100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do

Here is a link to a New York Times Blog:



32. Never touch a customer. No excuses. Do not do it. Do not brush them, move them, wipe them or dust them.
I love the list and the comments have to be from the teeming millions.


I like this one:

  1. Never serve anything that looks creepy or runny or wrong.

I see nothing wrong with complimenting someone on their attire, if it strikes me.

I wonder what 51-100 will be?

  1. Serve the kids first. Get them crayons and crackers and keep them occupied.
  1. When taking everyone’s orders, make sure to write down every single order.

51a. When someone at the table complains that you didn’t comply with rule 51, don’t cover your ass with “Oh, it’s coming out in a minute.” When everyone else’s order took 25 minutes, that one unremarkable meal really shouldn’t take 50.

Don’t ask, “Have you been to [restaurant name] before?” and then launch into an explanation of how your restaurant is unique. Your restaurant is not unique unless you are going to get under the table and blow me. Then your restaurant is unique and I would like to hear more about it. After you’re done blowing me.

This happened at Carrabba’s the last time the whole side of my husband’s immediate family (13 of us) ate there. My BIL had already had two bad experiences with this restaurant, and the third time was the charm. Everyone else had already gotten their food and finished by the time his lasagna came out.* He was not pleased.

*Of course we waited until everyone was served. Once we realized my BIL’s food would be a bit late in coming out, he urged us all to start eating. Little did we know…

Happened to me twice, both when I was in a group of six. In one of those cases, I was the one whose meal was forgotten. Naturally, we had tickets to a play that night.

There was another time when two of us went into a place and ordered. We waited and waited and waited. After about 30 minutes, a guy came in, sat down, ordered, got his meal, ate, paid his check, and left. And we were still waiting. Was his order a lot simpler than mine? No. It was the exact same thing.

Seriously? Interrupt me. I’d much rather order for 30 seconds and be done with it than wind up a 20 minute conversation to realize we haven’t even seen our waiter yet.

I like #8:
Do not interrupt a conversation. For any reason. Especially not to recite specials. Wait for the right moment.

I have had WAY too many waiters recently interrupt my conversation to say “How is everything?” GRRRRRRRRR. DO NOT interrupt the conversation at the table just to ask how we are.

There’s got to be a happy medium. You could approach the table, and see if you can make eye contact with the speaker. If they break off their story with a look of “we’re ready to order”, there you go. If they look away and go back to their tale, then wander away and come back in a few. It’s not that hard.

I don’t understand this. Did you not ask the server? Did you not ask to speak to a manager? You just sat by and hoped someone noticed you?

I should add, my only issue with the list is the germophobic stuff. Never let the water pitcher touch the glass? Bwuh? If it’s not clean enough for that, then why the hell are you drinking the water that came out of it? Never touch the rim of the glass? I guess avoiding that is fine, but god, if the wait staff aren’t washing their hands, the rim of your drinking glass is the least of your problems.

Sure, the water pitcher is clean if it hasn’t touched anyone else’s glass before yours. What are the chances you’re the first person the waitstaff has done that to today?

It could be they don’t want it to pick up germs from one glass and spread them to someone else’s?

Repeatedly and assertively.

ETA: The place went out of business about a month later.

<< 23. If someone likes a wine, steam the label off the bottle and give it to the guest with the bill. It has the year, the vintner, the importer, etc. >>

Holy crap, really? I guess I can see this as an above-and-beyond thing, but as a habitual thing to be expected when someone says they liked the wine??

Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it, tdn?

Ivylad and I recently ate at an Italian non-chain restaurant. I was enjoying a decaf latte after the meal when he asked, “Are you wearing lipstick?”

I said no, whereupon he turned my latte cup around to show a lovely lipstick stain on the rim.

The server didn’t seem all that shook up about it, and while I did get a new cup of latte in a clean cup, he didn’t offer to comp it, nor did a manager come by to apologize. So while the meal was tasty, I doubt we’ll be back. If there’s lipstick on the rim of a coffee cup, what else isn’t coming clean?

I’m a little confused as to why the waitperson isn’t supposed to announce his or her name. Does that mean they shouldn’t introduce themselves to the table? That seems kind of awkward if a patron is attempting to get the waitstaff’s attention.

Then again, one of my biggest pet peeves is when the manager or someone else just shows up at your table to ask how everything is without introducing him or herself or at least telling the table how they’re affiliated with the restaurant. For all I know it could be the guy from a few tables over. Even if they’re not supposed to say their name, couldn’t they say, “Hi, I’m the manager to Craptacular Foods. Is the food to your liking?”

Their name doesn’t matter. If you speak to someone else on the restaurant’s staff about them, they’ll know who you’re talking about by what table you’re sitting at. If you see them, you get their attention by making eye contact or by saying “Excuse me”. You never have a need to use their name. If you care, ask, but introducing themselves is a folksy touch many of us could do without.

Yeah, didn’t see that one coming.

The sad thing is, the food was pretty decent.