You can eat out, order coffee, get your car washed, or whatever else and get through life just fine, but several secrets exist in the service industry. Take a little time this weekend to learn them to save yourself time, money, and the occasional headaches.
If you frequent a restaurant, you probably like the food. That leaves one major variable in your enjoyment: service. You can’t always guarantee your waiter will do a great job, but you can do a few things to improve your chances.
First, save yourself some money by checking Yelp, Groupon, Amazon Local, and other deal sites prior to dining. I do this before I sit down (or even while I’m eating) and half the time find a really good discount. If you frequent a restaurant, still check regularly. I get coupons for one of my favorite Ethiopian restaurants every time I go. Even if I max out one site, there’s another coupon on another site. I just have to keep looking and I save $ 10-20 off the bill for the entire party.
If problems come up, you need to handle them well. Generally that comes in the form of bad food that needs to go back to the kitchen. When that happens, know how to talk to your server without getting some sort of bodily fluid back in your food. It isn’t hard—you just need to be nice and not assume they screwed up. A lot of the time, it’s you.
Finally, you should know what happens when you tip because it doesn’t always go to the server directly. Many restaurants use a tip pooling method and split tips evenly amongst the waitstaff rather than hand them off to the people who earned them. That means you could give a waiter a crappy tip for crappy service and it wouldn’t really matter. If you get really awful service, you probably want to complain instead. Some restaurants—although this is far less common—don’t necessarily provide the entire time to the waitstaff. In some cases it goes to the business. If you want to know where you’re tip money goes and how to respond accordingly, ask a restaurant about its practices prior to dining there.
You have a lot of options at fast food restaurants you may not know about. For starters, many have secret menu items. Here are a bunch we’ve dug up so far:
As you can see, you can get a lot of special meals at pretty much any chain. Of course, you can make a lot of them at home, too.
You can’t guarantee good customer service when you call a cable company to ask for a discount or tech support because of a problem, but you can up your chances by being a decent human being. Most of the time, anyway. You just need to know how to keep your cool. Most customer service or support agents want to help you, but only if you treat them kindly. If you turn into a monster, don’t expect much back in return.
Even if you don’t have problems, you should still regularly call customer service. A little call can save you a lot of money. If you don’t feel like calling, you can also enlist a service to do it for you instead.
Have a great weekend!
Photo remixed from an original by zoetnet.