100 Things Restaurant Patrons Should Never Do

crowded restaurant

Warning: things are about to get a little snarky.

Back in October, Bruce Buschel wrote a piece for the New York Times blog, “100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do.”  Buschel explained this list to be a part of the training manual he would use for an upcoming fine dining seafood restaurant of his, a literal lists of 100 “Don’ts.”

This idea of training through a series of do nots instead of through illustrations of what should be done irks me in and of itself, especially as a restaurant manager.  I have to admit that I do agree with some of his points, but I found the article to be, well, essentially hating on his staff (what a way to build up morale, Buschel!), without having allowed them a chance to prove that they more than likely already knew a lot of these rules– and that they didn’t need to be subjected to a patronizing list. (I printed the list and brought it up to my restaurant to see the reactions — there was a lot of eye rolling and “duh” being thrown around.)

More than anything, this list started to get me fired up, not about things servers should/should never do, but the serious disrespectful faults that I come across with restaurant patrons every day (in every restaurant I’ve ever worked in).  I like to think that some people are just ignorant when it comes to proper restaurant etiquette, but I know that some are just, well, assholes.

I don’t have 100 things quite yet, but this list is a definite work in progress, as new disrespectful acts are constantly witnessed. So in that same do-not vein, here is part one.

100 Things Restaurant Patrons Should Never Do

1. Snapping, waving, flailing your arms wildly is really not necessary.  You look like a fool, and you’re only distracting (and annoying) your server while he or she attends to another table.

2. Do not ignore your server.  When he or she approaches with a smile and a greeting, do not stare at your menu, all the while never looking up, and say “Yeah, I’ll have the salmon.”

3. Do not expect your server to be an octopus, or the god Shiva.  Three plates are generally the maximum that a server will carry at a time, and when you’re a table of five and three plates are brought by your laden-down server, do not go “And where are our meals?!”  It’s called a second trip.

4. Interrupting gets you nowhere.  Saying “excuse me” loudly while your server is attending to the table next to you is rude to the server and the other table, and generally makes you look like an ass.

5. When dining in a small, heavy-volume restaurant (especially one expected to be a quick serve), do not sit 45 minutes after you have finished all food and drinks and have paid the bill.  There is most likely a long wait, and you’re ruining everyone’s day.

6. Do not ignore the host or hostess.  Those people standing at the door and saying hello to you are, in fact, people.  Pretending they don’t exist will only make your wait for a table longer.

7. Along the same lines, do not attempt to do the host or hostess’ job for them.  Creating the flow of a restaurant involves a lot more than just sitting people in empty chairs.  When there are visible empty tables, it’s for a reason– either reservations or a section was triple sat.  Never say, “but there is an empty table right there!” unless you like looks of contempt.


9. I cannot repeat this one enough — Never, ever, EVER touch your server or hostess.  Do you touch your bank teller?  No?  Then why do you think that grabbing your server or host/hostess is acceptable?  It happens constantly and is inexcusable.

10. Do not stop a server/runner/backwaiter while they’re running heavy plates to another table.  Heavy.  Plates.  You and your emergency need for more Splenda in your coffee can wait.

11. Know what you ordered. You’re the one who looks like a moron (and angers the entire staff) when you get your baked pasta with pancetta and cry “But I’m a vegetarian!” making us waste a plate of food and make something else for you.  If you don’t know what something is, ask.  It’s easier.

12. Be on time, and also know that a reservation is exact.  Do not call for a reservation and say “We’ll be there between 7:00 and 7:20 or so.”  No, you’ll be here at 7:00, or your table will be given away by 7:15.

13. “Yeah, I’ll take” or “Gimme/Get me” are not respectful ways to start a sentence. So don’t do it.

14. This almost seems too obvious, but tip your server.  Even if you didn’t like the food, keep in mind that your server only had anything to do with, well, service.  And remember that depending where you are, hourly wages aren’t even enough to pay taxes.  (Here in MA it’s currently $2.63 for servers.)

15. Must you blow your nose on five different tissues and just leave them on your table for your server or backwaiter to pick up?  What is this, TGI Fridays?  Excuse yourself.

16. LISTEN to your server.  When he or she asks if you would like milk, cream or sugar with your coffee, “yes” is not an appropriate answer.

17. This is a tip for non fine dining restaurants, but when your server comes up to the table with three plates on his or her arms, and you have a bread plate and a cup and saucer blocking the entire space in front of you, don’t just sit there.  Move things, at least until one of the server’s hands are free.

18. Asking “What’s good today?” is pretty much the same as asking your server “What’s inedible here?” putting the server between a rock and a hard place.  There is no correct answer to that uncomfortable question — be more specific, asking about particular dishes.

19. This also seems to obvious, but clearly announce any allergies/aversions you may have to your server.  The last thing we want is a lawsuit due to the diner’s negligence (or the server’s, of course).

20. Standing up around your table for 15 minutes at the end of your meal is disrupting to all.  If you all need a long time to put on coats/say goodbye, please move it along to the foyer.

21. Whether you’re in the industry or not, never tell restaurant employees what they should or shouldn’t do – as long as what they’re doing isn’t hurting or violently offending you, you have no say. Just go somewhere else.

22. I know you think you’re being helpful, but please don’t stack plates and silverware “for the server.”  Everyone has different ways that they feel comfortable carrying stacks of plates, and your helpfulness could result in a floor-smashing mess.

23. Don’t name drop — it’s just tacky, and will not change the fact that every table is currently occupied. Especially do not name drop incorrectly — mispronouncing the name of the owner that you “know so well” will only result in your being mocked by the entire staff for the rest of the night. Because you deserve it.

24. It pains me to have to say this, but the “I’m in the industry” line is never amusing nor helpful, nor will it curry favor. You should know better.

25. Tourists, please don’t tip 10% because you know you’ll never be back to this restaurant ever again. I have no words for people like you.

Continue Reading

Pages: 1 2

You may also like


  • Tyler March 24, 2010  


    I have worked as a server and I feel the same way about basically everything you said here, except for #s 13 & 18.

    #13: I often begin my order with “Yeah, I’ll take…” I don’t think in modern (American) English that this is a rude way of placing an order. Because while I could say “I would like [it]”, I would not only like it, but I’ll in fact take it if you’ve got it. Often “I would like” or “May I please have” just seems excessively polite and, well, French. So I’ll save our equivalent of “Je voudrais” for Le Bernardin, if I ever make it there.

    #18: “What’s good today?” seems like a reasonable question, one that I myself have asked at a few restaurants where I know the question might be constructive. Like a restaurant that has a chef who might be particularly proud of a certain special because he got a protein or veg delivery that is awesome. Or the chef got some super-fresh ingredient at the farmers’ market earlier or yesterday that makes a certain dish really good today.

    What is your feeling about people who tip on the total minus tax? This topic has come up a few times recently. It seems to me that it’s fair to tip on the pre-tax total, but having been a server I’m almost always leaving 20% anyway so I don’t think I should feel too guilty even if some people disagree.

  • LB March 24, 2010  

    Thanks for the feedback, Tyler– I’m really looking forward to seeing how people feel/react to this.

    To be fair, #13 (the “I’ll take…” not the “gimme/get me”), is completely contextual. If you have acknowledged the server already, and it’s down to ordering time, then yes, this could completely be acceptable. I was thinking more of those who start the first contact with their server with “Yeah, uhh, I’ll take”…

    #18, although I absolutely see your point (and that is a perfectly acceptable question for restaurants with small menus that change very frequently), is definitely a pet peeve. A blanket question like that isn’t very helpful to me if I’m serving your table– I do not know your preferences/allergies/aversions, and could spend the next couple minutes describing dishes full of things you hate. Whenever someone asks what’s good, I make sure to ask at least one more specific question– either how hungry the guest is, if they’re looking for a vegetarian option or not, if they have any aversions to any type of proteins (fish, red meat, poultry…). Then I feel like I can answer the question at hand.

    As far as tipping pre-tax is concerned, I guess it would depend on what state you’re in, and the percentage of tax that would appear on the bill. If it’s a super high percentage, I would definitely take that into consideration and add a little extra. Personally, I generally tip %20 off of the final (with tax) total, although I’ll definitely tip more for great service. But 20% either pre-or post-tax is a great rule, and I don’t know that there’s a definite right or wrong way.

  • Nick March 24, 2010  

    I definitely remember that 100 rules of servers deal and thinking it was kind of rude. I can’t imagine that I’d ever want to wait tables (and I’ve waited my fair share of tables) at a place that had those posted somewhere.

    This list is hilarious though. I think I’ve seen almost all of those. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen anyone fake an illness (#41) although maybe I just didn’t catch them!

    It seems like almost all of these can be summed up by: Don’t be a douchenozzle.

  • BS March 24, 2010  

    I didn’t even know about #22 – stop stacking plates. I thought I was being so helpful! Turns out I’m not, as usual.

  • Evan March 24, 2010  

    #49 is important, especially somewhere that really doesn’t split checks to more than 2 credit cards. If you tell them you’ll tip them generously or as if it was one card, they may help you out and split to more cards.

  • Jess March 24, 2010  

    No words… to describe… should have sent… a poet!

    But seriously. Where do I even begin. #23, #25, #41… and I like your posi-twists on #43 and #46. Be good, and good things will come to you. As we know all too well, it’s far too easy to lose one’s self in the trenches of negativity and bitterness when reflecting on how much these people just fucking suck. I’m only too lucky that I got out before I officially became a lifer and my heart shriveled up like so many apple slices on my morning fruit plate that went untouched as I greeted the breakfast weeds.

  • TC March 24, 2010  

    The list is great. It amazes me how in NY both waiters and waitresses and customers are constantly rude to each other without thinking twice about it. As a general matter, a little mutual respect creates a good rapport and leads to a better experience for everyone involved. A couple of thoughts on your don’ts:

    14 – The risk of bad food is shared by a waiter/waitress and the customer. For someone to expect an excellent tip on a terrible meal is ridiculous. If the underlying value of the meal (no matter the cost) you are tipping on is 0 or close to it, 20% of that is still close to nothing. If, in the face of a terrible meal, the waiter or waitress has gone out of his or her way to be solicitous, apologetic or helpful, I agree that a full tip is warranted. Even if it is not fair, the waiter or waitress is the face of the restaurant to its customers (more than the host/manager) and a bad experience is still a bad experience, even if it is not the waiter or waitress’s fault.

    17 – Just because a restaurant is not fine dining does not mean that it can’t figure out a method of clearing its customers’ places before serving. I don’t mind being helpful and generally am in this situation, but for a waiter or waitress to expect help with something this basic is a bit much. At the very least, a polite request to move something out of the way and a thank you are warranted.

    34 – I disagree about not having to explain your policies. If a restaurant has policies in place that are not common everywhere, it is the staff’s job to be able to explain them from the host/manager on down.

    One thing you did not add that I think is important (and obvious) is that in addition to extolling the virtues of a great waiter or waitress after a great experience, it is always appropriate to tip extra if someone has gone above and beyond. Thanks are great, but thanks and a little extra money are better.

  • Erin March 24, 2010  

    The idea of tipping post tax is ridiculous to me – that is not part of the cost to the establishment. Theirs costs would be the same no matter what the tax was, so why should it be taken into consideration? There is no logic there. Its especially illogical when you live in an area like the DC metro area, where 3 states are so intertwined and their tax rates vary (DC’s is 10%!) Should I really tip more for the exact same service on the exact same meal for the exact same cost because of which side of the river I happen to eat it on?! Makes no sense to me.

  • Mark March 24, 2010  


    It sounds even more ridiculous to squabble over a couple pennies. Way too much effort on your part to cheapskate a couple extra quarters into your pocket. Leave the calculators at home. Be generous. It’s good karma.

  • uberVU - social comments March 24, 2010  

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by madelinesho: RT @EndlessSimmer: 100 Things Restaurant Patrons Should Never Do (Part 1) http://bit.ly/9hzxLL

  • Kate March 24, 2010  

    In regards to tipping… No calculator needed give the server $1 for every $5 you spend, always round up. It’s that easy.
    I agree with this list, mostly. I disagree with #12 as in this day in age just be relieved that the guest is not on the phone and actually ordering.
    I worked in a restaurant and waited on a relatively famous vegan author who didn’t bother to look up and ordered to the table “Just bring out some vegan dishes for the table”. Seeing that we didn’t have vegan dishes on the menu I asked the question which dishes was he interested in, he looked at me as though I had slapped him in the face and ran over his dog, twice, replying with an explanation of what vegan means. I silently walked away and modified dishes to please him. He told me I ordered too much food for the table (6 meze plates for 4 people)

  • In response to Erin March 24, 2010  

    Yes, you are supposed to tip on the post-tax total. I also live in DC, and I realize that the tax is high, but the cost of living is high as well. Twenty percent of your total bill is an industry standard. You can protest all you like, and no one can force you to follow this rule, but you are short changing your server out of selfishness if you willfully ignore the rule. Having worked in the restaurant industry for a decade, I can assure you most people realize this. Please don’t make the waitstaff who assist you suffer because you don’t like the policy.

    If you can’t afford to tip correctly, eat at home.

    My two cents,
    Possibly your bartender

  • Stewart March 24, 2010  

    I’m really tired of these lists. Last time I checked, the dining patron is giving you money. You’re not granting favors here. If you don’t like serving people, get out of the service industry.

  • PKP March 24, 2010  

    Restaurants are one of the service industries. Your customers are patrons who give you money and word-of-mouth marketing (the best you can get) in exchange for what you offer. In other words, your patrons are your gold mine and your only chance for success. Go back to marketing 101. The customer is always right and, yes, perception is reality. This sad list does not broaden or enliven or deepen the conversation in any way. Instead, it’s a cheap way to stir the pot. It’s a diatribe of pent-up, bitter hating on patrons. You do not have the graciousness to understand that humans behave badly, and often in public. However, when I am the one paying the bill, guess what? If I’ve behaved badly, I didn’t do it on purpose to make a fool of myself or embarrass myself, my family or friends. Instead — watch it here because the truth could hurt — it’s your job to take my money, tolerate it as best you can and, above all, be discrete. Classy. Understated. Non-confrontational. Someone who has the self-assurance and poise to understand that the sun will rise tomorrow no matter who wins.

    Having read this, who would ever want to eat under your microspic and vengeful eye?

  • Frank March 24, 2010  

    Guess what? I’m the customer. Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do.

  • beatbox March 24, 2010  

    BS on the tipping post tax. The tax has nothing to do with the service. It is like tipping on a cover charge.

    Yes, the cost of living is high, which i why i don’t tip post tax.

  • slimjim March 24, 2010  

    37. If you have children, do understand that non-chain restaurants rarely have children’s menus.

    Not true for tribeca.

    Been living in tribeca for over a decade and know some of the owners (oops – sorry is that allowed on this site?) because our kids know each other and it’s interesting to see how their restaurants changed when they first had babies and then as they grew up. Most of the restaurants here have a children’s menu. In fact, you sometimes see very surprised out of towners when they see all the kids in a typical restaurant down here either at brunch or early evening dinner.

