Servers are ignorant!

The       The EOL Marketplace Chefs Food Fight: Servers are ignorant!
By Andy Milne (Andy) on Monday, March 08, 1999 - 03:05 am: Edit

WHY? I had a server ask me "What kind of fish is on the Salmon Salad?"! Come on! How 'bout this one... "I forgot to order this. Could you make it now?" Then they stand there and watch you do it. Like it will help it get done any faster. Yeah sure I'll help you fix your mistake. Moron! Anyone else?

By Timothy Banning (Cheftim) on Monday, March 08, 1999 - 03:48 pm: Edit

MY pet peav is when a server orders something on the fly, then they stand at the line tapping their foot and sighing, 30 seconds before the food comes up they leave and don't come back for 5 minutes.
On the other hand The server is out there representing you, the guest doesn't understand its not the kichens fault, they just think your slow. So we as Chefs must cultivate the servers, We must back them up when a misorder happens, no matter whos fault it is.
Servers must have confidence in the kitchen for if they don't the guest can feel it.

By Andy Milne (Andy) on Monday, March 08, 1999 - 04:52 pm: Edit

I agree totally that we need to cultivate the servers. I have tried, but when ever you mention something to them they think that you are attacking their preformance. When in all actuallity you are trying to help them. Granted there are the few excptions to the rule. The people who try to do the better job and accept constructive critisim. I also think that the server should make it totally clear to the guest that the reason their food is not there yet is because of a server error and not a slow chef. I don't believe in finger pointing, but it is a natural thing that happens in this industry. This is just a forum for venting frustrations. It's pretty cool to see that the same things happen all over. I have the same expirence with the dissapearing server almost nightly.

By Timothy Banning (Cheftim) on Monday, March 08, 1999 - 06:27 pm: Edit

I'd cut'em up and put-em in the stock but for the extra scimming I'd have to do.

By sandra jayne mason (Jayne) on Monday, March 08, 1999 - 06:47 pm: Edit

I agree in showing the guest the best possible service and cuisine we have to offer, regardless of the reason an order is "delayed"
Its not really the servers fault, once you tie an apron string around their waist, it cuts off the circulation of oxygen to their brain.

By Mark Lawrence (Mark) on Wednesday, March 10, 1999 - 06:08 pm: Edit

Q: How many servers does it take to change a lightbulb???

A:None! They'd rather sit in the dark and whine!

By sandra jayne mason (Jayne) on Thursday, March 11, 1999 - 08:36 pm: Edit

What is the purpose of the waitstaff using the "see server" function on the computer?? Apparently the server has no clue what it means because they never relay the message to the expo or ANYONE else in the kitchen for that matter. After countless rantings by kitchen staff to servers that the order wont be started until we find out what the "see server" is in reference to, they STILL insist on using it AND STILL DONT let the back of the house know what about!

By Timothy Banning (Cheftim) on Thursday, March 11, 1999 - 09:21 pm: Edit

Translate server to plate carrier or order taker

By Donna Marie Bégin (Donna) on Friday, March 12, 1999 - 07:38 am: Edit

I expect to get blasted for this one!
We cooks are so tempermental and mental may be more operative at times.
I hate to admit this but, if the kitchen is perfect and service is rotten, what kind of outcome does it produce? Now, reverse it guys.
It takes wonderful food, kitchen staff and waitstaff to bring it to its height.
I can't do the "set up" thing and they can't cook.
When the dinner goes out at a function for hundreds, I rely upon the sharp eye of the server. Forgot the garnish, someone catches it.
Forgot one lobster tail, easy to do. Someone catches it, once again.
Three cheers for my servers.

By lewis w chick (Chicklw) on Friday, March 12, 1999 - 12:09 pm: Edit

Translate server to the one who defines and sells your art work to the guest who sometimes has the wrong idea about it. Chefs who put down ther staff, and the waitstaff is part of your staff, to themselves a great dis-service. Of course if you are slinging food out the window just to make money (not for pride,joy,art,soul satisfication, etc.) you deserve what you get. As long as we look at servers as order takers-plate servers instead of teaching and guiding them, we are in trouble. They ae another tool in our bag that we can use to get our point across

By Timothy Banning (Cheftim) on Friday, March 12, 1999 - 12:34 pm: Edit

Yeah right so put a downer on everything and deflate our ego. Hey I like thinking with my gonads it make me fell important. Why should I have to be rational I'M THE CHEF.

