Don’t let a Crabby Waiter Ruin your Meal

In the restaurant business, waiters are at the bottom of the food chain. Management is quick to complain about a waiter’s slow service or a mistake on the bill and patrons complain about the same things too. Often waiters are blamed for problems that are not their fault. 

Slow service can occur when the kitchen is slammed and there are not enough chefs to get the food out in a timely manner. Bartenders who are backed up must fulfill existing orders before new ones and sometimes that means a wait longer than the patron likes which he then blames on the waiter.

The food service industry can be grueling and maddening, especially when someone skips on a bill or is loud and obnoxious about voicing a complaint. No wonder why we encounter waiters with attitudes or waiters who are darn right rude.  Still, waiters know that their job entails working with the public and they should not be allowed to neglect, bully, intimidate or holler at a person who’s paying for a meal.

Tips for dealing with surly waiters:

First thing to do is get your waiter’s name. People can’t help responding to their name and even if he’s trying to ignore you, he’ll look up when you call Greg. If you have his name you can address him in a polite manner like, “Greg, when you get a chance we would like another round of drinks.”  Just by using his name he’ll feel a connection with you and you’ll get better service. If you don’t get the service you want or are treated poorly, you’ll know the name of the person who was rude to you.

Commiserate with your waiter. If you show some empathy it can turn a rude waiter into a wonderful waiter.  “I see you have more tables than any one person can handle. We would like to put in our order now because we know you’re so busy.”  Acknowledging how overworked the waiter is often puts your order on the top of his to do list.

Be extra patient and remember you are out to eat and that in itself is a treat.  If you show patience it will put your waiter in a better mood and your service will vastly improve.

Complain to the management, as a last resort, if none of the above attempts at making your dining experience works. Some days you will come across a waiter who’s planning on quitting or doesn’t care if he gets fired.  This type of person will not be affected by any attempts you make to turn a bad situation into a good one.  In this case you need to get reimbursed for your rude treatment, wrong meals, cold food or whatever has turned your dining experience into an unpleasant memory.  Complaining is the right thing to do so that management knows they employ a waiter who is chasing business away.

Also, your waiter is a server but not a servant.  Good manners and a smile will help you communicate to your waiter you appreciate his service.