When you’re really busy, the last thing you need is to have to wait 30 minutes to get a simple sandwich. Of course, some restaurants just have really bad service—just blacklist them from your personal list—but most of them are eager to keep customers happy. Here are some tips on how to ask for better service, especially on days when you’re running late and need to have a good meal, really fast.
Avoid rush hour
Even the best restaurants will struggle to keep up with orders during peak hours like weekday lunch breaks, or Friday and Saturday nights. You my have to wait to get a table or a menu. Schedule your visit during off-hours, or make a reservation (and, if possible, place your order ahead of time—especially if it’s a complicated dish). Some restaurants won’t accept reservations but allow you to call ahead an hour or so before you think you’ll arrive—so you can have your name written on the list as you get dressed.
Inform your server of your time constraints
No, don’t be rude and obnoxious—that’s the best way to be kept waiting, actually. The trick is to get on their good side, and ask for their help. ‘Hey, could you do me a favor? I have a big meeting at 1:30, my boss will kill me if I’m late. Do you think I could get my order quickly?’
Master the menu
Don’t waste time dawdling over whether you should get the chicken or the beef. Find a restaurant with an online menu and pre-select your order (choosing something that’s relatively easy or fast to make, like pasta or a sandwich) so that you know exactly what to order when the server arrives.
Ask for the check right away
Further cut down on waiting time by asking for your bill as soon as your main course arrives (and give your last orders for drinks or dessert, too). That way you can pay as soon as you finish the last bite, and head out the door as fast as you can.
Pay in cash
Credit card transactions take too much time, so pay in cash. Carry small bills so you don’t have to wait around for change—and be sure to leave a generous tip, if your server helped you out. That way, if ever you need to have a quick meal again, you can ask your server for the same fast, efficient service that you experienced the first time around.
Photo from telegraph.co.uk