“I don’t even need to know your name. By the time you tell me about the specials, I’ve already forgotten it. You’re a servant. So serve.” (An excerpt from Kyle Smith’s lovely piece about NYC waiters, “You Got Served!)
Remember everyone, Kyle Smith does not want to be served, he does not enjoy a dining experience, and he definitely does not want you to ask him how everything is. Oh yeah and by the way no matter what you do he does not like you even though you are just doing your job and he is only going to tip 11 %. So NYC waiters remember this face because he seems to think waitstaff should be treated as servants because god forbid we say our…gasp…name when approaching a table. If Mr. Smith had any sense at all or possibly even a day of experience in the service industry he would know that serving tables is not always such a pleasure but guess what, no matter how we feel about the guest we have to provide excellent service that meets the standards and policies of our establishment. So sorry for telling you the specials and making sure you have everything you need. Maybe you should write a letter to the owners of my restaurant and all the other restaurants in America and explain that you hate to be told the specials and it is so utterly inappropriate to be checked up on during you meal or offered dessert or coffee, I am sure they will be happy to change their policies that have been working so well and making them millions for years.
Obviously Mr. Smith needs to pull his pretentious panties out of a twist and realize that this is how the service industry works in America and however much he wants us to know, “In France, where I try to spend a week or two every year, waiters don’t even work for tips (the customer is expected to leave a mere euro or two) and yet they’re so much less annoying”, those waiters work in France so pack up and GO THERE!! Also, from those of us who have been to Europe, usually a 15 % service charge is added to the bill or built into menu prices so that the owners of restaurants can afford to pay their staff a livable wage and not $2.13 an hour like some places in the United States. So maybe that’s why the servers act like they don’t give a crap about how you are doing and complete the bare minimum of the job as they are already guaranteed a larger tip/pay than you so generously left for their American counterparts.
To anyone who has not worked in a restaurant before, it is filth like the article Kyle Smith wrote that perpetuates generalizations that industry folks deserve less respect because somehow our jobs are not “real jobs”. Read through some of the stories on the numerous industry blogs out there like www.stuckserving.com , and realize that we have to deal with a whole lot more than just saying our name, the specials, clearing some plates, and bringing drinks to the table. Each day at our jobs we experience pretentious people like Kyle Smith who think they are better than us, overtly disrespect us, and then tip 11% or worse just because. I have a suggestion for Kyle Smith when he is not in France, it’s called ordering To-Go, then there will be no one bothering you, you can dine in privacy, and the best part of all there is not a 18-20% tip expected at the end for providing good service and hospitality.