10 Signs Your Server Doesn't Suck

Categories: Chow Bella

superserver1-wheeler.jpg
Carrie Wheeler
Your server doesn't need superpowers to give great service.
Anyone who has dined in a restaurant has some notion of what good service is, and many of us have horror stories that illustrate what it definitely isn't. Whether you're having drinks at your favorite dive bar or dining at a five-star restaurant, here are ten easy ways to tell your server cares.

See also: Has Service In Restaurants Become Too Casual?

You're greeted within moments.
It seems simple enough, right? At a restaurant, a good general expectation is that someone will acknowledge you within thirty seconds of being seated. If it's been upwards of a minute, you can realistically expect the worst. At a coffee shop or a place with counter service, there's absolutely no excuse for a sloppy, slow salutation. Even during busy times, a good server stays acutely aware of their guests. If they're not able to chat you up right away, they'll at least stop for a quick "hello" so you know they're thinking about you.

The space, as a whole, is spotless.
Bad industry professionals rely on bussers and barbacks to do the dirty work; great ones take ownership over the building as well as the people in it. Are the light fixtures dusty? Are the baseboards clean? Are the bathrooms clean and well stocked? Are dirty dishes removed promptly? The teeny tiny details are the most important indicator that your server cares about the entirety of your experience. Bonus points if whoever is helping you takes the time to help out other staff (including barbacks and bussers!) that might be struggling to keep up.

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.
Take a peek under the table. Are there stacks on stacks of sugar packets or wads of weathered napkins under the legs? It's about time food service folks learned to stop MacGyver-ing temporary table-wobble repairs. If an establishment truly cares, they'll take the time to inspect each seat before guests come in for service. Think of it this way: the table is the literal foundation of a meal. If the foundation won't stop wiggling around, it's nearly impossible to build an awesome experience.



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