Don’t Try To Change The Guest’s Eating Habits

This table comes in tonight and they were at the bar and had their drinks delivered to their table in my section. They obviously have been waiting so when I greet them they are ready to order their appetizers.

The lady wants 2 escargots without the mushroom caps and the guy wants a shrimp cocktail with the daughter wanting a garlic cheese bread. While they are waiting for their appetizers I ask them if they want to order their entrees.

No they reply they are not in a hurry. They get their appetizers and then they are now ready to order. Fine.

She orders a teryiaki sirloin cooked medium butterflied. Yes you heard correctly medium butterfly. He orders the thai chicken without the peppers , only the garlic mash and side of thai sauce and mayo. Just give him the snap peas. He says they always get it wrong when he orders this.

I put it in the squirrel with all the modifiers. I see the food coming up and I say just butterfly the steak. The cook says he thinks it is stupid it is a medium butterfly and I agree but I ask him to make the butterfly to keep them happy. The food comes out and the side of mayo and teri sauce is missing. I go back and get it. Everything is fine. He leaves a tip and comes back and on top gives me $5 extra cash cause he didn’t think he left enough.

Okay they were a bit finicky and I ran a bit for them when the kitchen wanted to do their way and forget things or skip the butterfly. In the end they were happy.

But here is my point just because these people wanted butterfly on the medium and sauces on the side why was it so difficult for the kitchen just to give them what they wanted.

I remember one local restaurant I worked a regular came in and wanted his lamb MW but the stupid arshole chef thought why would anyone want to order this beautiful lamb more than medium so he thought he should teach him how to order his meat. So he cooked it mr-m and the guy complained. A real good regular. Didn’t see him much afterwards.

So here is my beef , if the customer wants his whatever cooked and butterflied or sauces on the side just do it the way they want it. Don’t ???!!!! argue. Don’t try to change people and the way they eat! Don’t try to educate people on how they should order their food! Just give them what they want!

I am not playing games when I put an order in just to give the kitchen headaches. Truthfully what the guest ask for I ring in.

You know why I take the order the way the guest wants it? Because I make my living on making sure the guests gets what they want! That’s all. Just do as I say. Because I am doing what the customer tells me.

They tell me and I write it down and I tell the kitchen. If it’s my mistake I will say it is my mistake. But the customer gets what he or she wants all the time.

You know why I have developed a patience for this business. Because I don’t question anything the guest wants. If they want their ice cream in a microwave I will give it to them. Some may think that is idiotic just to suggest that but truthfully I don’t give a hoot how they want their food as long as they get it the way they want it! Then I collect their money and say have a nice evening. See you again!

That is waitering in a nutshell. Don’t try to change people on the way they eat their food cause they do not care what you think , just they want their food the way they want it , no other way. We take the order and punch it in.

All we have to do is mention the features. That is all. Very simple…..

Don’t try to change the guest’s eating habits. At least that is my thought. A tiny one perhaps?



  1. You’re right, and too often people will do exactly that. The only time I’ll try to steer them away is if it’s something blatantly stupid–for example, people who order hot fudge sundaes to go after telling me they have a half hour drive home. Then I’ll just gently point out that’ll be ice cream soup by the time they get home. Or if they order our three cheese pasta with no cheese and no bruschetta topping, I’ll explain that’ll be naked noodles and chicken. But I think a surprising number of servers, especially new ones and especially ones in corporate restaurants, don’t understand the difference between informing a guest of something and telling them they’re wrong.

  2. Purplegirl..great points you make.Like you say blantantly stupid things you have to say something.Thankfully most people are not morons and stick to normal requests.My upsell since I work in a steakhouse would be for example from a 10oz steak to a 14 oz one.Same thing but bigger.Always ask if they want a starter and that’s about it. Make sure the drinks are refilled and they like the food.

  3. Oh boy, how many cooks have I had to deal with over the years.. the simplest request and they get so upset and throw fits because a guest wants something on the side or, my favorite, NY Strip butterflied.. good lord.. they just flip out. I'm always like, I'm just the messenger. Every cook I've ever worked with says they could never do my job. So they understand what we deal with out on the floor but when we come back with insane requests the still have to make a scene.. btw.. I have had the pleasure of working with some fine cooks that take any requests and roll with it.. rare but they do exist.

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