Comic by @monstersinthemerlot

Restaurant Guru

In April 2020, Eat by Max Trujillo2 Comments

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Dear Restaurant Guru,

What’s the deal with restaurant servers who insist on remembering my order instead of writing it down? To me, a server’s job is to make sure I get the food I ordered, not prove they can remember four or five meals for the table. I don’t know anyone who thinks their server is unprofessional for writing down an order. Not all of the time, but most of the time, the order isn’t right or isn’t complete or is mixed up when the server doesn’t write it down. Please, write it down and put our minds at ease.

Sincerely, OMG, Write It Down

Comic by @monstersinthemerlot

Dear OMG, Write It Down,

Did you know servers get paid big bonuses for every perfect order they send to the kitchen? Oh, you didn’t know that? That’s understandable, because it doesn’t exist! NOWHERE. Servers get paid, and tipped, for doing their job correctly. And a huge part of the job is getting the order right. 

Many times, as a patron, I see my server smugly smiling as they “remember” our order. In my head, I want to scream “Hey MegaMind, you’re not impressing anyone. All you can do is mess up our order by not writing it down. If the food comes out correctly, you’ve done your job. Anything less is a failure, so do us all a favor and put pen to paper.”

I was a server for about five years. It was a fun gig. Short hours, good money, great social scene and very little responsibility. I folded a few napkins, swept a little, cleaned the coffee machine and then boom … clocked out and headed to the local bar to spend my tips on cold beers with my crew.

But Server Bravado is real. So many of us will brag about how many plates we can carry at one time, or how many glasses we can hold (I’m fairly confident at holding 12 empty wine glasses in one hand … no big deal). But another point of pride is how many orders we can remember at a table. 

“Dude, I just took the order for that party of nine in my head. Drinks, appetizers and entrees, all up in my massive brain” is a sentiment commonly shared by some of our lovely service members. 

So, why? Why do we care? Especially in an industry where you actually get paid a bonus, in the form of a tip, by the customer. One would think it would be wise to ensure it’s perfect rather than impressive. Maybe it’s just pride. 

Therefore, the next time a server forgets to write it down and the order gets messed up, perhaps you forget to write down the tip on the receipt? Ooh, that might be harsh. But is it, really?

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  1. This article is offensive. I am surprised this was published by Raleigh Magazine.

    1. Author

      I apologize for the timing of the article, because I wrote it before the quarantine. But I do not apologize for lazy service. I did that job for years, and train people to do it now. So, why is it hard to ask someone to do their job properly? That said, I apologized for the timing in next month’s column. The last thing people need is to read is anything negative for the service industry. I’m in it with y’all.

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