Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Guide to Modern Dining Etiquette part3 Dining Out Angry!

 Why do you go out to eat?  Well to satisfy your hunger is usually the primary goal.  When you go out to lunch, unless it's some special occasion you generally go for the food.  A quick or relaxing bite to eat, cooked by someone else.  Dinner on the other hand is a chosen experience.  Your not going just for the food.  You want the right experience and you think about it.  But if your angry when you go out you defeat the purpose almost entirely.

It saddens me to say that I encounter one of these diners on nearly every shift.  I understand things don't always go as planned, maybe it was the ride to the restaurant.  But as an employee I am required to check my problems at the door.  So should you as a patron, within reason of course.  But just because things are not lining up for you don't take it out on the staff of any type of establishment.  We have the same problems or worse, and we smile and nod and tell you corny jokes all day long.

Do your best to calm down before entering.  If you need to stay behind in the car and do so then by all means please do so.  That extra minute maybe the difference between you and a bad dining experience.
What if it happens at the table?  That is by far the worst problem.  If it was the staff that got you all fired up take a second to look at it as if you where the employee.  Are you expecting five star service from Denny's?  If so you set yourself up. 

The kids are driving you crazy.  Is that any reason to subject your server to unnecessary rudeness.  It's not the restaurants fault.  The staff did not raise your child.  I have a good personal example of this one...
I had just got to work and headed out to check my station, there where two tables already sat.  Not bad, just treat it as one table.  While I was gone putting in orders, getting drinks and starters for two tables I was sat a larger party of seven.  The kids at the table were rowdy and I nearly tripped over one of them as I rounded the corner with a full tray.  The parents witnessed the whole things so I know they had to see me putting the food and drinks down at the other two tables.  As I approached the table you could see it in dad's face.  He was upset and I was gonna get it.  The whole family was very gruff and just rude.  I went to get their salad, which required 14 sides of dressing.  Each of them wanted Ranch and Italian.  As I was gone they complained I was taking to long to my manager.  I did my best, every time I went to the table grumpy old dad needed something.  And most of it was untouched when he left.  What did I do to deserve that.  He started my shift off on the wrong foot and it made for one long night.

Another good example happened just this week to a fellow employee.  A couple comes in and they are obviously fighting.  Almost to the point of embarrassing themselves.  The gentleman is away and the lady is done with her meal.  Johny Doe asks if he may clear the plates and the lady says yes.  When the gentleman returns he gets really angry his last couple bites of soup are gone and he yells at the server.  The lady tries to stick up for him saying she gave him permission to take the plates.  "She's not me now is she!" he yells at the server.  The server offers more soup but he turns it down. 

"May I clear the rest of your dishes?" asks Johny Doe server.
"OH! Now your asking!" exclaimed the any diner.
What was the point?  The server asked from the start, he was just gone.  He was angry at his wife and took it out on poor Johny Doe.  The worst part is that he stiffed the server as well just a couple days before Christmas.
My point is do your best to deflect your anger.  If your presence at the establishment is the root of the problem, ask to have your food boxed to go and exit civilly.  I have seen plenty of parents drag their kids out the door.  This is the same concept.  You can't behave and have embarrassed everyone at your table.  You should see the looks I get from embarrassed family members.  There is no need to transfer your bad day to those who are working to try and make your day more enjoyable.
That's why you eat out right?  To have a good time with family.  Catch up with an old friend.  Celebrate some occasion with both friends and family.  To just get away and let someone else do the cooking and cleaning...
Oh yea! You where hungry too!

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.  Maybe you have a story you would like to share?  Please feel fee to do so!
Love Food, Live Life!

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  1. Reminds me of when I used wait tables. It's definitely an exercise in patience for the server, especially over the holidays. It was a lot of fun otherwise though! I started out in high school and bartended through college. Miss the old days. Although now I don't think I could stay up that late....start at 9 and get off at 4AM.

  2. I'm a firm believer that everyone should hold three jobs before they can have kids or even call themselves an adult.

    1. RETAIL
    2. an OFFICE job (bonus points for dealing with the public)
    3. a SERVER.

    Some people are just so cranky and miserable and rude and I know if they knew what it felt like to work these jobs they would be a little less awful and a little more understanding. right? don't you think? I dunno. people suck sometimes

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  3. Personally, going out to eat always makes me happy so even if I'm angry when I walk in, it quickly dissipates as soon as I receive a menu. But I agree, why go out if you're just going to be in a bad mood?

  4. I'm completely with you on this one--going out to dinner is a time for relaxation, celebration, and happiness! It's a shame when grumpy people take it out on anyone who is providing them with a service, whether it be a restaurant server, a cashier, or anyone else.

    Happy New Year!