Thursday, January 12, 2017

My first complaint.

So, I've been at this restaurant for about 8 months now. It's a corporate place with not the greatest clientele, so we have a lot of people trying to get stuff for free. The french fries weren't hot enough, the steak was overcooked, I didn't like my Super Pomegranate Bahama Mama, and I wasn't offered a dessert.

Whatever, deal with it, get it comped, make my money (if they decide to leave 10% on their comped-ass bill), and go home.

Lately, I've been killing it with upsells, signups for our rewards program, stuff like that. But it all seems nil when I get a complaint about myself specifically.

I was done for the day, just cleaning my section and rolling silverware. I see someone's food is up so I go to run a cup of soup to 37. The conversation that followed:
Blondie: "Chicken noodle?"
Cranky Man: "Yep... well where's the rest of it?"
Our soup is a standard size. It might look a little skimpy because of the dish it's served in, but I've never had a complaint before.
B: (thinking he was playing the Original Comedian role) "Yes, sir, that's our portion size! Enjoy!"

I turned and walked away, intending to find his server to send her over because I wasn't dealing with that. In my search, I walked near his table again and he yelled, "HEY! Is there a MANAGER available?"
I go back in the kitchen, explained what had transpired, and my manager went out to speak to him. Apparently, he had said something else and I 'ignored him', so he was going to take his business elsewhere. I told my manager if he did, I honest to God did not hear him and I would go out and apologize right now if he hadn't have left.

Now, in hindsight, I probably should have said, "I'm going to find your server and see if she can get you something else." But I really thought he was just being a smart-ass and the conversation was over. I mean, how petty can you get?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Weird day today.

We have an online scheduling system. You can send a message out to ask for shifts, you can release a shift to pick up, etc. I grabbed a shift today for server, but a glitch gave me the host shift. I showed up dressed for host when they expected me to serve. A whole lot of mess, other people called out, I ended up serving in the bar area which I've never done before.

The bar area is half/half bartender and a server. With the games today, everyone wanted to be there to be able to see the TVs. After the night server came in, I was helping the host with to-go's and seating while my tables finished up and I did my sidework.
A couple insisted on sitting at a certain table - bartender's section. I brought them over, and bartender scolded me, "You see this table has menus still and the bar is full, why are you seating me?"
I told him they wanted that table and I could ask someone else to take it. It just made me feel very small.

Today was good and bad.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Two contradicting stories.

I'll start with the bad news.
Last night, a coworker had a party of 15-ish. Normally she's all over it, she loves the big bills and hopefully big tip. But this table was horrible from jump, stopped every server that walked by to complain, etc. Poor R kept coming into the kitchen with recooks, saying she was going to scream or cry or both. Then, (of course) they're asking for a manager. I don't know what was said or decided, but they ran out on a $200 tab. R went back to the table, and all of their food was mostly eaten even after all the complaints, and they even left some of their kids' jackets in their rush to run. I don't think they called the cops, God knows why.

But, the good news. I always read this, and have now seen it happen.
One of our girls has gotten a second job - I don't know if she's leaving, or just doing both, but she'll be cutting her hours. A table of her regulars gave her a $1000 tip the other night. She came into the kitchen crying, and I don't blame her.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

I don't know what I'm doing.

My corporate place gave me a hell of a run-around when I decided I didn't want to be manager. So, I applied to a bunch of other places - I have to pay my bills, right?

I'm not officially on the schedule again, picking up shifts when I can, but I had an interview today at a place I think might be a better fit and they really want me.

But, funny story from tonight - a guy came in with a stolen credit card to pick up a to-go. When they run the card, it comes up as fraudulent so my manager calls the cops and stalls the guy. He waited for almost an hour before giving up and leaving, but police caught him in the lot. I'm not sure what happened after that, if they took him in or not. But honestly, you steal a card and come in for take-out? and you know the card is stolen and wait for that long?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Just kidding.

Management (or at least the training) was not for me. I don't know if it was the program or myself, but I was too overwhelmed and felt that I would be unhappy doing it. I have too much respect for the company and for myself than to work in a position I wouldn't be my best at. I didn't like the cooking and prep in the back of house, couldn't imagine getting the hang of all the paperwork and line checks that go into opening, and if I'm in the front of the house I want to be serving, not doing table visits and dealing with complaints. I felt disorganized and always in the way, asking stupid questions I should know the answers to.
I told them exactly that, and that I was flattered that I was picked to be moved up, and they were totally understanding that it was not for everyone. I'm kind of hanging in the balance right now, they said they would try to get me back on the serving schedule at my old store ASAP, but I'm not really sure what my options and next steps are.
I'm back on the job hunt, because serving at this location just wasn't quite paying the bills and I'd need a side piece. I kind of feel like a failure, but Boyfriend made me feel better, because he told me it takes a lot of courage to start something new, and even more to admit you don't want to.

