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Incompetent Waitress Closes Down Restaurant (Apparently)

Just a bit of the harsh critique that ownership left for its former servers and kitchen staff.

Yelp is usually a place for restaurant diners to vent about bad service and food — and occasionally for restaurants to start ill-advised social media wars with those who complain. But it’s rarely the place for a restaurant to publicly point the finger at its own employees.

And yet, as points out, that’s exactly what a now-closed Chinese restaurant in the L.A. area did earlier this week.

A note posted on Feb. 24 by an account claiming to represent the restaurant thanks customers who patronized the eatery for nearly 20 years and even extends gratitude to Yelpers who gave the restaurant bad reviews due to “incompetent” servers who ignored customers.

The major portion of blame for the closing goes to the location, which the owners say was getting too expensive.

Then it rips into waitresses, some of whom had been there upwards of 26 years, but whose substandard work ethic was “hurting our restaurant” and that many of them didn’t realize their “poor service or behavior” was damaging the establishment’s reputation.

Then there’s the kitchen, which is to blame for the “food quality also going southward” and no longer being up to the restaurant’s previous standards.

The owners say they are looking to open a new location with a “polite” staff and “higher quality of chefs.”


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9 Rules Your Restaurant Server Wishes You’d Follow

I’ve worked as a restaurant hostess for a while now, at several different restaurants, across the whole spectrum of fanciness. But regardless of the size of the restaurant, or how nice it seems, trust me when I say that the people behind the podium all want the same thing: For their night to run smoothly. Being a hostess means juggling a million different tasks every night. There’s no bigger headache than an over or under-booked restaurant, and a hostess is essential to making sure waiters aren’t tripping over customers or stalling dead in the water — even if it looks to you like we’re just standing at that little podium staring intensely at our computer.

Going out to a restaurant isn’t like grabbing fast-food. The rules are very different. I can try really hard to get you the perfect table, but I can’t magically make customers who are already there get up and leave. Unfortunately, basic courtesy, like generally treating your hostess with respect, is too much for some people to remember. But it shouldn’t be. Just because we’re the first line of defense against a bad experience doesn’t mean we have the power to make you happy, especially if you’re determined to have a bad night.

A little understanding from you goes a long way with us. Treat your hostess right and we’ll do our best to give you a great night out. Here are nine rules of thumb to follow next time you’re talking with us.

1. At most places, there’s no way you’re getting a reservation on a Friday or Saturday if you call the night-of.

This is the one that happens the most often, and it is also the one I really don’t get. You do realize how reservations work, right? There is no way on God’s green earth that you’re going to get a reservation the night of. Just don’t do it. Ever. No. Stop.
Even if we could technically squeeze you in, chances are we’re not going to, because people who procrastinate tend to cause even bigger problems down the line by showing up late.

2. Don’t show up late to your reservation.

And if you absolutely must, have some manners and give us a call first. We’d rather hold the table for you than play the will-they or won’t-they-show-up guessing game. And if we give your table away because you didn’t deign to call, that one’s on you, buddy. Don’t take it out on us.

3. If you do call for a last-minute reservation, the best way to get a table is to be really, really nice to us.

If you simply must call the night-of, be nice. We obviously want your business, and we’re going to do everything we can to accommodate you. But if we say we can’t, know that it’s because we really, truly can’t. We’re not being mean — we’re abiding by the laws of physics that say we simply can’t possibly fit that many people in the restaurant at once.

Being nice to me and understanding why I’m saying no is going to make me want to go out of my way to say yes. It’s a little-known rule of customer service: If you’re nice to me, I’ll be even nicer to you.

4. You should feel free to grease our palms a little. 

If all else fails, tip us. Yes, I know that hostesses aren’t regularly tipped like waiters are, but the few times I’ve been given a little something extra, I moved heaven and hell to get that person what they wanted. Ten bucks goes a long way, but I’ve been given as much as $20 for bagging a special table. And every time that guy came back, guess who got his favorite spot?

5. When we say it’s going to be an hour wait, we’re not lying.

I don’t just come up with these numbers off the top of my head. All those empty tables you see when we tell you we’re booked? That’s because the people who were thoughtful enough to make a reservation are coming in to eat there within the next 45 minutes. Can your party settle, order, cook food and eat it in 45 minutes? No? Then stop badgering me for those “open” tables.

6. That said, the wait time we give you is the worst-case scenario. 

Look, if we tell you it’s an hour wait and it’s actually 30 minutes, you’re happy. If we tell you an hour and it ends up being an hour and 15 minutes, you’re pissed at us. Have you ever said “Wow! That was quick!” to a hostess who told you it was going to be a much longer wait? Yeah, we’ve heard that before. We’re happy you’re happy, but we’re even happier that we just avoided your inevitable hissy fit.

While you’re waiting, please just go have a drink at the bar and check back in with us every once in awhile. We’re not being mean to you on purpose, I promise.

7. Don’t try to argue with us.

To the people that feel like they always need to fight with me about whether there are open tables: I’m juggling 20 tables, plus what course they’re on, how long I think they’re going to stay, what our typical turnaround time is, and when the next reservation is due in for that table. I know telling you anything over 20 minutes goes right over your head, so if I say it’s going to be a wait, it’s because it’s going to be a wait. I only have so much leeway over what happens, guys.

8. Don’t ask us to play waitress.

Don’t order your food or drinks from us. Seriously. Don’t do it. All that’s going to happen is I’ll go get your waitress and we’ll laugh at you and your social ineptitude. And then she’ll go get your drinks.

