Monday, October 26, 2009

Severs in training

I've trained a lot of people in my years. A ton at Red Lobster, but many in other places as well. I think I've been a trainer for five different companies by my count. So when I say this, I mean it.

If you are a new server in training, get your shit together.

I don't care about anything else, when you are with me, we are working. When you are with me, you are on my time and my dollar, because if you fuck it up at the table, that is my tip. I understand this is part of the learning process, so I am gracious, but there are limits. Get your shit together and learn the menu. Learn the table approach. Study the wine chart and give a few of them a try. We give it to you for free, take a taste. I know you have school work, or kids to take care of, or bong hits to keep track of, but let me let you in on a little secret - I.don' At all.

Come prepared. If I smell weed, I'm sending you packing. If you got booze on your breath, it's over. No, I'm not kidding. What you do with your time is your business, but get this - this isn't your time. I'm good at what I do, and I'm not ashamed of that fact. I've worked for many years honing my skills and knowledge, and I promise you that if you pay attention, if you put the time in, you can and will make very good money. If you learn the right way, not the easy way, you will make more money.

You will get out of this what you put into it. I understand you worked at Perkins for 74 years. I don't care. That's not how we do it. I don't care that you served at the mom & pop place on the lake in high school. You were an idiot then, and didn't learn a thing other then how to not drop food on the floor. We have a system here, and honestly, a surprisingly good system. I might not give Red Lobster a lot of credit, but they do deserve it for their server training, it is better than most others.

And when one of the other trainers says something, listen to them. We've all been at this a long time. You might not understand why you should do it that way, but believe me, in time you too will gain that wisdom. They aren't correcting you because they are bitches. We aren't busting your balls because we have nothing better to do. We all know if you don't learn this that A) you'll fuck it up at our tables in the future B) you'll piss off our regulars and C) you'll not last, which means we'll have to start this whole process over with some other clueless person, and all of this costs us money.

If you know what you are doing, I'll give you a long leash. But you have to earn that. Don't tell about how you served a bus of 45 strippers all by yourself and didn't make a single mistake. Serve this 4 top without a mistake. Trust is earned. If you deserve it, I'm happy to give it, as it is much easier for me when a trainee is competent. Heck, those training sessions are like a mini-vacation for us trainers actually. We get to show up, do only about half the work, and take in our normal tips. But unfortunately, and much to the surprise of most trainees, few of you ass-clowns are competent when you first walk in those double doors. So shut up, study up, and work hard, this'll be over sooner if you do.


Ash said...

At our location, the server training is piss poor, and the bar training is surprisingly even worse. We just had two people get tricked into bartending at our red lobster, and basically get tossed into the fire one night with only one prior night of training at the bar. They had, and still have NO clue what the drink recipes really are, and can't handle the bar workload, which is understandable because of the one day of training and unrealistic bartender workload. But they're just there because no one else wants to bartend.

I don't understand the criteria the managers use for hiring new waitstaff as well. I've had friends that worked in high volume restaurants get passed over for people with absolutely no experience, work ethic, or even common sense. After this, the host staff we have that eagerly want to be promoted to server see this and quit right away, which just makes us hire even more incompetent host staff and start the cycle over.

Anonymous said...

RL Server, can you tell me more about the managers working with spouses policy Darden has. Specifically, why it is not allowed.

Lobster Boy said...

I think it is a pretty simple and straight forward concern for conflict of interest in a manager overseeing a spouse. This is pretty standard in many industries, not just at Red Lobster. There are few corporate environments where you are allowed to be directly over any family member (not just a spouse).

The obvious fears are benefitial treatment and the difficulty of being impartial for thing like reviews quickly come to mind. I've worked with a handful of managers who have married other staff members over the years, and ALWAYS one of the two have to switch jobs.

America said...

At my Red Lobster the managers higher people who are exciting, outgoing, and will be able to entertain the guests while having a work-load. I give my GM a lot of credit for being able to pick out the good apples on who to hire. I live in a college town, so it might be different for me. Pretty much all the servers are college kids.

Wizard Prang said...

I think you meant "hire" :)

cara said...

At my R.L., we have a full time pro (35 years old) dating a HOST. She just turned 18. EVERYONE knows. And no one cares. I wouldn't care either, except when I go and see why the incompetent hosts arent seating me, He freaks out because he doesn't like how I am speaking to 'his hosts' I.e. his little girlfriend. Our G.M. cannot handle confrontation, and therefore does not acknowledge the issue. Its been 6 months, and I doubt anything will change.