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100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1) from NYTimes.com

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 03-11-2009

Okay, completely off-topic, but the curmudgeon in me, used to too many dinners out with the kids in restaurants where waiters throw the cutlery at you so they can dash to the next table (if there are waiters at all), loved this list. I’m sure wait staff will hate it, but dining would be a better experience if a lot of these rules were followed. My personal favorite not yet included in this list: “Never say, ‘Can I take your plate or are you still working on that?’ as if eating this food is a particular chore.”

100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1)

Herewith is a modest list of dos and don’ts for servers at the seafood restaurant I am building. Veteran waiters, moonlighting actresses, libertarians and baristas will no doubt protest some or most of what follows. They will claim it homogenizes them or stifles their true nature. And yet, if 100 different actors play Hamlet, hitting all the same marks, reciting all the same lines, cannot each one bring something unique to that role?

1. Do not let anyone enter the restaurant without a warm greeting.

2. Do not make a singleton feel bad. Do not say, “Are you waiting for someone?” Ask for a reservation. Ask if he or she would like to sit at the bar.

3. Never refuse to seat three guests because a fourth has not yet arrived.

4. If a table is not ready within a reasonable length of time, offer a free drink and/or amuse-bouche. The guests may be tired and hungry and thirsty, and they did everything right.

5. Tables should be level without anyone asking. Fix it before guests are seated.

[45 more at 100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1) – You’re the Boss Blog – NYTimes.com]