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Monday, December 13, 2010

Dear Bitchy Waiter

Let us look into the Bitchy Waiter inbox and see who could benefit from the wisdom amassed from my 38 years of waiting tables.

Do you have an issue that The Bitchy Waiter can help you with? Job, personal, relationships? You name it. You can email me here . Or just email me to say hello. It makes me happy. Let's see what we find in the mailbag today:

Dear Bitchy Waiter,

I consider myself to be an ideal customer. I am polite, good tipper, not too picky. I have one pet peeve that will put a black cloud over my dining experience. I do not consider myself a slow eater but I absolutely hate it when I am enjoying the appetizer I ordered and then the salad comes 2 minutes later. Or if I am still eating my soup and the entree is brought out. Can they not see that I am obviously not ready for that food? I do get an attitude and I will ignore the new food on purpose and make sure they see me taking my time getting to it. I hesitate to send it back "until I'm ready" for fear I will piss them off. What is the best way to handle this situation?
Sign me,
Still eating

Dear Still Eating,

On behalf of all waiters please accept my heartfelt apology that they brought your food out too soon. Yes, that can be annoying I know. But the one thing that I find even more troubling in your letter is that you order an app and then follow it with a salad. Salad? After an app? I don't get it. Maybe a salad as an app or maybe a salad for an entree, but what kind of sick health nut are you that you require an app and a salad? Maybe it's my upbringing in Texas, but to me the salad is the thing that you have to eat as soon as possible so it is out of the way and you can then focus on the real food. Like mashed potatoes and chicken fried steak. But back to your problem. I think you should just say when you order that you want to make sure the first course is finished before the next one comes out. I don't imagine that any server is going to care that much and worst case scenario is that shit will sit under a heat lamp until you are ready for it. By accepting the food and then letting it sit there on your table as you take your time to get to it seems like it's only making things worse for yourself. Trust me. The waiter doesn't care if you are trying to prove a point by making sure he sees you ignoring the food. All he's thinking is, "Whatever. If you don't want it yet, just tell me to take it back to the kitchen and keep it warm." If you don't say anything, they aren't going to do anything. In the future, just order your app and entree and just tell them to not bring out the entree until you are ready for it. Or you could always hold off on your entree order until you are almost done with the app. That will work too.

Most importantly though, chill out on the salad. Eat some fried cheese sticks.

The Bitchy Waiter


Kalei's Best Friend said...

Now,don't take this wrong, but, why all the courses? I agree w/ BW.. a salad is a appetizer .. I do know a friend who use to order an app. as an ala carte item.. and didn't order the main entre... (cheapo). I could see ordering an appetizer if the entre was small, otherwise, move on...

Mrs. Hyde said...

I'm glad that you're answering these emails because I was just thinking that he/she should just suck it the hell up like the rest of us. Now that I know there is actually an alternative, I'll probably ask them to please hold the next course until I'm done, too. Thanks, BW. What the fuck would we do without you?

dirtydisher said...

Oh my gawd, that dude isn't eating the food I brought him! ~wringing hands~ I lose sleep! I'll kill myself.

Anonymous said...

OK. I know this is America, but while living abroad I got to experience a different approach to eating. A very modest appetizer was for stimulating the disgestive track and the taste buds, promising the body a festival of delicious things to come; things like buttered radishes or marinated olives and perhaps a bit of pate. Then a small cup of soup warmed the palate and was filling just enough so that smaller portions of the main dish were easily consumed without making one feel bloated. THEN a salad appeared, light and crispy to the taste with just enough sweetness in the dressing to prepare one for the dessert to follow. Again, portions were less than what the average restaurant presents in the US effort to justify high prices or prove good value through quantity. Now at home, the family never eats salad until after the main course. We always have an appetizer, though sometimes we omit the soup and/or the dessert. It's actually made our eating healthier and more enjoyable. Yes, call me self righteous.

Mary A. said...

Hey Anonomous!

You are Self Righteous.

And this isn't Europe.

Noelle said...