By Hans (Hans) on Friday, March 12, 1999 - 02:03 pm: Edit

I know we all have a tendency to think ourselves more important than we really are in the scheme of things. Yes, there is food involved here somewhere but not nearly as important as some of "Gods gift to the world" chefs would want you to believe.
National Restaurant Association surveys have shown that, time and again. Service is and always will be number one.
Hype and sales technique are the keywords here as in any retail service.
You have to create a team, front and back. Your sales staff (waiters-waitresses) will make or break you on the salesfloor (diningroom), everytime.
Update your motivational techniques. Catch people doing something right. Don't accentuate the negative.
There are now close to 60% Generation X'ers in the foodservice industry. Twentysomethings want to have fun on the job. Don't we all!
Employees from this generation exhibit their refusal to bow to authority. Your irrational "I'm the chef" won't cut it. My way or the highway is not effective with any generation--they will opt for the highway at the first chance.
And don't expect anybody to jeopardize their livelihood (tips) by fessing up responsibility to a faux pas at the table. It'll always be the chef's fault.
Most importantly, walk your talk. If you show in the slightest that you don't care, why should they?

By Anonymous on Friday, March 19, 1999 - 12:22 pm: Edit

Most of you writing in this space most likely have no concept of running a money making operation, or for that matter making a decent foie gras terrine. Stop whining about wait staff problems, get off the computer, and get yourself together because these days mediocre chefs and cooks who complain about trivial things are a dime a dozen. I have to discipline more cooks at my restaurants than I ever have to deal with server blunders. Just because you think you put in more time on the job than anyone else doesn't make you better or smarter. (Actually it makes you dumber, as you are working longer for less money) Most complaining chef/cooks don't have the people skills to wait on a table comfortably anyway.

By John Murphy (Chefmurph) on Friday, March 19, 1999 - 04:40 pm: Edit

I have no problem with your insulting commentary but I do have a problem with you being anonymous. If you have such strong opinions why not sign your name? Are you afraid people will know who you are? If you are spending so much time disciplining cooks and chefs something is lacking in your training of your staff! What about staff training to help improve your staff's people skills?

Personally, I think your attitude stinks but I am sure you don't mind paying your staff a low wage and allowing them to work long hours when you are really busy and need them, I'll bet. I wouldn't want to work for you and any one that does should leave your employment ASAP!!

I am never afraid to voice my opinion and to sign
my name to it. What about you?

Chef Murph

By bob johnson (Bobx) on Monday, March 22, 1999 - 11:23 am: Edit

Response to "Chef" Murph......sounds like my comment hit a personal nerve. (problems with your own foie gras?) As much as you ranted, however, none of my 150 employees (including 52 chefs, cooks, stewards, dishwashers)heeded your call and left ASAP. I think that most of them are pleased with their above average wages and benefit and vacation plans. Anyone who isn't can tell me so. We try to keep an air of respect among all employees at our places. A constant problem that I come up with though is the foolish pride of chef/cooks. We hire from the CIA, J&W, and other schools, as well as, off the street. Most of them work out, but there is a pervasive attitude of superiority that shows up when dealing with, not just the waitstaff, but also the stewards and worst of all the customer. We try to work out all differences between our staff members and the ones that don't fit have to go. We have had very few firings, but this silly chef/cook thing is annoying. Most cooks have little more than a two year education and credit their vast knowledge on "various short-lived experiences peeling potatoes under the great Chef Whoever", so I can hardly see where this notion of righteousness comes from. I have an MBA as well as being a CIA grad (first in my class), and had worked for several years in 2 and 3 Michelin star houses before building my own restaurants. I have always looked at my job as a money-making enterprise and without good service, clean dishes, and paying customers there would be nowhere for any chefs to work, including you ChefMurph.
Sorry about the no name. Call me Bob.

