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The rise of patriarchy


Anne in CA
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DH and I have been working on our restaurant for going on three years. This whole year has gone really well... but... we started getting bad reviews. On all different kinds of sites. Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google, ect. Most of the reviews are not about bad food, they complain about service in the most rude ways. They insult the waitresses in personal yucky ways. Yelp actually took two of them down when dh contacted them and pointed out how mean spirited they were, and that the people in question even admitted their food was good and served to them in a timely way, ect.

 

I feel like people are getting off on picking on my waitresses, who are clearly intelligent young women with dignity. All of the complaints have been rude, to the point that responding to them would be like wresting with a pig. I would get dirty too and the pig would like it too much. The main complaint is that they don't smile enough. They are teenage girls, not dolls. When it is 95 outside and they are working on the patio in extreme heat and trying to keep track of lots of things it is hard for them to smile every second. The adult waitresses can, they have years of practice. The teens are not rude, but they have a look of concentration about them that I don't see how anyone could mistake it for being unfriendly.

 

I am beginning to feel like this is patriarchy at it's worst. Picking on young women for being human. I don't remember people being this mean to me when I was learning to waitress as a young woman. I remember people being helpful. This seems like we are going in the wrong direction. The internet allowing people to be spiteful anonymously is not helping.

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I wouldn't blame the on patriarchy either. A culture that doesn't value respect and courtesy combined with machismo? Sure. But not patriarchy, precisely. Women have been spoken to very politely in some of the most oppressive, make dominant cultures in the world, but that doesn't equate to *value* inherently, even with a civil veneer.

 

It might or might not be, but I'd lean toward courseness being encouraged and going uncensured rather than patriarchy. Neither one is good but they have different etiologies.

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Wow, a not smiling waitress is reason enough to leave a bad review? I'm sorry.  :grouphug:

 

If it continues to happen, I would be cynical enough to consider someone was doing it on purpose to be petty or picking on an employee or your restaurant. 

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I don't know what kind of restaurant you have. If it is a fancy, expensive restaurant I'd expect more from waiters and waitresses than if it's just an average restaurant. In other words, if meals cost $$$ per person, I'd expect smiling waiters and waitresses no matter what, so that might mean you can only hire more experienced people. Otherwise, your patrons are being ridiculous.

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I can see how this relates to not necessarily the patriarchy, but misogyny. I can't see someone leaving bad reviews because a MALE waiter looked too serious about his job and wasn't smiling prettily at them, can you? A man taking his job seriously is expected: a woman (especially a young one) is expected to do her job well while also distracting patrons from their problems by being happy, flirty eye candy.

Edited by SproutMamaK
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Maybe you meant another word besides patriarchy.

 

Ironically, I have had numerous reports from customers who googled our business telling me there is a website devoted to exposing, I guess, patriarchal families. We landed on their radar (probably because we are a large family and therefore must practice patriarchy. I am not even sure what that means....).

 

Anyhow someone on that website who claims to have seen us out and about was telling the other posters there that our children weren't smiling when they saw them in town. (Smile everybody, ya never know who's going to report a bland expression on the internet! Fake smiling is mercilessly picked apart there as well....)

 

Ummm, yeah. I was sorta put out by that, but decided we aren't doing anything but minding our business. I can't help what strangers on the internet post. I would hope the people who actually know us wouldn't assess us by random anonymous comments on the www.

 

I do lament that potential customers get that stuff when they Google us. It isn't fair, nor is it fair to my son who is also mentioned. He can't help he comes from a big family (the reason we are targeted).

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I had pass by Hooters with my friends during college days and seen yucky behaviours.

 

I think those people expected your young waitresses to smile and make small talk like what my family sees often at Denny's when we stop for a bite on road trips.

 

This behaviour is not new but social media made it worse by reaching a bigger audience. Before internet access became widespread, they would have to find someone or call someone to whine.

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Patriarchy seems like a weird thing to blame bad internet reviews on.

