5 Annoying Questions Waiters And Waitresses Have To Deal With Every Day

1. Is this big enough to split?

No, it’s not big enough to split. That’s why everything is portioned out the way it is, into single servings, all listed one after the other under entrees. In the rare case that a plate is big enough for two people, it usually says so, often in parentheses, (serves two,) and the price is roughly about twice as expensive as everything else on the menu. Listen, I don’t care if you’re not that hungry, or you’re looking to save a few bucks by splitting a dish the next time you and your friends decide to eat out. Just stop trying to make me complicit by asking my opinion. Because even though my opinion is, no, this single serving is not big enough for two, I’m not going to say so, because my job is to not piss you off. So don’t act all disappointed when that half-sandwich looks positively tiny on that extra plate you asked me to bring out with the food.

2. Baby, do you want apple juice? Do you guys have apple juice?

My restaurant doesn’t have apple juice. Yet every single time I go over to say hi to a family dining with a bunch of little kids, it’s always this exact formula. I walk over to the table and say hello. The mom or dad asks the little kid, “Sweetie? Do you want apple juice? Baby? Honey? Apple juice? Yes?” then they turn to me, “You guys have apple juice?” No, we don’t have apple juice. We have orange juice, or grapefruit juice. I’ll gladly go through our juice selection, or you can take a look at the menu. But you can’t give me an annoyed face because we don’t carry the apple-flavored sugar water you serve your kids at home. Is apple juice really any healthier than soda?

3. Can I get that steak well done, but with no char (or) medium, with no pink?

Do you know how you get a thick steak to cook all the way through? You put it on the grill for a long time. Of course there’s going to be char marks. There’s char on a steak even if you have it cooked medium, which, by the way, has a pink center by its very definition. We, as a society, should get together and come up with a curriculum centered around meat temperatures to be taught to kids at school from an early age. Because half the people out there ordering meat don’t really know what they’re doing. It’s the same thing when someone asks for “medium to medium-well.” That’s not a temperature. One time I tried ringing in a steak like that and the grill guy got all pissed, “Which one is it? Huh? Medium or medium-well? Because there’s no in between.”

4. Can you just take the cash off the bill and put the rest on the card?

This happens at least five times a shift. A group of people goes out to eat, everyone puts in cash when the bill comes, but one person drops a credit card on top. That’s cool, and I’m more than happy to run your stuff on the card. But every single time, they always tell me that the cash goes toward the bill, with the rest going on the card. I want that cash. Why are you going to take my tip, my share of that pile of cash, and convert it to a credit card slip, something that I can’t put in my pocket at the end of the night? No, now I have to wait for the house to process that charge, processing the amount with my other credit card tips, waiting for it to be wired into my bank account at the end of the week. Set aside cash for a tip, take the rest of the cash for the bill, and then run the card. Nobody’s losing any money, and I’m saving myself a trip to the ATM.

5. Can you give us a minute? We just sat down.

Yeah, well, sorry, but the house rules state that I have to come over and say hi to you and offer to take a drink order within thirty seconds of your sitting down. I’m not trying to rush you. Everybody’s always all bent out of shape about feeling rushed. And besides, don’t you want something to drink? A glass of water? Some people are actually happy to get a drink right away. A lot of people are even happier to put in a food order. I mean, this is a restaurant. You did come here to order food and drinks, right? Also, I love it when people tell me they need a few minutes, and then bark at me, “Can we get some water? Some bread?” as I’m walking away. What do you want from me? I’m trying to be on your team here. Can’t we just all be a little nicer? TC mark

featured image – Flickr / peter burge

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