    Not saying I disagree with the bulk of what you wrote, just saying that it may surprise you that in a hood known for its restaurants how kid friendly they are.

  • Ana March 25, 2010  

    In response to PKP and Frank.

    Regardless of you being a patron, does not excuse you to not understand the difference between service and servitude. Yes, we want your money, that’s why we got the job in the first place, so no, we aren’t going to the sit there and hate you without reason and purposely make your experience horrible.
    If you receive bad service, you can always bring it to the attention to the manager, whom is always willing to help out. But, don’t ever leave without leaving some kind of tip. You may be eating at some restaurant, spending your well earned money from your 9 to 5 job. But what are we doing? We are running around from table to table to kitchen, back to table, and to some tables that might not even be ours. We are carrying hot plates, huge trays, and managing to that without having it spill all over you and us. We are smiling even when you ask us stupid questions like “what’s good here?” (the more appropriate question would be set up like this… “If I was in the mood for chicken, what would you recommend?). Some of us are working long hours and doubles (that can be more than 12 hours without a break—and the little break we get is usually when all our tables are eating, and we have a quick 7 minutes to munch on some food before we have to get back to make sure everything is going well with you). . So we are running around to please you despite of how exhausted we are.
    We are doing all this mind you, for half of minimum wage. The only thing we can really depend on is our tip. But apparently giving you the best service we can, isn’t enough for you to go “hmm let me just tip post-tax, because they are really trying to do a good job”. Or when the food is running late, blaming it on us, and punishing up with a lousy or no tip at all. Which BTW isn’t the server’s fault, it’s the kitchen. We serve you the food, not make it.
    Just like table manners, you should have Patron etiquette. And as a Patron, it shouldn’t be so hard to ask, because well, you are a Patron and your money is golden to us, and you are so Patron-like, that throwing a fit would be too unfit for a Patron.
    Us serfs on the other hand, we are so incompetent that we have no other choice than too complain about you.

    You want to keep going? or you want to continue being hated where you eat.
    You are the guest, not the customer, you are just buying food, you are paying for the experience, but if you are going to be an asshole about your experience, i’m sorry, you are not right. You are wrong. So wrong, you should be blessing your food, and hope you don’t find spit in it.

  • Alison March 25, 2010  

    Having waited a lot of tables in my life, what a great list. Cheers,

    and just p.s…. #49– try “ensure” with an “e”. 😉

  • nathan March 25, 2010  

    This is even more of an annoying list of do’s and don’ts than the other one.

    People that make these lists in such a fashion should be stricken from hospitality in general. No one needs to know all of this bullshit to spend money in a restaurant. People come from different places and have different customs.

    You can shove it bro.

  • Patrick Maguire March 25, 2010  

    Here is my list of 64 Suggestions for Restaurant Customers that I published in early November in response to Bruce Buschel’s list;


    #17-Don’t be an (un)amusing douche. If you’re returning to a restaurant known for sending a complimentary taste (amuse-bouche) before your meal, don’t presume that they are going to do it every time, and don’t specify what you want for that little free thing. (Yes, there are people who actually ‘order’ their amuse-bouche.)

  • Summer March 25, 2010  

    I’m having trouble understanding why it’s such a problem to ask your server for general recommendations. I usually phrase it as “what are your favorite items on the menu,” and I’ve been steered to some amazing items that I never would have thought to try.

    Even if it is the same as asking “what’s inedible” (which I’m not getting), is that really so wrong? Here’s a real-life example: I had dinner at a waterfront restaurant in a touristy destination. I ordered the steampot dinner, which was 50% oysters. When my meal arrived, many of the oysters were nasty, either filled with mud or somewhat off-tasting. Most of the oysters were fine, so we didn’t feel that we needed to send the meal back or ask for a discount, but when the server asked me how I enjoyed my meal (which wasn’t until he was clearing the plates, btw) I told him that most of it was good, but some of the oysters were bad. “Oh yeah, it’s just because of the time of year,” he said, and walked away. I was annoyed for several reasons:
    1. He could have warned me when I ordered the oysters that it wasn’t a good time of year for fresh oysters. I even have a vague memory of having asked if the oysters were good, and getting a reply of something like “we sell a lot of them.”
    2. He could have asked me WHILE I WAS EATING if I was enjoying the meal, rather than waiting until after we finished.
    3. He could have simply said “I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the oysters.” If you don’t give a shit if I enjoyed my meal or not, why ask me?

  • Patrick Maguire March 25, 2010  

    Obviously you reviewed and paraphrased my list before compiling this one. Now that you have approved another comment and not mine, your list is even more suspect. I’ve contacted an intellectual property Atty., but prefer not to go that route. I would appreciate an acknowledgement and link to my post. Thank you-Patrick

    PS-I sent an email to the info address and it bounced back. That’s why I’m sending you this message in the comments section.

  • Brooke @ Food Woolf March 25, 2010  

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article for so many reasons. One big one being that I, too, am STILL upset about Buschel’s October article. Glad you simmered down enough to do this 100 listing. I’m still boiling over his negative attitude. You brought up so many excellent points. This is a winning post that I will refer all my customers to in the future.

  • Leah March 25, 2010  

    Great List! Like most other industry people, “100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do” left me fuming. I’ve got one for you to include on your next list: If you are not dining in what is clearly a vegetarian restaurant, then the restaurant is NOT required to provide a vegetarian entree! My restaurant just got a bitchy yelp review because we’re a southern-american comfort-food restaurant and did not have a vegetarian entree. Um, hello?!

    And don’t get mad at your server when they politely point you in the direction of salads and veggie side dishes. Read the menu! If there is not a vegetarian entree listed, then there is not a vegetarian entree!! And no, the chef is not required to “just make you something.”

  • Carla March 25, 2010  

    Several of these items are eerily familiar to Server Not Servant’s list that outlines 64 Suggestions for restaurant customers. hmmmm…. regardless, I think we all just need to remember that there is responsibility on both sides of the interaction. And money doesn’t justify any bad behavior, under any circumstances. Ever.

  • Ana Hauser March 25, 2010  

    Wow. The list that you are responding to was written by someone who understands that the customer is the one who keeps a restaurant in business and it’s therefore important to train the restaurant staff to provide excellent service to that paying customer. Your list doesn’t really serve a useful purpose and, to be perfectly frank, you sound really bitter. You’ve nitpicked and it’s clear that serving customers is probably not the job for you.

    Please understand that I have been following all of your “rules” for as long as I’ve been a restaurant patron because I have all the respect in the world for restaurant staff. I’ve dined at many places, with and beside many different people, and I’ve never witnessed any of the behaviors that your “rules” suggest are prevalent. I’ve overlooked plenty of server faux pas – why shouldn’t it work both ways?

  • Sarah March 25, 2010  

    Obviously all the people responding negatively to this list have NEVER worked in a restaurant and therefore have no clue about the absolute rudeness we put up with every day. I can relate to every single thing on this list and that’s just sad.

  • Springs1 March 25, 2010  

    “Or when the food is running late, blaming it on us, and punishing up with a lousy or no tip at all.”

    You act like that the server has ZERO to do with food running late, well I have news for you, me and my husband have EXPERIENCED situations where it INDEED was the SERVER’S FAULT our food was late or later than it could have been.

    If it takes too long, MOST of the time that IS the server’s fault.

    1. Have had 3 times servers ADMITTED they *FORGOT* to put orders into the computer. 2 of them were appetizers and 1 was a cup of bisque which is sort of like an appetizer served before a meal. These servers ADMITTED doing this. Can’t argue with FACTS!! One of the appetizers, the waiter figured it out when my husband had asked about it(it was taking longer than it usually did). Another time, received our entrées from another server and the waitress admitted she forgot. She didn’t even write it down, so no wonder why it happened. Another time, the entrées were brought out by another server and our waitress came by, which my husband had asked about where was his bisque. She gave him a bowl instead of a cup to make-up for it. See how delays with food CAN be the server’s fault?

    2. Have had servers admit putting in orders wrong into the computer. If you put in the order wrong, it’s a delay in getting your food.

    3. WHEN do you put my order in? That counts too. I have had servers buss a table instead of going to that computer or go to other tables asking them things instead of going to the computer when they didn’t call them over even.

    A good example, my husband and I ordered our appetizer and entrées, then our waiter greeted a table of 6. I understand greeting a table needs to be very quick, but he could have done a mini-greet(I’ll be right with you all) as many servers have done to us to do things the RIGHT AND FAIR WAY. By the time he got appetizer orders possibly, drink orders, and maybe even questions, it was probably a good 2-3 minutes later and WHO KNOWS if he had gone to put the orders in that we just gave before fixing their drinks. I think that was just MORALLY WRONG to do that. It’s like 6 people CUTTING in front of your food. Think about that…….

    4. Your server can drop your food, so they have to make it over.

    5. Have had a waiter admit to us before he GRABBED THE WRONG ENTRÉE from the kitchen. We have also had servers that took our order forget items like side dishes, condiments, and even brought out the wrong food(maybe they even put the order in correctly, but just brought out the wrong food). That waiter that grabbed the wrong entrée brought my husband fried shrimp w/fries when he ordered crawfish au gratin w/baked potato. The main problem was he had other entrées on a tray on the tray jack, but didn’t even verify WHICH ENTRÉE went to which table with his WRITTEN ORDER as he should have even more so IN THE KITCHEN, but he definitely didn’t in front of us, because we saw him just AIMLESSLY handing out the food not verifying which entrées went to which table.

    Continued next post:

    In fact, you can forget an entire entrée entirely and that would be YOUR FAULT you forgot it from the kitchen even if you put in the order correctly. That delay would be YOUR FAULT if you were my server. Can’t blame the kitchen staff for YOU forgetting something very obvious that you don’t have to touch the food to notice the mistake if you were my server. If it’s another server, if the order was put in correctly and I got the wrong food, no it wouldn’t be your fault, but it does count in the service. How do you feel when you get your food wrong? Is it fun?

    So you are VERY WRONG when it comes to “HOW LONG” it takes your food to get to you that they can’t control that. Your server has A LOT to do with how long it takes to get your food.

    The only ways it wouldn’t be the server’s fault our food was delayed would be if they put in the orders correctly, put in the orders as soon as they could in a fair manner(as long as they aren’t having to get something previously ordered such as other table’s food is ready that ordered BEFORE us), and if they come to get it as soon as it’s done IF possible(if they aren’t serving other customers at that time or taking orders).

    Not always does that happen. I have had a server once grab dirty dishes off a table and then go in the kitchen before going to the computer that wasn’t in the kitchen to put in my order.

    I have had a server I remember specifically once take our drink orders(bar drinks as well as soft drinks) and appetizer order when greeted, then bypassed the computer right up to greet another table. See, I would have put in the orders first at least. I can understand not the drinks, but put in my damn order. If you hold my order in your hands to do other things that should wait(be FAIR is what I am saying)(such as I wouldn’t expect you to put in our orders into the computer before delivering food, because those people ordered BEFORE us), YOU are DELAYING THINGS, NOT THE KITCHEN STAFF, NOT THE BARTENDERS, YOU!!

    So think about that we have A LOT OF RIGHTS to blame OUR SERVERS. I HATE when servers get triple sat or double sat, but decide not to go put in the order first into the computer after getting it. Do you realize how HUGE a delay sometimes that can be by going to greet the next table that may be ready to order, asking questions, ordering complicated orders, etc.? You can do a mini-greet to say “I’ll be right with you all”, which IS VERY ACCEPTABLE and has been done to us at times. It makes the most sense and it is the ONLY FAIR WAY to do it.

    Let’s say my husband and I order an appetizer and 2 cokes as well as I order a margarita. If you go put the order into the computer, our appetizer can be on the list already before you get the next party’s order. I understand if you can’t get the cokes as well, but at LEAST go put our orders into the computer. Also, putting in the margarita order gets the bartender started or next on the list to get my mixed drink done quicker. If the kitchen staff and the bartender doesn’t KNOW about these orders, THEY CAN’T BE MADE, CAN THEY?

    So quit acting like it’s always the kitchen staff’s fault, because more and more I see servers INTENTIONALLY DELAYING going put in orders when it’s unfair. I am not talking about if someone asked for something before us such as someone else’s food or bar drink is ready or someone asked for something BEFORE you came get our order, because I would expect you to take care of those customers that were FIRST BEFORE US, but once you get our order, GIVE US OUR TURN. I understand waiting a bit longer for our cokes since if you are triple sat, because the last table would be waiting like 10 minutes or more to get greeted, which that can’t happen. I do want my coke fast, but that won’t take as long to fix as food does.

    Just quit blaming the kitchen staff for late food, because MOST of the time, the server HAD A WAY TO NOT DELAY OUR FOOD!! A LOT of servers don’t go put the orders immediately after getting them into the computer as far as doing it in a fair manner.

  • Heather Turner March 26, 2010  

    Hi LB, I have to agree with Patrick Maguire, your list had quite a lot in common with a list he did up on his blog http://www.servernotservant.com/2009/11/05/64-suggestions-for-restaurant-customers/

    I personally have no problem with getting ideas for posts from other sources, no one knows everything, but please give credit where credit is due.

  • Jeni Hill Ertmer March 26, 2010  

    Okay -I’ve never worked in a “fine dining” setting but I have worked many years as a waitress as well as manager of a truckstop restaurant and though I know it’s not exactly the same thing, there are many, many similar issues that apply to ALL types of food service establishments.

    I’d like to add a couple things that always irked me to no end though.

    One pertains to children -please keep them under control! Allowing children to zip around the dining area, chasing, playing, generally misbehaving, is not acceptable and it is extremely dangerous to the servers as well as to the children. If a child (or an adult too for that matter) is injured because of their actions which may have caused the server to spill hot coffee or spillage of foods (soups especially) that are hot, whose fault is it really then? Of course, the server gets the blame but food service is difficult enough without making the dining room an obstacle course.

    And another gripe of mine pertains to people who enter a restaurant that is already busy -you can see this (I would hope) by just a glance around the room -or if you enter with a large group of people (like a busload, maybe) and you find a place to sit then fume because you think you are the only customer in the place and are so super important that we should have rolled out the red carpet upon seeing you show up.

    People don’t understand the timing involved in food service. When you have several servers, all busy taking orders at the same time, all putting orders into the kitchen virtually at the same time too, service, i.e. cooking time, slows down a tad. Please realize that the cooks only have a specific amount of grill space on which to prepare your food. Just because you ordered something you think is super easy to fix, doesn’t mean there is adequate room on the grill in the kitchen to fix every single item simultaneously. That, plus the cooks try to go down the line of their orders in as organized a fashion as possible to try to be as fair as they can be to the customers then too.

    Granted at times, servers do make mistakes and so do cooks -whether they be chefs or lowly grill cooks. They are, after all, human and we all make mistakes from time to time too.

    But a little patience, use of good manners and treating people with respect -from both sides (server and customer) does go a long way in the general scheme of things.