 

I disagree. I think it makes sense in the context of the work. There's a certain patron & (certain restaurant chains) who think all female servers need to be cloyingly sweet, flirty, dressed in high heels etc etc.  

 

OP, I hear you. 

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This is tough.  I think many people don't bother to write any sort of review unless the service is terrible, extremely awesome, or the reviewer is a bored jerk.  The last part is just my anecdotal explanation, but honestly I have read that people do not tend to leave reviews for piddly stuff like that. 

 

That aside, I do agree with the sentiment that the expectations of friendliness, etc. seems very different towards women vs. men.  No clue why exactly that is though.

 

 

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Most people don't bother reviewing restaurants. If you are getting ones reaching a critical mass on "waitress smiling," then I would suspect an ex-boyfriend or wannabe boyfriend or stalker type trying to sabotage either the waitress(es) or your place.

 

And Patriarchy?

 

I don't even know what to say to that. Unless the customer was disciplining kids with plumbing line at the table...

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That aside, I do agree with the sentiment that the expectations of friendliness, etc. seems very different towards women vs. men.  No clue why exactly that is though.

 

In high school they had us take some social-emotional test. My mentor (every class has a mentor, kind of like homeroom teacher, I guess, except we don't have homeroom) discussed my results with me. I don't remember my exact scores, but let's say 5th percentile for female students. To cheer me up though, he said that if scored by the male guidelines, I scored at, let's say, 20th percentile (again, I don't remember the exact scores, but the difference was *huge*).

 

So, my guess is that, females on average score higher on things like friendliness, so people have a higher expectation of friendliness from them. So, if a female is "below average", people notice that as being "below average", even if it's still "average" by male standards. Or w/e.

 

On the bright side, I wouldn't be surprised if men tip female waitresses more than male waiters (at least once they've learned the job and are all smiley and flirty).

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I disagree. I think it makes sense in the context of the work. There's a certain patron & (certain restaurant chains) who think all female servers need to be cloyingly sweet, flirty, dressed in high heels etc etc.

Yes, but are the men going to those restaurants the same guys that are promoting patriarchy? And going in such large numbers? And then there are so many of them and they are all of them writing a bunch of internet reviews about the same problem? At the OP's restaurant? I kinda find that a little bit of a stretch. I'm not saying those guys don't go to Hooters, but I'm also assuming that's not the kind of place the OP is running anyway.

 

TBH, if I ran a restaurant that was consistently getting bad reviews about lack of friendly service, I'd look to see what needed to change in-house rather than looking for a specific ideology to blame it on. If I found nothing needed changing, I'd stop reading yelp altogether for my own peace of mind and run my place to the best of my ability as I saw fit.

 

FWIW, I would rather have a non-chatty, polite server than one who is fake friendly and overly cheerful, so I don't really understand the reviews the OP is talking about or what you're referring to above, other than a place like Hooters, and in that case waitresses are hired knowing what the restaurant and clientele is going for as far as an experience and atmosphere. They are hired to be chatty and bubbly. But I haven't even seen a Hooters around in years, so maybe it's different now.

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Well, definitely coarseness is no longer taboo in our society. I wish these people had to own their comments to their coworkers and associates. It would certainly embarrass them.

Not only is not taboo, but it can potentially help propel someone to the highest office in the land.

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I feel like I'm missing something. What does this have to do with patriarchy? It sounds like a bunch of buttholes who will find something to complain about anywhere they go - and I see nothing that has anything to do with patriarchy. 

I worked in bars and restaurants for years. We were expected to smile, it's part of being part of the "front store" and customer service. And it had nothing to do with... patriarchy.

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Assuming all/most restaurants haven't seen this increase in snotty reviews (which would indicate a societal problem), I agree with this. The truth of the matter is, friendly waitstaff Wouldn't persuade me to go there, and unfriendly waitresses don't really discourage me from going (unless they are throwing knives). So i do wonder how much financial damage is really being done to your business. My guess isn't a lot.

