Wednesday, June 30, 2010

No Matter What City You're In, A Shift is A Shift.

This picture of a Philadelphia restaurant's server manual is worth looking at.

Point by point:

1. This is pretty normal. People don't want to think about the fact that the service staff is working while they have a fun evening. For this reason, a lot of restaurateurs encourage service staff to also avoid the phrase "Are you still working on that?" since the guest isn't working, we are.

2. It makes me sad that management doesn't believe two employees can talk to each other about a problem in service without a manager intervening. Obviously harassing coworkers is bad.

3. I love this one. "If you must go to the bathroom..." Hello. Shifts are between 6-8 hours long, front of house staff will need to go to the bathroom. It's ridiculous that management has phrased it like it's some nuisance and that you should really know better. This is my least part of being a server. I hate asking permission of multiple people to pee. I'm sorry but it's kind of degrading. Remember Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption at the grocery store? Yeah, it's like that.

4. It's a pretty rare thing to have some rando walk into the kitchen. At restaurants with open kitchens it seems to be more of a problem. The reason having strangers in the kitchen is a real problem is beyond just the annoyance and weirdness. Restaurant kitchens are potentially very dangerous- open flame, hot exposed grills, scalding hot pans, knives and boiling liquids demand an awareness and a knowledge of how to move and communicate these dangers. No way a customer would know that if I say "Behind, pan" that means "I'm behind you with a hot pan so don't move backwards or turn around or you'll get burned by this heat conducting hunk of metal."

5. Also pretty normal. But sometimes when things are really busy you start tables that aren't in your section because somebody needs to f*ing serve these people. Where I work you aren't allowed to enter the computer system with someone else's sign-in number. Most places allow you to do that so you can take a table's order without starting a check in another server's section.

6. Yup.

7. Yup. No wilty salads. However, our kitchen does all our plating, so I don't really ever have to think about this.

8. Yup. We have several people looking the glasses over before they hit a table.

9. I know, I know, but seeing a server take a sip of water is really not the end of the world. C'mon.

10. I mean, yeah. Don't smell bad and don't look like you have a cud.

11. Also normal.

What do you think?

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