Re: What Can I Get You Folks? – Gesturing Toward Better Service


If you have worked on the floor in a restaurant, you can relate to this easily. Most diners have learned by experience how to be meek and get help. The aggressive approach does not work. American waitstaff are not exactly professionally-trained as European ones. Most brag about “being in restaurant business” to outsiders but when alone cry about everything. Restaurant career is not exactly a career by choice for many. The majority of American waitstaff have attitudes which is basically acquired as part of the culture automatically. Americans are picky about being treated with respect and as equals with others. Restaurant service is an automatic violation of this expectation. They hide their feelings and they can blow up at some point. Basically, one has to handle the waitstaff with kids gloves except in the better restaurants. I remember the last time I got snapped at, I was a bartender. I just stood in the bar starring at him. I am sure he could tell I couldn’t believe he was actually snapping at me. He pulled his hand down and said “You are not French?” Give me a break. He was French but you are not in France. As a manager, I have separated waiters (actually European ones) and guests who were literally getting in each other’s faces and making threats to each other. Hand gesture?? You are in America. The waitstaff refer to themselves as “minimum wage slaves” here.


Most diners have mastered the art of eating with a fork, but a surprising number of them still use their fingers to signal when they want something from their server.

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