Monday, October 17, 2016

I like to have knowledge about the menu.

But I haven't eaten everything on it! I don't eat meat, and I feel like a real heel when someone asks me how the ribs or a steak are. "oh, I don't know, I'm a vegetarian."

I usually stick with, "it's one of our most popular" or "I've never had any complaints!"
I try to be straight with my customers, and they usually appreciate the honesty. I tell them I've never had it myself.

I still think it's strange to ask, "is this good?" or something like that. You might like well-done steaks while your partner likes them rare, sometimes people put a lot of salt on their food and some people have dietary restrictions. I love pickles, my best friend hates them. How can you ask a blanket statement such as, "is this good?" and expect your server to know what your tastebuds enjoy?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Moving on Up

I've been promoted.

I know I love my customers, although I complain about them constantly.
They want me to be an Assistant Manager, which means after my training, I will not be serving anymore. I'm really nervous because it's going to be looong days and training out the ying-yang.
Oh, but the money will be so good. I can't wait to pay off all my debt.

I feel so good and so appreciated that they recommended me; and everyone agreed that I was a good choice. Good news is, I'll probably have better stories when I'm dealing with the complaints!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Okay, so the drama.

The other day, I'm minding my own business, and I hear/see a lady screaming in the front of the restaurant.
The story goes: she and her dining partner were blocked in by our delivery truck. The dining partner (coworker, husband?) ask the driver to move, and he does. He waits for 5-10 minutes and they don't return to move the car. So Driver moves back, he has to finish his delivery and go on to his others. 
The lady comes out and immediately tears into Driver. "All I did was go to the bathroom, WTF you  effing this and that," etc. So Driver tells her, "okay. You asked me to move, I did. Then you disappeared. I would have moved a second time, but you caught an attitude, so nah I'm gonna finish my job."

Lady comes back in to the restaurant, our assistant manager says he'll talk to Driver, who tells him the same story and, "I'm going to finish unloading, if you want me to move, call my boss." Since technically, we are not the boss of Driver, we only employ the delivery company.

So. While AM is doing that, our GM comes out to talk to her and she again immediately says, "this is fucking absurd, I have to get back to work, etc etc," just losing her mind. GM is trying to tell her they're working on a resolution and please stop yelling and cursing. She walks out and calls the police and the Department of Transportation, who both tell her she's insane and wasting their time. 

Finally, truck gets moved. But she's not done. She comes back in to tell my GM he's a POS who sucks at his job (and believe me, that's the cleaned up version). 

He follows her out and tells her: "Real fucking mature. I was trying to have a conversation with you and tell you we were fixing it - you screamed and cursed and walked out. Go fuck yourself, I hope you're late enough to lose your job."

Friday, September 9, 2016

My First Trainee!

I went to a coaching workshop last week set up by corporate for team members to learn how to effectively train new hosts/servers/bartenders in the "brand style." I got to meet people from other stores in the state, and spend 8 hours roleplaying and practicing the "compliment sandwich" - a compliment, constructive criticism, another compliment. It was actually pretty fun, but the hour and a half drive either way and sitting in a conference room all day left me absolutely beat.
So I have a few "homework assignments" before I'm an official trainer, such as teaching my GM how to do basic stuff to show I can be an effective coach, but they threw a trainee at me anyway and I feel really good about it. It was nice to be able to go through everything, tell her the things I felt I didn't learn in my training, just set her up for success! She told me yesterday she had to work with someone else on a day I was off, but she was so glad to be back with me because that's where she started and she felt most comfortable. Her validation is on Monday, wish us luck!

Later tonight or tomorrow, I'll write a post about how my GM cursed out a lady yesterday and it was the greatest day of my life.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

What I wish people understood about restaurants.

Just because there are empty tables, does not mean you don't have to wait.
I was reading some random restaurant reviews, like I do, and one was 1-star because, "we had to wait even though there were five empty booths."

We have specific sections, and servers have specific tables.
The table you "need" may be in a closed section. We would have to pull someone from their other customers to run over and take care of you. Which we will do, as soon as we can.
If you want the service you *expect* (and I think you're the type of person who needs 100% attention), you might have to wait ten minutes so you can be seated with a server who has the time and resources to give you the standard of service the restaurant, the server, and you, expect.