The Way to This Maitre ‘d’s Heart

When you approach the podium and say, “I am meeting other people who have a reservation,” please know the name of the people you are meeting. Come on, Restaurant Gal, you say. How could someone not know the name of people they are meeting? Trust me, it happens every day. “I don’t know who they put it under. What names do you have at noon for four people?” Too many. Just tell me a couple of names for God’s sake!

When you approach the podium with a cell phone to your ear, kindly ask the person on the line to hold a moment while you check in with me. Standing at the podium and continuing the cell conversation as you thrust an index finger in my face to keep me from speaking to you is, at the least, annoying to those waiting behind you. At most, this gesture shows an absolute lack of manners.

When you ask to look at a menu in order to decide whether or not you want to dine with us, please read in silence. There is no need to comment out loud about the lack of vegan entrees, the high calorie content you are sure lurks in every entree, or the fact that we have omitted a certain dish you have eaten at another of our group’s locations. We are not a vegetarian eatery, we do not specialize in spa cuisine, and we are not a chain. Live a little, eat outside the menu of your mind.

When you approach the podium, smile, and say, “Party of 20. Got room?” And then laugh and say, “Only, kidding. I’ve just always wanted to say that,” please think twice. I am a literalist about walk-ins announcing a group of 20. Walk-in groups of 20 don’t make me laugh. Okay?

When you see a line of people at my podium waiting to eat lunch TODAY, please do not assume this is a perfect time to make a reservation for two weeks from tomorrow. You have a cell phone; we have a land line number. Connect the dots.

When you approach the podium at 1:30 p.m., and wonder if the maitre’d needs a roll of Sweet Tarts because she is exhausted and hungry and won’t take a break for hours yet, assume she accepts gifts and bestow a roll upon her. You will always have a place in her heart–and a spot at the top of the wait list.






6 responses to “The Way to This Maitre ‘d’s Heart”

  1. Natalie Avatar

    Have people always been this clueless about commen sense and manners or is this a more recent phenomenon?
    Next time I have a roll of seet tarts in my pocket, I’ll leave it for the next mairte’d I come across. =)

  2. Kris Avatar

    Natalie – people have no common sense anymore. Sad, but true. They also have no common courtesy. I’ve seen everything she listed here at least once.

    And cell phones? The bane of society! Evil things. I no longer work in the food/bar business because of a hearing loss, but I do still work with the public in a retail setting. There is nothing that makes me grind my teeth more than some fool coming in and sharing with everyone in the store that his old lady is at work; she’s off at ten; sure, come on over she won’t mind; bring beer…blah blah blah. We all the need to know this – why? Then they approach the counter to check out and keep yabbering. I had a guy one night actually *point* (while still talking!) at the cigarette rack. There are over a 100 brands of cigarettes up there. I finally asked him if he had a preference, or if I should choose for him. Jerk.

    I think the world would be a better place all around if every single adult had to spend at least a year working in the service industry and depending on it to pay their bills. People would be a lot nicer and smarter than they are now.

    BTW…I love your blog! One of my first stops every morning. =)

  3. red Avatar

    Maybe middle schools/jr. highs should consider a life skills class. They could teach balancing a checkbook, how to tip properly and cell phone etiquette.

  4. Hostees Avatar

    My FAVOURITE customers are the ones on cell phones that won’t even look at you and thrust 2 fingers in your face…..why doesn’t the other person in their party do the talking. It happens at least once a night, after 2 years of it, I just ignore them until they hang up, or put the phone aside.

  5. Sue Avatar

    I was a cashier at a movie theater. At least 5 times a night, a couple would approach. “One adult and one child,” the guy would announce cleverly, smirking at the girlfriend on his arm.

    They always wondered why I wasn’t laughing.

  6. Jen Avatar

    my favorite was some woman called the reataurant to place a carry out order, got half way through, got a call on her land line and asked me to hold so she could answer her other line. Really?!?! SHE called ME!