A few years ago, I was sitting in Applebee's with a friend eating lunch. Sam was sitting next to me in a highchair holding his rings and chew toys, and Nephi had yet to be a thought...
My friend and I were chatting and catching up, when the waitress came over to take our order.
"Hi, Ladies, my name is Becky and I will be your server today, what can I get you?" she asked. I was just about to open my mouth when my sweet friend started to order first, her face buried in the menu, not once looking up at the waitress. She also snapped a special order, no onions and Ranch on the side, before it was my turn.
"Hi, Becky. I would like... and do you think it would be a problem if you didn't include...."
"Yes, I think we can do that, she said kindly to me not looking at my friend once." When she left I almost kicked my companion under the table. She had been so rude to the waitress, I was embarrassed.
"You're way to nice to them. This is their job -- to serve us. Otherwise, I refuse to tip." she informed me smugly. I was totally turned off.
Ironically, guess whose order got messed up and whose didn't? Mine was perfect and the waitress smiled down at me as she set my plate in front of me -- it was perfect. My friend's had onions and ranch all over the top. She flipped and let the waitress know how angry she was.
After the meal, I tipped her a few bucks and watched in disbelief as my friend dropped 3 pennies onto the table as we left.
"It's so hard to find good service these days!" She said loudly as we walked out. Needless to say, I didn't go out with this friend again to spare myself and others.
The point of this story? If you want good service, you need to treat people a certain way. Here are a few tips I have learned over the years that grant me better service, better food, and I am sure the cook doesn't spit in my spaghetti -- it you know what I mean.
Disclaimer: Not all waiters/waitresses, clerks, and other service workers are nice people. Some will not respond to these tips... those are the ones you just feel bad for, tip less, and move on.
Tip #1: Call them by name
Many studies have been done on people's reaction to when you say their name in talking. People LOVE this, it makes them feel a bit of friendship and trust. When you see someone with a name tag, USE it... trust me, things turn out better then expected.
Example: This last week I had to get my car fixed. There were two men I dealt with, and I made sure I always used their names when I talked to them, and oddly enough, they remembered me and I put my work first. There were other people who they kept asking their names and which car they had, but they remembered me... even when I called. It was great service and they felt they were respected by me and treated like people.
Tip #2: Smile and give eye contact
Service workers LOVE to feel respected, liked and appreciated. When greeting them, look them in the eye, give your best smile and make their day! (Tip #1 is also very affective if used with this too).
Tip #3: Ask how they are doing
I render drive-thru voices speechless when I return their inquiries with a "How are you?" back. Rarely are my orders messed up.
Drive thru voice: "Hi, welcome to Arby's! How are you today? May I take your order?"
me: "I'm fine thanks, how are you?"
Drive-thru voice: silence... then "Ummm... I'm fine thanks!"
Believe it or not, people that work at fast food want to be reminded that they matter too.
Tip #4: Use "please" and "thank you"s
This is pretty much self explanatory. Service workers will respond to polite customers.
Tip #5: Never lose your cool
Don't ever freak out if they mess up on your order. No one is perfect, we are human and make mistakes. We don't know these workers, or what kind of day they are having... always treat them like they matter, and know that EVERY mistake can be corrected!
Example: Sometimes they forget my dressing or give me the wrong kind. I just politely wave them over and say nicely what my problem is. They usually don't give me garbage about it, but apologize and fix it. I have heard too many customers blow their tops when orders are filled wrong... it's embarrassing. We should be civil always.
Tip #6: Tip well if the service is good
Times are hard on us all! Even our local service workers. Some waiters and waitresses only get paid like 2 something an hour! They literally live off tips. If they do a good job, tip a little extra... and if you are a cad and treat them like garbage, tip them even better for putting up with you!
Tip #7: Don't be a slob
I know taking your kids out to eat can make a real mess, but there are things you can do to limit the disaster you make. Sure it's the bus boys job to clean up after you, but do you think they enjoy it? No, probably not, and if they are wading through spilled milk and smashed food, know they will remember your faces and tell people stories of your animal-like table manners. I used to have a bus boy friend in high school... the stories he would tell!
Just try to keep your messes limited and if you can't, make sure you apologize to the waitress as you leave. This always earns me brownie points after Sam and Nephi make food art all over the table....
Tip #8: A little small talk never hurts
Don't be afraid to reveal a little about yourself as you check out. Most of the people at Wal-Mart know me by face because I take the time to chat a little. They ALL know my husband is in the Army and ask about him often. The lady at my gas station where I stop and get drinks and treats every so often, has been following my weight loss and tells me how great I look when I stop in. We also have a play date planned for our kids.
You never know the friends you will make, days you will brighten, or the great service you can get when you treat everyone like a friend. Make it a goal. Especially with the holidays coming up, to be a good person to others. You can always tell the measure of a man by the way he treats his subordinates. Don't let the evil holiday monster come out, be your best self, and you will have a great rest of the year! I promise, that not only will you get better service, you may even make a few new friends.
Have a great day!
Do you have any you would like to add???