From a Food Server: How to Complain When Your Service Sucks by Dawn Taylor
4 years ago
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I've been a food server a long time. Here, I’m going to share a few things when it comes to approaching "bad" service:
- Servers should be back within a few minutes of bringing food to ask how things are. If you aren't happy, say something right away! Then they can offer a replacement. If you wait until you've eaten half of your meal, or at the end, it is too late for the server to fix the problem.
- If you just don't like the food ... same thing! A good server will say, "No problem," and suggest another item. If she or he doesn't then they are likely new to the serving game. You will usually already see signs of a newbie: they fluster easily and seem unorganized. With an experienced server it is unacceptable if they are otherwise on the ball – you will see apathy and know they just don't care.
- Food taking too long is usually an issue with the kitchen and not a sign of a bad server. Food under- or over-cooked, same thing. A well-oiled kitchen can get behind or make mistakes. This is not the server's fault. And if you're running late don't expect fast service during peak hours!
A manager should be a last resort. If you're not happy, a good server will handle it with a smile and maybe even a free dessert!
Sorry to burst your bubble, but here's why you are wrong:
Ask yourself these questions as a server:
1. WHEN do you put in my order? Do you wait or do you go put it in immediately after taking it? If you are double sat or triple sat, you can still go put in each order into the computer after taking each table’s order. By not doing that can result in a much longer wait and that would be YOUR FAULT.
2. FORGETTING to put in an order. My husband and I have experienced this for REAL that servers ADMITTED to our faces they have FORGOTTEN TO PUT ORDERS IN. All of them were appetizers, bar drinks, and a cup of soup.
3. Did you put in the order CORRECTLY into the computer? Have had many times servers ADMITTED to our faces they did not do that correctly. Have had wrong entrées before due to our server putting in the order wrong. Have had wrong bar drinks too due to the server putting in the order wrong.
4. Did you FORGET ANYTHING I ORDERED such as a SIDE DISH? We have had this happen a number of times as well.
5. Did you DROP anything I ordered? Luckily, we have not had this happen, but I have seen a server once drop some fries from a plate before and I did have a waiter spill some margarita martini when pouring into a martini glass. In other words, it is possible, not likely, but very possible.
6. Did you remember to GET my food? We have had a server do that before. Also, we have had a number of servers forget bar drinks.
7. Did you bring out my food obviously correctly if you bring my food out? Do you realize how many times OUR OWN SERVER brings out DUH mistakes like the side dish is wrong, the entrée is wrong, something obvious is not correct bacon that isn’t covered up isn’t extra, extra crispy when you can clearly notice that it isn’t without touching anything, etc.? Every DUH mistake you bring out is YOUR FAULT I am waiting for what I did order by you wasting my time bringing me the wrong item or wrongly prepared item or forgot something. While we all make mistakes, I would have to say a good 90% of the time, servers NEVER COMPARE THE WRITTEN ORDERS TO THE FOOD, because they are TOO LAZY and DON’T CARE!!
8. Servers DO wait to put in entrée orders when appetizers, side salads, or cups of soup are ordered. THAT *IS* THE GOD’S TRUTH! Sometimes it’s TOO LONG THEY WAIT! If it’s another server, it still doesn’t make it the kitchen staff’s fault I have the wrong side dish for example since that is something that’s obvious. It’s either my server that didn’t put in my order correctly or this other server that didn’t compare the ticket to the food or that this other server did compare the ticket to the food, but just missed it(HIGHLY UNLIKELY, but possible).
9. WHEN do you come to GET MY ORDER? That part is covered in #2 below.
10. WHEN do you DECIDE to LET ME ORDER? That part is covered in #4 below.
11. WHEN do you decide to DELIVER MY FOOD? That part is covered in #1 below.
12. Do you, because they are out of something, decide to assume everyone wants the closest thing so you do the ordering for me? That part is covered in #3 below.
