Sunday, September 9, 2007

Waitressing... Not a job I could do!


My family and I had dinner at the local Red Robin a few days ago. As we arrived, there was a large group that was in the process of being seated. As we found out later, there was already a party seated.

With 4 and 3 year olds, we typically put in their order right away. It's always a pain trying to get them situated when all the food arrives together so we put in a request that their food arrive early. For a change, we decided to snag an order of appetizers to get us by until our dinners rolled out. After all, we were behind the two parties.

My husband ordered a milkshake which was completely melted by the time he got it. Not a good start, but it still tasted good. We weren't in a hurry. The table behind us left after their drinks - probably because the food was so slow. We started to consider that, too.

After a long wait, our waitress finally brought out the appetizer and kids' meal. But we weren't too concerned; the kids had food and were behaving...we just hoped our dinners were spaced with enough time for us to enjoy our appetizer. No sooner had we made that comment that our waitress showed up again. After explaining the kitchen chaos surrounding the two concurrent parties, she apologized and said she could have the dinners remade so we had time to finish the appetizer. We politely said "No, we don't want to wait a long time, just return the appetizer." She was totally frustrated and didn't take our situation very well. Knowing she has a tough job and that it wasn't her fault, I tried to reassure her that we were 'okay' but just didn't want the appetizer since it took forever to arrive. Not interested in compassion, she said she would take care of it.

We started eating and a manager showed up at our table. She said the waitress had requested she visit with us about the problems. The manager was very kind and removed the appetizer from our bill and offered to package it for us to take home and enjoy later (which we did). I reiterated that we were not disappointed with the service from our waitress, understanding that she had no control over it. We asked the manager to again relay our assurance that we thought the waitress was doing the best she could given the circumstances. The manager explained that our waitress strove for high quality and took it personally that we weren't completely satisfied. I wish all servers took such pride in their performance.

But I'm babbling along in this entry to send a shout-out to all waitresses - You have a tough job and I'm glad I'm not wearing your shoes!

2 comments:

  • Deb

    They do have a tough job but so many times I have heard the say " The kitchen is baked up"! This quote was even used on nights when the restaurant was no where close to full, and no big parties had come in. Sometimes they do need to take the blame for their slowness.

  • Stephanie

    We have only eaten at buffets and fast food places for quite some time now. Usually the waitresses at buffet places are still pretty busy. I always find myself sitting there thinking I could never do what they do, especially carrying the drinks and trays of food, at places where they carry trays of food. I've never been to a Red Robin. It sounds like you handled the situation wonderfully. Our worst experience with being waited on has been at Pizza Hut in Monmouth where we live. They hire a lot of high school and college kids who don't take pride in their job.

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