Thursday, October 29, 2009

No Napkins, No Name Tags, No Shirts, No Music?

Today was my first day of work, and I would like to share with you a few of the things that have changed since I last worked at Friendly's.

First, and most ridiculously, the rule of "only one napkin per customer, unless they request more napkins." This napkin is the one that is rolled up with the silverware. There used to be a little silver box on each table with napkins for customers to use to their need or desire, but not anymore. No, only one napkin. So if the customer requests more napkins, then it's an extra few steps into the kitchen and back to get them napkins. Are we saving trees?? No, this is a budget cut of unnecessary expenses, but at the expense of the customers and the waitresses. The more time they have to fill small requests such as more napkins, the more time it will take to make sure their food is out and everything is rolling smoothly. A waitress is responsible for housekeeping, meaning they are given chores throughout their work period that they need to complete. That and then make the salads, put in food orders, make and bring out drinks, bring out the food, and make the ice cream. this puts a set back on the customers because this particular Friendly's has always been considered "slow." Now you know why. napkin, unless you ask, then you will have two.

It may seem easy to be a Friendly's waitress, but it's a lot of work to be a waitress here. I've always known that though because of working her in times past. I predict that this weekend when I am actually put on the floor to flap my own wings, I will make quite a few mistakes. I only hope that the customers will understand when I mess up. I'll be sure to apologize and correct the situation for sure! But I always feel bad when I make a mistake, especially on a food order.

The second thing that has changed is the absence of name tags. I even brought my old name tag to work, but my manager said "no, we are not allowed to use name tags anymore." I was so shocked! As a customer I always appreciated the name tag in case the name of the server was a bit foreign, like "Xavierian" or "Teniqua". I would always forget those kind of names, but if they had a name tag on then I would be able to address the waitress or waiter by name, and I would feel good that I am talking to them as a person instead of "excuse me miss?" I wonder if I have my name tag on anyway, would they be angry with me?? Should I push that? But the District Manager said "no name tags," and so for right now I'll just have to hope that I make a good impression when I present my name to the customers as I greet them.

The next thing is the lack of Friendly's collared shirts. They changed their policy that would require me to go out and buy my own collared shirts under a new color code. These shirts look like pastel golf shirts. I suppose that is another way to reduce expenses, and I understand this new policy because Friendly's also has an open door policy, meaning that you can leave the job at any time for no reason. So if Friendly's continues to give shirts to people who only work a month, that is a big expense to the company. So I'm going to suck this one up and buy my pastel rainbow Wal-Mart shirts in good faith.

One of the saddest things I would have to report is the lack of music. I used to love the oldies music, and it would also play in the back where the dish washer was so I could continue to listen and move and groove. It was up-beat and would keep my feet going during the busy hours. I used to always be able to hear the music...but not anymore. The oldies is not being played in the back, and the volume of the music on the main floor is put to a low. So if there are a few customers talking you cannot hear the music at all. I am very saddened by this, since the ambiance is one of the sole reasons for coming back. I have not said anything as of yet, but I plan to request the music be turned up just a little. Music is my entire mission here! Hopefully I can convince them to have it so we can hear it.

I asked the name of the regional manager so I could talk to him about my idea, and my assistant manager got a little nervous. He asked why and if I wanted to try to fire him! I said no, not at all! The assistant manager said that the man who is over the district manager he has met only once, and he seems like a really nice guy.

Score, an open minded thinker. That's exactly the man I need.

I told him his job is not on the line. Rather, I have an idea that will:

1- boost the number of customers at an off peak hour each weekday,
2- bring smiles, good feelings, and returning faithful customers, and
3- best of all, it's completely free.

I think there were some ooohhhh's and aaaahhh's after I said that, but I told him my idea is a secret, which it is. I want to get a feel for this company and get the hang of everything before I drop the bomb on them with my idea.

And by the way, if I lose my job in all this scheming and meticulous planning and maneuvering around the "one napkin per customer" rule, then so be it. It may be all about the money when it comes to my hiring manager and the district manager, but thankfully for me, this job was never really about the money. It's about serving the customers and making sure that the customers get the best experience while being at the most wonderful restaurant: Friendly's!

Oh's also about eventually presenting my grand master plan!


The Spontaneous Waitress


Post a Comment