This seems normal App then soup or salad then entre. I think he eats slow. I think he should take his food when he gets it. Don't think the restaurant has bad timing.

aims said...

yeah, dude.... customer... quit being so damn anal.

and that is why i could never be a waitress. my answer to everything would be 'fuck off'

Christopher said...

So wait, let me get this straight... The waitstaff in this particular situation is not performing the job correctly, but all the comments are blaming the OP? I don't care if it's Europe or the US -- the waiter should keep an eye on his/her tables to sense when the diners are ready for the next course. Unless you're eating at a fucking Friday's, where nobody gives a shit about anything.

Candice said...

Hey "Still Eating", I'd sure hate to see what all of the other people at your table are doing while you take your sweet time nibbling away at your app and salad. Do they bring a book along with them? Or maybe they download movies and watch them on their phones? Or maybe you just go out to dinner alone. Hmmm...

bruce said...

dear still eating...

you overeating cow

stay the fuck home...that way you can determine when the next fucking course coems out and when you entree arrives...

that would be my answer, which is why i am in construction now and not FS anymore...

bruce johnson jadip
stupid stuff i see and hear
The guy book
the guy book

jaimegunn said...

Personally I think the server is doing you a favor by bringing out your food while it's hot. At least they are paying attention to that. Who's to say you're not the world's slowest eater... No one can predict that you are a the sloth of eaters. Frankly it's real annoying. And while you're sitting there eating... all day. You are costing the server. Eat. Tip well. Shut up. Get the fuck out.

Anonymous said...

At my job, I have to ring in the entree to get the salad. And with our computer system, that means the salad and entree fire at the same time. Half the time, the cooks forget to bring up the salad until the entree is in the window. If I try to remedy this by waiting to run the entree, I have three managers breathing down my neck, wanting to know what the friggin' deal is with the food just chilling under the heat lamps. As far as they are concerned, letting food sit in the window is a mortal sin. Losing situation all around for me. But I'd rather have a slightly annoyed customer who leaves 10% instead of the 14.5% they were intending than my managers riding my tail. Suck it up and eat your damn food already.

Anonymous said...

I have found that as a server/waiter it is a good policy to ring in the next course about 2 minutes after the guest has received their ordered dish.

Beverages -> ring in app
App received -> 2min wait, ring in Salad/Soup
Salad/Soup received -> 2min wait, ring in Entree
Offer Dessert -> Ring in Dessert
Dessert Received & Finished -> Offer Tea/Coffee/Espresso/etc, Ring in after dinner drinks.

I must admit, when I started serving here in the US I was astonished to find out that it was commonplace to have the salad before the entree, personally I would rather receive the salad after the entree as that is what I learned in the UK as a server.
I was also horrified to see the portion sizes here in the US, no wonder most people don't eat dessert, they are already full from the meal they just ate; and if they do have a dessert after having just scarfed down 3/4 courses before hand they are just pigs, literally 300lbs overweight, having probably dined on supersized macdonalds for the majority of their meager existence.

A guest should be able to eat at the pace they wish to dine.

Nevertheless BW, your posts enlighten me to an extra step I may well benefit from, hereby increasing my check average and my tip amount. This also makes my SA, FR and the Bar very happy as they receive more money in their standard tip out amount. It also makes the Manager happy as it means the company just received more money than they expected.

- Server In Arms

Anonymous said...

Hey Mary A.,
Bless your provincial little heart.I did acknowledge in my first sentence that customs here are different. I didn't even say that this was the way all people should eat all of the time, I just was pointing out that there are different ways of enjoying dinner and salad.

Trust me, I would never try to stop you from bellying up to the Old Country Food Buffet and snarfing up all of the grease you could cram into your polyester pant suit.

Waiting said...

My work doesn't have an area with heat lamps where your food can be stored for later consumption. If it's ready, the food runners will bring it. It's beyond the server's control when the next course comes out.

The only absolute guarantee to allow you to finish your first course is to not order your next course until you are almost finished with the first one OR to tell the server not to ring in the next course until later. Either way you have to accept the fact that there is a chance that your next course may arrive well after the first course is finished. Don't blame the server if this is the case.