  • Al March 26, 2010  

    Tip: When I was younger the standard dip was 10%. Quite a few years later it rose to 15% and now it is 20% with sometimes 25% suggested. Where is this going to stop. Please don’t tell me inflation! The price on the menu inflated. These raises are double dipping. When it gets to where the waiter expects 100% of the cost of the meal, I will stop eating out all together if I live that long. Don’t get upset if a senior citizen tips you the standard 10% that he learned 50 years or more ago, it is not a insult, it is an ingrained habit and I might say, a fair one at that.

    How long is the customer supposed to wait to have their coffee topped up, dishes removed, etc before waving at the waitress who is obviously ignoring them? Do you really want the alternative of me getting up and asking to see the manager? If my food arrives cold, then I WILL blame the waiter. Also I do not expect that cold dish to be warmed in the microwave. There are a lot of restaurants out there and when I get treated poorly, then the restaurant, not the waiter, is added to my defecation roster.

  • Patrick Maguire March 26, 2010  


    Please stay home. Thank you.

  • Erin March 26, 2010  

    Wow, Springs1

    You clearly are extremely excitable. What you may not understand, is that certain restaurants have policies on timing. Each table needs to be greeted within 30 seconds where I work. Actually, a table greet does not delay an order enough to even be noticed, so that point is not valid. Any GOOD server can multi task, and get everything done in a way that keeps everyone happy.

    Also, just because your food in rung in before another tables, that does not mean it will come out first. Certain items take more preparation than others. A well done steak will take longer than fried fish.

    Another point is the issue you brought up about bussing tables. We have a “full hands in, full hands out” rule at our restaurant. If you are walking by a dirty table on the way to the computer, you are required to grab a few things off of the table prior to leaving the floor. Dirty tables are an eyesore, and clearing them off promptly makes the restaurant look better and also helps that wait get sat. What is the first thing you think when you walk into an establishment and it is full of filthy empty tables, and there is a wait? You would probably say to the host “if someone would clear off those tables, I wouldn’t have to wait!” Besides, we are talking a matter of about 30 seconds here. Is it really that signifigant?

    Servers are human, we make mistakes. Sure every once in a blue moon a server may forget to ring something in or ring it incorrectly. If this happens regularly, maybe you should consider trying different retaurant(s). For a good server, these mistakes are few and far between.

    Overall, try to relax and enjoy yourself. It sounds like when you go out to eat, you are spending your experience over analyzing your server’s every move. You comment about someone “cutting” you in line for food is reminiscent of “no cutsies” commonly used in kindergarden. Sit back, relax and try to understand that you are not the only person in the restaurant.

    Thank You

  • Pingback: Friday Leftovers « will blog for food March 26, 2010  
  • kitty March 26, 2010  

    i don’t understand #41. care to expound?

  • Crys March 26, 2010  

    Apart from the bickering over who gets what credit, I’d have to agree with you. That guy sounds like he’d drown if it rained. Personally, I want my waiter/waitress to be a real person and not a freakin’ robot….But then again, I’m from southern California and we don’t really make a fuss, regardless. I’m just not going to pay good, hard earned, money to someone with so many sticks in their @$$ that they can’t treat me like a human and speak to me like I matter.

  • Amy March 26, 2010  

    Ugh, I feel so scroogy, but…I didn’t get the 20% memo. Tipping’s been 15% for good service for as long as I can remember, and 20% and up for stellar, mind-blowing service. And it’s pre-tax.

    Granted, if my bill is $50 I’ll probably leave $60 just because, but I bristle at the idea that I’m expected to.

  • Crys March 26, 2010  

    41. PLEASE don’t fake having an illness (Diabetes seems to be the most common) in order to jump the wait list. This happens constantly, and I’m sure that those with such illnesses wouldn’t appreciate you doing so.

    People actually LIE and say they are ill and cannot “stand/wait” as long as is expected of them, so they feel they should be ushered ahead of those who have been waiting there longer. I assume it could be accurately compared to those who fake handicapped parking because they are too lazy to walk a little further…or that one person that parks in a red zone and thinks they are above the law.

  • Crys March 26, 2010  


    As much as I understand people’s salary depends on a tip, I don’t start the bidding at 20%. If our economy was booming and I weren’t struggling to pay my rent, I’d be singing a different tune.

    When I go out to dinner, I do so as a treat. They call it gratuity because it is optional (unless otherwise stated) and if I’m gracious for the service I was provided, I tip. If it was amazing service, I tip more. If service sucks, I deduct.

    Never feel you are obligated to tip if your waiter/waitress doesn’t do a good job. Also keep in mind, the waiter/waitress isn’t always at fault for how long the food takes and take dinner/lunch/breakfast rush into consideration. If it’s not busy at all and my glass is empty for the entire meal, then we have a problem.

  • Erin March 26, 2010  

    To “possibly my bartender”, it may be your opinion that you are “supposed” to tip post tax, but there is certainly no official rule. In fact the trend is more toward the other way (pre-tax)and usually a restaurant that adds a service charge automatically for large parties does so on the pre tax amount. And usually those calculations at the bottom of the receipt as guides for you are also done pre tax. And all official etiquette type things I have ever seen say pre-tax. My husband has been a server in the DC area for close to 15 years now and he agrees there is no real standard/expectation.

    But I also don’t understand what makes you assume it means I’m cheap? For all you know, I always tip 25% but I just base that on the pre tax amount. Also, being cheap or not doesn’t address the issue of the exact same meal and the exact same level of service possibly meaning a $3 or more difference in tip simply for being on the DC side of the river. Thats about fairness to the server in VA who worked just as hard really. As for the cost of living being high, no kidding, thats why prices at restaurants can be double what I’m used to from where I grew up. Saying the cost of living is high so you should tip more is redundant since obviously the cost of living being high will automatically drive up the tip amount.

    But thats another thing – tipping bartenders. I’m more than happy to tip (and a lot even) the bartender that goes to the extra trouble of making me a recommendation or making up their own specialty drinks etc., but I find the $1 per drink expected tip silly when its taking the top off a beer. How is that really more than just doing the expected job? Thats not really a criticism of the bartenders, just a commentary on our silly system that gets away with passing more and more of the cost onto the customer instead of the establishment.

  • Nancy March 26, 2010  

    First of all, I always tip at least 20% if the service is decent. I lived with waiters/ waitresses in college so I know they depend on tips to live.

    That said –

    #1, #4, and #10 – how should a patron get the attention of their server? I’ve spent a half hour or more trying to catch the eye of a busy server. I know the server is busy, but if they are taking care of too many tables to pay attention to all of them, then the manager should take corrective action.

    #12 – if I ever go to a restaurant that honors reservations at the specified time, I might agree with this one. Until then, really?

    #20 – Most restaurants don’t have enough room in their foyer to wait for a table, much less to put your coat on after a meal.

    #27 – This happens because the bar is usually fully seated and there is no other place to order a drink than at the server’s station. Perhaps having one less chair and making a patron station would solve this problem.

  • Lex March 26, 2010  

    I call bull on #22. I get thank yous from servers all the time for stacking my plates. I’ve never done waiting but any idiot can stack a few plates without having them crash.

  • Springs1 March 27, 2010  

    “What you may not understand, is that certain restaurants have policies on timing. Each table needs to be greeted within 30 seconds where I work.”

    I know, it’s everywhere like that, but guess what? THOSE SAME SERVERS STILL HAVE THEIR JOBS THAT TOOK 5 MINUTES OR SO TO GET TO US, SOMETIMES 2-3 MINUTES!!

    It is sometimes IMPOSSIBLE to do that. You won’t get fired if you can’t get to the table within 30 seconds, because we have lots of times when the servers can’t.

    Think about it, when servers are triple sat. For example, a waitress came to us(a party of 4, me, my mom, my dad, and my husband), which we ordered 2 appetizers, non-alcoholic drinks as well as bar drinks. I even added ranch and remoulade sauce(this was at Outback for the bread) and also asked her questions about if I could still get a certain drink(which I did) that was no longer on the menu. Think, by the time she greeted that third table, there was NO WAY even if she greeted us within 30 seconds(which it was like around 3 minutes, but just to make an example), she still would have NEVER got to that 3rd table within 30 seconds. What about people like me and my husband that have ordered drinks(bar and non-bar drinks), side salads, appetizers, and entrées at the time of greeting before. We don’t usually do that, but WE HAVE AT TIMES done that.

    My point is, you are acting like this is some written in stone rule that you can never break, but you can and sometimes you have no choice in the matter.

    “Actually, a table greet does not delay an order enough to even be noticed, so that point is not valid.”

    YES it sure does. For one thing, ANY BAR DRINKS it DOES DELAY. You are WRONG ABOUT THAT!! Also, if I order the same appetizer as someone else the same way, but our order goes in a couple of minutes after the person at the bar, but the person at the bar got their order put in 2 minutes sooner, GUESS WHO’S FOOD GETS TO THEM UNFAIRLY FIRST? The person at the bar.


    “Any GOOD server can multi task, and get everything done in a way that keeps everyone happy.”

    It doesn’t make the first party happy that has to wait LONGER, because you want to let others CUT in front of other’s turns.

    “Also, just because your food in rung in before another tables, that does not mean it will come out first. Certain items take more preparation than others. A well done steak will take longer than fried fish.”

    Well DUH, I am not stupid. That is NOT the point and has ZERO to do with what I am talking about. The point is if you put in my order at 5:02p.m. instead of 5:05p.m. that is a MAJOR difference that can lead to 5-10 minute differences, because as I said before some other tables can order the same thing, the same way even and make our food get delayed because you decided to be UNFAIR.

    The later you put in the order, the later it comes out. THAT IS THE GOD’S TRUTH!! WHY can’t you see that?

    “Another point is the issue you brought up about bussing tables. We have a “full hands in, full hands out” rule at our restaurant. If you are walking by a dirty table on the way to the computer, you are required to grab a few things off of the table prior to leaving the floor.”

    You aren’t LEAVING the floor to the kitchen if you are going to the computer in most restaurants, especially chains such as Chili’s, Red Lobster, Applebee’s, Bennigan’s, etc. They have the computers by the booths even where people sit. You aren’t LEAVING to go to the kitchen to put those away, so WHY would you bother MENTIONING this?

    That is my point. You aren’t going to the kitchen to worry about dirty dishes. You are heading from our table to the computer. You aren’t going to the kitchen, so WHY punish OUR TIME for dirty dishes? That is inconsiderate and uncaring to do that as well as VERY RUDE!!

    “Dirty tables are an eyesore, and clearing them off promptly makes the restaurant look better”

    When YOU are waiting for your stuff, how do you like it when someone keeps sweeping instead of taking your order and IGNORING what you just asked for, HUH? You don’t see that as RUDE, INCONSIDERATE, and just plain MORALLY WRONG?

    WHO CARES WHAT THE RESTAURANT LOOKS LIKE IF YOU ARE ALREADY SEATED? I feel and would think most people only care about THEIR TABLE and WHAT COMES ON IT. If they need a refill, they could care less about the table behind them that needs bussing. I don’t worry about that crap. I worry about OUR TABLE. I would rather and most people would rather get their refills, check, food, etc. FASTER than for them to see a PRETTY SITE.

    “and also helps that wait get sat.”


    You don’t see that? We waited our turn and I would rather not be seated if you aren’t READY for our turn, but when it’s our turn, don’t DISRESPECT OUR TURN.

    Those people in the waiting area are like a LINE in a store. You wait YOUR TURN. Well, same thing here. You put the order into the computer and THEN PICK UP THOSE DIRTY DISHES ***AFTER**** putting in the order.

    HOW can you live with yourself knowing you let people CUT? That’s CUTTING. Those people in the waiting area were us at one time and they feel the same way that they want their order put in as soon as they gave it, NOT have their server delay things INTENTIONALLY.

    The people in the waiting area should wait LONGER since it’s NOT THEIR TURN YET. It’s only FAIR that you don’t EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER CONSIDER them until you have finished putting in the order for the party that you just got or request you just got such as if I just asked for our check, you go to buss a table, you are going to not have a good tip. WHY? WHY DO YOU THINK? You are delaying things for people that are in the lobby letting them CUT.

    Also, we have had times where servers bussed tables and there was NOBODY waiting for a table even. That’s REALLY LOW to do that even more so.

    WHY consider those people that aren’t there yet when it’s not their turn yet and the people that just ordered waited their turn, WHY not let them do the SAME?

    “What is the first thing you think when you walk into an establishment and it is full of filthy empty tables, and there is a wait? You would probably say to the host “if someone would clear off those tables, I wouldn’t have to wait!” ”

    Actually, there might be a wait, because sometimes servers are in the weeds. They have too many customers right then and can’t be seated with another party. We have been to restaurants where at the time, not a lot of wait staff during a slow time, so they had plenty of CLEAN empty tables, but not enough servers to serve. So you are wrong about that.

    Secondly, I would rather WAIT IN THE WAITING AREA so when it is my turn, they are ready for me. We don’t want to get seated and then have the server delay things, we might as well not have gotten seated if they weren’t ready for us.

    “Besides, we are talking a matter of about 30 seconds here. Is it really that signifigant?”

    YES it is. Time is TIME. I don’t care if it’s just picking up one dirty glass along the way, it’s the PRINCIPLE of it that it is SO RUDE!! It is RUDE to do that.

    I served in a donut shop back in 1998-2002 off and on when I was in college. The MOMENT someone came in whether I was restocking, mopping, sweeping, cleaning, etc., I would IMMEDIATELY STOP to SERVE my customers. I made the CUSTOMER #ONE as they should be. I couldn’t have fathomed making dirty dishes first. Some wanted something to-go, so they had nothing to do with those dirty dishes or cared about them. Some people ate inside, but if they sat at the counter and not the booth(let’s say the booth was dirty), that wouldn’t affect THEIR service at ALL if I left the mess there for an extra minute or 2. THEY would have been mad at me though if I would have kept cleaning when they wanted their coffee. YOU KNOW THAT IS THE TRUTH!!

    WHY do you think 30 seconds is a big deal to leave mess around? Ask yourself are those dirty dishes going to tip you? Granted, if there is a wait for a table, yes, you would get more customers to tip you faster, but think about those customers already there that you are being RUDE TO.

    I don’t get why you think 30 seconds is worth making someone’s order get delayed and why you would want to delay ANYTHING they asked for AT ALL if you didn’t have to for DIRTY DISHES OF ALL THINGS!! CUSTOMERS ARE NUMBER ONE, NOT SECOND!!

    Unless the people wanted to sit at the booth or counter that had the mess, I would leave the mess there for the extra minute or so it took and SERVED THEM. Some were thirsty and hungry. THINK ABOUT PEOPLE’S FEELINGS AND TIME. INANIMATE OBJECTS can stay there for another minute or so. WHY do you feel if you don’t take those dishes, it’s the end of the world if you don’t do that before putting in an order or getting something someone asked for?

