Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Want a Tip, Servers? Here Are 50

Posted By on Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 8:26 AM

From the New York Times comes the first half of its list of One Hundred Things Servers Should Never Do.

Number 3 hits close to home: Never refuse to seat three guests because the fourth hasn't shown up. With a lifelong, chronically late friend, I can verify this policy encourages lying: savvy diners have learned to fib about a lagging person in the party, or risk getting backed up behind three other parties.

Numbers 10 ("Do not inject your personal favorites when explaining the specials") and 46 ("Never acknowledge any one guest over and above any other. All guests are equal") seem harsh; servers are not doctors, expected to have a completely flat presence. But that's preferable, presumably, to a chatty server. That's well-covered by 38, 39, 40 and 41.

There are some I wouldn't have thought of ("Never let the wine bottle touch the glass into which you are pouring. No one wants to drink the dust or dirt from the bottle") but am glad someone did. And others that seem dependent on the guests, or the occasion. ("Do not pop a champagne cork. Remove it quietly, gracefully. The less noise the better.")

And some are so basic that servers shouldn't need a checklist. "Do not drink alcohol on the job, even if invited by the guests." "Do not call a guy a dude." "Never mention the tip."

Nevertheless, somewhere out there is a patron referred to as "dude" by a tipsy waiter inquiring after his tip.

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