 

 

N

Yes, but are the men going to those restaurants the same guys that are promoting patriarchy? And going in such large numbers? And then there are so many of them and they are all of them writing a bunch of internet reviews about the same problem? At the OP's restaurant? I kinda find that a little bit of a stretch. I'm not saying those guys don't go to Hooters, but I'm also assuming that's not the kind of place the OP is running anyway.

 

TBH, if I ran a restaurant that was consistently getting bad reviews about lack of friendly service, I'd look to see what needed to change in-house rather than looking for a specific ideology to blame it on. If I found nothing needed changing, I'd stop reading yelp altogether for my own peace of mind and run my place to the best of my ability as I saw fit.

 

FWIW, I would rather have a non-chatty, polite server than one who is fake friendly and overly cheerful, so I don't really understand the reviews the OP is talking about or what you're referring to above, other than a place like Hooters, and in that case waitresses are hired knowing what the restaurant and clientele is going for as far as an experience and atmosphere. They are hired to be chatty and bubbly. But I haven't even seen a Hooters around in years, so maybe it's different now.

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Patriarchy seems like a weird thing to blame bad internet reviews on.

If you read the reviews themselves, you would get it. No one is complaining about the food, or a long wait, or anything like that, they are complaining about young girls not kissing their ***'s when it's busy. Maybe patriarchy is not the right word either... but it seems like the people making these reviews are annoyed about the young girls being competent and wanting to knock them down a peg.

 

One reviewer went on every site, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google, Foursquare, to complain about the way my waitress told him we were out of pulled pork. Not even the fact that we were out was a problem, he was annoyed with her not seeming to care enough. How much is someone supposed to grovel about being out of something???? He could see that every table inside and outside was full and there were only two waitresses and she was working very, very hard.  I've been in this business years and never seen this sort of complaint. And, boy have I seen some jerks over the years.

 

Another reviewer said that even though his food was good, and even though it came quickly with the full restaurant he didn't like the way the waitress was working. She didn't seem organized enough for him. Well... She was 16, dude! What do you think? You had a good experience and gave me two stars because a sixteen year old who was working her butt off didn't seem organized enough??? Actually, Yelp took that review down. It was really mean.

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I don't think it is patriarchy. But if that many reviewers are saying this, you might want to consider teaching the servers to be more friendly. Hire some young men. And is it possible the servers have too many tables and feel rushed? The servers may be intelligent, but they are still working customer service and should act the part.

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If you read the reviews themselves, you would get it. No one is complaining about the food, or a long wait, or anything like that, they are complaining about young girls not kissing their ***'s when it's busy. Maybe patriarchy is not the right word either... but it seems like the people making these reviews are annoyed about the young girls being competent and wanting to knock them down a peg.

 

One reviewer went on every site, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google, Foursquare, to complain about the way my waitress told him we were out of pulled pork. Not even the fact that we were out was a problem, he was annoyed with her not seeming to care enough. How much is someone supposed to grovel about being out of something???? He could see that every table inside and outside was full and there were only two waitresses and she was working very, very hard. I've been in this business years and never seen this sort of complaint. And, boy have I seen some jerks over the years.

 

Another reviewer said that even though his food was good, and even though it came quickly with the full restaurant he didn't like the way the waitress was working. She didn't seem organized enough for him. Well... She was 16, dude! What do you think? You had a good experience and gave me two stars because a sixteen year old who was working her butt off didn't seem organized enough??? Actually, Yelp took that review down. It was really mean.

Why is the restaurant full with only two servers? Plus, waitress is an out of date term. Server is more gender non-specific.

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Expecting friendly, smiling service is standard.

Why are there only two servers on the floor with a full restaurant? Why are the only two servers on the floor teenagers? If you know that they aren't capable - because of their age or whatever - of handling that crowd on their own, you need to call in other servers or move all your sat tables towards the center and not seat any more than your servers can handle (even if it means turning customers away or telling them that there's a wait).

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I don't think service with a smile is an unusual expectation. A kind smile makes diners feel relaxed and welcome. A surly server, male or female, leaves people feeling unwanted . . . like you want them to pay their money and egg out ASAP. It would be odd to invite done one to dinner and wear a busy, intense expression all night. People like to feel like guests in your restaurant, not unwanted necessities.