13. WHEN do you decide to check up on WHERE the food is? If the kitchen staff somehow lost the ticket, did you wait 30 minutes and then decide to find out that or did you check after 10-15 minutes to see that our food was getting started on?
1. Once, we had a Red Lobster waitress had our 2 entrées on the tray as well as 2 side salads that were for a couple that wasn’t even there when we ordered. Anyway, instead of bypassing their table to hand us ours first since WE DID ORDER FIRST(common sense would tell you that it takes more time to cook food than it does to fix a side salad anyways even if it wasn’t our server that delivered our food, but it was our waitress that delivered our food), she decided to hand them theirs first off the tray. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS IN THE SERVER’S CONTROL TO HAND OUT THINGS OFF THE SAME TRAY IN THE ORDER IN WHICH IT WAS ORDERED IN!!
2. Once, we had a waitress that greeted us which we ordered an appetizer as well as our drinks when greeted. I saw she tucking in chairs at empty tables and pretty much doing everything but coming back to get our entrée order. Well, I found out what happened. She brought out our appetizer and when I asked she said that she wanted to wait to put in our entrée orders. The thing is, that delayed us more by not at least coming to GET our orders. That way, when the appetizer was ready, we wouldn’t have gotten delayed eating our appetizer since we then had to give our entrée orders when we could have given our entrée orders WELL BEFORE THAT and we would have gotten our entrées faster due to that she could have just left to put our entrée orders into the computer after delivering our appetizer instead of taking time to order when our appetizer was sitting in front of us. The point is, SHE delayed our entrées as well as to be able to start eating our appetizer because she could have at least TAKEN our entrée orders and then when our appetizer would have been brought out, could have immediately gone to the computer to put our entrée orders in. What she did was make us wait while our hot appetizer was sitting in front of us, we couldn’t touch it, because we had to order our entrées and could have done that wayyy before that. She also delayed our entrées because we had to spend extra time AFTER our appetizer arrived to give her our entrée orders when we could have done that wayyyy before that.
3. Once, we had a waitress that assumed that because they were out of raspberry topping for a cheesecake slice when we had ordered dessert that she’d bring us strawberry. Turns out, she knew when she put in the order that the computer had it the manager told us. So she did it on PURPOSE to be so lazy and uncaring as to not come to ask if we wanted the next closest thing. We didn’t, we sent it back, so she had MORE WORK. Also, she didn’t even think about what if someone is allergic to strawberries. I just honestly can’t believe someone would do that. If they are out of something, common sense would be to come to see if the next closest thing is ok. Not everyone wants the next closest thing. So it wasn’t like it was just getting the order wrong by accident or by not verifying the written order with what she was bringing or putting in the order wrong by accident, this was on PURPOSE to be LAZY and to ASSUME. I didn’t know at first that she did that. I thought at first she just was that stupid(or truly just messed up(highly doubt it)) to bring us strawberries on top of a cheesecake when we ordered raspberries.
4. Your server delays coming to get your order or delays you ordering due to personal conversation. We have had that before as well. Once, we had a waiter that we didn’t know after waiting 15 mins. for a table on Mardi Gras day ask us BEFORE we ORDERED ANYTHING “How’s y’all’s Mardi Gras” “Go to any parades.” See, I don’t mind chit chat with a stranger, but be considerate to do it AFTER we have our orders into the computer so you don’t take up our time.
