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Beth Dugan’s Rant about Restaurant Service

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12 Things to keep in mind if you're a bartender or server

Beth Dugan, a regular contributor to and an excellent writer (author of The Responsible Serving of Alcoholic Beverages, among others) wrote an interesting piece yesterday in one of the forums on

I was in the biz – I waitressed and bartended, so here is my rules for servers. I know how it should be and if you want 20% out of me, then do it right.

  1. Don’t put a round table and a square table together. It is dumb. The person in the point has no place to put his meals. And don’t act to snotty when I put the round leaves down and point out that the crack hasn’t been cleaned since the dawn of time.
  2. I have a name. It is not “hon, dear, or hey you” as well. And if you are a female and you call my husband that, when I go to pay the check your tip will be substantially lower than 20%.
  3. Don’t lean down to take my order. You look stupid and the survey was flawed.
  4. You don’t want to lose your tips when people start dividing up the bill – then give us a sheet with the breakdown. If you have a POS it will take what, 2 seconds to do???
  5. The rule is oldest female to youngest female, oldest male to youngest male with Host (either sex) last. If you don;’t know your manners then perhaps you need to learn some.
  6. You can say “please”, “thank you” and “you’ re welcome” as well.
  7. Serve from the left, clear from the right. Every elbow in the face just earned you a $2 deduction.
  8. I ordered decaf. There is a reason why I drink it – especially at 7am. When you refill me with the caffinated stuff, I am going to hand it back. If you can’t remember your drink orders, what are you doing in a restaurant.
  9. I don’t need to see your t*ts, your a** or other body parts. They should be covered up. Bending low to get more money is a really dumb move when women control about 80% of the household money. Helloooooo
  10. Write my order down. I am tired of waiting until everyone else is finished for you to bring all of the things you missed.
  11. You are a commissioned sales person. 20% is a suggested level of compensation – it is not a given. If you can’t perform, then you will not make the money. And don’t whine at me. You did not deserve it.
  12. I will come in 5 minutes before closing and expect service. The same as if I came in 2 hours earlier.

How long does it take to make an employee schedule? It should take less than 5 minutes! Did you know that labor costs could be as much as 30% of your expenses? TimeForge can help streamline and minimize labor costs through effective employee scheduling at your restaurant, bar, or club.

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