 

If it was one or two reviews, you could toss those out. However, if this is a consistent complaint it's in your best interest to improve hospitality a bit. I've had more than a few decent dining experiences thrown a bit by the server's attitude. Harried, no eye contact, saying "no worries" every other word, extreme vocal fry, etc. I'm not a complainer, so I didn't write a review or dock the tip, but someone else might. People eat out a lot. They know what pleasant, professional, non-fake, non-flirty service looks like. It's worth investigating the possibility that the wait staff isn't reflecting the same level of hospitality as the tidy dining room and delicious food.

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Most people don't bother reviewing restaurants. If you are getting ones reaching a critical mass on "waitress smiling," then I would suspect an ex-boyfriend or wannabe boyfriend or stalker type trying to sabotage either the waitress(es) or your place.

 

And Patriarchy?

 

I don't even know what to say to that. Unless the customer was disciplining kids with plumbing line at the table...

Exactly what I was thinking. I started out at 15 as a waitress, did it thru college and worked with a small startup for awhile. and yes I know that look of concentration well for a young lady that age. I know what it's like to try to serve a full house with two servers also, and did a little bar tending as well. 10 to one its a spurned stalker type.

 

You know it. There are just guys who like to lurk and schmooze. They can be real jerks if you cross them, by accident. Even a frustrated cook at your business maybe.

 

Stay the course don't let it get you down just chalk it up to a proactive learning experience. It has helped you identify something about what your target service goal is and your limits with problem patrons. I admired my boss when she did not let problem patrons walk all over us or her product / business but found ways to push back when it was uncalled for.

 

If I was mad enough, I'd go to war and get the posts removed. find out what you need to say to get them to pull it and do it. Don't engage the pig but kill his platform. you already know the complaints are personal attacks in nature. Say since they are young it's a form of cyber bullying. Who knows.

 

You must have some rights, if someone lying on yelp ruins someone's business, there is liability there, libel, etc.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

I know this is hurtful and upsetting. I am sorry you are dealing with this.  I agree with others, though.  How many individuals have posted these reviews?  Not how many sites but how many individuals?  Can you tell?  Could it be just one person pretending to be more than one?  If it is one or two people, especially if the posts seem very personal and vicious over relatively little things like lack of a smile or organization, it sounds like someone with a grudge against one or more of your servers and really probably has little to do with their actual server capabilities.  If it is many different people then I would definitely be examining how to improve the situation and would take the complaints seriously, however poorly worded they may be.

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Bait them or make them nervous of being outed in public. Put an insert in your menu or a table tent about how much you appreciate your patrons that choose to leave unbiased reviews, somehow hint something like " we know who you are, and thank you! " lol no one but your perp will be sweating bullets if they see that.

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I am beginning to feel like this is patriarchy at it's worst. Picking on young women for being human. I don't remember people being this mean to me when I was learning to waitress as a young woman. I remember people being helpful. This seems like we are going in the wrong direction. The internet allowing people to be spiteful anonymously is not helping.

why?  is strong patriarchy "girls must mindlessly smile and act like an automaton every second" dominant in your area?

people can be jerks -what age group does your restaurant attract?  could it be other teens who like to "troll" or have a personal animus against some of your teen waitresses?  (they'd make an effort to leave bad reviews on multiple sites.)

 

Wow, a not smiling waitress is reason enough to leave a bad review? I'm sorry.  :grouphug:

 

If it continues to happen, I would be cynical enough to consider someone was doing it on purpose to be petty or picking on an employee or your restaurant. 