    I think it’s rude if I just asked for a refill and the server goes to grab dishes, because a lot of restaurants have soda stations that aren’t in the kitchen area, so you wouldn’t have to bring dirty dishes if you weren’t leaving the floor.

    Tell me if you don’t think what happened to us was rude:

    This happened at a Chili’s:

    We finished eating, which me and my husband ordered refills on our soft drinks and I ordered a margarita. There was NO wait for table at the time. Instead of her going to put the margarita order and get the soft drinks(which that’s something SHE could have done herself), NO she took our dirty plates off of our table and stacked them onto a table on the side of us. She starts picking up other dishes on the table and busses it. I really wanted to tell her “WE ARE THIRSTY, CAN YOU PLEASE GO GET US OUR DRINKS AND PUT IN MY MARGARITA ORDER”, but I didn’t to risk her retaliating. Anyway, so she has to bring those dirty dishes to the kitchen, so that was time wasted as well for us. You don’t see that as RUDE AND EXTREMELY INCONSIDERATE of our THIRST and that my margarita could have beennnn started made if she would have gone to put in the order instead? I could have cared less if she would have taken our dishes or not or she could have put it on the dirty table, but left it there and gone to put in the order first, THEN could have gotten our soft drinks. Then, when the margarita would have been ready, she could have brought it out to me.

    You don’t see how that is just mean and wrong? PEOPLE ARE THIRSTY, DUH!! I don’t honestly get people like that, because they don’t think about when it’s THEM waiting for something how THEY FEEL when they are EXTREMELY THIRSTY OR HUNGRY?

    “Sure every once in a blue moon a server may forget to ring something in or ring it incorrectly. If this happens regularly, maybe you should consider trying different retaurant(s).”

    The restaurants, NO, it all depends on the SERVERS. We have gone to those restaurants since then and it didn’t happen. It’s all about the SERVERS, NOT the restaurants.

    “You comment about someone “cutting” you in line for food is reminiscent of “no cutsies” commonly used in kindergarden.”

    People STILL use it as ADULTS in LINES. You don’t know that by now? Cutting is wrong no matter what AGE you are.

    “try to understand that you are not the only person in the restaurant.”

    I know that most of the time. The other times, we have been the only people in a couple of restaurants before during slow times.

    Try to understand that people don’t like waiting in general and that your tip is not the only thing in the world. Think about others, then they will think about you more in the tip. By making those dirty dishes first you show your customers that you don’t care about their time and THEIR TURN. If they waited for a table also, WHY do you think it’s fair to consider the next people that were AFTER THEM by picking up dirty dishes BEFORE putting in the first people’s order? It’s NOT FAIR AT ALL!! The first people were first and should get treated as they were seated first.

    If Table A I just took an order from a party of 2, saw there was a lot of people waiting for a table, I still would put Table A’s order into the computer FIRST BEFORE I could even FATHOM THINKING ABOUT THE NEXT PERSON IN LINE PER SAY!! BE FAIR and then your tip will be fair. Be unfair and you shouldn’t get a good tip.

    I stopped IMMEDIATELY TO make sure my customers had my full attention and I NEVER ONCE continued to restock or clean when a customer needed me. WHY wouldn’t you do the same and make them NUMBER ONE?

  • Patrick March 27, 2010  

    …………..L.B.: I read your list and all of the responses. I too, have been a front-of-the-house employee and kitchen worker since 1964.

    It is a terrific industry for the right people.

    You sound unhappy. Would you rather have 4 tops that tip 25% and get out in 45 minutes? Or solo diners sat by the kitchen that leave you 50% because you were so officious? Or maybe no sidework until 2012?

    Didn’t your parents tell you life is not fair?

  • Two cents from a happy diner March 27, 2010  

    Springs, please, take a few deep breaths and chill out. It seems you’ve had an endless string of aggravating dining experiences, which is unfortunate, but have you considered that the common denominator in all these instances is you? Perhaps it isn’t; not knowing you, I certainly can’t say for sure either way. But it’s worth thinking about, honestly and with an open mind…after you’ve calmed down, that is.

    On another note, there are two things I wanted to address:
    First, when a server brings the food, it always irks me when other people at my table leave their drinks, silverware, and napkins (or worse, cellphones and purses!) sitting right in front of them, where a plate should go. It just doesn’t make sense to me–where is our waiter supposed to put your food? In front of ME? Just move your stuff out of the way, guys.

    Second, just because I’m paying to dine out does not mean I deserve special treatment above all the other people who are also paying to dine out. I expect courteous, efficient service, but I don’t expect to have my needs supersede those of everyone else. If that means I have to wait a moment for a refill, because there are three tables to be cleaned off so others who are waiting can sit there and one table who needs their check, then so be it. The restaurant cannot be efficient if my waitress is constantly putting off other tables and duties just to keep me from pitching a fit if I have to wait 90 seconds for something.

  • juanstumofu March 27, 2010  

    I’ve washed dishes, bussed, barbacked and waited tables and while it’s GREAT when people tip on the total bill, including tax, the few of you (servers) who claim that it’s cheap not to are just lying.

    you don’t deserve more $$ just b/c tax in NYC or DC is more- you didn’t do anything extra for that.

    I was always happy to get tipped on tax but wasn’t all P.O.ed when somebody didn’t.

    if there’s 10% tax on a $100 bill, and I’m tipping 20%, that $100 bill becomes $110 with tax, and my tip goes from $20 to $22. so you “earned” $2 just b/c the city tax is higher?

    sorry. you didn’t do anything to earn that other than working on the right side of the river.

  • Springs1 March 27, 2010  

    Two cents from a happy diner
    “If that means I have to wait a moment for a refill, because there are three tables to be cleaned off so others who are waiting can sit there”

    There is a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE DIFFERENCE between a party AFTER US and a party that is already seated.

    You can’t tell the difference then wait in a line, then let 2-4 people CUT in front of you, THEN you will see the TIME DIFFERENCE.

    The 3 tables are people that are AFTER US in the LOBBY, therefore should NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, be thought of when doing tasks, because if someone in the SEATING part of the restaurant ASKS for something, their request should be BEFORE the 3 tables that are IN LINE TO BE SEATED.

    IT’S A LINE!!! You wait for a table in a certain order, WHY should you get PRIORITY over someone else if you were ***^^^^^AFTER THEM************ to get what you asked for, even if it’s just to sit? Think about it in a FAIR WAY? What if you waited 40 plus minutes(which we waited an hour for a table at times), think about how if that were YOU, how would you feel that your server would put other customers AFTER YOUR PARTY’S ORDER BEFORE YOU ALL?

    It’s UNFAIR and you can’t say you wouldn’t be bothered by it, because ANY NORMAL human being that was VERY HUNGRY AND THIRSTY WOULD. DON’T LIE NOW!!

    “one table who needs their check, then so be it.”

    If the table needs their check, but it’s BEFORE OUR request, OF COURSE BE IT, it’s ONLY FAIR and MORALLY RIGHT they get their check BEFORE our stuff, but if I just asked for something before them, that’s wrong to give them their check first if it’s something they are in control of such as putting in an order or getting a check or soft drink/tea.

    3 refills vs. 3 tables, SORRY, but OUR REQUEST CAME (((((((((((WELL THE HELL(F’) BEFORE THE THREE TABLES THAT AREN’T EVEN SEATED YET))))))!! WHAT WAS THE POINT(SERIOUSLY WTF) OF WAITING IN A LINE PER SAY TO GET SEATED(DUH) IF OTHER TABLES THAT ARE AFTER US GET PRIORITY? WTF IS THAT ALL ABOUT YOU UNFAIR BITCH? WHY MAKE THEM A PRIORTY WHEN WE WAITED FOR A TABLE TOO WELL BEFORE THEM, POSSIBLY EVEN LONGER EVEN? HOW UNFAIR IS THAT? Think about WTF did we WAIT FOR A TABLE IF 3 TABLES GET PRIORITY BEFORE US THAT WERE AFTER US? Think about if our server gets seated with people not directly after us, but 2 party’s after us due to they were assigned to other servers, think about that if that’s the case that means that our server if they are serving the people after us for things in their control they are CUTTING as far as BEFORE the people that were WELL AFTER US in line waiting for a table. Think about that, PLEASE UNFAIR BITCH!!!

    “The restaurant cannot be efficient if my waitress is constantly putting off other tables and duties just to keep me from pitching a fit if I have to wait 90 seconds for something.”


    “Second, just because I’m paying to dine out does not mean I deserve special treatment above all the other people who are also paying to dine out.”

    WHO said “Special treatment”, I said treatment of a PAYMENT instead of ZERO tip like the fast food cashiers get. It’s not special to get restaurant service, it’s NORMAL service. Special treatment I have gotten such as a server that COOKED for me, but to just serve you regular stuff is NOT anywhere NEAR “SPECIAL treatment.” WHERE do you get “special treatment” from?

    “If that means I have to wait a moment for a refill, because there are three tables to be cleaned off so others who are waiting can sit there and one table who needs their check, then so be it.

    WHY do you feel your turn is LAST if ******YOU********ASKED AND GOT SEATED WELL AHEAD OF THEM? Your turn was first, so other 3 tables can wait just as YOU had to for a table. It’s ONLY FAIR they wait THEIR TURN JUST AS YOUR PARTY HAD TO.

    WHY do you feel others are above you?

    You made it to the line first, they waited later, so that’s their issue just as if you were in a long line in a store such as Wal-Mart. Do you honestly GO IN THE BACK OF THE LINE after waiting 3 minutes in line just because 3 people came in line with 3 items each? I bet you sure don’t.!! WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE HERE? Can you please explain?

    “The restaurant cannot be efficient if my waitress is constantly putting off other tables and duties just to keep me from pitching a fit if I have to wait 90 seconds for something.”

    So if the cashier at McDonald’s puts your order off 2 minutes due to putting someone else in the back of the line they KNEW on a personal level FIRST, but you had to get back to work(I have a half an hour for my lunch FOR REAL, let’s say you do), so by them putting you off 2 minutes just made you not be able to eat your full lunch in the amount of time allotted, NOW how do you feel putting another order in front of yours? I bet you don’t like it now?

    Just think about how UNFAIR is that you got your check SHORTED due to someone that CUTTED just because the cashier KNEW the customer.

    That’s just WRONG, MORALLY and RUDE as well as NOT NICE as well as EXTREMELY INCONSIDERATE!!!

    “In front of ME? Just move your stuff out of the way, guys.”

    This is the one thing I will AGREE with you about ONE MILLION PERCENT!!! If you are customer, MOVE YOUR STUFF OUT THE WAY!! Are you really that lazy you can’t move a few things so your food can come faster to you?

  • Patrick Maguire March 28, 2010  

    Springs1- That is one of the most painful things I have ever endured in my life… Please learn how to cut to the chase my friend. -PM

  • mike March 28, 2010  

    Quit yer bitching, and get my god damned burger!!

  • adam March 28, 2010  

    This is offensive. If you expect patrons to leave a tip to subsidize your restaurant’s wage, then you should expect varied approaches from various guests and just deal with it. That is what customer service is about. Do we not expect the same for customer service at retail establishments?

  • lifer March 28, 2010  

    I’m 37. I bussed my first table at the age of 5 at my dad’s restaurant. My first industry job was at 14. I’ve done it all Front and back of the house and I now own my own place. Spring1 I hope you never come to my place. You have wasted more of your life at the keyboard on these posts and thinking about these “injustices” than all the wait staff in your life ever have. there is real injustice and suffering in the world. get over your self and your precious “TURN”

    A few insights:
    Just because you are the customer does not make anything and everything you do OK. It’s your meal but it’s someone else’s business, office, well-being etc. If you do not behave with the respect patience and good nature you would in any other place of business you are rude.

    Pre tax tip, post tax tip…for the couple dollars difference, I’d rather not do the math. I round up and then calculate. If you can’t afford to tip properly don’t go out to eat or drink. Your server is taxed at the same rate and pays taxes on sales whether you tip or not. If you are cheap enough it costs them money to serve you. When did you last pay a client for the pleasure of working for them?

    If I don’t like the way I’m seated, treated, the order in which things are done or anything at all, I am not cheap or rude (or post exhaustive rants – I mean you Spring), I simply don’t return. Why waste my time being unhappy when there are plenty other places to try.

    I used to think people should earn a license to dine out by working in food service. Maybe my time in it has taught me to just be happy someone is taking care of me. I’m not concerned about a wait because I’m not in a hurry. After all I can’t dictate how many people are ahead of me, I should be glad the wait isn’t longer. Good food takes time. It takes longer when a place is busy. Good company should make the time fly.

    Relax and enjoy.

  • Springs1 March 29, 2010  

    “I now own my own place. Spring1 I hope you never come to my place. You have wasted more of your life at the keyboard on these posts and thinking about these “injustices” than all the wait staff in your life ever have. there is real injustice and suffering in the world. get over your self and your precious “TURN””

    WHY do you act like things are supposed to be UNFAIR, HUH? Things should be FAIR if they CAN BE. WHY can’t you see that?

    “Pre tax tip, post tax tip…for the couple dollars difference, I’d rather not do the math. I round up and then calculate.”

    I don’t worry about before taxes, because the tip is on the entire bill, which should include taxes in my eyes anyway.

    I round up or down. For example, do you round up to the next dollar if the tip would be $10.05, I would just simply write down $10. Do you always round up, even in a case like that?

    “If I don’t like the way I’m seated, treated, the order in which things are done or anything at all, I am not cheap or rude (or post exhaustive rants – I mean you Spring), I simply don’t return. Why waste my time being unhappy when there are plenty other places to try.”

    If that’s the case, we wouldn’t EVER go out to eat, because ALL restaurants have their bad servers, ALL and I mean ALL!!

    Usually why we return when we get unhappy visits is because WE LIKE THE FOOD, BAR DRINKS, and ATMOSPHERE, just the service sucks.

    It’s not the restaurant’s managers 99% of the times, it’s the UNFAIR, LAZY, and UNCARING SERVERS. The manager can’t make the server “DO THE RIGHT THING” or “CHECK OVER THINGS”, can they? The manager can’t overlook every single thing that his or her servers hand to customers. That would be impossible.

    As far as the order things are done in goes, we have been to Chili’s a zillon times probably since that happened in 2005(the story I talked about that the waitress decided to stack dishes and buss a table before getting our soft drinks as well as putting in the margarita order), which we have had such WONDERFUL service MANY of times since then as well as some bad, but in general we have had good times. My point is, it’s the particular *******SERVER****** that can make your experience good or bad not the restaurant itself. Now, there are bad managers and one particular time encountered a very uncaring one, so we didn’t go back for years(2001, which is the time we had the bad experience and didn’t want to go back until 2006). Tried it again since we figured the place had new management by that time I had hoped. We haven’t had any manager problems at that restaurant when I have had a few service issues.

