinely interested in you but more than likely they are just wasting your time to try and make conversation in hopes to get on your good side or to try and get something for free.

I promise that I will do the very best I can to serve you and give you a pleasant dining experience. I will assure you that as long as you cooperate with me, I will cooperate with you.

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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ANMLY Cafe Is Bellingham, WA's New Starbucks But Better

Looking for a sustainable cafe for your next brunch? Check out ANMLY Cafe in downtown Bellingham!

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Bellingham, WA is the place to go for window shopping and waterfront views. The downtown area is not lacking in cute shops and local businesses, but one of its latest additions is my favorite by far!

It's called ANMLY Cafe — a play on the word anomaly, or "something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected." The name is fitting, as I've never seen a cafe quite like it! The founders have made strides towards being a zero-waste business. They've ditched single-use items, selling to-go drinks in reusable glass jars, take-out orders in reusable boxes, and even offering real pieces of straw for straws! The cafe is also part of a food recovery program, which reduces food waste and distributes food to people in need.

And now for the reviews! The storefront is well decorated and totally photo-worthy, so it's the perfect place to capture that #foodselfie for your Instagram story. (Just don't forget to tag @anmlycafe!) The space is small, but you can't deny that it's a homey, inviting space for brunch. The menu isn't extensive, but it's totally unique and chock-full of delicious, global foods and beverages.

The food comes out quickly, looking just like a dish at a five-star restaurant. And it tastes amazing! There are plenty of options for bowls and burritos, and lots of add-ons to make the experience a personal one. Plus, the menu changes and evolves frequently, so there's a solid excuse for a weekly visit! ANMLY has great coffee, cold drinks, teas, and smoothies to grab and go, and the best part is that they're served in adorable reusable jars.

"I think that our approach to business and our approach to food and our approach to sustainability are different from what other people are doing," says the owner, Emile Diffley, in the ANMLY Vimeo. And it's true! The genuine concern for environmental practices and the modern, welcoming atmosphere places this cafe above the rest. You can't find a healthy meal in a sustainable cafe just anywhere, but Bellingham is lucky to have its own! Visit ANMLY or seek out businesses practicing sustainability in your area. Chances are they'll become your new favorite spots!

ANMLY is open Tuesday through Friday from 8-3 and Saturday from 9-2. For more information, check out the website.

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