Lookin' Good at 58

Friday, September 25, 2009

Aim For The Stars But Be Happy With The Moon

A couple of nights ago I got this nine top which seeing how busy I was going to be (not) , was going to make or break my evening.

They were real nice but they were speaking a foreign language which sounded a bit like Turkish or something to that effect. However , despite my concerns I continued giving the good service of which is expected and their bill came to $433. They rounded it off to an even $500 leaving me a $67 tip.

Last night was a similar situation in which I was starting late and one of the tables I had was a six top which were all ladies. They had a pretty good meal but I was not too sure what the end result would be but alas even with the 6 separate bills when you added up the gratuity it was quite fair. My last deuce of the night whom I thought would linger for quite a while left me a fairly good size gratuity as well or at least more than I thought I would get.

My adage has always been not to set my sights too high on what I should get. I know you should aim high and I do , but not leave yourself prone to disappointment if the tip is in fact low. It could set your state of mind in a tailspin. Keep your state of mind and attitude on a level basis throughout the night. Don't go up with a good table then down again with a bad table. It is exhausting.

The dishwasher said to me last night that I never show much enthusiasm. Well I do but it is a controlled enthusiasm. I retorted back to him that I have been doing this for quite a while and my attitude is I just come in and do my job and serve the people. That is it. It is what I do.

Aim for the stars I say but be happy if you only hit the moon! Who cares really what people leave us. As long as I get another table I will make it back. The percentages always work out.

12 comments:

Banquet Manager said...

Some people think that if you're calm and cool that you are not involved in the process. I like to think that I'm in control of my emotions and are prepared for whatever is thrown at me. Then I panic!

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Banquet Manager...No you don't panic you just get into action and get the job done. That is why you manager.

SkippyMom said...

I was talking with the Eldest last night about waiting tables and I explained to her that even if a table stiffs or leaves less then a 15% - other tables certainly will make up for it.

It is the luck of the draw, I suppose. But as I read the list of waiter blogs I am starting to feel the "make up" tables aren't appearing as often in this economy as they did when I waited tables.

And I agree with the controlled enthusiasm. Save it for the customers - as I am sure you are pleasant to all your co workers - but the act is reserved for those that pay you. [Did I say that right?]

eternalcarryoutgirl said...

My favorite type of servers are the ones like you, who are laid back and professional. The super peppy types make me uncomfortable--they seem so much more excited that I'm eating there than I am. I really want to tell them they don't have to work so hard for their tip, but I don't want to throw them off their game. :(

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

SkippyMom...you know if a waiter truly didn't make any money where they are why wouldn't they just go and find something else? Writing a post about an asshole just makes for good reading. I am sure there is more good than bad. At least I hope so...

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Eternalcarryoutgirl...thanks and those ones you speak of reach the bottom when they do get a bad tip.Their emotions are all over the place.

Caitlyn said...

Just part of the business, You have a great attitude. With the economy how it is there is alot more people giving you verbal tips...oh thank you so much, everything was wonderful, great service, we will be back!! and then they leave you a 10% tip.

purplegirl said...

I try to keep on an even keel, because I used to be super affected by the cheap people. I would let it ruin my entire night. Most of the time I do a good job--I try not to think "I need $XX from this table to make my goal" or "I need $XX tonight", because more often than not, there's just going to be disappointment.

In another comment, you said "Writing a post about an asshole just makes for good reading. I am sure there is more good than bad." It seems like at my restaurant for the last six months or so, there's more average (like a 10-12% tip) than bad (5%), and more bad than truly good. :( I keep waiting for the pendulum to swing the other way again ...

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Caitlyn...Hi and welcome! There is always those verbal tips flying around. I think nowadays you gotta work in a busy restaurant to balance the verbal and good grats out. If it is slow that is another thing.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Purplegirl...you know we as waiters cannot take a bad tip personally anyway. A lot of us just want to scream when we get a bad one but all you gotta say is next. In most places it is all about volume anyway. We are heading into our busy season soon. It will be good.

Liz said...

Awesome post. You, sir, are a professional waiter!

I live in Paris, and waiters here, even in the dodgiest café, serve as a career, not as a way to put themselves through school. They are not rude, despite the stereotype, but calm professionals, and I can totally trust them with my dining experience. Since I cannot afford (and don't particularly care for) fine dining, I cannot count on that level of professionalism in the U.S.

Please don't take this as America-bashing, as it definitely is not! I would love to sit in your section, by the sounds of it.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Liz...having worked in Switzerland I have experienced the seriousness toward a waitering career is. Unfortunately there are few instances of that here nowadays partly due to the fact relying on tips to pay one's expenses can be precarious. Thank you for your compliment and comment. N'importe quand je serai trés heureux de lire vos commentaires.