About Those Hand Signals

Ask The Gal has struck a nerve, so here’s topic number two.

Heidi wants to know:

Is it really so bad to hold up two fingers while you are politely chirping, “Two, please.” I was a waitress and bartender for years, and like to think I treat waiters and bartenders well because of that. But now you’ve got me questioning my first steps into each evening’s chosen reprieve spot.

Heidi, I am certain you treat your former brethren very well. And my apologies for misleading you on this matter! Even The Gal holds up two or three fingers now and then to confirm a number in a party when the din in the foyer is deafening.

BUT–and this is the key–I also SPEAK to the customers, just as you politely “chirp” when addressing the host.

The rudeness factor kicks in when you wave fingers in a host’s face and say nothing. The rudeness factor squares by 4 when you are on a cell phone and wave fingers at a host and don’t speak directly to him or her. The rudeness factor becomes impossible to compute when you do the quote-sign thing.

Bottom line: Use your voice to talk to the host, and appropriate hand signals are always welcome! However, I reserve the right to laugh later about the contortions some perform in order to give those “polite” hand signals.

Got a question for The Gal? Email me at restaurantgal@gmail.com.






6 responses to “About Those Hand Signals”

  1. peppers waiter Avatar

    The key is definately speaking. Just holding up fingers makes a hostess feel less than human. Like you arent worth the effort of vocal communication. When I hosted, I had a lady that held up fingers and said nothing. Then when I asked if she wanted smoking or non, she shook her head. I guessed that meant non…

  2. Amanda Avatar

    a – frickin – men….It’s that NON-SPEAKING part that is so hard to grasp for some people…not to mention the NO EYE CONTACT part….ARGH!!!!!!!

  3. Yo Yo Mother Avatar
    Yo Yo Mother

    Folks who work in restaurant are just as bad; don’t act like you guys are virgin saints. The majority of restaurant employees act as if the customer is a nusiance, acting as if they want to get paid for doing as little work as possible. Corporate/Chain restaurants are the worst: with their trite responses and robotic movements, everything is “Coporate Policy” and everyone’s “Hands are tied in this matter”. Its a telling sign that much of the working hospitality employees thrive in getting even with the customer: petty revenge, people. Shutting me out of a booth will not change my life, though I’m sure you will all revel in it during your post shift beer/scotch/smoke/injection.

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