This is the first “guest blogger” to be published on Waiter Rant. If all goes well and the submissions are good, I’ll publish one a week. Enjoy!
How to Score with a Waitress – Ella Lawrence
I was asked out by my last table at The Bistro last night, and although I do not plan to have dinner with the gentleman, were I not involved with someone already, I might have considered it. And because this oft-hit-on waitress does not often consider actually taking a tableside flirtation to the next level, I thought I would pass along this gentleman’s method for those of you out there who might ever want to ask your waitress (or waiter) out.
Rule #1: Err on the side of politeness. While it became obvious as soon as the two gentlemen were seated in my section that one of them fancied me, this is only because my woman-senses are very finely tuned to that sort of thing. Being obvious about your attraction to your friendly server will only turn him/her off completely.
Rule #2: Buy whatever your server tells you to. Yes, I am trying to make a buck here, but I’m not going to sell a table some expensive bottle of wine that’s not very good. If you’re willing to drop coin (this man was), *and* you’re listening to everything I say, I’m going to notice both of these things. And you’re going to have a nice dinner because I know what I’m talking about.
Rule #3: Subtlety, subtlety, subtlety. When the gentleman asked me (being emboldened after consuming two bottles of my well-chosen wine with his friend) what nights I worked at The Bistro, I knew what was coming. But I quickly turned the conversation around to the fact that I worked days at The Restaurant, and told him and his friend what a nice Restaurant it was and that they should dine there. The gentleman then turned the conversation back around to me by remarking that it was nice that I have most of my evenings free (I work lunches at The Restaurant), and I realized again what was coming and quickly excused myself from the table.
Rule #4: Leave any sexual overtures at the door. When I’m serving you, it’s my job to talk to you and if you’re overtly hitting on me that makes it hard. We’re not in a club or a bar, you’re out on the town and I’m in my place of employment. Don’t put me in a sticky situation. Once, at a venerable four-star institution in the Wine Country where I come from, a table of two young men (attractive, wealthy, and overall despicable) got drunker and drunker, and more and more forward. It got to the point where they asked me “So, what time are you off?” (Never, ever, ask your server this. This is a terrible line.) and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer when inviting me to join them for a cocktail in a far-away town. A couch was offered as a sleeping place, and then one joshed the other that where I was really wanted was in bed. I responded tartly with, “Oh! Well, if *that’s* the case, why don’t I just give you my phone number and you can come over later and we’ll have sex?” The gentlemen looked at me, astounded, meekly paid their bill (tipping the correct 20%), and left the restaurant. And that one-liner came directly from my manager.
Rule #5: Leave the restaurant before it’s too late. By the time these two gentlemen left The Bistro last night, it was late but I didn’t’ hate them yet. I was having a good old time with my manager and the bartender trying to figure out how he was going to drop the question, and I was right-he’d been spending an overly long time signing his credit card slip, and I figured he was writing me a note.
Rule #6: Tip 20%. This is a good tip amount. Any less and you’re a cheapskate, any more and you’re desperate.
On his way out the door, the gentleman handed me a folded piece of paper, saying, “This is for YOU,” He could’ve left it in the check presenter (because a waiter is the only one who ever touches a check presenter from their table, unless a manager picks it up, in which case he will hand it to the waiter without opening it. Unspoken service rule #435), but I appreciated his boldness (brought on by my exceptionally well-selected wine).
The note read: “His Name” and then his telephone number (he was visiting from Chicago). Next line: 415 (the name of the restaurant I’d recommended). Next line: Tuesday night (my next night off). 8pm. Dinner? Next line: Call me!
This is the perfect way to ask out your server. Put everything completely in his/her hands, leave before you embarrass yourself (because the server will most likely share all details of the interaction with his/her coworkers), and don’t be too disappointed if he/she doesn’t call you back. This man was attractive, nice, well-spoken, and polite. Under other circumstances, I probably would have called him.
You can read more about this waitress’s adventures at www.ellalawrence.com