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I think that there are two different definitions of patriarchy (both correct) being used in this thread, which is leading to confusion.  The OP was meaning (I think) 1.1 whereas many responses are meaning 1:

 

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/patriarchy

 

NOUN (plural patriarchies)

[MASS NOUN]

1A system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is reckoned through the male line:the thematic relationships of the ballad are worked out according to the conventional archetypes of the patriarchy
1.1A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it:the dominant ideology of patriarchy

 

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DH and I have been working on our restaurant for going on three years. This whole year has gone really well... but... we started getting bad reviews. On all different kinds of sites. Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google, ect. Most of the reviews are not about bad food, they complain about service in the most rude ways. They insult the waitresses in personal yucky ways. Yelp actually took two of them down when dh contacted them and pointed out how mean spirited they were, and that the people in question even admitted their food was good and served to them in a timely way, ect.

 

I feel like people are getting off on picking on my waitresses, who are clearly intelligent young women with dignity. All of the complaints have been rude, to the point that responding to them would be like wresting with a pig. I would get dirty too and the pig would like it too much. The main complaint is that they don't smile enough. They are teenage girls, not dolls. When it is 95 outside and they are working on the patio in extreme heat and trying to keep track of lots of things it is hard for them to smile every second. The adult waitresses can, they have years of practice. The teens are not rude, but they have a look of concentration about them that I don't see how anyone could mistake it for being unfriendly.

 

I am beginning to feel like this is patriarchy at it's worst. Picking on young women for being human. I don't remember people being this mean to me when I was learning to waitress as a young woman. I remember people being helpful. This seems like we are going in the wrong direction. The internet allowing people to be spiteful anonymously is not helping.

For me I would think something other than patriarchy is going on. If the reviews are very similar in nature I would wonder if you've upset someone or someone isn't appreciating the competition and is posting bad reviews to cause problems for you.

 

If it's not that, I'd be looking at what changes you made at the time you started getting bad reviews. Is there one particular staff member you took on that may need some extra customer service training? Did you suddenly get busier and the staff came under more pressure?

 

I am not overall a fan of the level of fake cheeriness that's expected of service staff in our culture but a really grumpy waiter or service person can spoil another night out, too. Also as nice as it is to be idealistic if it's commonly expected that you will give service with a smile it's likely to hurt your business if you don't. So for that reason I think instead of blaming patriarchy (which could be a component) I would be working to figure out the source of the problem and resolve it. With run of the mill dumb internet comments you can afford to ignore them but with business reviews it could actually cause you serious harm if you don't figure out what's going on.

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I'm with those guessing it is one (or a few) particularly disgruntled jerks piling on bad reviews for some stupid reason.  Jilted boyfriend, maybe?    If you read reviews closely maybe you will see patterns that show multiple reviews written by the same people. 

 

But, I'll still say... It can be hard for people to see the difference between someone who is concentrating hard on what they are doing and someone who does not like their job. I hate it when a server appears to dislike their job.   Even my own family gets put off a bit if I am concentrating so hard on getting dinner together that I appear to be angry or unhappy.   It makes the meal less pleasant. 

 

So, I would try to take a critical look around the dining room and try to see what the patrons see.   See if you can feel the vibe they get.

 

Either way, this is not patriarchy.  Most likely it's someone with a grudge and/or just general jerkiness. 

 

I would not have passive-aggressive comments about reviews on the tables or in the menu.   That would really turn me off and make me less likely to return. 

 

 

Edited by marbel
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Assuming all/most restaurants haven't seen this increase in snotty reviews (which would indicate a societal problem), I agree with this. The truth of the matter is, friendly waitstaff Wouldn't persuade me to go there, and unfriendly waitresses don't really discourage me from going (unless they are throwing knives). So i do wonder how much financial damage is really being done to your business. My guess isn't a lot.

 

 

N

I agree. In fact, we just went to an out of town restaurant whose reviews praised the food (it was just okay) but bemoaned the unsmiling wait staff (our server was terrific). Whatevs. It obviously didn't change our mind about going.

 

Some people are jerks. I'm grateful we owned our restaurant before the Internet, but people were jerks then too. It takes nerves of steel be in that line of business, I'm afraid.

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My first thought was that these aren't necessarily a lot of different people - it could even be one person writing them all.  And - internet reviews have a tendency to contain a lot of BS, be it about food or lodgings, or things like rate my professor/doctor, or whatever.  The fact is a lot of people really don't know what they are talking about.

