Tales from a Former Server: A Little Authenticity Goes A Long Way

Tales from a Former Server: A Little Authenticity Goes A Long Way

By an Anonymous Former Server, as part of our new 'Tales from a Former Server' column

It’s not very often that I find outstanding service. Sure, most places give good service but outstanding? That’s hard to find. That’s why I’m giving a shoutout to Richard, the man behind the counter who reminded me that outstanding service means keeping it real.

The other day, I went to an Italian fast casual that just opened up near my office. The whole office was buzzing about the place, so I figured I’d give it a try. As soon as I walked in, I was greeted with the sincerest of welcomes. This came from the man behind the glass who I can only assume is the manager, given his lack of standard uniform. Being that this was my first time, I had no idea how to navigate the menu. Yes, it’s a fast casual and yes, those menus are typically no-brainers, but I hadn’t been to a concept with this exact menu set up, so I wasn’t sure what was available or how to order.

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Tales from a Former Server: It's Called the Hospitality Industry for a Reason

Tales from a Former Server: It's Called the Hospitality Industry for a Reason

By an Anonymous Former Server, as part of our new 'Tales from a Former Server' column

The other day my coworkers and I went out to lunch. I won’t say the name of the restaurant, but we are there quite often and it has become our usual lunch spot. Being a local sports bar, we do not expect the level of service one would find at a fine dining restaurant. Sometimes the food takes forever to come out or is made incorrectly, and usually we say nothing and accept it for what it is. As a former server, I tend to be very forgiving when it comes to mess-ups. When I go out with friends or colleagues, I tend to get defensive on behalf of our server. Yesterday was one of those instances.

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Tales from a Former Server: Don’t Treat Your POS Like a 'POS'

Tales from a Former Server: Don’t Treat Your POS Like a 'POS'

By an Anonymous Former Server, as part of our new 'Tales from a Former Server' column

I’ve worked in over ten restaurants in my life — from fine dining establishments to local pubs — and one thing I have noticed across the board is that the POS system is such an integral part of operations. A POS system can make or break you. Having a poor POS system or one that isn’t set up properly decreases productivity and efficiency, costing time and money. 

During my time as lead server for a local pub, I was required to change out the specials in the system. This was a daily task and it took a lot of time — plugging in all of the dishes, selecting applicable mods and shortcuts, rebooting the system and causing a ten-minute meltdown from the staff, and so on and so forth. I always made sure to put every detail into the system, but that was because I was a server and knew what I needed to succeed. My managers, however, did not. 

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Tales from a Former Server: 5 Things Customers Do at Restaurants That Servers & Bartenders Can't Stand

Tales from a Former Server: 5 Things Customers Do at Restaurants That Servers & Bartenders Can't Stand

By an Anonymous Former Server, as part of our new 'Tales from a Former Server' column

This week, I asked my server and bartender friends to tell me what they couldn’t stand most about customers. Out of all the responses I got, these were the most frequently hated customer habits/encounters.

I would just like to preface this blog with the statement that not all servers feel this way. In fact, we probably don’t really even care. It’s just that sometimes… well, sometimes after you’ve worked about a billion shifts in a row and it’s karaoke night, you start to lose it a little bit.

Hey, everyone hates parts of their job at some point or another, right? Anyway, I hope you enjoy. And should you have any server/bartender gripes of your own, please feel free to share in the comments below.

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Tales from a Former Server: Be the Hostess with the Mostest

Tales from a Former Server: Be the Hostess with the Mostest

Like every other restaurant noob, my career in hospitality began at the host stand. I loved being a hostess, more than serving, because it is basically the easiest job in a restaurant. You make an hourly wage, only have to deal with people in small increments, and you get to stand around and do nothing for the majority of the time. But just because the job requires minimal brain work doesn’t mean you can slack off when it counts. 

I hate when I walk into a restaurant and immediately feel like I am inconveniencing the hostess because she’s too busy looking at her phone or giving me the stink-eye because she’s bored as hell and doesn’t feel like walking 30 feet to seat me. That, and she’s probably 16, so there’s extra, unintentional attitude. 

So if you’re a host/hostess, here is my advice for you.

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