Saturday, July 21, 2007
Phil's Server Tip Of The Day.
Be honest about your mistakes.
I had a bad night last night.
I've talked about this before, but I'll do it again for the sake of this line of posts.
I was, as it's known in the restaurant community, 'weeded.' A server gets 'weeded' for all kinds of different reasons. The kitchen is 'weeded', causing you to become 'weeded.' Or, your tables just happen to be particular about their orders requiring extra steps to complete. Most of the time you have been given more tables at once than you can competently handle. When this happens, you have been 'slammed' with tables, and 'weeding' occurs. 'Slammed' and 'weeded' are often interchangeable terms.
Last night I got 'slammed' and 'weeded.' Not as fun as it might sound.
I made a number of mistakes I don't normally make. I delivered a beer that a woman had not ordered. I tried to drop off a crab stuffed shrimp appetizer to that same table when they had not ordered it, plus it took me another wrong table before I found the right table. The one I feel worst about was a group of nice regulars came in with a six-year-old and I forgot the straw they had asked for for him. He had a mohawk and was very well behaved. I also took an order for apple pie from them, discovered we were out, and had to go back and disappoint them.
Everyone has a bad day and mine was last night.
When this happens, I find the best way to deal with it is being upfront. Apologize, admit your mistake, correct it, thank them for their patience and work to make it up to them.
You don't want to be presumptuous and give the impression that mistakes are acceptable, but most people have been where you are.
If you have otherwise been polite and thorough, most customers will give you the benefit of the doubt. They understand and want to feel that you are aware, contrite and working on the problem.