    My point is, it’s MOSTLY the SERVERS that make or break your experience. That waitress at Chili’s could have decided to go to the computer to put my margarita order in at the very least and could have also gone to get the 2 soft drink refills, THEN worried about those dirty dishes that could wait, especially there was no wait for a table at the time, because it was much later. This Chili’s closes at 12p.m., it was like 11p.m. So there was no wait for a table at the time for her to have even considered being so INCONSIDERATE. It ALL DEPENDS ON THE SERVER FOR THE MOST PART if you are happy or not.

    We have been to Red Lobster many of times over the years, which one time, a waitress decided to hand our entrées out of order on the tray. The tray had 2 side salads for a couple that wasn’t even in the building when we ordered(this visit was around 11:15-12:15). These people got seated much later than when we ordered our entrées. Our waitress brings out a tray of 4 items: 2 side salads, 2 entrées. We had waited around 45-50 mins. for our entrées. Now, the length of time it took to cook wasn’t the server’s fault, but her doing what she did was. She had her tray and decided instead of bypassing the couple as ((I)) would have to be FAIR and DO THE “RIGHT THING” that the people that ordered FIRST get theirs first, she decided to hand them their side salads BEFORE our hot food. Do you see how that is just simply RUDE? It’s not about the 5 seconds difference, it’s all about that wasn’t the FAIR way to serve people and she let them CUT in front of OUR TURN. I couldn’t FATHOM intentionally handing things out of order. She has got to know how SHE feels when people CUT in front of HER NOT TO EVER DO IT TO SOMEONE ELSE!!

    My point is, we don’t get terrible service like that most of the time at Red Lobster. It all depends on the SERVER!!

    “I now own my own place. Spring1 I hope you never come to my place. You have wasted more of your life at the keyboard on these posts and thinking about these “injustices” than all the wait staff in your life ever have. there is real injustice and suffering in the world. get over your self and your precious “TURN””

    So what do you think about the Red Lobster waitress? You don’t see it as CUTTING, because it SURE IS CUTTING. Those placed their side salad order WELL AFTER we ordered our entrées, so if you have more than one party’s items on a tray, you should hand them out in the order in which they came in out of doing the right thing and realize that it IS just like CUTTING in a line. It’s RUDE!!

    Get over YOURSELF with your precious UNFAIRNESS!! There are many things that CAN be fair if people PLAYED FAIR.

    Go example I really did. I use to work in a donut shop years ago. A couple ordered 2 donuts each, 2 coffees. I was serving by myself at that time. There was 2 ladies(separate customers) that walked in. One lady was telling me which donuts she wanted in her mixed dozen, so in the middle of picking them, this bitch, INCONSIDERATE lady at the counter that was with the man asked for a buttermilk donut. I told her that I was serving someone and to wait her turn. I made her wait until I even finished the next lady’s order before I got it for her.

    You probably would have been RUDE to the lady you were serving the mixed dozen to and would have interrupted HER TURN for this INCONSIDERATE BITCH that thought she was the only customer in this donut shop. Am I right?

    I did the “MORALLY RIGHT THING” by going turn by turn basis not to be RUDE to customers, because I hate when customers have cut in front of me, so I DON’T DO IT TO THEM!!

    My point is, you are an unfair, uncaring excuse for a human being. I hope I never go to your restaurant, because you would teach your servers to be unfair instead of doing the right thing, the way GOD would want you to. Think about it. Do you think that God would like to see conflict? I think not.

    I couldn’t have fathomed interrupting someone else’s turn like that unless she had something wrong with her food such as the donut was raw. NOT to order something else. If you want to order something else, WAIT YOUR TURN!!

    “Maybe my time in it has taught me to just be happy someone is taking care of me.”

    Not all servers do though. Some are rude and ignore you.

    “I’m not concerned about a wait because I’m not in a hurry.”

    Then take your time ordering your food then. Don’t order your drink right away if you want to just sit and relax. If you aren’t in a hurry, maybe order an appetizer, but wait to order an entrée after you finish eating your appetizer. Slow the process down if you aren’t in a hurry. MOST people are the VERY OPPOSITE of you. Many times I have seen people leave, because the wait was too long for a table or ask the host or hostess “How much longer”, so you are in the minority on this one.

    If you aren’t in a hurry, why don’t you ask to be on the bottom of the list? Ever thought of that? Let someone else that IS, be in front of you if you truly feel that you aren’t in a hurry. I have done that at stores before where only one person was behind me, which they had like 1 item, so I asked if they wanted to get in front of me. If I am in a hurry, I don’t. Times such as I may be late for work if I let someone in front of me, I just won’t do it.

    I WOULD NEVER want to eat at your restaurant considering you are an UNFAIR EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING!!

  • MP March 29, 2010  


    Shut up and relax. I agree with lifer, you should have to work in a real restaurant in order to leave comments like this. A doughnut shop is not a restaurant, it is a place where lines are formed and you help those people because they are at the head of the line. This must be where you got your ridiculous line comments from. Learn how to be a decent human and have respect for others around you. If the server is waiting on two tables simultaneously, they might get both orders at the same time. This will save time with both tables. Also, I feel like you are being ridiculous with the drinks example. You are not extremely thirsty ever. Have you ever lived in an impoverished country without water? Seeing as you have access to a computer I doubt it. You can wait for a few minutes more so others can also be satisfied without dying of thirst.

  • thepinkpeppercorn March 30, 2010  

    Nothing to add, but it’s an hilarious list!

  • Springs1 March 30, 2010  

    “I agree with lifer, you should have to work in a real restaurant in order to leave comments like this.”

    How can someone be so UNFAIR in this world? What does a real restaurant have to do with serving in a FAIR manner, huh?

    Secondly, they had more than just donuts at this place. We served regular food items as well. Burgers, biscuits, croissants, chicken sandwiches, pork chop sandwiches, bbq beef sandwiches, chicken tenders, etc., we served people.

    “A doughnut shop is not a restaurant, it is a place where lines are formed and you help those people because they are at the head of the line.”

    Some were sitting at a booth(we had 2 4-seater booths), some 2-seater tables, and a counter. The people eating inside NEVER FORMED A PHYSICAL LINE YOU DUMBASS IGNORANT IDIOT!! You have NO COMMON SENSE TO SPEAK OF!! The lady at the counter that wanted that buttermilk donut was EATING INSIDE, which the other 2 ladies that formed a line were getting items to-go. Do you understand that lady sitting at the counter with the man WAS NEVER IN A LINE?

    “This must be where you got your ridiculous line comments from. Learn how to be a decent human and have respect for others around you.”

    First off, it’s not ridiculous to think that people will treat you fair when you are PAYING them. You are the one that is ridiculous to not think that things should be FAIR.

    Secondly, I have respect for others, that is why when the lady that wanted that buttermilk donut didn’t get hers until it was HER TURN. It’s disrespectful to the lady I was in the middle of serving to interrupt her turn(just as if someone came up to a server while taking an order-SAME INCONSIDERATION) and it would have also been disrespectful to serve the lady her buttermilk donut before the lady that was next in line since the lady that was standing in line was NEXT, NOT that lady with the buttermilk donut.

    I respect people by don’t give me my turn when it isn’t mine turn(meaning don’t seat me if the server isn’t ready for me) and when it is my turn, don’t interrupt my turn for someone else’s turn. That is just simply MORALLY WRONG AND RUDE!! It is also extremely INCONSIDERATE and DISRESPECTFUL!!

    “If the server is waiting on two tables simultaneously, they might get both orders at the same time. This will save time with both tables.”

    First of all, MORON, it is IMPOSSIBLE to serve at the same exact time. The server would serve one table, then the next. It is IMPOSSIBLE to do them both at the same exact time.

    Secondly, it will NOT save time for both tables, JUST the second table you IDIOT!! Don’t you get that?

    Example: Let’s say a server is double sat. Let’s say Jane Doe and her husband get seated first. Let’s say Joe Schmoe and his wife get seated just right after(about a minute after). The waitress greets Jane Doe’s table, which they order an appetizer and 2 bar margaritas.

    If the waitress goes greet the second table without going to the computer to put the orders in, that’s TIME that is wasted UNFAIRLY that the appetizer can be on the list in the kitchen to get started on. The margaritas could be getting started on faster.

    Let’s say the waitress didn’t go to the computer first. She goes to Joe Schmoe’s table, he’s asking zillions of questions about the menu items as well as his wife. They order complicated orders and order COMPLETELY at the time of greeting excluding desserts. They order 2 side salads, an appetizer, and 2 entrées. Think of the TIME the waitress just spent at their table. Do you want to be it’s probably around 4-5 minutes at the LEAST. So by the time she gets to the computer, it’s around 5 minutes later.



    “Also, I feel like you are being ridiculous with the drinks example. You are not extremely thirsty ever. Have you ever lived in an impoverished country without water?”

    First off, WHO CARES ABOUT OTHER COUNTRIES? That doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with what we are talking about and you can’t compare the 2.

    Secondly, you don’t know how thirsty people are. You are an UNCARING excuse for a human being.

    “You can wait for a few minutes more so others can also be satisfied without dying of thirst.”

    They should have gotten in line sooner. So my time isn’t as important as theirs? It’s JUST AS IMPORTANT!! WHY do you think they are more important than I am? NO ONE is more important than ANYONE on this earth than anyone else. We wait our turns. That is how the world is. When you go to a store, you wait your turn in a LINE. You wait your turn. That is how it works. Hospitals are the only ones that don’t take things first come, first served due to they have lives at stake.

  • MP March 31, 2010  

    so what your saying is that if someone was dying of thirst, literally dying, at a restaurant and you ordered first they should wait but if they were at a hospital you would allow them to go first? 🙂

  • MP March 31, 2010  

    and what if it was a restaurant in a hospital? how would that even work because it is on the hospital grounds but it is still a restaurant. just saying there are holes in your argument. 😀

  • Savory Tv April 2, 2010  

    As a former restaurant waitress, here we go:

    When someone asks what you like, tell the truth.

    Elderly people who have lived through hard times don’t tip well, we all know that, continue to show them some respect.

    When your food is ready, bring it out, now. Not in 1 minute, now. Don’t yell at the chef ever if customers complain, unless you brought it out the minute it was ready.

    I could go on for hours, but those are my top 3.


  • Elemental April 6, 2010  

    Nice list. After dealing with moron customers for 20 years, I had to get out or I would have done someone some bodily harm. I could add a few, like:

    Don’t walk back into my kitchen to tell me that you are allergic to something. Tell the server–she cares, I don’t. I’m very very busy.

    Also, I’m not picking the garlic out of the pasta sauce. Don’t be any dumber than your genetics already make you be.

    Oh, and Springs: dude, lighten the f#^@ up. I would have read your comments but they were really really long and boring.

  • L April 6, 2010  

    I believe that #33–The Golden Rule–sums up everything on this list. Slightly simplistic, yes, but something that makes a great deal of sense. I’ve worked as a server for the past six years, and both my mother and my grandmother were servers as well, so it would be safe to say that I’ve long understood the fundamentals of customer service. I’ll be the first to admit that there are instances where I struggle with it, but I think that has a lot to do with my generation being raised to not tolerate disrespect. And let’s face it, there are quite a few disrespectful people who come into restaurants.

    I’m not going to get involved into a debate on tipping, since as a server my view is skewed, and I almost always tip in excess of whichever percentage is considered the norm, whether it’s 15 or 20%. I’m really more concerned, and I do honestly mean concerned, with the number of people who don’t understand the phrase “server, not servant”. Yes, as your server, my primary responsibility is to ensure that you a pleasant experience, including but not limited to prompt service, correct food, and personality/conversation (if you want it–some don’t.) That being said, it is also my responsibility to ensure that every other table in my section, and sometimes the one next to mine, recieves the same treatment. This is not to say that once you recieve your food, or your check, that you become unimportant–but please understand that the same things that you wanted, i.e. timely service, refills, etc, are the same things that other guests want.

    If I were to come into your place of employment, and insist that you assist me at the risk of alienating other customers/guests, I suspect that you would find it annoying. If you would not want someone to enter your place of employment and act the way that you find yourself acting when you enter a dining establishment, I would suggest you examine your behavior and expectations. Hopefully, when you go out to eat, you’re with pleasant company, either your own or that of others, and you’ll enjoy yourself for that reason alone. If you dine out for the sole purpose of nit-picking and criticizing–well, there are plenty of careers where that particular trait is not only a skill, but a necessity.

    One final note, in regards to timing and “cutting”. To those who have brought the issue up, yes, an order should be put in, if not immediately, as soon as possible. And while I understand and practice the concept of full hands in/out, most orders take less than two minutes to input, so punching it in and then bussing the table really won’t throw one off all that much. So both sides have valid points. However, and perhaps my view is different because I work in quick service and we don’t course our meals, I have almost never had an instant where waiting one minute to put in an order resulted in an additional five-ten minutes before it was recieved. Orders that were put in thirty seconds apart will come out thirty seconds apart. Since this is likely to mean that one of those orders will spend an extra minute or two in the window, as your server is delivering the first finished order, it really is in everyone’s best interst to space them, even if it’s only by two minutes. My manager/owner actually insists that we space orders, even as he insists that we greet tables within thirty seconds, or take two orders back to back. Crazy? Yes–but it’s his business.

    The point of all that, is that we as servers do everything we can to please a multitude of people, and sometimes we lose. We’ll do our best to make it up to you, and I’ve comped food before getting a manager’s approval to ensure that the customer felt better about the experience, even when it was unpleasant. So please, please, try to understand and appreciate the complexities of our position–much as you would want someone to do for you.

  • Springs1 April 7, 2010  

    “However, and perhaps my view is different because I work in quick service and we don’t course our meals, I have almost never had an instant where waiting one minute to put in an order resulted in an additional five-ten minutes before it was recieved. Orders that were put in thirty seconds apart will come out thirty seconds apart.”

    This is just not true for the most part. THINK about it logically. If you have an order of mozzarella sticks ordered “AS IS” from one person at a table you are serving, they may have for example, the bartender putting in the SAME EXACT ORDER, THE SAME EXACT WAY. If the bartender beats YOU putting in my order by 10 seconds even, THE BARTENDER’S WILL BE ON THE LIST FIRST and will be made FIRST. The other table’s one will be made second. They may put all of them in the fryer at the same time possibly and maybe they may not if it’s not busy. If it’s really a dead time of day and the cook isn’t cooking anything at the moment at a non-busy small restaurant let’s say, the cook gets an order in, he or she STARTS cooking it. Then, 30 seconds later, another order for the same thing. Well, one order was already started cooking. Do you understand now? TIME IS TIME, whether it’s 10 seconds difference or 10 minutes difference, time MATTERS.

    “Since this is likely to mean that one of those orders will spend an extra minute or two in the window, as your server is delivering the first finished order, it really is in everyone’s best interst to space them, even if it’s only by two minutes.”

    Not if the server brings out more than one plate of food it sure won’t. I have seen servers bring several plates on a tray before.

    No, it isn’t more than likely.

    It isn’t in the customer’s best interest. They are HUNGRY, DUH!!

    “My manager/owner actually insists that we space orders, even as he insists that we greet tables within thirty seconds, or take two orders back to back.”

