Plan to Split Table with Separate Servers Fails

October 12, 2012

in Server Stories

On Mother’s Day just this year, we went to a chain restaurant that my mother prefers. It has lovely rocking chairs for you to sit in on the big front porch as you wait. We had a party of nine so we knew there would be a bit of a wait. Once we were inside and seated, we were surprised to learn that we would have two different waitresses – one for half of us, and the other for the other half of us. I gave my sister a look as I had an inkling that this might lead to some issues. Sure enough it did.

The waitresses took our orders, and presumably placed them in at the same time. However, the orders for one-half of us came out well in advance of the other half’s orders. Rather than eat cold food, half of us began our meal and were almost done when the orders for the other half came out. It was quite comical and we kept our spirits high and talked to each other. We would have preferred to have eaten together, of course. We did mention the problem to the waitresses and the manager did come over to apologize and give us a discount. He admitted it was his fault as it was his idea to split the table between two waitresses. Apparently we were his guinea pigs.

We tipped the waitresses nicely as my mom was a waitress and would never stiff one, even if they are having a bad day, but especially not for something that was beyond their control.

~ Jo

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

4star October 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

He lied to you just so you know. I worked for this company for over four years and it is company policy if there are 8 or more guests there has to be 2 serves on the party. A server can not have more than 7 guests at a table, so if there is 8 people there has to be 2 servers. Every time there is more than 7 people per server you add another server, I've seen parties with 4 or 5 servers and its beyond FUBAR. I've waited on 16 people by myself and never had a problem, I believe that CBs rule. Oh and you want to know the crappy part of that rule depending on how big of a dick you have as a manager tiny babies count so you can have 7 people who are eating and a newborn baby who is asleep, and still have to split the table with another person. The reasoning is, if it has a heartbeat it counts and "could" eat.


audball October 14, 2012 at 8:29 pm

That's odd, since my family (of 7) has NEVER had multiple servers when we dine out with grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc.


Jack October 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm

"A server can not have MORE than 7 guests at a table"



LLS November 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Did you read the bit where Audball said family of 7 with extras? DUH!


~Jo October 12, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Well, what a nice boss, taking the blame so the waitresses didn't have to.


espinaca. October 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm

A lot of places require large parties to be split between servers.. for he guests’ benefit, not ours. It’s easier to get a large party ‘set up’ with drinks and all, if there’s more than one person working at it. Also, it’s believed that more guests require more service, and most servers.. I think that’s just an overcompensation. Once a party is set up (and most other servers have no problem helping out), it’s pretty much set; drink and bread refills are easy now, and most importantly, the kitchen for the most part will NOT care if the big party is on one table or two. They’ll look at both tickets and try to time them correctly.. As long as they’re made aware it’s the same table (huge flaw with 2 servers, if there’s no communication!) Another thing to consider is maybe you’re taking up a table in each server’s station.. Most of the time we are gracious people.. who knows if that table will be taken up an hour or 3? It just makes sense to both work it and split the profits. Guests need to be aware how things are run on the other side.


undercoverwaitress1 October 13, 2012 at 11:06 am

As a server I HATE and DESPISE table sharing. Give the big table to a competent server, and don't give her a bunch of other tables at the same time. Period.


Stephanie October 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I work there and its actually not our fault when the food doesn’t come out at the same time we put it in at the exact same time and the cooks mess it up. We even put split at the bottom and it still happens. So don’t look at the servers as if its there fault its really not!


Amber May 10, 2016 at 11:23 am

Agreed, heck this even happens with small tables that have only one server. Sometimes a single meal will take double the time as the more simple meals everyone else at the table ordered.


Jack October 27, 2012 at 8:57 pm

This is probably a great restaurant not to return to again. As a customer I don't really care "how things are run on the other side." A well run kitchen should have an expediter to coordinate plates for the servers. Nine people is not a large party, if management can't handle that they should be replaced.


@beckyreimnitz November 2, 2012 at 8:19 pm

I work for a chain restaurant that also requires 2 servers for parties of 8 or more. The reason being that 2 servers can get the orders and drinks faster. It makes sense. What doesn't make sense is they have no problem seating the server two 4 tops thirty seconds apart.


Sarah December 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm

i had two parties of ten yesterday, and a few other tables… at the restaurant i work at we split parties that are larger than 25


Erin May 13, 2013 at 10:19 pm

This took place at the Cracker Barrel, didn't it?


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