By Gerard Jones (Gerard) on Sunday, May 09, 1999 - 03:02 pm: Edit

Common sense can serve as well as education, I have an MBA delivery person, it seems to work for her. She thinks I should be a consultant and I quit school at 15 to apprentice.

Anyhoo Bob, the question is...are all your long houred cooks as dumb as you think? I doubt it.
If that were the case I'd be the bigger dope.

Success in America is defined as working as little as possible for as much money as possible,
so I wonder why all these 5 day a weekers making $60K writing software dream of slinging pans in a hot kitchen, could it be they find their success leaves them feeling empty in the soul.

Hans, I liked your post a lot too.

Cheers, Gerard

By Timothy Banning (Cheftim) on Monday, May 10, 1999 - 12:43 pm: Edit

A hearty Hello Gerard,
Its good to see your moniker in the new format.

By Gerard Jones (Gerard) on Thursday, May 13, 1999 - 11:44 pm: Edit

Hi Tim,

Food fight is a good idea, its the reality of the food biz. !

Cheers, Gerard

By Donna Marie Bégin (Donna) on Friday, May 14, 1999 - 08:13 am: Edit

Thanks for giving me my morning chuckle before I head to my kitchen away from home.
It's great to see Gerard in this forum. You always seem to hit a nerve or two with so many.
this message is for Bob:

Your "big time" operation(s) would be little more than greasy spoon quality without the know how of the key element to all successful food related enterprises which is the kitchen staff and the
CHEF. It sounds like it is your way or no way. Be a little trusting for the creativity of the people you hire and not so threatened.
That's my two cents worth and in todays market, you know how much that is when you are from Canada, eh!

By Greg Earley (Loki78) on Wednesday, August 18, 1999 - 10:48 pm: Edit

I would just like to know why it is a server has 45 minuites between orders, and then puts up 15 tickets and thinks we're the slow ones for not having read their minds and had it waiting. Any Ideas?


By Chefk (Chefk) on Thursday, September 09, 1999 - 12:32 am: Edit

HELLO! When will all food service personnel get the message that we are selling the entire product! Until we Chefs (artists though some of us may be) get into our stubborn and singleminded heads that the guests are after an experience and not just the food, the more apt to the education and proper training of our servers will we be. Servers aren't all idiots, though they may be after the dollar (they are getting it, aren't they?). They realize that the best way to make money is to sell a product (OUR FOOD) that they're proud of and that they understand completely. So get off the back dock, smoke a couple less, and start spending more time educating your employees than blaming them. You are, in fact, the Chef and the boss, and in control of this work force.

By Jedi (Jedi) on Tuesday, September 14, 1999 - 04:25 am: Edit

preach on brother, excellent point.

By Chefk (Chefk) on Tuesday, September 14, 1999 - 11:58 pm: Edit

Thanks for moving the message to the right board. I guess I was preaching (and it's sister)but we have to take a wholistic (as opposed to holistic...) point of view on this industry. Most of those who do it only do it because they love it (there aren't many other incentives) and we need to use all the tools available to us to succeed.

By Rsj (Rsj) on Friday, October 22, 1999 - 02:24 pm: Edit

I am dismayed to see that there is still such an "us vs. them" attitude out there. We all exist for our customers. Why is it that kitchen staff cannot admit that they are part of the problem, not the solution. I don't care how good your food is, if it is served in a lousy, unprofessional manner, YOU lose. And more importantly, the customer loses. Way back in this thread, someone made the point that it is usually the waitstaff's fault when there is a lapse or delay in service. As a former chef and former server, and now as manager, I generally find that if you are fully staffed in both departments on any given night, most lapses are the fault of a slow or inconsistent kitchen staff. Say what you like, but the sense of urgency required is more often lacking in a kitchen staff working for fair wages than in a dining room staff cultivating tips for themselves. As long as the servers are working as a team with themselves and the kitchen, they know that they have the opportunity to make MORE money,not the same as when they are slow or tired. Does it matter to a kitchen staff? As consistently? This is where a good management team is supposed to step in and facilitate the best possible experience for the GUEST. Its their ego that and perspective that counts most...not ours. Just my .02.