    Greeting within 30 seconds doesn’t truly happen very often at restaurants and when it does, sometimes it is annoying if you are at a new restaurant when you want to look over the alcoholic drink menu. It is nice to at least have a minute to a minute and a half just to look over the menu for appeitzers even to be able to decide that when greeted.

    He wants you to take 2 orders back to back so the second table doesn’t take as long so he can get more people seated that way instead of thinking of the first table’s order should be first since they were FIRST. He only cares about money, not about people’s turns and time. It is the expense of the first table’s time though by going to take the second order before going to put the orders for the first table into the computer.

    That’s why they want the “hands full in, hands full out” when they have a wait for a table, because the managers want not to lose business over making customers wait just that much longer to get seated. The thing is, most people would rather not be seated if it meant a 10 minute wait just to get a couple of soft drinks and not be able to place your food order until 15-20 minutes from getting seated, meaning if they aren’t ready for our turn, PLEASE DON’T SEAT US!! The managers don’t think about NEXT TIMES will you COME BACK? I know if I have service that’s like that I don’t want to come back or definately not very often.

    In other words, I would rather wait an extra 2-5 minutes in the waiting area so when it is our turn, we can get our server’s undivided attention per say by not waiting forever and a day to get what you ordered or asked for. How many times have you all gotten seated with nobody to greet you for 5 minutes? We have many of times. I would rather not be seated if they aren’t ready for us, so would just about anyone else, because they can’t order anything and we’ve read the menus waiting for a table before.

    “And while I understand and practice the concept of full hands in/out, most orders take less than two minutes to input, so punching it in and then bussing the table really won’t throw one off all that much. So both sides have valid points.”

    They DO NOT have valid points. YOU ARE ADMITTING IT DOES THROW OFF SOME TABLE’S TIME THEY WAIT FOR THEIR FOOD!! You aren’t even saying it right. If you take an order and then put it into the computer, by going to buss a table after isn’t going to alter time unless it’s something you can get yourself such as some restaurants have their servers make the side salads such as Red Lobster.

    What I think you meant is that you would go buss a table first and then put in an order into the computer. THAT is what is morally wrong.

    You should do as you said to go put in the order, THEN buss a table, unless it is something that you can fix yourself.

    ANY AMOUNT OF TIME THROWS OFF PEOPLE’S FOOD FROM GETTING TO THEM!!! I don’t care if it’s 15 seconds, it’s time that should be the FIRST PERSON THAT ORDERED that should have priority unless there is a mistake with something at someone’s table or someone else asked for something before that table that just place their order.

    “I’ve comped food before getting a manager’s approval to ensure that the customer felt better about the experience,”

    If you didn’t pay out of YOUR OWN POCKET for those items, that is THEFT, do you realize that? You are saying you didn’t get permission, so that’s STEALING from your employer if you didn’t pay for it yourself, which I highly doubt you did.

  • L April 8, 2010  

    Two points for clarification, and then I’ll leave you to your next diatribe.

    1–“Full hands in/out”–was actually in your favor. If a server has already taken your order, they should be able to punch it in, and then go bus the table, still keeping with full hands in/out. In that way, both the customer and restaurant productivy are maintained.

    2–“Comping/Stealing”–if you had read the phrase correctly, you’ll notice I said before approval, not without. I’ve worked for the same company for 5+ years, so if I comp something, my manager knows it was for a legitimate reason. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a hardass about giving things away, because that’s my profit share being thrown away, sometimes just because someone wants to be an ass, and the only way they’ll be quiet and leave is to give them something for free. And before you remark on that, every business has people like that, and it’s often better to lose one customer than to lose money everytime they come in because according to them nothing is ever right.

    So before you decide to attack people, and accuse them of things, maybe you’d do better to actually read what they write. Thank you, and have a lovely day.

  • Springs1 April 8, 2010  

    “I’ve comped food before getting a manager’s approval”

    That is what you said. This is what you say now: “I said before approval, not without.”

    If you comp it ***BEFORE*** you get your manager’s approval, that is STEALING, because you didn’t get PERMISSION to do so. THAT IS WITHOUT!!

    You can’t comp something without their approval at ANY TIME unless YOU are paying for it YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKET!!

    If you comp something **BEFOREHAND** wouldn’t that mean you did it BEFORE you found out you could do it? You are just making excuses, because I did as you said “read what they write.”

    You did it WITHOUT the manager’s approval, because you did it BEFORE you had ANY PERMISSION AT ALL, NOT A SINGLE SOLITARY WORD OF PERMISSION TO!! You are such a LIAR, it’s not funny!! What a bunch of BS you have come up with!!


    “1–”Full hands in/out”–was actually in your favor. If a server has already taken your order, they should be able to punch it in, and then go bus the table, still keeping with full hands in/out. In that way, both the customer and restaurant productivy are maintained.”

    In this situation it would be, but not if the server is double or triple sat that has to greet tables instead of picking up dirty dishes. Let’s say I am the first table with my husband, then the second table has 4 people, and the third table has 2 people. If the server takes our bar drink, soft drink or tea, and appeitizer order at the time of greeting, if they go take the second table’s order, that is when they are delaying our orders.

    If I were a server, I would do a mini-greet “I’ll be right with you all” to the second table and go put that first table’s orders into the computer. Then greet the second table, then say to the third table “I’ll be right with you all” and then go put the 2nd table’s orders into the computer. Then get the third table’s orders, then go put those into the computer.

  • The Bitchy Waiter April 10, 2010  

    Yeah, he really started a firestorm with that article.


  • Eaterman April 15, 2010  

    Pretty good list, though maybe a bit aggressive. I think really there’s only one rule, and it’s treat you server like a human being. Be polite and courteous whether you’re getting great service or terrible. No question, request, or complaint from a customer is inherently unacceptable so long as it’s delivered kindly.

    There’s only one item I’d remove from this list however, and that’s #17. I know that waitstaff are incredibly busy and balancing multiple demands, but I don’t go out to eat so that I can hold my appetizer plate in my lap while someone puts my entree down. I think it’s the job of restaurants to make sure there’s room on the table for new plates without putting the customer to work, especially since you don’t think we are capable of stacking our own dishes in a reasonable way. Restaurants with small tables cluttered with flowers and the like and restaurants that serve food that comes with lots of separately dished accouterments should be all the more sensitive to this.

  • Paul R. McConahy April 18, 2010  


    Please reference the nearest dictionary for the definition of “Brevity.”
    Then enroll in a “Writing for Beginners” class.

  • Thos Weatherby April 28, 2010  

    It’s what the guest perceives on what is important. Let’s look at #7. If there is a line at the door and there are empty tables, they guest may have a right to comment on this. Did the manager staff properly? Why did the host triple seat? You see, the guest doesn’t know what you know. They’re not there for an education on why you run your restaurant a certain way. The guest doesn’t care. They just want to be fed and properly served. If 3 plates are all they can do then have an additional runner. Or use a large tray. Being in the business for over 30 years, I can assure you I have heard it all. Just remember, The guest is never wrong, they may not always be right, but they are never wrong.

    And for #14, you said, “Even if you didn’t like the food, keep in mind that your server only had anything to do with, well, service.” They are the last person to see the food. If there is anything wrong with it, THEY SHOULDN’T SERVE IT.

    Anyway, glad you got this off your chest. Many times I wanted to pull the guest over and slap their face. But I have to remember that the guest is NEVER wrong. What can I do to make their experience better.

  • JSin April 28, 2010  

    I know you don’t work in the industry simply because you cannot even seem to grasp the jargon frequently used in a restaurant. Seriously a donuts and sandwich shop is not the type of place that is being discussed. Your frequent references to Red Lobster like it is fine dining only underscore this likely accurate perception.

    As to comps without prior managerial approval. It is fairly common practice and completely legitimate practice to allow servers to use their good judgment in deciding what can and should be done to deal with an issue. If a comp is the right thing to do a well trained server will do so without having to go ask mommy if it is ok. The comp should be logged so the issue can be addressed and accounted for. It is generally in the restaurant’s best interest if something has gone wrong or been delayed (or even to reward a consistent friend of the house) that perhaps a nice amuse-bouche would be advisable. Generally this is at the chef’s discretion but if a server is attentive there is no reason they should not bring it to the chef’s attention and expedite it.

    Then again it is clear this is not something you have received nor something your place is capable of doing. Aside from perhaps a free donut hole.

    To the list itself- The list is great these are basic tenets that people should know and abide by regardless of atmosphere. It really lies with parents to teach basic manners, unfortunately this is a skill lacking in modern society.


  • Guest May 23, 2010  

    I’ve been a server for years, and I gotta say.. the majority of servers are really up their own asses.

  • evil todd May 28, 2010  

    “insure the server gets the right tip”? Oh, so you are saying that the tip is ONLY based on the total?

    Sorry, but as a bar manager, I’m tired of hearing my waitstaff complain about their tips and patrons. You have to take the bad with the good. You know, it really might have just been you and not the customer.

    I guess I need to write a list of things servers need to quit doing.

  • Heather July 1, 2010  

    Ohhhh wow. This is ridiculous. I’ve been a server all throughout college, and you can alwayyys recognize people like Springs when they come in. We do Paper Scissors Rock, loser has to wait on them. I would hate to know that everybody thinks I’m awful. I don’t know how Springs lives with him/herself!

  • Liz Coughin September 7, 2010  

    I would never take advice from someone that admits to eating at Chili’s or Red Lobster…

  • Briana Thomas October 9, 2010  

    I am a thirteen yr old girl and I think that you are all being children. If the writer has something to say, let him say it. Let him get it out here before he does something he shouldn’t somewhere else. If you don’t agree with what he is saying, don’t act on his advice, just ignore it and move on. (And I don’t appreciate all the cursing. It is unecessary. We all get it, you are mad. But just because you aren’t intelegant enough to express yourself without cursing doesn’t mean we all have to hear it.)

  • Jen October 24, 2010  


    21. Whether you’re in the industry or not, never tell restaurant employees what they should or shouldn’t do – as long as what they’re doing isn’t hurting or violently offending you, you have no say. Just go somewhere else.

    38. The customer is not always right — raising your voice and getting indignant about non-issues doesn’t give you the upper hand…it just makes you look like the douchenozzle you clearly are.

    39. If you’re with a group that’s being loud, or rude, or difficult, police them! Don’t let the behavior go any farther if you know better.

    44. Sending back an entree after you’ve eaten half? Really?

    These stood out to me the most. Just the other day, a guy came in and ordered food from my restaurant. First of all, I knew he was a douchebag, because I’ve dealt with him before. I tried very hard not to be rude. But he would say something VERY loudly, in French I suppose, rolling his eyes. Um, excuse me… if you have something to say to me, please say it to my face. You are a grown OLD man, with gray hairs – please don’t think you can be rude to me because you’re much older. Also, don’t tell me how to do something. I don’t care, if you think you should pay AFTER you eat. I’m telling you to pay BEFORE. I don’t have time to watch you and make sure you won’t leave without paying. I’m very busy, and have other crap to do! Saying “Well, normally at restaurants you pay after you eat.” Well, have you ever heard of Ryan’s? Red Lobster? McDonlads? A lot of places have you pay before you eat. This is not a fancy sch-mancy restaurants. If you thought it was, then you’re stupid. Oh and another thing – don’t get smart with me! I don’t care if you know 3 different languages; I know 5. I’m not stupid, I can comprehend what you’re saying PERFECTLY. I know how to speak English. Maybe you shouldn’t get an attitude with me and stop thinking you’re better than me, because you’re not.

    Another customer I had to deal with, tried to argue with me because I charged her extra money for extra sauce. It was the stupidest argument I ever had. And she was yelling over the phone at me, for a good 10 minutes, while I tried to keep my mouth shut. But then I lost my patience and told her off real good, and hung up on the phone. A few days later, she comes in and orders something. Demanding a dollar back when the change is only 45 cents. Excuse me? Do you know how to add and subtract?! My 3 year old cousin can count better than you! This lady has given us NUMEROUS amount of trouble. Every time we delivered to her, she would ask for the wrong change back. She’s even yelled at our delivery person, for no good reasons – especially when we’re busy and have other deliveries to make. PLUS, she doesn’t give a tip. At all. Not even a penny.
    She was just a pain in the neck, picking fights all the time. Lady, please, find a different hobby.

    So this is the problem I had TODAY. A lady ordered food from us. Okay. 45 minutes or an hour later. She calls in and says that she has not received her order yet. Hm? What order? No one gave me an address!!! We still delivered the food, in less than 15 mins I would say. When our delivery person gets there… the lady is waiting downstairs, hands them rolled up money, and starts complaining about how we were late. The delivery person apologizes of course. And the lady starts to walk away – back into her apartment complex. THEN he realized it was only 6 dollars when the order was about 16 dollars!!! That’s 10 dollars short! Our guy says “hey, this is only 6 dollars!” The lady says, “well you were late.” Then hurries in to the building, shutting the door quickly. EXCUSE ME?! Who said you can do that? That’s called stealing! You didn’t even pay half price. And we never said it was okay. Maybe if we were to say, “Oh, we understand… it’s okay if you only pay 6 dollars. We’re very sorry about being late.” But this lady did not understand that what she did was basically stealing. And it was kind of stupid of her to expect us to deliver to a place we didn’t even know the address of. I would say next time, maybe she could remember to give us her address – instead of expecting us to know it by heart, but I don’t want her money and I refuse to serve her ever again.

  • Alexandra January 5, 2011  

    @ Springs1. Shut up already and get your own blog if you want to use someone else’s comments page for your essays.

  • Pingback: Top 10 ES Posts of 2010 January 9, 2011  
  • From a patron's perspective January 11, 2011  

    The person who wrote this is clearly a waiter at a small, insignificant diner. If you were to follow all of these rules, you would never get service. Please reconsider your point of view, because it is wrong.


  • TheGourmetCoffeeGuy February 10, 2011  

    Point # 3 about “…don’t expect your server to be an Octopus or the God Shiva…” is hilarious.
    I am always amazed at the job waiters and waitresses do.
    Their job is, literally, a balancing ac. Very important to make the enjoyment of the meal special for the patron.
    Your post had so many interesting points.
    I appreciated how you emphasized all the things that waiter/waitress has to remember besides getting the order right and refilling the drinks… Consideration and courtesy go a long way for everyone!
    Thanks for your insights.

  • Emily April 8, 2011  

    If you use a coupon or get a discount of some sort (use a gift card, etc) make sure you tip on the ORIGINAL bill…seems like another “duh” but you’d be amazed how often people don’t do this.

  • Jessica April 9, 2011  

    I have to add one more to the list: if you have kids, PLEASE keep them under control before/during//after being seated, especially when the restaurant is busy. I can’t tell you the number of times I have zoomed out of the kitchen, arms full of hot food, to almost trip over a 3 year old running around the dining room. THIS IS NOT OK people! and it is dangerous. THINK.

