If you’ve been reading my blogs, then you might already know that one of the top complaints among restaurant-goers and people who dine out is the poor personal hygiene and physical appearance of restaurant servers and waitresses.
It’s actually one of the top 10 complaints that showed up in a recent consumer report survey.
A big factor for this is that restaurant staff turnover is very high, including that among mangers and supervisors. Many servers are living check to check, and even the ones who are making pretty good money are partying it or drinking it all away after work, when they’re not spending it on marijuana and other drugs.
I Was Once a Restaurant Server Too
I can only say crude things like this because I worked in the restaurant service industry for about 5 years and I was one of those people hanging out with the folks who did just that, even partaking in it myself on occasion. I ultimately had goals though, which kept me pursuing other things outside of just making money or living a wild lifestyle.
So, needless to say, these restaurant staff may be skipping on their basic hygiene after a night of raging (partying). One of the things that’s first to go is taking showers, replacing the uniform from the prior shift, smelling bad, smelling of cigarette smoke, and having wrinkled clothes and unshined shoes.
But, however it all unfolds, it usually ends up on your Yelp review, and then you have your corporate overlords breathing down your neck, which is also un-hygienical, and a big annoyance for any restaurant general manager and his supervisor staff.
The Solution: Restaurant servers can eliminate smoking to improve their health and appearance (as well as save money), buy more than one uniform to have ready at all times, brush their teeth before work and NOT smoke. They can shave, shower, and come to work on time and ready to make the guest experience the top priority of their scheduled shift.
As a restaurant manager, you can even have a backup plan for ensuring this all takes place. You can also use punishments/rewards to encourage proper staff behavior.
Not strangely, this is how the restaurant and the waiter are going to both make more money, while leaving the guest and other diners wanting more. It truly is a win-win.
Another Little-Known but Major Complaint of Restaurants Everywhere
One of the other top but little known complaints is how restaurants take care of solo diners, or people eating out by themselves or alone. Often times these are the guests WITH THE MOST MONEY because they are self-employed entrepreneurs with money to spend, only they don’t have time to call up a friend, acquaintance, or maybe they are just more focused on success and less on socializing.
In fact, one of my most horrible memories of (attempted) dining out was going into a Red Lobster in Reno, NV one afternoon during lunch by myself and standing at the hostess stand for minutes, and the hispanic female hostess just kept staring at me arrogantly, as if I was supposed to kneel before her and beg for a table. Then the hispanic male manager followed me out of the restaurant after I complained to him and left, as if he was going to try to get violent with me.
After I complained to corporate, the Red Lobster attache expressed absolute low level sarcasm in her zero-charisma demeanor when apologizing on behalf of the company. It was more of a passive aggressive attack if anything, and the reason I refuse to ever step foot in a Red Lobster again. At the time, I was making a lot of money, and was looking forward to ordering a substantial amount of food and drink off the menu, and also studying a guide for some new software I had recently purchased.
I even talk about situations like this in my Waiting Tables Video Master Class, here’s a video from the series below which was made at the request of one of my YouTube subscribers, but also perectly overlapped with my personal experience.
Server and Restaurant Staff Training Videos
Conclusion: Demand More of Yourself and Your Restaurant Staff
It’s going to take setting the standard, sending servers home before their shift if they don’t show up ready to perform at their highest expected level, and not playing favorites, all of which are challenges for the restaurant manager.
For servers, it’s going to mean passing on the opportunity to go out and get fucked up. You will have to pardon my French, but remember, there’s a picture of a French guy at the beginning of this blog post. 🙂