Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Regular guests are starting to ask questions...

Tonight I had a regular guest of our resturant pulled me aside and asked me a few questions. She asked me first why I couldn't wait on her tonight. She and her family have special dietary needs, and in general are very high maintenence to wait on (they are aware of this, and tell new servers so up front) because of their diet and because one of their children is special needs. I had to explain that in our new 3 table only system that when I have 3 tables, their only choice is to get a new waiter, or to wait until one of my tables comes open. That might be a few minutes, or might be an hour wait, and she wasn't willing to take chances with two hungry (and potentially noisy) children in tow. She also asked why there were so many new faces in our staff. I explained it was the result of the new system as well. It required we hire more staff, because we can only each take 3 tables at a time max and then they have to go on a wait up front. She commented on how stupid that is, and how that can't be good for us waiters. Since I'm not allowed to say anything about this moronic coporate policy (they've threatened our jobs if they hear us talking to customers about it) all I could do is nod my head. She could tell it's frustrating. I also explained that with the new system, many of our stronger servers have found other jobs more attractive lately, and have been moving onto other places. She complained for a while, and mentioned that as a Darden share holder she wasn't aware of this, and that she was disappointed in this. I apologized again for not being able to take care of her and her family, and I told her that I'd love to have her continue to request me, but that she might have to have some other waiters from time to time. It sucks for me, because though they are high maintenence, they are outstanding tippers. I remember once when they had a server one week when I was unable to take them (my shift started after they arrived, they came earlier than normal), that when they left, she gave me $5 and thanked me for the great service I give them, that they've come to expect. I used to wait on them at minimum once a week, and often more frequently, and now I likely will see them only a couple of times a month. I try to train each new server who gets them about their needs, but I'm not always there or available to do so.

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