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Fri Apr 6, 2012, 04:16 PM

What was the best server you've ever had at a restaurant (or best service)?

We went to a restaurant in Madison WI called Pizzeria Uno.

The server, a young lady in her 20's, came to the table. She was bright, cheerful and very pleasant. She asked if we were ready to order. Our order was kind of involved and I asked her, "Don't you want to write this down?" She said, "No, I'm good. Go ahead."

So we did. We placed our order and damned if this amazing young lady did not get EVERYTHING right.

She totally earned the way over 15% tip that we left.

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply What was the best server you've ever had at a restaurant (or best service)? (Original post)
WillParkinson Apr 2012 OP
bif Apr 2012 #1
woodsprite Apr 2012 #2
HeiressofBickworth Apr 2012 #3
HopeHoops Apr 2012 #4
Iggo Apr 2012 #6
csziggy Apr 2012 #15
Scuba Apr 2012 #5
undeterred Apr 2012 #7
rrneck Apr 2012 #8
ohiosmith Apr 2012 #9
Amerigo Vespucci Apr 2012 #10
Johnny Rico Apr 2012 #11
chrisa Apr 2012 #12
nickinSTL Apr 2012 #13
Major Nikon Apr 2012 #14
pitohui Apr 2012 #16
WillParkinson Apr 2012 #18
nolabear Apr 2012 #17
NewJeffCT Apr 2012 #19
AsahinaKimi Apr 2012 #20
treestar Apr 2012 #21
era veteran Apr 2012 #22
Auggie Apr 2012 #23
DFW Apr 2012 #24
kcass1954 Apr 2012 #25
MiddleFingerMom Apr 2012 #26
Taverner Apr 2012 #27

Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 04:28 PM

1. An Italian restaurant here in Detroit

The waiter was amazing. He was right there when you needed him. But not in the way. Near the end of the meal I asked him if he was Italian and it turns out he was from Morocco. When we told him that it sounded like a nice place to visit he told us we had to see him before we go so he could set us up with his relatives who own inns throughout the country. When the service is very good I tip at least 20%.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 05:02 PM

2. We always pay a lot of attention to our servers and tip

accordingly. Even if we get service that is minimal, we leave at least 10% (but that's a rare occurrence). There have been several that have really done well recently, but we really like going to our regular place - a little pizza joint in our local shopping center.

When the cook or manager sees us coming across the parking lot, they must get some server hopping because by the time we walk in the door, they have our unsweetened iced teas ready. All they have to ask is 'Would you like your regular today?" If we go with our regular order (house salads w/ pineapple and ham pizza), we don't have to say anything else. Now they've picked up on the fact that our daughter eats lunch with us on Tuesdays. Needless to say, they always get tipped well.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:53 AM

3. Many years ago

a friend and I decided that we would have ourselves a glorious New Years Day dinner at the best restaurant in town. We made our reservations well in advance. On New Years Day, we dressed up in our finery (we're two women) and went to the restaurant. Neither of us had been there before. It was elegant. The decor was very lovely. The food was out of this world and was served in courses. The waiter was a lovely young man who anticipated our every need. He seemingly monitored our progress and brought the next course just as we finished the one before us. We never had to ask for anything. Everything was exceptional. It was a frightfully expensive meal, but even after a generous tip, it was all worth it. We left the restaurant feeling on top of the world, feeling that we had been treated as VIP's. We laughed our asses off when the valet brought out my 15-year-old car. A rather inglorious end to a perfect time.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:32 AM

4. Too many to count - far more than 'bad service'.

 

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:25 AM

6. Yep.

I was trying to figure out how to say that.

It's pretty much damn near all of 'em.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:34 PM

15. Same here - the bad ones, maybe half dozen. Good ones, dozens and dozens

MOST servers who last more than a week are very good at their jobs from my experience.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 09:41 AM

5. I once got excellent service from a precise young woman who also spoke with perfect grammar....

.... a month later I hired her as an administrative assistant. A year later she was promoted to a systems analyst position, and eventually became our web master.

All because I was so impressed with her articulate speech.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:54 AM

7. I was on a business trip with a colleague and we were at dinner...

After the waitress had taken our order and walked away my colleague turned to me and said: "Our server is trash". I said "Why do you say that? She seemed perfectly nice to me."

He looked at me a little strangely and then he said "No, I meant our server. The one we were working on this afternoon.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:07 PM

8. Once in Rome

we thought we'd try a little place near the hotel. We wandered over and the owner told us it was reservation only. Okay, we said. How about Saturday at seven (three days away). He got our names and said, "fine". We stood there for a moment expecting to write it down, but he just looked at us like we were idiots and said, "okay".

