Making Reservations

Well seeing as I’m having issues getting the entirety of the old posts online, I figured it was time to start making some new posts on here, and after hopping onto one of my favorite server sites these days, If You Can’t Afford to Tip, I saw something that was a great starting off point.

I’m confused. My wife and I had a short notice opportunity to eat out at a favorite restaurant. She called and easily got a reservation for 7:30 PM, two hours hence.

When we arrived the restaurant was running a little late but we were told we would be seated ASAP. I understood and we waited. Meanwhile, a couple of other parties entered the restaurant and were seated before us.

When I asked the hostess when those parties had reservations, I was told 7:30 PM, the same as me. When I questioned her why they were seated first, she stated it was because they had made their reservations two weeks prior.

Now, I could understand if we had arrived at the same time that they should get the first seating, but we were first. Am I wrong in being upset or is this normal practice?

(Submitted Anonymously)

Now I’m not going to go into all of the comments people left there so far, but here’s the link because some of them are pretty good (including mine!). I am going to explain some things that might make some diners out there a little less..hateful and bitchy.

First, I want to point out that what Mrs. Anonymous had was not a reservation, something a lot of you people out there need to realize. Calling a restaurant a couple of hours before you want to eat and having them take your name down just gives you a better shot at getting a table if the restaurant is busy. It’s damn sure not a guarantee. Mrs. Anonymous did what’s called a Call Ahead. I know that might seem like you’ve got a guaranteed table when you and your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or hooker get there but all a Call Ahead does is let you know that they’re gonna try and have you a table.

Reservations in most restaurants, at least for small to semi-small groups, in most restaurants have to be made 48+ hours in advance in order for the guests to have a guaranteed table. When making a reservation, the host(ess)/manager/unlucky server who happened to answer the phone, will usually take down the basics: Name, phone number where you can be reached, number of guests, and time. Managers will always explain the restaurants policy on reservations when taking one, but many hosts and hostesses don’t because a lot of times they just don’t wanna  go through all that talking. One of the things that tends to get left out when it’s not a manager explaining the policy is that even though your reservation is made, you have a responsibility to be on time, or within 15-20 minutes if you don’t want to risk losing that table to other guests. It’d be nice if just making a reservation was a total guarantee of a table but unless you’re somebody famous, they’re not gonna hold the table for you if you’re taking your sweet ass time.

If you’re making a reservation for a larger party, by larger I mean large enough to take up more than a couple of tables, the restaurant can be a little more anal about it while at the same time being a little more lenient. For one thing, there’s often a larger grace period for being late. Sometimes the restaurant will want a monetary deposit, which is understandable if it’s a party that’s going to potentially take up 3-4 or more tables, especially if they take forever getting there, or don’t show up at all. At least then the restaurant can still make a dime.

Something a lot of you tend to forget is the server. First, the table or tables for your reservation have to be held, meaning that until you and your group arrive, no more tables for them. If you’ve made a reservation for a group of 6, and the server only has a 3 table section, those tables are closed until the group arrives, cutting into our money. Some restaurants contribute to the assholery and will not even open those tables, which helps to fuck us. What I’m getting at here is if you make a reservation for enough people that the server has to close more than one table and you know not all of your group is going to come, call and let the restaurant know so whoever your server is can reopen that table. If you’re going to be late, call the damn restaurant and let them know. Keep the lines of communication open.

Now, let’s get to something that really pisses me off. Some people, when they make reservations (especially at fancy, hard to get into places) tend to think that because they managed to get an actual reservation at that place it makes them some kind of hot shit, shit who’s shit smells like roses. Let me tell you now, having a reservation doesn’t make you special, it just means you got lucky when you called; don’t be a dick to your server.

Reservations can tend to piss off the regular guests as well as the Call Ahead people, especially when the restaurant is on a particularly long wait. The problem comes from the “open” tables.

Guests who are put on a waiting list when there are open tables can be sorted into two groups: Assholes and Angels. The Angels accept that there are things outside of their control. Their minds are advanced enough to understand that there might be reasons for the waiting list with those open tables, like reservations or being short staffed.

The Assholes, however, tend to be entitlement junkies of the first degree. They’re the ones who won’t accept any explanation as to why they’re on a wait when there’s tables everywhere. They’re annoying enough for a server to have to deal with because they’re already pissed off, but they’re nothing compared to the Call Ahead Assholes.  This rare breed of Asshole makes the regular Asshole look like a dainty delicate daffodil.

Not only do they believe that because they called ahead they should get first priority over EVERYONE else in the restaurant, real reservations included, but should those tables be open because they are being held for someone who reserved them further in advance than that night, they can be a little unpredictable. Judging from the information Mr. Anonymous provided, he and wife were fairly stable, either accepting or letting the anger simmer beneath the surface.