 

However - if that is not the case, I wonder if you aren't putting too much pressure on servers who aren't ready for it, or relying on too many younger people as wait staff.  I think a lot of people try and be understanding of teens in a job that is really quite difficult, but at the same time, it makes people uncomfortable to have servers who seem upset or angry or uncaring about the meal.

 

I don't know that it is really a male/female thing.  There are some cultural differences in what we expect a friendly person to seem like that are sex-related, but I think people complain about sullen male waiters pretty frequently.

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I think that having a pleasant, friendly look on one's face is part of the job when one is working directly with customers. It's a skill one has to learn because it doesn't necessarily come easily, especially for more reserved individuals (me included.)

 

I think that's true. (I've worked in customer service though not as a waitress.) For many people, dining out is a treat. The experience is less pleasant if the server's manner makes you feel as though you're imposing on him/her simply because they're required to wait on you.

 

That said, I hope most people would be patient and understanding with any server on a busy night--especially young people who are just learning the ropes. It's a tough job. I've found that a kind, friendly word from the customer when things are crazy busy can help someone who's focused and concentrating relax a bit.

 

But to ding a good restaurant for it when the service is otherwise acceptable? Not cool. It does sound like you have some unreasonably nitpicky patrons. I wouldn't call it patriarchy, however.

 

ETA: It might be worth looking at your staff with a customer's eye for a time to see if there's any truth to the comments. If there is, use it as a training opportunity. If the servers are being run ragged (full restaurant and only two young servers), you might need to adjust staffing or something so they're not feeling harried. Or maybe it would be worthwhile to provide coded comment cards at the tables. That could help you pinpoint who has the issue and which server is being referenced (assuming, of course, that the complaining customer has a legitimate issue and isn't just trying to give you or your staff grief).

Edited by Reluctant Homeschooler
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In high school they had us take some social-emotional test. My mentor (every class has a mentor, kind of like homeroom teacher, I guess, except we don't have homeroom) discussed my results with me. I don't remember my exact scores, but let's say 5th percentile for female students. To cheer me up though, he said that if scored by the male guidelines, I scored at, let's say, 20th percentile (again, I don't remember the exact scores, but the difference was *huge*).

 

So, my guess is that, females on average score higher on things like friendliness, so people have a higher expectation of friendliness from them. So, if a female is "below average", people notice that as being "below average", even if it's still "average" by male standards. Or w/e.

 

On the bright side, I wouldn't be surprised if men tip female waitresses more than male waiters (at least once they've learned the job and are all smiley and flirty).

 

Yeah I'd flunk on the friendliness scale for sure.  And I don't smile.  But then I'd never consider waiting tables because I don't think I'd be able to pretend well enough to give a damn.  :lol:

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I have no idea what percent this plays in your particular situation, but I just wanted to support your thoughts around the different expectations some men have for younger women. I encountered them frequently when I was younger.

 

When they are even sort of attracted to you, then your job is to make them feel attractive back. If you fail in this, they get ticked - ticked enough to make trouble even. Your job is to make them feel good about themselves. Your purpose is to be competent but to also reflect a positive self image to them. You are not seen as a fully separate person with her own legitimate likes and dislikes; you are a vehicle through which they feel either studly or diminished which can happen with something even so simple as not smiling enough.

 

The smiling/happy expectation might be there for all servers, but I think what I'm talking about can be the dynamic that ticks someone off enough to say something. I do consider that part of patriarchy - that it is a societal expectation that a woman will protect the feelings of virility of a man even a little bit attracted to her or she isn't "friendly". Again in your situation who knows, but I'm not going to dismiss the likelihood either.

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2 of my dds are servers at restaurants. I know the oldest one purposely tries to assess whether the people at a given table want "funny" or "matter-of-fact" or whatever.

