Friday, May 7, 2010

Restaurant Servers Need to Learn When to Shut Up

I don’t know if these people are naturally annoying, if they’re trying to be helpful in some bizarre way or if they have orders from their managers to talk this way, but they would make their job a lot easier and would be more helpful to the customer if they’d learn to close their mouths and open their ears.

A typical trip to a local restaurant ...

Restaurant employee: May I take your order, sir.

Me: Yes. I’d like to get a number three with —

Employee: Do you want regular, curly, spicy or waffle fries with that?

Me: Regular. And on my —

Employee: What kind of cheese would you like on your burger?

Me: Swiss.

Employee: We don’t have Swiss.

Me: What kind do you have?

Employee: We have American, Cheddar, Colby, Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, Havarti, Butter Cheese, Blue Cheese, Monterey and Fontina.

Me: But no Swiss?

Employee: No Swiss.

Me: Okay, I’ll have the Cheddar, and on —

Employee: Mild, medium, sharp or extra sharp?

Me: Mild, medium sharp or extra sharp ‘what?’

Employee: Cheddar.

Me: Uh, medium, I guess. And then —

Employee: White or yellow Cheddar.

Me: Yellow.

Employee: And how do you want your burger cooked?

Me: Medium rare.

Employee: Sorry, we don’t do medium rare. Your choices are rare, medium and well done.

Me: Medium. And I’d like —

Employee: What else would you like on your burger?

Me: Ketchup, mayonnaise and —

Employee: What kind of mayonnaise?

Me: What?

Employee: What kind of mayonnaise?

Me: What kind do you have?

Employee: Regular and light.

Me: Light is fine. But I’d —

Employee: What else would you like on your burger?

Me: Did you get the ketchup?

Employee: Yes, sir.

Me: Okay, then I’d also like the —

Employee: Did you still want the mayonnaise, too?

Me: Yes.

Employee: And the ketchup?

Me: Yes.

Employee: What else?

Me: I also want lettuce and mustard and —

Employee: What kind?

Me: What kind of ‘what?’

Employee: Lettuce. Bibb or head lettuce?

Me: Head lettuce is fine. And —

Employee: What kind of mustard? Brown or yellow?

Me: (while cursing under my breath) Yellow.

Employee: Anything else?

Me: On the burger, you mean?

Employee: Yes, sir.

Me: No.

Employee: Okay, sir, your order is a number three with medium cheddar cheese, yellow mustard, ketchup, light mayonnaise and head lettuce. Your order total is $8. 32.

Me: That’s not all my order. I also want —

Employee: What else would you like, sir?

You get the idea. It goes on from there. If these people would just shut up and let me put in my order, they would hear most if not all of the information they need. If not, then when I’m finished they can ask me questions.

And really, most restaurants not only need to simplify their menus, but they also need to have a menu that is legible. Even walking into a fast food joint nowadays is daunting what with the five hundred options you have, only half of which will be listed on the board behind the counter and even then the print is so small you can barely read it without binoculars.

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