So, let me tell you about our morning.
First, it was blissful because I went to bed after 2 am and the kids slept in! I do not deserve such graciousness!
Second, when we got up and going we were ravenous. Edacious. Famished. Hungry. Starving.
Our next order of business, therefore, was food acquisition. Bob Evans was our target.
The experience we had after pulling into the restaurant has prompted me to offer a few suggestions to restauranteurs and wait staff worldwide:
1. Feed the Masses. When a group comes in with small children, realize you’re viewing a ticking time bomb. Anything can happen at any time that may injure innocent patrons and workers – the best course of action is to try to deflect potential issues.
This means give them food, any food, immediately. Those little Saltine crackers are awesome for this purpose! Offer stalks of parsley if necessary, but do not keep the kids waiting.
(Claim Jumper does this best – when you arrive at their restaurant they bring kids a cheese and fruit plate along with coloring books and crayons. Amazing!)
2. Beware Immersion. Refrain from perching beverages within arms reach of babies. Hot coffee or ice water, the result is the same. The kid thinks, “Um… nice, splashy, want!” and the drink goes across the table and into the lap.
My sister once got a lap of ice water from three seats away because there’s a little-known Newtonian law stating “Ice water travels at the speed of light down a restaurant table and has heat-seeking capabilities that will only be disarmed by arrival in an unsuspecting groin.”
3. Feel the Need for Speed. If you have the ability to make it stat, do so. The reality is restauranteurs want small children in their establishment about as much as parents with small children want to be in the restaurant – which is little to none.
(This is why we typically purchase food in chemically-treated wrappers and throw it at our kids from the front seat of the vehicle. It may train them to behave like zoo animals but it also limits their ability to vandalize unsuspecting salt shakers.)
My recommendation? Get the order, deliver the food, and get them out as quickly as a greyhound at the races. Forget the niceties of having everyone’s order come out at the same time. If it’s a fruit plate, dish it up and serve!
At all costs, get the table finished with their meal as quickly as possible. Those crayons and papers can only last so long.
This is for the safety of all involved. I repeat, this is for your own safety.
As you may have guessed our breakfast experience was what memories are made of. Fun company, but things got sketchy when we waited 35 minutes to make our order and another 30 minutes before any food appeared like manna upon our table.
Tres knocked a glass of ice water off into her Uncle’s lap and he squealed like a little girl. Dos discovered her knife and ate apple butter raw. I considered it a fresh fruit serving in her daily food pyramid.
It wasn’t as messy as a crime scene but it was dodgy nonetheless.
I ended up at the host pedestal on the verge of tears begging them to please just give us food.
“It’s touch and go over there and we’re trying to keep them from destroying your restaurant!” I begged. The manager came over, offered absolutely nothing comforting and looked uncomfortable. She was obviously not a mother.
Then she winced her face up like I was about to hit her and tentatively asked if we’d like banana bread in compensation for our hour + wait.
Well, the banana bread was awesome – but would have been better if it arrived forty minutes earlier!
So, for all you waitresses and waiters out there, please heed my advice. It will make like better for all of us.
What tips did you learn as a waiter/waitress?