There’s a fine art to serving tables. I know, I remember, – I was once a server myself. The better you are picking up on social cues, the more likely you will be to get a bigger tip.
For instance, never interrupt a really good conversation, give the cheque to the wrong person, or offer more drinks to someone who clearly doesn’t need another. You also have to time everything just right. Don’t take too long taking the table’s drink orders. Make sure people get their food on time.
….And don’t drop an expensive bottle of wine you are trying to unscrew, and then proceed to keep unscrewing it, saying nervously… “umm it still should be ok” (that one is mostly just about coordination – side note: true story. this happened once).
Lastly, the art form of a good server is the ability to put reading people, and timing together. This last one… it’s the hardest. Trying to judge when the table is ready to place their order is made more difficult by one person in every group.
“Are you ready to order?”
“I can come back… and give you some more time.”
“Oh nonono, you guys go ahead. I’ll go last.” (As if going last will help me at this point)
I’m told I have “menu issues.”
- There’s the “It’s My Favorite Restaurant” menu Issue (do I order what I ALWAYS get, which is ALWAYS great, or do I order something new and risk it?!).
- There’s the “New Restaurant” menu issue (how adventurous do I want to be; do I go with the special, with something recommended).
- There’s the “Restaurant With a Million Things on the Menu” issue (how can I possibly choose, it all looks so good.)
- There’s the “Having Dinner With a Bunch of Girls” menu issue (we were talking too much and I haven’t looked at the menu yet, do I get a salad? or can I have what I really want to have)
- There’s the I really want fries –and-a-big-fat-burger-but-I-just-had-that-last-night type of restaurant decision.
These are life changing decisions to make in such a short period of time.
So what usually ends up happening? I am the last at the table to order. And God forbid the person I’m with orders the dish which at the last second I have decided to get. We couldn’t possibly order the same thing!
(Repeat cycle. Return to Go. Do not collect $200.)
Insert: Awkward pause.
“Umm actually, you are going to have to come back in five minutes whilst I take another quick boo and the menu.”
Insert: Long sigh.
The one thing that’s good about me? I’m not a picky eater.