  • Txmom July 18, 2011  

    Um, there are two sides to a coin,mmmkay? Personally I wouldn’t do 99% of these things and feel insulted to be told in such a manner. You work(ed) in a restaurant, I get it and customer$ are annoying. We get it. Also annoying? Poor servers or servers with this kind of attitude towards those of us who don’t commit these sins. We simply want good service. I am sure a list can be made of what not to do as a waiter.

  • Jenn August 6, 2011  

    I’ve been a server before and I really think this list is extremely crazy. Maybe half of those things were necessary to put down. I mean, if you hate your job and people that much, maybe you should NOT be a waitress. Know what makes me mad? When a waitress or other restaurant worker expects something from me. You’re working to bring me excellent customer service and that’s it. The customer is not there to impress you, honey, we’re just there to eat and visit with our friends and family.
    Here’s some rules for you:
    NEVER sit at my table while you’re taking my order. It’s awkward and uncomfortable (I’m from the South and it makes me feel uncomfortable…can’t imagine places with smaller personal bubbles).
    Do not stand at my table waiting for me to sign my receipt and put down a tip. If you want a tip, walk away now.
    Don’t tap your pen on your paper when I’m deciding what to get.
    Don’t ignore my glass that is sitting there empty.
    Don’t bitch and whine about your job, get a new one if you’re that unhappy!

  • NOLA504 August 24, 2011  

    I find this list rude and representative of the contempt servers have for patrons. The sense of entitlement is startling. The patron PAYS for the meal and tips for the service. Maybe patrons should just eat at home and servers could simply find another line of work?

  • RIZZO September 1, 2011  

    The argument on this thread is so mind numbing that it has convinced me to never read another one on this website. I’ll stick to the recipes from here out. To quote a great philosopher:

    “Arguing on the internet is like the special olympics, no matter who wins you’re all retarded.”

    (No offense to those affiliated with people with special needs – take a joke.)

  • Jader September 16, 2011  

    I think this list is brilliant! I worked in a well-known, high-end restaurant all through college, and I have to say, people take their food too seriously. Chances are, it’s not your last meal. I understand a lot of the arguments on here, but believe that most of them come from a place of inexperience. I now manage for a large construction firm, and I have to tell you, without my years of server experience, I wouldn’t be able to do it. I learned how to deal with so many different types people and so many different types situations that, when it was time to get a “real job,” I was well-prepared. I gained a type of social experience that I feel is impossible to obtain without working in the service industry.

    Yes, dining out should be a GREAT (not just good, great) experience for the patron. You pay good money, and deserve great treatment. That being said, if I came into your place of business and started yelling at you over things that are out of your control, you wouldn’t be too happy either. I’m sure you’ve had a day at the office where everything seems to be going wrong. Servers have them, too. Actually, servers (I believe) have them more often because they have to use both their physical and mental strength every day. It’s exhausting, I promise. There are absolutely some really crappy servers. Still though, they are people. Unless a server has a clear-cut goal that they are working towards to get out of serving (i.e. finishing college, building a career, etc…), they are most likely not thrilled that they will be carrying heavy dishes and dealing with nasty people for an unknown amount of time. Remember, it’s much harder to take things with a grain of salt when there’s no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

  • howdy December 17, 2011  

    one thing about tipping: why can’t restaurants just pay their servers a decent wage? (e.g. minimum wage) I would pay more for the food itself if it meant I didn’t have to tip and that the prices I see on the menu are the ones I will actually have to pay. Granted you can’t expect a great wage, a waitress/waiter is more of a job than a career. But something better than well below minimum wage (is that really so much to ask?). Then, you tip only if you felt you had really good service. I agree you should tip nicely, but what if your server sucked or was rude, etc? And a general comment on tipping: when was the last time you tipped your check-out person at the grocery store, the person who bagged your groceries, your bank teller, the tutor for your kids, the babysitter, plumber, electrician, computer tech, carpenter, handyman, etc.? Why do only people in the restaurant biz or nail salons or spas (the last 2 I understand a bit more b/c they have to touch you and that’s not always pleasant) get tips? Lots of other people work hard too, or harder and they don’t get tips.
    Explain please.

  • howdy December 17, 2011  

    one more thing: it scares me that you have to tell people to mention allergies before ordering. My husband has an unknown food allergy and we’ve learned to avoid certain things, although he’ll still have reactions even if we didn’t expect it. If he were to ever have a serious reaction to something (e.g. requires a trip to the hospital), the first thing I would do after knowing he was okay would be to call the restaurant and ask their help in determining what it might have been that he reacted to. In other words, I’d ask for ingredients and anything that might have touched the cooking utensils that may have also created a reaction. I’d never blame the restaurant for it. You have the allergy, it’s YOUR responsibility to ask about ingredients first. How is your server supposed to know about YOUR allergies?

  • julia December 25, 2011  

    as someone who waited tables for many years i applaud someone trying to stand up for restaurant staff. however i think this list would have been much better if kept to 10-15 points rather than 50. i felt like the important points were lost in a lot of things that didnt matter so much.

    one thing i outright didnt get (if someone cares to enlighten me that would be cool) but one of the “donts” stated you should never tell your server that “i will take the …..” can someone explain why this offensive? im sure any server can understand that the guest doesnt literally intend to TAKE (as in steal) anything?

  • Nate January 8, 2012  

    Where’s 51-100?

    These are well and good but what about the back of the house staff? Like the cooks and dishwashers? I would consider adding:

    101. Don’t go to a restaurant right when they open or right before they close. We are still recovering from the busy night before, doing prep, warming up fryers, getting organized etc. And don’t come in 10 minutes before we close cause by then were putting food away, cleaning, shutting down equipment and more than half the staff is gone. Your late night snack could keep us there for another whole hour! Stay home, make a sandwich!

    102. Quite making special requests like: substitutions, different cooking methods, adding ingredients etc. We cook a hundred dishes every hour and it really backs us up when 5 people order the same thing but each want something different done for their order. We try to cook as many dishes together at once to save everyone time. But when you substitute a sauce for another than we have to do yours individually. You have an allergy? Fine, we can appreciate that. But it’s a pain in the ass for us because your a picky eater. So order an item off the menu as it comes and be happy you don’t have to cook yourself that night.

    103. We are people too!!! For God’s sake this is one that bugs me the most! For Holidays, try being traditional and spend it with friends and family AT HOME! We have to pass on parties, social lives, we work weekends, we work sick, we work double shifts, we come in early and stay late, we work when we’re sore, injured, hung over, all so that you can (insert random reason to eat at restaurant). At least on holidays like Christmas/ Christmas eve, Thanksgiving, Easter, New years etc., stay home and give us a freaking break!

    104. Quite asking for foods to be cooked WELL DONE!!! It’s going to take a lot longer for your food to be cooked, it will taste and feel like chewing meat flavored sawdust, it will have barley any of it’s nutrients left and several hours later your going to shit bricks. And if your scared of red meat or a little juiciness than just come out of the food closet and turn vegetarian. Pussies!

    105. MAKE RESERVATIONS!!! Especially when there are more than ten people in your party! Otherwise your going to have to stand there and wait for several tables to open and it throws everyone into a mad frenzy to prepare for you! Plus most places only have 4-5 cooks working on a weekend and that is if they’re lucky! Your surprise party of 15+ people is a nightmare for us in the kitchen! Especially when we’ve already got 40+ open menus. MAKE RESERVATIONS!!! Then we can plan ahead for your evening!

  • HotWasabi January 10, 2012  

    Please dont let your hyper children run all over the restaurant. It makes you look trashy and negligent and is seriously dangerous for your children. I work in a chain steakhouse and I have lost count of the times that i have come around the corner with 30 pounds of food or drink and almost kneed a toddler in the face. Thankfully I have always been able to back up or stop in time but dropping a full tray onto a 3 year old is probably going to kill them. This outcome can be avoided by parents keeping children by their side and out of the way of people just trying to do their jobs. You may even get your food more quickly if you need more incentive to be a decent parent.

  • M January 11, 2012  

    Yes, always ALWAYS keep children under control. I do not understand parents who cannot keep their children in line in public, be it screaming, running around, tossing toys, etc. Kids that act up and keep acting up after one or two warnings should be taken home immediately.

    Don’t be the person that comes in at 9:50 at a place that closes at 10:00, then two hours later as someone vacuums under your feet, say, “Oh…you’re closed? When?”

    Don’t be the person who thinks that just because you’re paying some money, you’re a king/queen. You have no right to be a douche. If you’re the type of person who threatens to never come back, guaranteed you are a customer nobody ever wants to see again. You’re not that important, get over it. Customers are one in thousands, and stores/businesses/restaurants really don’t care if you take your $30 somewhere else, especially when you sit there and cost them more money than you’re worth by wasting everyone’s time.

  • Springs1 January 15, 2012  

    “102. Quite making special requests like: substitutions, different cooking methods, adding ingredients etc. We cook a hundred dishes every hour and it really backs us up when 5 people order the same thing but each want something different done for their order. We try to cook as many dishes together at once to save everyone time. But when you substitute a sauce for another than we have to do yours individually. You have an allergy? Fine, we can appreciate that. But it’s a pain in the ass for us because your a picky eater. So order an item off the menu as it comes and be happy you don’t have to cook yourself that night.”

    We can do order what *WE WANT* for *OUR MONEY*! You sound SOOOOOO LAZY ASS, it’s PATHETIC. You sound VERY UNCARING and SELFISH!!

    You are getting PAID for it, so STFU and quit being SO LAZY!!

    1% of the time I order things without modifications. I wouldn’t *EVER* go out to eat if I couldn’t modify my food. I don’t like it the way it comes.

    WHY should we make you happy, but not us be happy? That’s just selfish and mean.

    If you don’t want to do the work, FIND SOME TYPE OF OTHER LINE OF WORK!!

    I will do as I please, it’s MY MONEY. I am paying for the food and for the service, so I should get it *MY* way, NOT YOURS!! When *YOU* PAY ME, then I will do it your way, but until then, it’s going to be *MY* WAY.

  • Springs1 January 15, 2012  

    “101. Don’t go to a restaurant right when they open”

    Sorry, I 100% disagree with that. The best service I find is when there aren’t many customers at 11a.m. on the dot when it opens. You get your drinks faster, food faster, more likely not to get mistakes, and in general, better service.

  • nothavingit January 18, 2012  

    I understand not wanting people to make your job more difficult, but good God this is a bunch of crap. THIS IS YOUR JOB! If you don’t like the way human beings act, GET OUT of the restaurant business. On top of that, where you’re messing up the most is telling your PAYING customers what they can and can’t do. If I want to come in your establishment and be loud, criticize the employees, send back my order, and stack my plates when I’m finished (If I’m feeling nice) I will because without me, you wouldn’t have a job at all.

    -The customer is always right.

  • SeeYaLater January 20, 2012  

    Springs: While I commend your enthusiasm for condemning the overly self-righteous server, your random all capital words are extremely distracting. They also indicate that you’re very angry, and as someone just now stumbling across this- you should probably seek therapy. I would also have to wholeheartedly agree that you are probably “the nightmare” when it comes to customers, simply due to your seemingly endless desire to damn all servers to Hell. And please, do not quote yourself to disprove me. Frankly, I did not spend the last 4 hrs of my life reading over everything you have posted on a blog, which is obviously directed at restaurant employees. However, I do not feel as though your anger towards this list of customer “do nots” is entirely misplaced. It is kind of insane to bitch about humanities retardation while in the restaurant business. I have been in it for about eight years and it will never, ever change. My job, as a server and a bartender, is to shut up, unless you indicate the ability to converse with such a lowly figure, and give you what you want- agreed. On the other hand, when a customer decides to take that idea to the next level and, for a lack of a better word, become a complete CUNT (shout out to Springs- not so much for the c-word, but for all caps!)- I do get overwhelmed with the theory that I could physically break most of you dickheads in half. Seriously, you’re very fragile. I do not mean to take it to a violent level, but it should be understood that we do not have an anti-riot team on most waitstaffs. Therefore, you would still be really hurt. Jklol. Overall, I will agree with most that have posted on this in saying that treating your server like a human being is all it takes to get good service, if you ever stood a chance at getting it in the first place. There is no reason to take the dining experience (both from the customer and the server’s standpoint) to the seriously insane level it has reached on the few posts I have read. On a side note: I do feel as though some people have the “this is your job” complex- and I just have to say that there are endless reasons why people are working server/bartender jobs. Try not to judge so quickly, we all have a story. Except for ours are probably more interesting than yours!

  • anon January 21, 2012  

    i thought this was 100 things??

  • MsLizzyTish January 24, 2012  

    Dear everyone,
    I did a very short stint in the restaurant industry, not as a server, but as a hostess in a Michelin starred place in Manhattan–it gave me kind of an insider/outsider perspective. I’m also a foodie and love going out to eat.
    To everyone going back and forth bickering here, I think it’s pretty simple. The job of the restaurant is to provide the best experience for the customer that they can. However, if you haven’t worked in the restaurant industry, you may not be able to imagine how horrible some people can be–thus, the “it’s your job” comments, while true, might not account for the extremes that people unfortunately encounter.

    Not every mistake can be attributed to the server (for example, you found a hair in your food? Gross, and needs to be taken back, but it probably came from the kitchen), and attacking a server’s character because of it is absolutely unacceptable. To scream and someone and berate them is simply not how to treat a person, even if they “work” for you.

    On the other hand, yes, it is the server’s job to serve, and to accommodate requests when possible, but, I think the message of this list is clear–if you’re going to ask your server to do something special for you, have the courtesy to treat them like a person.

    And remember–server, customer, manager, whatever, everyone has bad days sometimes–just try to leave it at the door.

  • Henry February 14, 2012  

    Ok now how about 100 things a server should never do? like disapear, like when we say “i just need a few more minutes” we don’t mean 20, or when you drop off the check, don’t wait 20 mintues to return for the credit card & also bring back the change or card fast, chances are we have plans

  • Joe February 28, 2012  

    Sorry to say this but as a patron of a restaurant I expect to be served and treated well. I do not expect to be told how to behave and I definitely don’t expect lip from a sourly waitress.

    Tips are nothing more than a suggestion. If you want extra money that is called a gratuity this word is derived from the same root as the word gratitude. If I am not given service that I would be expected to be grateful for … Don’t expect me to over pay for food beyond the agreed price listed on the menu. Don’t worry the law mandates that no matter how lousy you serve the customer the employer must ensure that you go home with a minimum wage.

    The better you do your job the more you will get in return (I have in the past paid twice the menu price for a meal and felt like I got off cheep; but this was in a restaurant that catered to my every whim and after spending a grand on menu items for my family and friends I gladly left a few Benny’s behind on the table. I left a tip too… “Come work for me anytime. Bring the cook”) Sadly it turned out that they like their job and their boss heard and gave them a raise.