We have also had servers not come to get our order due to playing around. Sometimes taking a long time or a longer time has A LOT to do with the server: My husband and I have had 3 TIMES where servers FORGOT to put food orders into the computer. We also have 8 times servers forget to get bar drinks from the bar. Once a waitress forgot to put in a bar drink into the computer. Two of the 3 times it was an appetizer and the servers ADMITTED doing so. The third time was a cup of bisque which is normally served before a meal just like a side salad is. My husband and I also have had delays due to that the servers delayed putting orders into the computer when they COULD have such as deciding to buss a table first or decide instead of a mini-greet(I’ll be right with you all), one waiter I saw decided to take a party of 6 people’s drink/appetizer orders instead of putting in our food orders into the computer. I can understand if they call you over, but if they don’t, you should be putting that order into the computer not delaying our food. The longer you wait to put in orders, the LONGER WE WAIT!! So truly think about that MOST of the time when you wait a LONG TIME for your food or bar drinks even, it could be the server’s fault. 9 times out of 10, your server had *SOMETHING* to do with the delay in most cases! That’s the GOD’S TRUTH!
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90% of the time it's the SERVER'S FAULT:
1. They can put in the order wrong into the computer or if it's a written ticket they submit, they could have written something down wrong or hard to read.
2. They could have forgotten to put in the order in the first place.
3. Servers can also misunderstand what the customer is saying such as 2 times when I ordered 2 sides of bbq sauce and the stupid idiot servers thought I didn’t want bbq sauce on my ribs when I NEVER ONCE SAID I didn’t and I didn’t say “ON THE SIDE”, I SAID SIDES, which means extra. One of those times I said extra even.
4. Most mistakes with food are visible:
A. Condiments of any kind regardless of who brings out the food can be brought out by the server ahead of time.
B. If someone orders extra crispy bacon with their pancakes, then the bacon looks limp, not stiff, and you can even see some white fat on it, guess what? MY SERVER COULD HAVE SEEN THAT TOO AND TOLD THE COOKS IT WASN'T CORRECT, TO RECOOK IT INSTEAD OF BRINGING IT TO ME WRONG IN THE FIRST PLACE!
C. Any wrong side dishes or entrees are the fault of the server if they bring out the food even if they put in the order right. You can tell the difference between a baked potato and mac n' cheese, yet, a waiter at Logan's Roadhouse was so stupid as to bring me mac n' cheese when I ordered a baked potato. I noticed it within 5 seconds of the food hitting my table. Like DUH a baked potato looks completely different from mac n' cheese.
D. Any MISSING side dishes, appetizers, condiments, or entrees ARE the server's fault if they bring out the food as well. Have had that happen a few times or so. Our servers aren't blind, so they can tell if something is missing or not.
E. I have seen a red steak delivered to someone before at Outback which means let's say the customer ordered their steak well done, that the server could have noticed the color difference as in someone's example “Steak cooked rare instead of well done ? It’s not your server’s fault, they didn’t cook it, it’s the kitchen’s fault.”
F. If something LOOKS burnt such as a piece of bread with the food and the person didn't order it burnt, my server is at fault for serving me that.
G. If my server forgets an item that an entree or appetizer comes with, that's their fault if they brought me my food without the item such as a side dish or ranch.
H. I have ordered at Outback my fries "lightly cooked" "Not overdone and yellow not brown." I have had their fries before cooked the way I like them before many of times before this time I am talking about. This stupid waitress decided to blame the kitchen staff for REALLY DARK BROWN FRIES as if she was blind or something and my husband even told me he could see that they were really dark. My husband may not agree with me on every subject of course, but with that, you could EASILY tell just by LOOKING that those fries were overdone and very dark. She said she put in the order correctly. I am thinking, SO? I wish I could have said "Are you blind?" That was HER FAULT she DECIDED TO SERVE ME THOSE FRIES THAT WEREN'T CORRECT. I noticed the mistake within 3 seconds of my food being placed in front of me.
You can tell in this picture above the bacon is very crispy just by simply LOOKING at it.
You can tell in this picture above the bacon is NOT CRISPY, just by simple LOOKING at the bacon.
While the server didn't "COOK" the bacon, it's obvious to the *SERVER'S* EYES that one batch of bacon is crispy and the other isn't to decide to BRING the food to the customer wrong or not. It's my server's fault if they decide to bring me the bacon that's like in picture 2 if I ordered it crispy that she or he didn't tell the cooks it was wrong and get them to cook the bacon more instead of SERVING it wrong. WHY bring it out only for the food to be sent back?