9. We do so much more than “look pretty” at that little podium. 

Everything you do at our restaurant is book-ended by us. We’re the first and last face you see. So basically, your entire experience is framed by whether or not we do our job correctly. You may not see me do it, but I’m helping wipe down tables, resetting them, making sure the waiters get an equal amount of customers, juggling overflow and no-shows, dealing with people calling for takeout and making last-minute reservations. Most nights when I get home I’ve been standing for several hours straight and have a splitting headache.

Sure, lots of us look great, but that’s not why we hold down this job.

Images: Basheer Tome/Flickr; Giphy (8)


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The Weird Shit People Say To Waitresses

The service industry is a dark, dark place, where the people love food and hate people. Most students’ first jobs will be in the service industry, as bar staff or catering staff. Working as a waitress/waiter is a great way to make money, if you have the stomach for it. I love working as a waitress, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t days when I want to tell some rude bitch to shove it up her arse, because she’s not happy we don’t serve the particular salad leaves she wants. We have to deal with crap on a daily basis. A lot of customers really and truly suck, but they don’t even realise it. Ignorant rude fuckers. Here is the most common and annoying shit people say to waitresses.

1) Puns

‘Thanks a latte’ or ‘how’s the daily grind’… I get it, you’re hilarious. No, I’ve never heard it before, you’re so witty. This is a genuine laugh, honestly. I’m not laughing for tips, you’re an absolute riot!

2) Asking For Free Stuff

‘I’ll just have a glass of water’ they say, and sit there for hours without ordering a single thing. Cheap, stingy fuckers. There are customers willing to pay whose table you’re taking up.

‘Can I substitute the complimentary glass of wine for a portion of fries and a glass of coke? That’s the same price, right?’ No substitutions, follow the menu and stop being so annoying.

‘Have your prices gone up?’ Same price as last week, cheapskate.

3) Making Terrible Jokes

‘You missed a spot,’ when you’re mopping. Again, you’re just so funny, have you ever tried stand-up?

‘No, I don’t take sugar. I’m sweet enough.‘ Like I’ve never heard that before… idiot.

‘You should smile more.’ I’m clearly stressed out. Leave me alone.

4) Asking For Recommendations

‘What would you recommend?’ Just so you know, I’m obviously going to recommend the special. That’s what the chef is trying to get rid of.

‘What would you prefer?’ My taste-buds are totally different to yours. Why do you want me to pick your food? I’m here to bring you your meal, not select it for you.

5) Complaining About Other Customers

‘Those children are being really loud, could you ask them to keep it down?’ They have every right to be here, same as you. We are a family restaurant, families often include children.

‘Those customers are very noisy, can you please move them?’ Well, they’ve been here longer than you and are actually ordering food… So why don’t I move you to a quieter part of the restaurant?

6) Being Impatient

‘I know I asked for my steak well-done, but it’s been ten minutes’ After I warned you it’s cooked from fresh… Unless you want it medium, be patient.

‘Can I get some service over here?’ Yes, I’ll be with you in a minute, after I serve all the people who arrived before you.

‘Excuse me miss! Whenever you’re ready, can you get me (insert elaborate dish/drink here) right now’ This is usually accompanied by a grab of the arm, or a click of the fingers, while you’re balancing a load of plates on your arms, rushing to the kitchen with a million other things on your mind. Thanks friend.

7) Asking A Million Questions About Food

‘Is the soup gluten-free?’ It says it is on the menu. Anything marked ‘gluten-free’ will be gluten-free. You don’t need to ask. Are you just trying to make a point to your friends, that you can’t eat gluten? I’m sure they can read too.

‘Do you have [something that isn’t on the menu]?’ If it’s not on the menu, don’t ask for it. We cater for the menu we offer. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else.

‘What does the salmon come with?’ It says exactly what it comes with on the menu, can you not read? You read salmon, surely you can read the sides.

Over-pronouncing anything. You look and sound like a dingbat.

8) How They Want Their Steak Cooked

‘I’d like my steak well-done, but not cooked all the way through, just slightly pink and juicy.’ So, you’d actually like it cooked medium-well then? OK, I’ll let the chef know you haven’t a clue about meat-cooking preferences.

‘I asked for my steak to be medium well, but it’s pink inside can I get it cooked more?’ So, you actually wanted a well-done steak?

9) Coming In Five Minutes Before Close

‘Are you still open? You are? Great.’ Even though I just told you we’re closing in five minutes, you still sit down? Really? You’re just asking me to hate you.

‘Is there any chance of something to eat?’ Kitchen is closing, chef is leaving. Unless you want me to make you a sub-standard sandwich, go find somewhere that isn’t about to close so I can mop up and get out of here.

10) Asking About My Life

‘So, what’s your real job?’ OK last time I checked, waitressing was a real job. My money pays for the same things yours does. In fact, your money is funding my lifestyle. Thanks for the shots friend!

‘What are you doing in college?’ Whenever I’m asked this, I make up some elaborate back-story: I was studying marine biology and discovered some lost ancient coins on the seafloor of the Meditteranean and am now writing a research paper on it. Or that I own the restaurant. Every day a different story.

‘So…any chance I could buy you a cup of coffee sometime?’ Don’t hit on me and ask me out while I’m working. I’m getting paid to be nice to you. Plus, look at me… do you really think I’m single?

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