Thursday, September 29, 2011

my name is not martini

If you've ever served tables in your life you have probably experienced this strange phenomenon.  Guests who feel that their wait staff are more servants than service professionals, not even worthy of a hello!

I like to lead off my service with a greeting.

"Hello, how is everyone today?"
"Hi there!"
"Hello, my name is Chew, how are you enjoying your day so far?"
"Good evening, nice to see you again!"

Most often the response is a pleasant conversational greeting, often followed by brief small talk then leading into a request/offer for a beverage.

However, it seems that some people leave their common courtesy at the door and ignore my pleasantries.  They skip the hello altogether and go straight for a demand of service.

Me: with a smile "Hello!"
Guest: sternly "Get me a martini, gin, rocks, olives."
Me: standing agape "I'm doing quite well actually thanks for asking!"

The tone is what makes the difference really, and it is hard to express it properly through text.  I could forgive the desperation of someone in need of a stiff drink - perhaps they just saw Grapes of Wrath - but being outright rude for the sake of it is unacceptable.

We, your servers, are not robots and how you treat us makes a difference to the overall enjoyment of your meal.  Try a smile, a quick hello, and if you need information/cocktails that urgently, at least try to be considerate while inquiring.


And Thank you!


  1. Ohhhh AMEN!!! Or what about those that don't even look up when you approach the table?? Ugh ... sometimes people just such.

  2. I hear ya! How are Chew anyway?! See it's fun!

  3. Agreed that basic pleasantries are a prerequisite on both sides of the table - makes life flow much nicer.

    However there is the over-enthusiastic server that feels the need to engage in extended conversation. I know some people find this engaging - I don't. If I am out with my spouse/friend, I am happy to be there with them and don't want to engage a third party. I have experienced one server in town that is darn hard to get rid of.

    This suggests an interesting topic in the other direction - very friendly responses/getting hit on. I am sure your stories would be interesting.

  4. My personal favorite is " hi! How are you two doing today?" and they answer " what's the soup?" or " do you have any specials?"

  5. Anonymous 2:22 hit a chord with me!
    There is a server in town...I've seen her in a few locations...the first time she served us, I knew her boyfriend's name, his job description, her sister's name, when her baby was due, what sex it was, it's name, and about half of her life history.
    And all I had asked was, "how are you?".