You can clearly see the fries are overdone in the picture above if the customer ordered them "NOT OVERDONE, lightly cooked."
In this picture above, you can see the fries don't appear overdone and the bacon is NOT CRISPY. If a customer asked for their bacon to be crispy, I would REFUSE to serve it and I would have enough CARING and COMMON SENSE to get that fixed **BEFORE** I brought it to the customer only to have the customer send it back or leave me a bad tip for not caring about their food.
My server's job isn't just to bring out what the kitchen staff gives them, it's also getting the order OBVIOUSLY correct to the table as much as possible in order to get that good tip. As someone said on a blog or forum “They just want to be tipped well and will do pretty much anything reasonable to get your money”, which that IS VERY REASONABLE to think OUR SERVERS ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT THEIR TIP TO GET THINGS RIGHT TO HAVE A BETTER TIP!!
Get what I am saying here? MOST of the mistakes happen due to either your server if they bring out the food or another server that doesn't compare the ticket to the food(assuming the order was put in correctly by the original server of course).
You also can notice if someone has wing sauce "On the side" vs. "On the wings" themselves. This isn't rocket science.
Most of the things that are wrong with the food can be caught by the server if they bring out the food, even if they didn't cook it. If it's another server, they can catch obvious errors on the ticket and menu(such as menu states the item comes with bbq sauce and the ticket doesn't say "no bbq sauce") if the ticket was correctly put in by the original server that took the order. Condiments(in bottles or on the side in containers) can always be offered to be brought out ahead of time REGARDLESS of WHO brings out the food to the table.
So most of the time when the food has something wrong with it, chances are, your server or another server could have caught the mistake before it got to you in most instances. I NEVER said ALL, but in most cases, it can be caught BEFORE bringing out the food(unless another server brings out the food with the ticket wrong), because then the original server that took the order is at fault for putting the order in incorrectly into the computer.
There are few rare cases where the food being wrong is the kitchen staff's fault such as raw food(such as raw chicken), slightly undercooked or overcooked food that you'd have to CUT into to know if it was under or overcooked, or anything the server cannot see with their eyes unless they were to TOUCH the food. Things such as a pickle under a bun the server can't notice unless they lift the bun, so unless they put the order in wrong, they wouldn't be at fault, but in general most food mistakes can be caught BEFORE bringing the food to the table.
What I am saying is, MOST mistakes ARE PREVENTABLE by the SERVER if they bring your order to you that they can NOTICE things wrong by comparing those written orders to the plates of food.
Once a waiter at Chili's said "The kitchen forgot" when I had ordered 2 sides of mayo and 1 side of mustard. The thing is, my waiter brought out the food, so NO, HE HE HE HE HE FORGOT, the kitchen staff didn't step out the kitchen to bring me my food and forget obvious missing containers from my plate that aren't covered up by anything. MY WAITER DID THOUGH!!
You walk in one room in your house with a plate of food, but forget the ranch. Even if your mom or significant other plated your food, which you even told her you wanted a side of ranch for your fries, but you bring it to another room. HOW IS THAT THEIR FAULT? It's YOUR FAULT YOU LEFT THE ROOM WITHOUT THE RANCH AND DIDN'T NOTICE IT SINCE IT'S SOMETHING OBVIOUS YOU DON'T HAVE TO *TOUCH* TO NOTICE THE MISTAKE!!
Even if he didn't bring out the food, that waiter could have prevented that type of thing from being forgotten since it needs no cooking to bring it out ahead of time. It is always the person bringing out the food that is at fault for any type of mistake that you don't have to TOUCH the food to notice the mistake, unless of course, the order was put in wrong by the original server that took the order with another server bringing out the food. Of course unless, the kitchen goofs up, making it correctly even if the ticket is wrong, but that's highly unlikely scenario.