They’re the rarity. For the most part, the Call Ahead Asshole isn’t going to accept any explanation. Always be prepared in situations like this for this breed of guest to lose their temper, ask to see the manager, get something free on their check, get almost everything free on their check, bitch at you and curse you with more words and flair than even me in my classic RagingServer days could pull off because they couldn’t get their Amaretto Sours for free, then leave you a dollar on that check that was originally almost 60 dollars for that party of two.

Ok so that’s the worst case scenario. Either way, if they have to wait when there are open tables after they called a couple of hours in advance, especially if those tables are for reservation holding guests, they’re going to be upset from the start, and 9 times out of 10 they’re going to take it out on their server.

Getting back to the advice portion of the post.. Hosts and Hostesses, when these call ahead guests start to get pissed off because you can’t give them a particular reserved table, you people have got to remember to stay calm, no matter how mouthy and bitchy they get, because the second you start getting an attitude back with them you make them harder for us to deal with.

Make sure you calmly explain why you can’t seat them at the reserved tables, and if possible remind them about the reservation policy. If you were the one who answered the phone and stupidly guaranteed them a table the exact time they came in, then you are the fucking morons that should have to deal with their attitudes. Explain to them as politely as you can that while you can’t allow them the reserved tables, that they are FIRST on the waiting list, and get them to a table as soon as you can without screwing the server in the process (that’s another post).

Guests, please just remember that no matter what restaurant it is, the Call Ahead is in no way equal to the actual reservation, no matter what the little 16 year old hostess told you when she answered your call. Despite your having made a “reservation” a couple of hours before your visit, expect to have to wait at least a little while.

That’s all on the topic of reservations vs. call aheads for today.

I’d like to thank you all for coming back to the RagingServer archives, and assure you that I will be back on a domain soon, with server space and hopefully the backups will be up in full then. I would also like to thank my new readers, and to everyone, I apologize for how long winded and disjointed this post is. It’s my first actual blog in a few years, so it’ll take a little time to get into the swing of things.

If you want to help get the new domain and space, or at least help advertise, I could really use it, and you can donate here: Help Resurrect RagingServer

Until next time,

TheRibeye

Whistling at me will earn a stabbing

Continuing with our expansion of the Ribeye Commandments, today’s post is on rule #2. Do not yell, whistle, or clear your throat at me as soon as you sit down, especially if I am with another table. I cannot stress enough the importance of this rule. Not only does the sound of your shrill, brain curdling whistle not only discourages me from even venturing within a food of your table, it makes the other guests envision flaying your body as you writhe in agony then dancing around your body upon a flaming dais whilst they dance around your burning corpse in a ritual to Xipetotec. Gotta love the eloquence in my writing these days….

The problems that I and other servers have with your whistling and/or yelling at us is that we are not your fucking children. We are there to make sure you have an enjoyable experience, not to act as your personal body servants. If I’m at another table, taking their order or ensuring that they are having a good time and I hear you whistle or yell at me, I’m going to ignore you. The more you whistle, the more I ignore.

One example of this:

Two, maybe two and a half months ago, one Saturday night, I was one of 4 servers in our area, and we were slammed.

Rules for Eating Out, Part 4: Ribeye’s personal Rules

It’s 6:30 in the morning here, and I can’t sleep. I have to be up at 10 to get ready for the boyfriends birthday lunch with his family, and have to work at 5:30 this afternoon. What better time to put up another in the Rules series? This time it’s my Personal rules of service, and they are in no certain order.

1. There is to be no touching of the Ribeye in any way, shape, form, or fashion that is not initiated by the Ribeye himself. Translation: If you’re not a regular guest that I’ve known for a while, or a good friend or family member, then keep your grubby paws off of my person. This includes but is not limited to: Walking up to me and tapping my shoulder as I walk to the bathroom to take a shit, asking me “Do you work here?”. I’m sure the name tag and apron mean nothing to you at this point, and I have to shit. Under no circumstance should you ever come up and tap the Ribeye while he is with a table, for the Ribeye will snap your head off and you’ll run away either crying or crying for a manager. If you come up to me while I’m at a table, and disturb me to ask me where your food is, I’m going to say a couple of things. First, “Touch me again and you’ll be on the ground,” Second, “It’s cooking, I’ll be with you in a minute.”

2. Do not yell, whistle, or clear your throat at me as soon as you sit down, especially if I am with another table. I see you sitting there, and if you try to rush me, I’m going to be royally pissed and your service will suck with no care for a tip. When you yell at me, I take it as a sign of aggression, and I have you removed from the premesis. If you choose to whistle at me, I’m going to ignore you. When you clear your throat at me in an attempt to get my attention, I’m going to come to your table and offer you a glass of water and a cough drop. Then I’ll make you wait even longer for your food/service.

