Why Do Most Restaurant Servers Not Apologize For Their Mistakes?

Time and time again, I will have something forgotten or wrong from servers, the servers won't say they are sorry a good 95% of the time, YET, I am the nice person telling them "Thank you." I know they think it is going to affect them in their tip obviously, but do they not understand it will cost them MORE by not being nice that the customer won't tip as well if they don't have an apology for something that is obviously their fault?


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What Guys Said 6

  • I've never been a server but I've managed them, and I've bartended as well, so I'm sure a mistake was made along the way. I would (or advise an employee to) apologize for any mistakes or miscommunication as a general rule, at least on behalf of the establishment. What you should know is that it's not always their fault, there may have been a screwup somewhere else along the chain. Like it's not his/her fault that the cook overcooked your burger, he or she might have heard you say medium rare and entered it properly, and the cook just didn't hold up their end, or maybe someone mixed your burger up with someone else's while plating it. Stuff happens, especially when it's busy.

    But I was taught "L. A. S. T." for handling customer complaints:
    Listen - Make sure they feel heard about their gripe
    Apologize - Simple enough
    Solve - Rectify the problem
    Thank them - Self explanatory; make sure the customer knows you care and appreciate their business

    I find it hard to imagine people aren't apologizing though. How is the interaction occurring? Like I can't envision the scenario. You say "excuse me, but I asked for X and instead I got Y...", what happens next? They blankly stare at you? They silently take your food out back and have it replaced? They just say "uhhhh, ok, sucks to be you" and walk away? I just can't even fathom the interaction where they wouldn't just give you some semblance of "sorry", like that's an automatic response for most people. Important question: are YOU polite in your complaint? I'm not trying to point fingers, I'm just really trying to explore every possibility where you would not be told "sorry" by a large enough sample of servers to say this is a frequent occurrence, an overwhelming 95% by your count. That only happens at places like Dick's Last Resort where rude servers are a schtick of the business, that I know of. I've managed a ton of servers who sucked at their job, but I don't think I've ever encountered even one who refused or neglected to apologize when an error was made.

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    • 28d

      I just say NICELY "I ordered a side of ranch" for example. Then they go to get and and I say "thank you" when they come back, but I don't hear a "sorry" out of their mouth 95% of the times this happens, especially if it's another server that runs the food to you, even more so.

      "Like it's not his/her fault that the cook overcooked your burger"

      Could be if they put in the order wrong. My husband and I have had servers admitted to put in orders wrong before to our faces even. I even put in orders wrong at the donut shop/diner I worked in back in 1998-2002 off and on a little over 2yrs worth as counter help. I ALWAYS said I was sorry when I messed up, even in drive-thru for no tip even, because I am a nice person.

      "he or she might have heard you say medium rare and entered it properly,"

      It is their job to ask questions and REPEAT the order to make sure they understand you.

  • I have literally never met a waiter/tress who hasn't apologised for her mistakes, where on earth do you eat out o. O.

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    • 28d

      Many restaurants, even fine dining. I would say a good portion of the chain restaurants like Applebee's, Chili's, Outback, etc. Also, as I said, even fine dining. A waiter once at a fine dining restaurant I could tell he probably forgot about my margarita, I said nicely "Is my margarita still coming?" He just went to grab it that it had BEENNNN sitting there on the bar and he didn't ONCE, say he was sorry, but I still said "thank you" when he brought it though. That place was in a Casino, but it was a fine dining restaurant in it. What happened is that I ordered a bar drink when I ordered my entrée (I had already ordered a soft drink when greeted) and I think that's what threw him off. The thing is, he still could have apologized. Most servers are mean. My husband and I have had some mean servers throughout the years with some of the comments they have said like one waitress said after we just had a spicy appetizer at Applebee's "Y'all drink like a fish." It's like complaining.

  • Find better restaurants. Your experiences are not ones I've encountered.

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  • A lot of people have problems apologizing, ego I guess.

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  • They are probably in a bad mood because they have to hear the complaints every time the food isn't good enough when it was actually the chef's fault. Nobody wins in that situation.

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  • Are they women?

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What Girls Said 5

  • I'm So Very Sorry, @Springs1, That Those are the "Reposed" Ones, hun, who don't Think... They owe You or Anyone a Living. Rude and Crude, but yet, Still Feel You owe them their"Deal." I have seen Certain High maintenance Waitresses, Approach my own Friends with "WTF?" On their Tipping.
    I don't Care so Much if they Non't "Say, Sorry," but I will Not Tolerate Bad Service Nor Slow Turtle Ones with Some.
    A Small Dollar for no Holler is what Gets to to their Stomachs, I can Bet you, along with "Sorry, Sweetie," which I Never give a Dollar to Donuts just Who... Likes it.
    Good luck. xx

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  • If it's my mistake, I always apologize to them because everyone gets something wrong once in a while.
    It's not even about the tip, you can't afraid to be wrong.

    Lots of customers appreciate it, only few are angry fuckfaces about it.

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  • perhaps they don't think about it in the heat of the moment? or maybe they just don't care? some people are like that.

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  • Perhaps you are a difficult customer, if this happens frequently to you.

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    • 28d

      Only in that I ask for a lot, not difficult in any other way.

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    • 28d

      I meant bottle of wine, sorry for the typo.

    • 28d

      I've never been to a fancy restaurant myself. The staff at the local restaurants in my area are pretty nice, though.

  • You just can't count on good service these days. Having worked as a waitress for while i'll tell you one thing about dining out. If you ever feel compelled to complain or point out an error, whether it's your fault or not... don't. Just tell the manager on the way out and never go back.

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