I cannot believe you honestly think that the server is not at fault for most food mistakes. WE LIVED THROUGH THE "DUH" MISTAKES, SO WE CAN SEE WITH OUR EYES WHO WAS AT FAULT!!
We had a waiter once which he did write our orders down just the 2 of us at a seafood restaurant. When he brought out our food, he also brought out another table's food on the tray along with ours and put it down on a tray jack. Our waiter(not someone else), we saw he didn't get his pad of paper out to see which plates of food went with which customers. He put in front of my husband fried shrimp with fries, but my husband ordered crawfish au gratin with a baked potato. No one is blind here, so there's no excuse for this and it made a delay in our service. Turns out, he didn't even have my husband's entrée on the tray. Our waiter came back to say I quote "I grabbed the wrong plate from the kitchen." Our waiter ADMITTED HE MESSED UP! The kitchen didn't make the wrong food or forget, our waiter didn't compare his written order to the food to make sure which plates he was going to bring out to us. What he honestly should have done is done one table at a time since doing too much at once causes situations like this trying to do multiple tables at the same time. It wasn't more efficient, because he messed up and you are more likely to mess up trying to do 2 tables at once. He should have gone in order of request that if the other table ordered before us, he should have just brought out their food only and made our table a separate trip. I saw he just AIMLESSLY put plates out to the customers. It's so IGNORANT and LAZY! The speed in which my husband got his food was 100% ******OUR WAITER'S FAULT ENTIRELY****! He grabbed the wrong plate and didn't verify the items if they were correct on the plate. His job is to make sure he *SERVES* it correctly as much as he can see without touching the food. The side dish nor the main dish was even remotely not even close to the other even. Certainly not a caring waiter.
Could you HONESTLY blame the kitchen staff even if our waiter would not have admitted fault, he still was at fault. NO ONE IS BLIND HERE, NOBODY! Everyone can read. So there was NO REASON for this stuff to happen, yet, it happens.
There are no circumstances beyond their control in a good 90% of cases. 10% would be where they can't control, the rest they sure can control it. We know, we have been through it me and my husband many of times over the years with servers. We see what's going on. If your server brings you the wrong item, that's TIME that the SERVER messed up, NOT the kitchen. I don't care if the kitchen staff makes the wrong food, bringing it to me completely wrong is the 100% fault of the SERVER if they are our server. If it's another server that didn't take the order, they still should know which table is for example table #3 at.
My point of this story is to say that OUR WAITER DELAYED my husband's entrée, NOT the kitchen staff. Admitting fault is not why we would have blamed him. We already KNEW he was 100% at fault since everybody knows what fried shrimp with fries LOOKS LIKE on a plate, even a 4 yr old could tell you that it doesn't match, so could a waiter that is probably near his 20's or 30's. Our waiter delayed our food from getting to us by not verifying what plate he left the kitchen with ***AND*** not verifying the plates once he sat the tray down on the tray jack to deliver the food. He just aimlessly handing out plates of food, I watched as he didn't verify a darn thing. He was lazy and certainly did NOT CARE! We should have stiffed him to be honest. NO EFFORT=NO TIP!
It's very rare that it's not the server's fault. Things like if I order no pickles if you took my order and brought out my food, which there are some pickles under a bun that you'd have to lift it to see it, unless you admitted putting in the order wrong, I will assume it's the kitchen staff that is at fault and probably is.
Things like raw chicken tenders aren't the fault of the server.
A slightly over or undercooked steak if the order was put in correctly is not the server's fault.
Also, some people assume things as well, that end up being wrong.
If another server brings out a wrong side dish or if they are missing items other than condiments, no it's not the server's fault if they put in the order correctly, but it still counts against the tip. It's part of the service.
