Thursday, May 31, 2007
In my many years of food service experience, I have had the opportunity to serve people with every malady and ailment imaginable it seems. Over these many years I have discovered a couple of things. First, blind people are generally very generous in their tips. Deaf people tend to far less generous. Perhaps it's because I have a nice voice and an ugly face, but I suspect it goes deeper than that. People with handicapped or developmentally disabled children are also generally above average in their generosity at the end of the meal. This is both those with younger children, as well as dependent adult children.
Over the years I've found that I prefer waiting on blind people over probably any other category of people (well, with the exception of low-maintenance-big-spending-even-bigger-tipping people). As servers, we can really impact the experience of some with vision impairment. When you take their order, take it just as you would anyone else. The direction of your voice, the volume, and inflection are very important during this transaction. Later, when you place things on the table you can and should inform the person where you are putting it. "Water glass at 2 o'clock 10 inches from the edge of the table." While you might find it funny giving a visual reference "2 o'clock" to a blind person, they always understand where it is. When you set food in front of the person, warn them that there is a section that is exceptionally hot - "Your Scampi is on the right side of the plate, and it just came out of the oven."
Most of all, remember to watch your vocal inflection. Blind people are incredibly perceptive to variances in your voice. They can tell if you are stressed or hurried or unhappy.
If the person has a helper animal (dog) you should ask them first before addressing or touching the dog. If you do touch the dog, remember to go wash your hands, all the other tables are watching you. This is especially important if you are waiting on both a blind person with a dog as well as a Muslim person.
I'm sure I could come up with a lot more, but I'll leave the rest for you to fill in down in the comments.
Related Tags: Red Lobster, Deaf, Blind, Feeble, hearing impaired, vision impaired, developmentally disabled, disability, handicap, retarded, special needs, Food Service, Restaurant, Server, Waiter, Waitress, Seafood, Scampi, Darden, GMRI, DRI, Customer Service