Three days later at seven pm it was, "Ah, Geusseipi and Suzanna! Come in! Come in!"

The food was unreal and not expensive.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:24 PM

9. Have had a lot of good servers/meals. Interesting however that you mention Pizzeria Uno.

One opened in the Mall in Northridge California in the early 90s. During one of our visits there a young gentleman came to our table and inquired about our meal and service which had been excellent. He introduced himself as the new Manager and told us he had just moved from Chicago. Two days later the Northridge earthquake struck. He was the only fatality. Very sad.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:59 PM

10. Lady named "Marty" at Rick's Swiss Chalet, Palo Alto, CA

This was when I was with my ex-girlfriend. Rick's was a favorite of my family so when my ex and I were together it became a favorite of ours as well. Marty was around our age, just very pleasant and efficient and likeable. We left her a 25% tip and as we were leaving stopped to speak with the Maitre D'. He was friendly in a very professional, somewhat stiff way...his name was Peter Steiner, perfect English with a very pronounced German accent.

ME: We wanted to speak with you about our waitress.

HERR STEINER, EYES NARROWING: Yes?

ME: She's the best waitress we've had in a long time. We really liked her a lot and she did a GREAT job.

HERR STEINER, FACE MUSCLES RELAXING AND SMILING: Thank you very much.

We went for dinner next week and Herr Steiner said "I'll seat you at one of Marty's tables."

She walked up and had a smile on her face from ear to ear. My mom was a waitress, so I always do my best to show respect, but when they are a pro like Marty and just a naturally sweet human being, I treat them like a family member. We loved the food, but it got to the point where we also looked forward to seeing Marty.

The owner of the restaurant...a member of the Hyatt family...passed away. The family made a decision to sell it. It was leveled to the ground and a Salvation Army location was built in its place. No idea what's there now...I literally haven;t driven down that stretch of El Camino in decades.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:11 PM

11. At the restaurant "Blue" at the Ritz-Carlton in the Cayman Islands.

 

Impeccable service, fantastic food.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:14 PM

12. Yeah - it's always at the small hole-in-the-walls

I've been to a couple Mexican restaurants where they work extremely hard, and the food is great.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 02:25 PM

13. That's often hard

it's the bad service that stands out.

In my opinion, the best service is efficient, quick, and virtually invisible.

Unless you need something, you don't see them.

We've had some very good service at restaurants. Our favorite restaurant has one server in particular who's excellent, and most of them are fine. Usually any problems are when someone is new.

The best service I can think of in any setting recently was actually at a hotel. We were driving home from Houston, it was our first day of driving, and we'd had not only rain and bad traffic due to the rain and accidents (probably caused by the rain), but during the day we had 2 separate terrible experiences with food service, one at a Taco Bell and one at a Pizza Hut.

We finally pulled into a hotel around 5pm (much earlier stop than planned, due to the heavy rain and just general frustration), and the desk clerk was friendly, efficient, was actually able to spell (my last name is kind of long, but spelled EXACTLY as it sounds, but people always mangle it AND my first name, which is the conventional spelling), AND when my wife joked about getting a discount, she actually gave us $10 off the room cost.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 04:54 PM

14. When I first met my latest wife, she was manager of a local pizza joint

This was way before Chuck-e-cheeze, but it was something like that. They had pinball, skeetball, balloons, etc. and most importantly, BEER! At any rate, she had me and a couple of my buddies over after closing one night. Two of the waitresses stayed over, and we had a bit of a private party. My future wife told us we had to pay for all the beer and pizza, but she had an unlimited supply of tokens for the machines, and whatever else we wanted to do is OK (which is probably a bad thing to tell me and my friends at the time). At any rate, we got drunk on cheap draft beer, ate cheap pizza, and played skeetball. They had a PA system, and we took turns huffing helium and telling dirty jokes into the microphone. I used to do a pretty good Rodney Dangerfield impression, which was even funnier on helium. By the time we finally got the place cleaned up, it was almost dawn. Our guts were sore from laughing so hard all the next day.