By Vatel (Vatel) on Tuesday, March 21, 2000 - 10:21 pm: Edit

With the popularity growth of concepts such as Eatzi's and other home meal replacement concepts, our responsibility as chefs to train our entire staff including front of the house employees has never been more pinnacle. For us to spend many years perfecting the taste and appearance of our food and not follow through with what happens to it after it leaves the window is a shame. Enjoying food takes all 5 senses.Unfortunately we can't be at the tableside to ensure our hard work reaches the patrons as we wish it .What we can do is be approachable to the front of the house staff who represent us. Although the immediate gratification of verbally vomiting on a waiter for their faults may make us happy , it does nothing for those who we are supposed to please .. the guest

By Ccfarturo (Ccfarturo) on Friday, March 24, 2000 - 01:52 pm: Edit

Kudos for Vatel & "Bob". I cannot believe that attitude such as the one most of you have dispalyed here still exists. Please read a basic Human Resource book and you will find that each member of a team is integral and equally important for an organization to function correctly. If you do not posses the capacity to train your personnel to perform to your standards, then I have serious doubts about your performance. It is not about you the ALL MIGHTY CHEF, it is about the customer, about business, about teamwork. Kitchen without service is worthless, service without kitchen is worthless as well. Get off your high horse.

By Ccfarturo (Ccfarturo) on Friday, March 24, 2000 - 01:53 pm: Edit

Kudos for Vatel & "Bob". I cannot believe that attitude such as the one most of you have dispalyed here still exists. Please read a basic Human Resource book and you will find that each member of a team is integral and equally important for an organization to function correctly. If you do not posses the capacity to train your personnel to perform to your standards, then I have serious doubts about your performance. It is not about you the ALL MIGHTY CHEF, it is about the customer, about business, about teamwork. Kitchen without service is worthless, service without kitchen is worthless as well. Get off your high horse.

By Ccfarturo (Ccfarturo) on Saturday, March 25, 2000 - 12:04 pm: Edit

chef Tim, please tell me where your restaurant is located, I want to avoid it at all cost. I bet it is the worst service anywhere.

By Jimmi (Jimmi) on Tuesday, May 30, 2000 - 01:12 pm: Edit

just a few words to remember, we as resturant pros
are only as good as our worst empolyee. we need to train everyone in the idea that we are here for a cpl of reasons to make the guest want to spend
and come back to do it agian
chef jimmi

By Donna (Donna) on Wednesday, May 31, 2000 - 06:31 pm: Edit

I would just like to give a toast to all you bitchers and complainers who come back for more.
Here, Here.
ps. Take time to smell the mint!! (Fresh peas are in season)

By Mofo1 (Mofo1) on Sunday, July 16, 2000 - 11:32 pm: Edit

I have recently started work at a small casual, up-scale cafe in the midwest with a very young staff. Both front and back of the house. At 32, I'm the "old dude" in the place. I do my fair share of yelling, but mostly I teach. The kids in the kitchen treat me like Bocuse is among them and the waitstaff are appreciative of the greatly expanded range of specials I can offer them. I remember being a kid and working with talented people who treated me with respect and steady patience. Did I get yelled and cursed at? Yes. Did I see hours of labor thrown in the trash because my demi-glace was bitter? Yes. I was, however, then told why. I learned. A young aspiring chef or more importantly a good waitperson will ask questions. Answer them! A perfect saddle of hare with crushed peppercorns and cider reduction will mean nothing to a customer if a waiter sez it's "sorta like chicken." I have a big ego and like to be revered as a god, but I temper that with the remembrance of being 18 yrs old and working with some people who answered my questions. By the way, waitpeople can be dumb. I had one ask a customer that "looked cool" if she could bum a smoke. Jesus Christ!

