on a different subject- catering

A big part of my existence in London was about a restaurant. I used to work as a waitress and as much I loved this job at times I really hated it too. The experience depends on a customer, not in 100% but it’s close to it. There are some things we, waiting staff, like and others we dislike. Because we are humans, each one of us is a person. Just like you. Of course you might be unlucky to have this grumpy, tired and not smiling person to serve your meal. But sometimes try to see a bigger picture: like this horrible man at the table to your right, complaining there is oregano on his pizza (clearly written on a menu), or slightly crazy woman with her child abusing her loudly, or somebody not being happy that ice-cream are cold… Those are the mild examples of the behaviour we shouldn’t accept but we do so there is no more trouble. So you can be served properly too…


There was a time when I felt really tired of pretending I am happy all the time and I have thought to write an open letter to a Dear Customer. It would go more or less like this:

Dear Customer,

First of all be polite and try to smile- you are here to have a good time not to stress out on me. I am serving you but don’t take it as I am your servant.

Take your time to order, that’s fine, but don’t call me by my name when I’m at the other side of the room, most probably busy with someone else. Unfortunately you are not my only customer. And for heavens sake, don’t wave at me. I am not a taxi driver.

Don’t call me if you are not ready- that is the great challenge to my patience and I cannot take if after 10h of work- you most probably will be ignored for most of the service afterwards- not intentionally, by my prioritizing what I should and what I could do in 2 minutes time. Look around you- it’s a rush hour and restaurant seems to be a battlefield.

Jokes are fine but don’t do it on your partner, family member, friend’s expense. Simply- not funny. Pathetic.

And no, I don’t give my phone number to every customer who got my sense of humour- why would I?! Definitely it is not your business and my pleasure to talk about my personal life.

Yes, I smile. Yes, to you. It is a part of my job. Not a flirt. I promise I have a life outside this restaurant.

There is a problem with your order, you’ve found a foreign object in your food, we have sold out your favourite dessert…? Talk to me, don’t yell! I am trying to help you so give me a credit that it hasn’t been done on purpose

Your child is running all over the place and you think it’s rude that I’ve asked you to take care of him/her? Who are you going to blame when he/she will end up with a hot plate of casserole on a head? Kids are sometimes too small to see them underneath 3 or 4 plates I am carrying at once

Don’t be offended that I have to charge you for an extra topping or something not on a menu. I am already going through extra effort for you. Oh, and it wasn’t me who decides about the prices. Yeah, I know, you are going to complain to the Head Office. Whatever. Good luck. You just made your evening miserable over extra topping. Congratulations! You have a good night (writing your letter)…

…to be continued…


~ by mona on March 23, 2013.

3 Responses to “on a different subject- catering”

  1. Lovely article! I spent a long time working in restaurants too and totally understand 🙂

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