Why also is it when you say "no pickles" or "ONLY lettuce and onions", they still have a pickle on the plate? WHY you servers can't understand that if the customer states they don't want pickles, that means on the plate, because otherwise, they'd specifically state they would have wanted it "ON THE SIDE." Think about it. WHY do I keep having servers bring me some pickles on the plate when I ordered no pickles? NO SERVERS ARE BLIND OR ILLITERATE that they cannot determine any of the obvious errors that don't have to be touched to notice the mistakes or mistake.
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This one I HEAVILY AGREE 100% WITH YOU on this one. If the food is "that bad" WTH would anyone eat it? Seriously. Every single time I didn't like something that it was just "that bad" I didn't eat but 2 bites, 1st one to say yuk, second one to make sure "Do I really want to send it back and get something else?" Sometimes if it's not so bad, then I will eat it, but won't say I didn't like it and try to get a refund or something free. If it's horrible, I will say "I will pay for it, but I just don't like it." 99% of the servers will say since I didn't consume but a bite or a sip or 2 will take it back without charging me. I SERIOUSLY don't get the people that eat the entire thing or almost the entire thing, then complain? It couldn't have been that "bad" if you ate it, seriously? Those are cheap bastards that do that crap.
"A manager should be a last resort."
Yes and no. Sometimes managers should be involved if you have a major issue such as a rude server even if the server didn't make a lot of huge mistakes, but if they were rude, yes. Once, a waiter we had wrote down an extra side of ranch for an appetizer we ordered. When he brought out our appetizer(It wasn't busy), he actually put it on the table by us and since nobody touched it he gave it to us. He actually had the gall to say "Sorry" to them, but ******NOT TO US******** the asshole. SERIOUSLY. Then, when my ranch was missing so I nicely pointed it out, he IGNORES it and goes to greet another table the 100% opposite from the window. By the time he would have gotten the ranch, we would have almost finished the damn appetizer and the fact he didn't apologize for forgetting it nor delaying our food by trying to give it to the table by us, yet apologized to just them the mean asshole. So when I saw he went to greet another party of 2 further away, I almost lost it and went get a manager to ask for another server. I wasn't putting up with this BS of *********100% TOTAL DISRESPECT********** for OUR TURN AND TIME! Even if he would have given us the appetizer first without going to the wrong table, it wasn't that, that actually bothered me. It was being IGNORED when the ranch he forgot he just didn't go get it, he just didn't care. THAT is what got me pissed off that he showed me a LACK OF *******RESPECT**** as one human being to another. Seriously, if you just forgot something, WTH would you ******VOLUNTARILY********** go to another table? That's CUTTING! As if he'd love to get cut in front of when he's in a line? BS! The waitress we ended up having was great and got a huge tip. The waiter lost out on our table that COULD have given him a good tip IF he would have treated us like human beings. HOW was it right because of "HIS" mistake to punish our time EVEN MORE than what he did by not going to get the side of ranch that would have taken literally a minute at most. He could have easily told the other table "I'll be with you all in just a moment" from a far and gotten my ranch, then said he was sorry for the ranch as well as giving that other table our appetizer. MEAN JERKS a lot of servers are today. They give their customers DISRESPECT in a lot of cases I am experiencing.
Even if she put in the order correctly, she was still at fault for **FORGETTING** to bring it to our table. THAT IS **TIME RELATED**! Even if the kitchen forgot, for her to have to have been reminded and her **NOT COME TO OUR TABLE TO TELL US "the kitchen didn't make it or they dropped it or whatever", she forgot to bring it out. Especially looking at the ticket like she did staring at it, she obviously didn't check anything and actually forgot to bring it to our table.
So STOP with this that most of the time it's the kitchen when it's NOT! STOP LYING!
I don't want a "free" anything. I want a **CARING, NON-LAZY SERVER**!
