When I was younger (much younger), and a bit more tolerant of the unseasoned diner (yes there was a time–although my kids would never believe that), I worked at a posh, (that word was used at one time), Beverly Hills steak house. Tableside service. Salad tossing. Beef carving. Desserts flambe. I could memorize a party of eights’ entire order. Drinks. Apps. Entrees. Sides and temperatures.
I was dumb to do it
All of my coworkers and bosses couldn’t believe I could do it. One time my manager came in with his extended family (a party of 8), I know just to test me on it. Of course no one ever really knew that as soon as I walked away from the table I was writing that s*** down before I forgot it.
Oh I’m sorry
I don’t know when that ever became necessary to prove that you have what it takes to be a good server. Maybe it was Caligula or Marie de Medici who cut peoples heads off, if and when they failed to memorize it perfectly. But, let’s face it: Nobody cares if you write it down or not. Or, if they do care, they want you to write it down because the only thing that really matters is getting the order right!
The moment of truth
Taking the order is probably the single most important thing you do as a server. That is why customers come in to a restaurant. They want to try yummy food. They want to eat what they want to eat and cooked to a temperature or doneness that works for their palate.
Take the time to get it right. Every time. Not only does the customer want you to get it right, you can bet the kitchen wants you to get it right, too. You think those poor cooks, slaving away in that hot kitchen, want to recook something unnecessarily? That’s right, they don’t. Not to mention the extra food cost associated with the mistake.
No matter what else is going on…
So, again I say, take the time to get it right. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, or how the lady on table 17 is very difficult and upsetting you, or that your girlfriend left you. The customer doesn’t care, and only wants to know that they are going to get what they wanted. So write it down!