The 9 Questions That Drive Bar And Restaurant Staff Insane
If you think there is no such thing as a stupid question, you have never worked in a bar or restaurant.
There are more than a few frustrating things about this line of work, whether you are a waiter or a bartender. But, above all else, the most annoying aspect of the job is undoubtedly the customers who ask dumb, obvious or otherwise offensive questions. For every polite and considerate person who enters the building there will be another who reduces you to a state of internalised rage with their idiotic enquiries.
Here are nine questions that drive people in this industry insane:
1. “Do you work here?”
“No, I just like to come here and dress in the same outfit as the staff for fun.”
It is amazing how many times a customer at a bar or restaurant will stop a member of staff and ask this question. It is really not that difficult to figure out. Was the outfit not a give away? Or the name tag? Or the big logo on the back of the shirt that has the name of the very establishment you are sitting in?
2. “How much is this?”
The servicing industry figured out a way to tell customers the price of items at a bar or restaurant quite a while ago. They have been commonplace for a pretty long time now, in fact. They are called “menus”. Do you see those numbers next to what you’re ordering on this magnificent “menu” contraption? Would you believe it, that’s where you can find all that information. The wonders of modern dining, eh?
3. “What’s cheap here?”
“You, most likely.”
Tightfisted restaurant customers are a pain for several reasons. Not only are they likely to ask infuriating questions like this; they’re also a tell-tale giveaway that when the bill arrives, the waiter or waitress won’t be seeing any semblance of a tip. Guys, seriously, if you don’t have the money it’s not that hard to go to McDonalds or ring up JustEat instead.
4. “Is there anything here that’s free?”
However, the “what’s cheap here?” gang feel like model customers compared to the monsters who come into a bar or restaurant and ask what’s free. If you’re desperate for free food, you can hang around the bins at the end of the night just like everybody else. Otherwise, you’re paying.
5. “Do I get anything because it’s my birthday?”
“Oh, you special little snowflake, we have a surprise here just for you. Shall we wheel out the 8 foot cake with a dancer inside now or later?”
Sorry to break it to you, but you are not that special. And, by the way, if your friends and family aren’t paying for your drinks or food on your birthday, maybe, y’know, get better ones?
6. “Is the chicken organic? Is it locally sourced? And what farm has it come from…?”
People working in restaurants understand that customers sometimes have specific requests when it comes to food preparation. They have probably heard them all, and the majority of them are reasonable. But there are times when it can go way overboard. If you are asking questions like where the specific farm is on which the animal was raised, maybe you’re doing this whole restaurant thing wrong. A chicken is a chicken. You don’t need to know its entire family heritage before you stuff it in your face.
7. “What’s in that?”
Part of a waiter or waitress’ job is to explain what certain ingredients are when people order food. We have all been in a situation, as customers, where we are tempted by a dish but are unfamiliar with one or two of the items contained. However, if you are asking what ingredients are in a meal, this is the kind of thing that’s wasting your time and everyone else’s. Read. The. Menu.
8. “Can I get more of this?”
Sorry, Oliver Twist, when you have run out of food you have run out of food. The chef isn’t just going to whip up some more because you’re still hungry. That’s what the desert menu is for.
You may be amazed by the fact some people, when they have finished their meals at a restaurant, will ask if there’s any more available. It’s not quite as common as the other questions, sure, but there is probably no waiter or waitress who hasn’t experienced it once or twice. Don’t be that person. Really, just stop.
9. “Would it be alright to split the bill between 12 of us?”
At a busy bar or restaurant where customers are constantly waiting on drinks, food and general service, staff have better things to do with their time than split the your bill between a dozen people – especially if you are all paying by card. If you are going out as a group, maybe get some cash beforehand. And for the love of all things good, stop being cheap and just split the bill evenly so we don’t have to work out each individual cost.