How Do You Treat Your Server When Eating Out?

One of my most favorite things to do is to go out to eat.  There is something about not having to cook for myself or anyone else, not having to serve it and clean up after it simply puts me in a wonderful place.  Often my husband and I will revisit the same restaurants, particularly, if we have made a connection with one of our Servers.  If we are going to spend our money with anyone, we will do it with someone we like!

I am so appreciative of the world of Servers, cause it’s a job that I could never see myself doing.  I think it’s hard, and oftentimes, not so gratifying.  However, I recently had a conversation with our favorite Server, Lindsay, from Chili’s. I asked her what she liked about serving, and what could we do, as patrons, to help make work go a little easier for her.  She reached out to some of her Server friends and here’s why they love doing what they do:

  • They all told me that they love meeting new people and becoming more like family!  Our friend, Lindsay, is definitely like family.  When my daughter turned 21, we went to celebrate with Lindsay for dinner because of our relationship with her!
  • Interacting with all sorts of people.  Learning different languages and talking with people and learning new things.
  • The money is really good (especially when the Server is good at her job).  They don’t have to wait two weeks for a paycheck.
  • Trying all the new foods.
  • Flexible schedules.
  • And my favorite – the opportunity to make someone’s day!  🙂

Each one of the Servers that responded, genuinely seemed to love what they do for a living.

Personally, I think it requires a very special person to serve people for a living.  I admire those that do and I try to make it as pleasant an experience for them as they are trying to make it for me.

Here are some things to keep in mind the next time we sit down at a table and ask to be served.

  • Be polite!  Please and Thank You are not just for kids, ya know.  They go a long way for someone who may have been on their feet for the last six hours.  But even if they have just clocked in, it can set the tone for their whole shift.  And as a side note – learn your server’s name, and use it.  They are people who deserve the dignity of having their names used.
  • When Servers are good – the money is good.  If they have done a good job, it is real nice to tell them, but it’s even nicer when you show them by tipping well.  I am so appreciative of a good server that I am going to make it worth their while to have served me!  Compliments don’t pay the bills!
  • Call ahead if you know there is a going to be a large party with you.  Restaurants typically send staff home on slow evenings.  It becomes a hardship to have a party of 20 come in after half of the cooks and servers have been sent home.  This will ensure your experience to be more pleasant if the restaurant is prepared for your party.
  • If you have a special request for your meal – extra sour cream/butter – let your server know when you place your order.  Your table is only one of many in their station and they can better serve you if they have everything sent out at once.  You might have to wait more than a few minutes to get your extra pickles because Tables 2, 3 and 4, need their drinks.
  • And this brings me to my last helpful hint.  Please be patient!  A server works several tables at once.  But all of the people at all of the tables are #1 priority for them.  Your Servers are doing all they can to make you feel like the Number 1.  Please keep this in mind and know that they will return to your table as quickly as they possibly can.  Compassion goes a long way!

Occasionally, you will get a poor server.  This is unfortunate.  Please remember that we are all dealing with something.  Perhaps it’s just a particularly bad day for them.  I think if we can all be quicker to show compassion rather than impatience, then the world would be a better place.

So let’s go out there and make the world a better place!  And remember to tip your Server’s well!  🙂

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