Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Repost From Judi Santana of Readers Digest

15 Secrets Your Waiter Will Never Tell You

What would two dozen servers from across the country tell you if
they could get away with it? Well, for starters, when to go out, what
not to order, what really happens behind the kitchen’s swinging
doors, and what they think of you and your tips. Here, from a group
that clears a median $8.01 an hour in wages and tips, a few
revelations that aren’t on any menu.

What you should know on Valentine's Day
1. Make reservations early. Restaurants usually don't have an abundance of tables for two. We need to time to plan where to put everyone. You'll get a better table and we'll be prepared.

2. Don't propose. It's so cliché. But if you do, warn us first. We'll put you in the corner. Nothing's worse than a crying woman in the center of the restaurant. Trust me.

3. Since Valentine's Day is on a Monday this year, go out on Friday or Saturday. Most restaurants will also serve their special Valentine's Day menu on those days. Or go out for brunch! Then you can sleep the rest of the day.
Waiters at Bernard's in Ridgefield, CT

PLUS: More Secrets Your Waiter Will Never Tell You

What we lie about
4. We’re not allowed to tell our customers we don’t like a dish. So if you ask your server how something is and she says, “It’s one of our most popular dishes,” chances are she doesn’t like it.
—Waitress at a well-known pizza chain

PLUS: 13 Things Your Florist Won't Tell You

5. If someone orders a frozen drink that’s annoying to make, I’ll say, “Oh, we’re out. Sorry!” when really I just don’t want to make it. But if you order water instead of another drink, suddenly we do have what you originally wanted because I don’t want to lose your drink on the bill.
—Waitress at a casual Mexican restaurant in Manhattan

What you don’t want to know
6. When I was at one bakery restaurant, they used to make this really yummy peach cobbler in a big tray. A lot of times, servers don’t have time to eat. So we all kept a fork in our aprons, and as we cruised through the kitchen, we’d stick our fork in the cobbler and take a bite. We’d use the same fork each time.
—Kathy Kniss

7. If you make a big fuss about sending your soup back because it’s not hot enough, we like to take your spoon and run it under really hot water, so when you put the hot spoon in your mouth, you’re going to get the impression — often the very painful impression — that your soup is indeed hot.

8. We put sugar in our kids' meals so kids will like them more. Seriously. We even put extra sugar in the dough for the kids' pizzas.
-Waitress at a well-known pizza chain

PLUS: 25 Tips to Order Healthy Choices at Any Restaurant

What drives us crazy
9. Oh, you needed more water so badly, you had to snap or tap or whistle? I’ll be right back … in ten minutes.
—Charity Ohlund

10. The single greatest way to get your waiter to hate you? Ask for hot tea. For some reason, an industry that’s managed to streamline everything else hasn’t been able to streamline that. You've got to get a pot, boil the water, get the lemons, get the honey, bring a cup and spoon. It’s a lot of work for little reward.
-Christopher Fehlinger, maître d’ at a popular New York City restaurant

PLUS: More Valentine's Day Waiter Secrets

What we want you to know
11. Sometimes, if you’ve been especially nice to me, I’ll tell the bartender, “Give me a frozen margarita, and don’t put it in.” That totally gyps the company, but it helps me because you’ll give it back to me in tips, and the management won’t know the difference.
—Waitress at a casual Mexican restaurant in Manhattan

12. If you’re having a disagreement over dinner and all of a sudden other servers come by to refill your water or clear your plates, or you notice a server slowly refilling the salt and pepper shakers at the table next to yours, assume that we’re listening.
—Charity Ohlund

15 Foods You Should Never Buy Again

How to be a good customer
13. Use your waiter’s name. When I say, “Hi, my name is JR, and I’ll be taking care of you,” it’s great when you say, “Hi, JR. How are you doing tonight?” Then, the next time you go in, ask for that waiter. He may not remember you, but if you requested him, he’s going to give you really special service.
—JR, waiter at a fine-dining restaurant and author of the blog

14. Trust your waitress. Say something like “Hey, it’s our first time in. We want you to create an experience for us. Here’s our budget.” Your server will go crazy for you.
— Charity Ohlund

PLUS: 10 Foods You Shouldn't Order on a Date

What you need to know about tipping
15. If you walk out with the slip you wrote the tip on and leave behind the blank one, the server gets nothing. It happens all the time, especially with people who’ve had a few bottles of wine.
—Judi Santana

Reposted From Judi Santana of Readers Digest

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