 

Once she had a table who she overheard saying they didn't like her for some reason. She said she went in the back and had a cry, but kept serving them anyhow. When bill time came she presented them with their bill, told them she overheard them and said she paid their bill as a means of making herself feel better. Dead silence came from the ladies at the table and then a quiet apology. She said she felt better plus she figured she saved a future server from the same hurt from them.

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I don't even understand the requirement of being bubbly and friendly.  I want the person to take my order, get it right, bring me my food, and not ignore me when I need something.  That's it.  That's all I expect.  They do not have to pretend to love me or what they are doing. 

 

Yeah, I don't like the whole super-bubbly-be-my-best-friend thing. It's overboard. But I do think a welcoming smile (even if you don't feel like it) and pleasant, efficient service go a long way toward making the restaurant experience enjoyable.

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My perspective is that people who just want to be mean (be they trolls, disgruntled exes, etc.) through an online review typically pan everything.  The food, the cleanliness, the service, the ambiance...  Mean people want to hit where it hurts.

 

Genuine people tend to stick to their perceived problem, whether it be as big as health department worthy issues or as small as waiting 3 minutes for a refill.  With something as small as smiles, while also praising the actual restaurant, I'm inclined to believe the reviewer/s truly believe in their complaint.

 

I could absolutely buy into the possibility that it's the misogyny of "women should smile at me" or I could buy into the possibility that the wait staff is too strained. I'm not there, I don't know.  It could certainly be both!

 

I've waited tables in a bar.  Whatever this particular scenario, there's absolutely no denying there's a real overall issue.

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Yeah, I don't like the whole super-bubbly-be-my-best-friend thing. It's overboard. But I do think a welcoming smile (even if you don't feel like it) and pleasant, efficient service go a long way toward making the restaurant experience enjoyable.

 

I don't care if they smile.  I don't like fake.  I think someone can be perfectly pleasant without smiling. 

 

Even at stores when they ask how I'm doing.  Did I find everything I'm looking for.  I know for a fact they'd dread me saying I didn't. 

 

I mean no I don't want someone complaining at me or saying I hate this job and this place.  But really I do not expect fake happiness.

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Yeah, I don't like the whole super-bubbly-be-my-best-friend thing. It's overboard. But I do think a welcoming smile (even if you don't feel like it) and pleasant, efficient service go a long way toward making the restaurant experience enjoyable.

 

Yes, I agree with this.

 

I dislike doing business at a place where the employees seem to hate their jobs.  I don't care if people don't ask how I am but I don't like it when they are sullen or distracted as they deal with my business, whether that is checking out groceries or waiting a table or getting my food at a counter.   I don't expect all those employees love their jobs every minute.  I try to be a pleasant customer to deal with - not demanding, not asking tons of stupid questions, not critiquing everything.   I don't think it's unreasonable for servers, cashiers, etc., to be pleasant as well. 

 

This is not a comment on Anne's waitstaff.  I'm not implying that they are sullen with their customers.

 

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I suspect a crabby boyfriend or a competitor. With cause. It has happened to a friend of mine and her business.

It has occurred to me that it might be a competitor. But... why not complain about the food then??? It seems so mean to pick on the girls.

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It has occurred to me that it might be a competitor. But... why not complain about the food then??? It seems so mean to pick on the girls.

 

It's brutal that now all these reviews are so "out there".  Then again, it's also nice in a way because you don't have to wonder about possible issues.  If I read a review like that, that would not stop me at all from going there.  I suspect it wouldn't stop many others either.

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It's brutal that now all these reviews are so "out there".  Then again, it's also nice in a way because you don't have to wonder about possible issues.  If I read a review like that, that would not stop me at all from going there.  I suspect it wouldn't stop many others either.

 

When I am looking at reviews, I don't pay too much attention to the really extreme ones.  For a restaurant I would not let comments about the service affect me too much, unless there were consistent poor reviews.  I also look at the way the comment is written.  Comments that seem like personal attacks, or that have profanity/vulgarity, or are just really poorly written, will probably affect me the opposite way than the writer intended.  

 

(Kind of like reading negative reviews of a classic book; you can tell which ones are written by disgruntled high school students.)

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