Thursday, January 11, 2007

An Update…and Restaurant Manners?

As my loyal viewers know, the Mommy has been working a long stretch. We are now in our sixth consecutive day… only two more to go! The Mommy manages a restaurant ¼ of a mile away from the sixth largest mall in America, which means it’s incredibly busy, all the time. It also means she makes a good enough living to have me home with the little people.

But, this doesn’t come without a price… a hefty one at that. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, the Mommy was home for a total of 6 ½ hours. She left at 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, got home at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning and went back to work at 9:00 a.m. until 7 p.m. last night. We don’t complain, this is the nature of her business, although extremely hard on her, and us, as well, this is our life. It’ll be worth it this weekend when we celebrate the Helper’s birthday… we’ll all be exhausted but we’ll definitely have fun!

One thing I’d like to talk about is “Restaurant Manners,” specifically pertaining to children… but we adults aren’t exempt from this either.

From the time my children could sit up on their own they have been instructed on how to behave in public. The Helper can sit at a table, eat his meal, drink his beverage, and carry on a conversation, all without screaming, carrying on, or running around disturbing other diners. His mother would actually kill him if he did such things, so it’s more of a self preservation thing than good behavior. Manners matter, especially in public. It’s a reflection of the parent’s effort and skill. When a child is rude and disruptive everyone suffers, and it’s not their fault, they’re children. Dining out is discretionary spending and, as such, should be an enjoyable experience for all. If a child can’t behave properly, in a public situation, then he/she shouldn’t be placed in that situation. Don’t set them up for failure.

One last note about concerning us adults; reward good service! The Mommy has been in this industry since she was 13 years old, that’s right 13. She has risen through the ranks from busser/server to manager/chef. It still amazes me how people can treat workers in the service industry so poorly. If they only knew what went into providing that meal in front of them… like a mother only getting to spend 15 minutes in a 60 hour period with her 3 month old baby. Thanks folks and remember to tip your servers on the way out!

Have a great day, as always, thanks for reading, come again soon.


Anonymous said...

Excellent points LID.

The one complication comes when determining what is "bad service" and what is "bad organization". For example, just because you had to wait 20 minutes longer than you wanted to for your meal doesn't mean your server's tip should suffer: it might have been someone in the kitchen who forgot to start your meal when the order was placed.

We try to be as fair as possible, within reason. If a steak isn't cooked enough we usually don't make the server suffer. And if they do something we appreciate (like the ones who bring crayons with our menus because they walked by and saw our daughter before they came to us) we reward them.

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly.

As a former bartender and server myself, I always treat the establishment staff with respect and a deserving tip. I know what it's like behind the scenes and it's hard work.

SF has also always been able to conduct herself accordingly in a dining situation. Especially since I love eating out and with the lack of babysitting services available, she most of the time comes with.

I admire your wife's hard work.

Long Island Dad said...

Good point Jeff. My wife has 90 people working for her and serves 200-300 dinners an evening... not everyone will be perfect. But, it's the manner in which people speak to other people that I have an issue with. The stories of poor behavior are endless -- on both sides.

Angel said...

All excellent points. But tell me this, my son is high energy. At home from day one we have worked with him about 'please' and 'thank you' and what fork to use. We have repeatedly (if I had a nickel for every time I've said this...) told him to use his napkin not his sleeve. The one thing we've worked with since he got out of the highchair is to remain in his seat until excused. Still he jumps up and does things. We put him back in his seat. Now most of the time he sits, and fidgets because he can't sit still for some reason, and asks to be excused.

While out at restaurants he 98% of the time will sit, work on the puzzles provided (or the items we take) or we engage him in questions about school and his days. But sometimes he gets out of hand and we don't know why. How does one remedy that?

Karly said...

I used to be a waitress or server or whatever you call it, and now I am always sure to tip well. I hate eating out with people who either don't tip or tip a dollar no matter what. Drives me nuts.

Angel said...

Oh, and in regard to tipping, hubby keeps a tip card (we both used to work in the service industry and it's hard stuff) and we always tip 20% minimum. Unless the waitstaff was rude or something (which rarely happens) and even then we tip 15%

Amanda said...

Goodness...this restaurant issue is a tough one for me! I, too was a hostess then a server. I agree with your thoughts except I do have one "issue", if you will. Some children sit still better than others, no matter how much effort the parents have put in to teach them or distract them (whichever method is chosen to do so). Just because particular child has a difficult time sitting throughout an entire meal, in my opinion, doesn't mean that the experience shouldn't be provided for them so that they can work on this skill.

Mike said...

We try not to take the kids out at peak times AND we don't hold the wait staff accountable for small mistakes on food prep.

But we have gotten such lousy service before that we have explained to the manager why we felt we should not tip the wait staff or cooks, but we would be glad to cover tipshare for everyone else if service or food was exceptionally lousy.

Gotta love college town dining.

Long Island Dad said...

Great points! I felt the need for a follow-up so see "Some Clarification"

Terry said...

I have always felt that 10% was acceptable for poor service, just to let them know I was not happy. But as I rule, I normally tip at least 20%. This is a service, and without it we would all be standing in line at the buffet, or driving thru the local Mickey Ds. Lets show some appreciation and treat our servers well!!