It was a busy night, to say the least.
The kind of night that you run around, taking notes as best as you can, but you fear when you finally get home, you’ll remember how you forgot to bring table 22 their extra sauce.
But the rush was only the beginning of my problems that evening.
I was a server in a beautiful, quite fancy restaurant for the summer. While expensive and ‘higher class’, this was still a small town in the midwest.
So, I wasn’t expecting the extra-fancy diner.
He had been waiting for a waitress to come for a few minutes who had forgotten him. I took over for the other girl and grabbed the table.
I didn’t expect the customer to be so upset as the time elapsed hadn’t warranted such a reaction. His face was turning red and he was pointing fingers.
And I felt terrible. While it was a small town, we prided ourselves on great service. To exceed expectations.
And he exceeded mine — with how rude he was. With how he belittled me when I had only been there to help.
I’ve never forgotten him.
But not in a good way.
You Need Your Waitress to Like You
You may wonder why this matters? Who cares if the person taking care of you likes you.
You don’t need to be likable. THEY do.
And yes, you’re right.
However, have you ever seen the movie ‘Waiting’ with Ryan Renolds?
Go ahead, check it out (though warning, this is not a movie for children). While I personally have never seen behavior like that movie in a restaurant, those jokes do hold truth.
Waitresses/and waiters are human, too. And if you’re likable, there's a higher chance you’ll get better service — even if subconsciously. After all, service can make or break your night out.
Or, perhaps, you find him or her pretty?
In that case, here’s how you can make an impression, without writing your number on the check (or in ketchup as I once had a guy do).
The Easy Tricks be Likable to Your Waitress
With a New Vaccine coming and COVID-19 (hopefully) on the way out, restaurants should start opening again.
As such, you might want to brush up on what makes you likable when dining out.
1. DON'T Stay Silent
Imagine it’s the morning. You’re a server and you’ve been up well before the sun rose over the trees.
- You’re tired.
- You haven’t had your coffee yet.
- And you’re expected to smile.
You walk up to the first group (because of course, it’s a big table), and say as bright as orange juice, “Good morning. How are you today?"
Maybe you even feel a bit of pride at your perfect level of cheeriness.
But no one answers you. Not a single person.
It makes you feel like inhuman and rather the walking zombie-like your table is.
Or worse yet, they answer with a drone of one word, “coffee”.
I know you’re tired in the morning, too. We all have our own personalities which may not include an AM frequency. But this happens in the evening dinners as well. Too fancy, or proud to talk to the help?
Or too shy?
Either way, if you give your server a hello or nod, you’ll be instantly more likable.
2. DON'T Leave Your Stuff Everywhere
I walked up to a table and asked how they were. At least one person politely responded but as I shifted, my foot hit something.
A purse. And it fell over.
I felt ashamed and may have turned red-faced as you don’t ever want to touch a customer's personal things — as much as possible. Especially a purse.
She apologized and there were no hard feelings. They were very pleasant people but all I can remember about that day was the purse incident. They became memorable.
But not in the way they intended.
If you want a server to have a stronger liking to you, move your things to the side. This doesn’t just mean purses.
It could be:
And more. But especially keep them from the floor. It’s a safety hazard as well--unless you want your food or drink all over your clothes.
3. DON'T Call for Your Server When They’re at Another Table (or Touch Them)
This one. This is the topic that you definitely don’t want to do. I haven’t served in a few years but when I think of this, my heart starts pumping.
Don’t call your server over to you from across the room. I know, what you need is very important; I agree with you. But it is not polite.
We’re human, not dogs.
I can still hear and see in my mind's eye the raise of a hand and the screech of,” Miss,” or, “Maam,” with the drawn-out ‘a’.
Sometimes you get the clicking of fingers and the call. Or just the wave-down.
But worse yet, is there were times when I was at a table, speaking, getting their orders and someone--a gentleman this time--came up to me interrupted and touched my arm to request something.
- When I was at a table, those clients were my world. They had my undivided attention.
- You don’t touch a server. Though you know their name, they don't know yours: you're a stranger and your touch gives them chills.
If you need your server, you can simply catch their eye, or wait until they come to the table. If you really need help, ask someone nearby.
It just might save some scowls in the back of the house.
Or worse,— and I NEVER did this — but it might save your dinner from some nasty things.
Nice Is Noticeable. Beautiful.
You can always tell when customers you’re serving were or are servers themselves. They clear their own plates, stack them, and have more patients than most.
But, while servers don’t expect that from everyone/anyone, it’s charming. Kind customers are kind people.
They say, how you treat those who help you shows who you really are.
Servers can tell what kind of person you are in those 60 minutes. They see you through the stress of a new date, a drink after a hard day, and the first time you bring your kids out to eat.
And they get it.
They know you’re human, too. They’ll do their best not to judge you, and ask you to do the same. Everyone has their own story and troubles that none of us can know — as a COVID-19 world has shown again.
But if you remember to be polite and respond, avoid putting things in the path of a waitress, and don’t call him or her over like a pet, you’ll immediately be more likable. More handsome.
And maybe get better service.
It’s empathy. Do this and they'll do their best to remember one thing about you, too.
The customer is always right.