3. Never ever ever pull out the line “The Customer is Always Right”. When you bring out this phrase, we know instantly that you’re trying to get something free. It’s also almost never accurate. It’s generally used by Entitlement Junkies and Ghetto Trash that feel they deserve things regular humans don’t. If you pull out “the customer is always right” not only will we hold you in contempt, the management will not take you seriously, and the most you’ll get will be a free soda or tea. Management, owners, servers, and bartenders all hate you when you say that, and whoever invented such a lame phrase should be publicly hanged.

4. If you see me running to more than 4 tables at a time, that is not your cue to hold me at your table by saying “we’re ready”. If you fucking say you’re ready to order, then don’t sit there for 10 minutes debating the merits of chicken strips versus fried shrimp. When you say you’re ready, I am ready to take your fucking order, and as such, you should give it to me. Wasting my time makes not only me upset, but it really pisses off the other guests. I will not make excuses for you. They know it’s your fault I didn’t get to them to get their next margarita. I tell it to them straight. “They told me they were ready to order, and they knew they weren’t.” When I tell other guests this, they hold you in such contempt that I’ve literally had to calm a few down, and had many tell me to spit in your food. Much as I would enjoy doing just that, I never will. I don’t work for a slimy hole in the wall diner, I’m actually semi-professional and will not stoop to assault with bodily fluid. I prefer verbal embarrassment.

5. If you snap your fingers at me, or say something to the effect of “Hey Waitress” you will not only be ignored by me, but by every other server in the building. We are all adults people, my place of business doesn’t even serve teenagers unless accompanied by an adult. There needs to be some form of respect, and snapping your fingers at me or calling me “Waitress” when I’m quite clearly not despite the embedded homosexuality is going to do nothing more than ensure your lack of service and/or cold food that takes an hour. I won’t even care if you don’t tip. You snap your fingers at me and you’re a lost cause. I’d sooner smoke a cigarette and blow the smoke in your face than bring you a drink.

6. Do not bitch and moan to the management in an attempt to have the automatic gratuity removed from your bill. Let me say it again. DO NOT BITCH AND MOAN TO THE MANAGEMENT IN AN ATTEMPT TO HAVE THE AUTOMATIC GRATUITY REMOVED FROM YOUR BILL! I give excellent service to all tables unless one of my personal rules is broken, and if there’s a party of eight or more, I’m assured a tip whether you’re on separate bills or not, or whether I give you good service or not. Don’t break the rules, and you’ll get great service. If you ask to see the manager about the gratuity on your bill, I’m going to inform you that it’s a company policy, and that the manager is not going to take it off. Then I’m going to get one of our professionally dressed NON MANAGERS to come to your table, and make you feel so guilty that you leave me extra. If you still bitch to have the gratuity taken off of your bill, and a real manager happens to be what I bring to you, they’re going to do one of two things. They’re going to tell you that you’re shit out of luck, or you’re going to get lucky. If you do get lucky and get the grat removed, the managers going to comp more than the gratuity off of your bill to compensate me for your stupidity, and you’re going to never be welcome in our building again and trust me, we point you out to our co-workers. Interestingly enough, in the year that I’ve been where I am, I’ve had only one table that wasn’t gheto black trash or snotty black trash demand a removal of the gratuity, and that was because they wanted to leave their own tip. I ended up getting 30% from that table. I hate to be this way, but white people are less inclined to bitch about something that’s clearly listed in the menu.

7. A restaurant where you sit down and eat, that is full service, and that has a full menu is not the fucking Burger King, it’s not always going to be Have it your way! Do not Dissect the menu in an attempt to get something that you had at the waffle house 4 years ago. It’s not going to work. When we have a table where EVERY GUEST in the party decides they’re going to change the entree’s they ordered to suit their wants, including getting pissed that we don’t have the side they want, and getting down to changing the type of cheese on the cheeseburger, noting the number of tomatoes, pickles, the size of the lettuce and number of red onion slices we put on the burger, there’s going to be problems and we’re going to have a manager ask you to leave. If you order a chicken pasta and change the sauce, change the garnishes, change the ingredients, we’re going to charge you more than the listed menu price just because you not only piss US off you really piss off the cooks. That in turn makes us have a bad night, because we didn’t stop you from ordering all the crazy shit for fear of losing our jobs, and the cooks take it out on us. That makes you worthless in our eyes, and makes us want to stomp on your heads with spike studded shoes.

That’s all for this edition of the rules, and just so that I have more material, I’m going to probably make 7 different posts, with each of these rules as the topic. Look forward to them in the next few weeks, the examples I give you in each post may not be the most recent, but I’ve had them, or I wouldn’t have made the rules in the first place.

If you ever have the good fortune to be served by me, you’ll understand that I’m a great server, and am well liked by my regular guests, but you’ll also see that I don’t tolerate disrespect anymore. You’d either love my service, like Jimmy-James and Mary in the commenters, or you’ll hate it like apparently her royal highness Springs1 would, there would be no in between. Just don’t order 15 sides of ranch for each portion of your meal and for the sake of the gods, do not whistle at me or touch me.

Ribeye