Why are you not admitting when you are wrong, huh? THEY ********************ARE*************************************** VERY MUCH SO TRUE! You cannot deny ONE, NOT ONE THING I have said and tell me why it's not the server's fault. WHY do you want to act like you are right, huh? Why can't you admit, yes, I am right about what I have all said, huh?
"that isn’t the case in these circumstances. "
Most circumstances are caused by the server or another server, not the kitchen staff.
Let's say the cook made ribs with bbq sauce on them, but the server put in the order the customer wanted no bbq sauce on the ribs, just the bbq sauce on the side. No matter "WHO" runs the food to the customer since there is a kitchen ticket or a written order if it's the original server that took the order put in the order correctly, if the server still runs the food to the table with bbq sauce all over the ribs, guess who's at fault for "SERVING" it wrong, huh? It's the person that left the kitchen with the food and still "SERVED" it wrong to the customer. A good server would catch that issue and refuse to serve it. That doesn't happen in most cases though and that is the issue here.
Same thing with bacon not crispy unless it is covered up completely. If the customer asked for their bacon crispy, you can clearly see bacon in most cases(as I said unless it is 100% completely covered up) to notice if it's crispy or not crispy to decide to deliver it or not to deliver it to the customer going with that your server is bringing out the food or if another server brings out the food with the order that was put in correctly into the computer.
Usually it's not kitchen issues and that's my point of writing you that you don't understand. If you bring ANYTHING to the table that you can ***SEE** ***********WITHOUT*************** having to touch the food and you are the server that took the order, *******YOU ARE AT FAULT FOR SERVING IT WRONG, NOT THE KITCHEN STAFF***********! If you are another server that didn't take the order, but the original server put in the order 100% correctly into the computer, the other server is at fault for everything that you don't have to TOUCH the food to notice the mistake except for condiments, because any condiments can be brought out by the original server that took the order no matter "WHO" runs the food to you.
So you say "that isn’t the case in these circumstances." Well circumstances that are kitchen areas would be if the kitchen staff would drop the food or inside of a chicken tender it's raw or if the steak is slightly undercooked or overcooked if the order was put in correctly, or just anything else that the server that is bringing out the food could not see unless the server touched the food. Now if it's another server bringing out the food with an error you can see that is obvious and the order was put in wrong by the server, then of course it's the server's fault they put in the order wrong and not the kitchen staff of course.
"I have not ever seen the type of issues you’ve referred to first hand "
You said "I've been a food server a long time", but HOW could you not see it or even have "DONE" some of these things? It's very easy to put in a order wrong or forget to put in someone's order or forget to get something someone asked for. So you say you are PERFECT that you NEVER made mistakes before? BS if you say that, because NOBODY in this entire world is perfect. I get condiments forgotten around 85% of my outings in general, usually the original server depends on the other server to make their tip for them, but the other server isn't getting the tip to care, so both times I could have gotten my condiments at some point in my service(either before my food arrived from my original server) or from the server that ran the food that wasn't our server, but didn't get them.
WHY would you say you have never seen these types of issues? What kind of restaurant you worked at that doesn't have servers that make mistakes like putting in orders wrong or forgetting to put in an order, huh? I have NEVER heard of perfect servers that don't make mistakes. Sorry, but I haven't. There's no such place. Even fine dining restaurants have servers at least once in a while make mistakes. Everyone is human and not perfect. Do you work in fine dining out of curiosity where mistakes aren't "as" common?
"but I can only offer my own experience"
So your experience is that you never make mistakes? That is what you are telling me. I have most of my outings mistakes with my food is due to my server or another server that runs the food. It's usually missing condiments or wrong or missing side dishes, or brought out obviously wrong such as no bbq sauce on ribs but I asked for 2 sides of extra bbq sauce, wrong food completely, things of that nature. So you can honestly say you don't bring out wrong food to the wrong tables at times? We have had MANY of servers that aren't our server that bring food to our table that wasn't for us LOTS of times during our outings during the years. Most issues are NOT the kitchen staff, I promise you that.