I call her my latest wife jokingly. We've been together almost 30 years. We still laugh about that party.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:45 PM

16. um, is that amazing to you? that's a standard trick, you know?

it's one way that they can practice age discrimination w.out quite admitting to it, since once you are over age 45 it is impossible to remember short term point by point like this so a manager can then fire the older person who needs to make notes

i don't like the trick at all, it doesn't impress me w. anything except a restauranteer looking for an excuse not to hire older staff

some of my older wait staff have been some of the best

i'm not looking to be impressed by memory tricks, i'm looking for service that impacts my enjoyment of the wine, food, and cocktails (such as timing, delivery, good recommends, etc)

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Response to pitohui (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 12:51 AM

18. Well...

Considering that the order was perfect. The service was great. She was engaging. Yeah, I was impressed.

And I agree about older staff. I myself am older and I think I'm a decent waiter. My customers seem to like me.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 10:57 PM

17. When my first son was about eight months old we went to a little place in Pbgh.

It was dinner and actually fairly busy. He started to fuss and the waitress, who was the daughter of the owner, picked him up and took him with her to several tables as she waited on the with the other hand. He loved it. Then she handed him to the bartender (yeah, it was a while back and they didn't worry about the bad influence, and neither did we) and he talked to him for a while before bringing him back to where the food had arrived. We went back there several times and they were always just delightful, though that performance wasn't repeated.

The tip was good, of course.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 08:48 AM

19. I've had great service in a lot of places

One server that stood out wasn't just for any one time, but for the fact she was consistently terrific.

She worked at a local Friendly's. My daughter was just under 4 years old at the time and we had gone to another Friendly's and gotten terrible service (we were there for almost 2 hours - the manager gave us our meals for free at least, and I'm not usually one to complain in restaurants, either. The manager just offered it.)

But, at this new Friendly's, the whole place was very busy, but she made us feel like we were her only customers. She was great with my daughter. Our total bill was like $12, so I gave her a $20. She remembered us the next time we went there as well, and I was always very generous with my tips for her. She'd make up for it by giving us a free dessert or something similar. When my daughter's birthday came around, she even got some small gifts for my daughter, which was nice. And, when the holidays came around, my daughter would give her a card and I'd put some extra cash in it for her.

She was there for a good 3 1/2 years, and I'm guessing we probably went there well over 100 times and had her most of the time. She had a baby about 18 months ago, though, and now no longer works there.

She kind of stood out because she was the most recent example of excellent service.



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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 07:18 PM

20. All my good friends at

Kushi Tsuru at Japantown, in San Francisco. Love these guys!

http://www.yelp.com/biz/kushi-tsuru-san-francisco

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 07:45 PM

21. A diner outside NYC

This waiter was dead serious. He did everything very efficiently, including serve the child in the party first. I'd never seen a waiter do that, but it makes sense. Get the kid busy first. Then we noticed him standing at the side of the room looking around for something to do next - he was that efficient. Never seen before or since.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 07:36 AM

22. I have fantastic servers.

We work as a team, have fun, & practice hospitality.
Turnover is usually caused by graduation. I work hard for them and they take care of me.
20% for a good experience.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:53 AM

23. Bill, of the original Washington Square Bar & Grill

in San Francisco. Picture Morgan Freeman.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:00 AM

24. At "The Mews" in Provincetown, MA

And over the years, I'd say just about all of them. A real cast of wonderful characters!

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 02:10 PM

25. Late 80's, I used to take my ex's mother to dinner once a week

at a little German deli in Hollywood, along with my then-preschooler. I cannot for the life of me remember the waitress' name, but we always asked to be seated in her section. When she came to our table, she brought 2 glasses of iced tea, a small Coke in a cup with a top, a basket of fresh bread and butter with extra saltine crackers, a small plate with a dill pickle, and a big stack of napkins. She got a 25% tip every week.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:27 PM

26. In the 90's sometime, I stopped by a great BUSY bar on an early Friday evening...

.
.
.
... and the crowd was three-deep at the bar. I ordered a Guiness from one of the two bartenders. She had JUST
changed the Guinness keg, so the flow at the tap was fucked up and she couldn't get a proper head on it.
.
DESPITE how busy it was, DESPITE all the customers growling and yelling... she stayed doggedly with my order,
starting over THREE times 'til she could get it right (once a Guinness pour STARTS screwed-up, it's not something
you can adjust and fix).
.
I'm a GOOD tipper (been there done that) but not a flamboyant one... but that night was the only night I've
ever laid a $20 bill on a bartender for bringing me one drink (I also let her know I was aware of how above-and-
beyond she had gone).
.
.
.

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Response to WillParkinson (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 03:37 PM

27. I usually see good service

 

It seems to be the norm for me at least...

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