By Junior (Junior) on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 09:19 pm: Edit

ah,waitstaff. ya get it from the customer or the back of the house. how come i can't get waitrons to lead a table when i'm a cuatomer in a restaurant? they read ya the specials,you ask they're opinion on what is good and they won't commit. plus what is the politics on the specials anyway,between the chef and the waitstaff?...junior,thanks

By Chefmurray (Chefmurray) on Friday, February 22, 2002 - 11:58 am: Edit

Have I got a good one !!!!!
Have you ever had an F&B Manager that had the
I.Q. of a Siberian Temperature ?? [44 below zero]

A true story...
I had the misfortune to work on a property
that looked at the F&B division as an evil
This property was orientated to Filling

They hire this guy who was an Asst Manager
in a Fast Food Restaurant and made him
The F&B Manager

First thing he did was to "Copy" THE Fast Food
Restaurant Menu and apply it to the Hotel
Needless to say sales dropped dramatically
almost in half

I ended up doing all the Paperwork
Doing 100% of the Catering Contracts and
spent a great deal of time involved in Sales

This guy had everyone in management bamboozled

Then He decided to help being a Server
Could never get an order right

Typical Order: Breakfast

Punches in "One Breakfast Buffet" 9.95
Comes running into the kitchen
"I need one order of Shirred Eggs with Very
Crisp Bacon and Toast with no butter"

My Cooks have been instructed by me NOT TO ACCEPT

As this order had nothing to do with the Buffet
My Breakfast cook refused to do it

I come into work about 8:00 AM
and there is a screaming match in the kitchen

I politely told this F&B Manager/Server to
get the f&%# out of my Kitchen !!!!

The reason for this story is that Servers
Sometimes look down at line cooks as if they
were sub-human

Their Philosopy is that "I am Right and you
are s*&%!!!

There seems to always be one or two of these
types in every restaurant no matter where
you go....

They Bitch and Complain everyday that they're
not making any money - yet they show up everyday

By Chefkitty (Chefkitty) on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 01:02 pm: Edit

ok i work in a place that has a dreaded UNION!! so we have people working there who have no business working in a restaurant. we have had the same menu for six months yet they still ask me " now what is this....again?" our dining room manager, who all the cooks love, tries to teach the waitstaff but the more you push them the more they push back. and since you have to write them up thirty million times before you can fire them,only to have the UNION fight to get there jobs back,we are stuck with a bunch of morons slinging our food. now we do have a few good servers but only a few.

By Corey (Corey) on Saturday, February 23, 2002 - 01:30 pm: Edit

We have this in Las Vegas too, the all mighty culinary union cranks them out thru thier own school, I'd prefer someone with just book training over a culinary union trained cook. thier like robots. I went thru the courses after my regular culinary school training, these people just don't think like a cook, no flare, no desire to make better food for people. if the house says 2 oz's of food, they just flop it on a plate, no presentaion, I've seen better at a truck stop. it just a living for them, no love of food, just do your time.

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 02:29 pm: Edit

We went to a restaurant in Salt Lake City this weekend. My girlfriend asked the server if the Artichoke and cheese pie appetizer was like quiche. The server replied that she did'nt know what quiche was but someone told her once that this was kind of like quiche. Then the server went on to tell us she rarely sells that item and all she knows about it is that it comes on a glass plate and looks pretty on top.......

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 01:31 am: Edit

Man I'm glad that server is there and not where I em.
Hey Peachcreek, nice to read you again, hope your well.

By Chefkitty (Chefkitty) on Friday, March 01, 2002 - 11:05 am: Edit

all i have to say is this: yes this is there means to make money, but if they don't care about doing there job right in the first place then why should we care? the servers who know the menu who screw up a few times but bounce right back,they make the big bucks and i give them respect. the ones who don't show that they care, don't know the menu screw up and the whole kitchen suffers for it...well none! if the server shows me that heor she cares about not only the customer but the food, i will bend over backwards for them. the ones here for a paycheck who don't know crap,well sorry tuff luck buddy! so we hurt someones feelings, the kill me everyday when they ask to split a dessert that comes baked in a dish. when the yell they need something, then let it melt all over the plate.i am here to give the customer an experiance, not hash out if they want something and it's not really handy, i'll say no or give them grief for screwing up. show me how serious you are and i'll help you get your money.

By Kurtrayner (Kurtrayner) on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 06:56 am: Edit

The problem with most establishments are that they render endless complaints concerning the poor porformance of their staff. but no-one wants to commit to training their staff. think about it!

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - 07:44 pm: Edit

Say, Kurt - the name fits lol

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