    So pretty much if you have to tell your clientele how to behave perhaps you are in the wrong business. I once went to a restaurant that posted a customer code of conduct. I was working late (grave yard shift needed a review) and I had my favorite employee with me. When the waitress chose to read allowed the code of conduct to us I asked for the manager and left a tip for the manager… I also left my name and let her know I was forbidding my employees from patronizing their establishment. Guess what… I had my driver take us to a real restaurant about a mile away spent something around $300 and only ate a burger and fries oh and I had a Guinness after all I had someone else driving and the bar was closing soon.

    Anyway long story to say one simple thing… If you are wait staff shut up and listen to the customer. Some of us might be slumming to come into your greasy spoon just to find some good service and a friendly face away from the office.

  • meetzemonsta March 20, 2012  

    As someone from the UK, I would like to point out that here the usual tip is 10%. I imagine people who tip 10% over there don’t know that it’s higher or that your minimum wage is so abominable. Otherwise, very good list, it’s such a shame people are so rude in restaurants!

  • Jake March 25, 2012  

    Whoever wrote this must be a loser waiter. Since when does waiter equate a king or queen? It’s a customer service job dude, if you don’t like it, don’t do it. Don’t expect the customers to pamper you with tips and polite greetings. If you want your tips, EARN IT, not wait for it. To any restaurants, I am likely not tip anyone who bitch about me (or tip minimum READ 10%). Why should I care if you can pay tax with it or not? Why don’t you find another job if you can’t? Why don’t YOU care that we customers are paying so much to eat out? (then you would say if you don’t have money don’t eat out, right?) Just to make it clear, if you were my waiter and complained about the 10% tip that I put down with your mediocre and bitchy attitude, I would take away even the 10%. Take it or leave it.

  • Lauren March 30, 2012  

    I tip on SERVICE. If I get shitty service, guess who is getting a shitty tip? If I get great service then 20 or 30% tip it is! And Joe I agree a thousand percent.

  • Tony March 31, 2012  

    This article must contain the rudest voice I have read by far. Clearly you must be some sort of restaurant employee and have hopefully lost your job because of your bitterness toward every human being in general that isn’t yourself. I can most definitely agree with a number of these points, but that being said, this isn’t even well-written. All of this information is just arguing stressing common manners. You didn’t wow anyone with this article, so try again next week.
    Try offering something that people haven’t already read or been taught before. I’ve seen lists of “10 things you shouldn’t do at restaurants” that are easily better than this. Quality, not quantity.

  • Disgruntled Patron April 1, 2012  

    I am going to say this. I go to the restaurant for the GOOD food and relax with my friends. However, service is just one of those annoying “add ons”. If there were restaraunts that served good food and allowed self service, sign me up.

    Waiters sometimes are the most obnoxious people I’ve met. Lots of actor wannabes and liberal arts majors.

    Really what do they do? Take your order, refill your drinks, and serve your food? And you get 18% on top of my bill to do that?! HAHA. I am MORE then willing to get up and get my own food, order at a counter, and get my own refills.

    I’m telling you someone is going to open a big chain self-service restaurant in the next couple years, driving a lot of these pricks out of work. Good. Service industry is not a career anyways. You guys are replaceable just like that Walmart cashier.

  • ANNOYED. April 9, 2012  

    Obviously many of the readers have never worked in a restaurant before. I am one of the nicest servers you will ever come across and I deal with this ALL the time. I can agree to EVERYTHING in this post.

    You sitting for 45 minutes after you pay-unless you are going to tip extra- not only effects my money, but also effects other people wanting to eat. If there is a wait an open tables, yes that server probably got triple sat, or the kitchen might be behind, or we might be short staffed. We’re not singling you out saying “oh shit, you look rude, let me make you wait” … No. TIP 20% at least… we get paid $2.13 an hour in VA and all our paychecks are VOID because the money comes out for taxes. If you can’t tip don’t go out to eat.

    Just because your server forgets your mustard or doesn’t get to your water IMMEDIATELY does not mean they suck or are not taking care of you; you are not the only person in that restaurant they are responsible. Servers are human too.

    I don’t have 12 arms. If my hands are full, let me put my stuff down before you ask me to grab more stuff.

    WOW ON DISGRUNTLED PATRON: YOU ARE A RAGING ASSHOLE AND YOU SHOULD NOT GO OUT TO EAT EVER. We are not disposable just like a Walmart cashier. Just like Walmart cashiers, we are trying to make a living. I am a server trying to pay my way through college. Even though I LOVE SERVING, I can’t deal with assholes like YOU so I have to get out of it. Without servers, you can’t go out to eat. I’m not your slave, I am waiting your table because I want to and because you obviously want to be there, so respect our jobs just like we respect yours. If you don’t want to tip STAY HOME OR GO TO MCDONALD’S. Seriously, you are a prick. I hope you lose your job and have to become a server so you can gain some respect for people that are working citizens just like YOU.

  • Nah April 10, 2012  

    While some of these points are agreeable, many are downright malarky. Are you kidding me? Don’t stack your plates? I’ve worked in the hospitality industry for more than a decade as a chef, server, sa and expo. and I can assure you, it’s nicer to have just a tiny bit less to do. If your server can’t carry the whole stack, they can rearrange it without too much effort.
    Also, while it isn’t likely to “curry favor” as the author put it, only the rudest, most self absorbed servers won’t have any interest at all in your life. That’s even part of what being a regular is all about. If they are so upset about you sharing your mutual occupation, then what they are really pissed about is being reminded they are in the industry. Seriously, most servers are inept, selfish morons who don’t care a whit about being hospitable and should never be allowed to work in a restaurant, hotel or anywhere else that involves delivering a service to guests.
    Disgruntled Patron and those sharing similar opinions should definitely stay home (I would say fast food but those businesses shouldn’t even exist as they perpetuate a social paradigm based on wages and social status). There are already self service establishments, they’re called buffets and/or cafeterias; you should probably stick to those. If you are too uninformed to know what servers really do for you, we certainly don’t want you clamoring for a spot in a huge cue, trying to yell at our chefs that your meal is taking too long or that you’re allergic to nuts when you ordered a pesto sauce.
    I do, however; agree that the gratuity is rather insulting. Tips should never be a mandate. If you receive exemplary service, by all means give a hefty gratuity but it shouldn’t be the mainstay of someone’s income. It’s a travesty what servers are payed by restaurants, which is why some states have mandated that the business must pay an amount that gives their employees at least minimum wage if tips don’t make it there (not that minimum wage is liveable).
    Servers’ jobs aren’t just to be delivery people and they are woefully underpaid and underappreciated.

  • andie April 12, 2012  

    Okay! So i agreed with every single suggestion (or demand). I’ve been a waitress before. But reading this felt like someone was yelling at me. If you are angry, calm down before posting. Jesus.

  • Fair and grateful April 12, 2012  

    I agree with andie, this person was very upset when he/she wrote this and went a little too far as Nah pointed out. I love going out and I understand the waiters, it’s not an easy job. People often come with huge emotional burdens and forget waiters are people too and deserve respect. On the other hand tips are not mandatory, waiters have to earn it. And is not a matter of speed or about flattering the client, what really counts is manners, empathy and service. If you ask kindly and you show respect, and if your request is really worthwhile you’ll see how well you will be treated. Personally, I like to give good tips, in a world with more violence and indifference every day, simple kindness deserves to be rewarded. I was a waitress myself and I loved customers like Disgruntled Patron, their attitude is just a sign of how much comprehension and kindness they need. I served many people like him, and considered it a dare to earn their sympathy and gratitude, sometimes it took more than one visit but the result was always rewarding. They just come to a restaurant to eat, probably, after a very stressful day. An upset or annoying customer just need to see you human side to remember you are a human being too. Once you conquer them, you not only gain a loyal patron but sometimes a good friend.

  • Yomi April 14, 2012  

    I agree with almost every one of these. However, the way these were written are extremely rude. I can understand being upset, but quite a few of the people who took the time to read this are the same people who know and practice restaurant etiquette. Taking such an angry and condescending standpoint only puts the author on the same level as the patrons they are griping about.

  • thetourist April 14, 2012  

    i thought 10% was the rule. its not because ill never be back its because thats what tourists are told the rule is. im from australia and we pay our waitstaff as well as retail or any other un qualified profession. eg… minimum wage for a 14 year old is $8, for an adult you would be getting minimum $12 and that would be for cash in hand work, if they were registering you with the tax department its at least 15 closer to 17 an hour so in our country there are no mandatory tips.

  • Really?! April 15, 2012  

    Okay, I read the post…the whole post. And I must say, this person should learn one golden rule. Life is not fair and sometimes work sucks. BUT, if you want a paycheck then you should just SHUT THE HELL UP and DO YOUR JOB. I don’t care how nice you are, I don’t care how much you feel you DESERVE a big tip. YOUR opinion of YOURSELF counts for nothing. I can look at my life and my job and name off 100 things people could do to make MY job easier and more pleasant as well. I think just about ANYONE could. But the point is, this is a job and things are NOT going to be your way. If you want them your way, go home. That is where you can have things your way. When you are being paid to make someone ELSE’S visit a pleasant one, well it may mean that you need to go through some things that you find unpleasant, that you find as rude, that just drive you nuts. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah….go cry to your mother over it. This is NOTHING NEW. I’m sorry, I feel NO sympathy for you. Yes, SOME things are illegal (your stealing example) and should be reported if needed, but all of your other gripes, though valid complaints, or nothing that a patron cares to hear about. Go ahead and gripe to your coworkers. Complain to your friends and family about how this or that bothers you. We all do it as THAT is appropriate, but to make a list like this….well, I guess it is easier to understand why you have a job as a server and not a well paying career somewhere else. You have a whole lot of growing up to do yet.

  • wageslave April 16, 2012  

    While most make sense, 13 & 18 sound obnoxious, is it really a sin to speak in a more colloquial/casual manner?

  • Valerie April 23, 2012  

    Ha – some of these comments are absolutely ridiculous. To start I will say that I am in the restaurant industry so I understand all sides of the above comments. While I agree that some of the things in the list may come across as just bitching about your job it is all true. Servers, back waiters, bartenders, etc are people too and dont deserve the abuse and disrespect they receice. What if we came to your place of employment and gave you that much disrespect and belittlement? The restaurant and hospitality industry is real and these are real careers. For those who work in restaurants and take their jobs seriously deserve a lot more respect than posted in some of these comments. For real…a self serve restaurant? Ha! Don’t get me wrong the food is the number one reason people go out to eat but I am a firm believer that service and atmosphere are reasons why people return to an establishment time afteoutr time. If you think all your server does for you is take your order and refill your drinks, please come do what we do for a week…I challenge you….Im sure your cubicle job is super stressful and fast pasted just like a full restaurant where you are trying to please 50 people at one time. If you have that little respect for people in this profession you should just stay at home and cook your own food. I could go on for pages but I will stop at that. For all of you reading this who work in the industry service is #1 and never forget that. Never let the negativity get you down because the number of guests who love your service and are grateful for your kindness and professionalism certainly out weigh the number of customers who lack manners and respect for other human beings.

  • sof April 24, 2012  

    Don’t bitch about your pay. Nobody forced you to be a server, YOU chose to be a server. Being a server is your job, and if you don’t like it go find an other one.

  • Jordan May 10, 2012  

    Hey! TGIFriday’s is a great place! we don’t want your nasty used tissues either!

    P.S. I work there … gosh!

  • Cody May 13, 2012  

    The thing that pains me the most about this article is the comments. I hope amongst the ( currently 123 responses ) other comments is someone else that noticed this, however, if you feel the need to comment please read the ENTIRE F*CKING ARTICLE. This was written in response to and in the same (poor taste) style of a list for staffers. This was done intentionally. That means you Tony. I didn’t intend to single anyone out but you were the first of the responses that I read. I would venture to say that most people that had a negative reaction simple felt ousted for being guilty of something on the list. Actually, quite a few readily admitted such and were quick to defend themselves. No, I am not in the “industry” but I am quite capable of observing the publics tendency to treat other human beings as inferior simple because they are serving you.

  • AH May 18, 2012  

    How about you (not just you, all american restaurants) actually pay your staff a wage they can survive on? Strangely, restaurants in plenty of other countries manage to without going bust..

  • Colin Morris May 24, 2012  

    I’ve worked in restaurants and I agree with everything in this post. But it was annoying to read.

    First, the author, “LB,” adopts the very same patronizing and condescending voice (s)he criticized Bruce Buschel for using in his New York Times blog post. LB then rattles off a list of basic manners likely practiced by anyone interested enough to click through to read a post like this in the first place.

    All in all, this is a rant that serves to satisfy the author more than help anyone else.

  • Mel May 26, 2012  

    Im not sure why people are getting so offended from this list. The majority of the points are legitimate. Its just telling people to have common courtesy when eating out. Serving is not any easy job, and restaurant employees deserve respect.

  • arielle May 30, 2012  

    The servers as well as the patrons need to remember that the service industry is about just that: SERVICE. If there is a table of women from all different cities that drove in to have lunch together and they want to catch up… you let them sit at that table until they are ready to leave. As a server, your job is to think about the customer, not yourself. It’s the difference between making someone’s day, and completely ruining it. I’ve been on both sides of the counter, and as a customer, if i heard my server saying any of that BS to another staff member, i would make sure the owner or manager was alerted asap, and I would expect the server to eat his/her words in front of me.

    Your job is to make your restaurant money, and if your spending most of your shift bitching about your customers, you shouldn’t be in the service industry, and hopefully your tips will give you a good indication of that.

    I can understand there isn’t enough common courtesy to servers, but that’s something you learn early on in your career as a server. most of these points are legitimate, but some of them are outrageous. The person that wrote 100 EFFING THINGS not to do at a restaurant needs to get a new job! your obviously so bitter that your not doing anyone any favours by being a server. just get a new job.

  • arielle May 30, 2012  

    and a tip is EARNED! earn it, and you’ll get more than 10%

  • Charlie May 30, 2012  

    Interesting list. But why write a list of “100 Don’ts” and post only 75? I do agree with most if not all of the suggestions. And would boil them down to the Golden Rule. It goes for anyone working in the public. I will say that asking what a particular dish has will throw a server who is very busy. Unless it is a basic dish, ask. “Is the chicken only chicken breast?” saves a trip back to the kitchen and a wait on the food. Bottom line, respect working both ways.

  • Rick May 30, 2012  

    I think this article was obviously written from the POV of a very angry server. I agree with several of the points they made, but also disagree with just as many. Sorry, but if my food is crappy the tip will always be affected, you represent the establishment you work for, and I factor many things into the tip – server attitude, speed (based on how busy), quality of the service, quality of the food, how the table is set, overall restaurant neatness, etc.

    How about a list of the 25 most annoying things that servers do? I am sure I could limit it to 25 but also could expand. The moral is there are Douche bags in every industry, both on the customer and business side. Snarky lists like this do more harm that good, especially when the tone is so condescending.

  • Smithy June 6, 2012  

    “So here’s a list of things that would make my shift easier and more pleasant…”

    Fair, I guess. But since you are so angry and have such high demands of YOUR customers, I don’t think I want to be served by you.
    In the UK waiting staff get paid at least the mimimum wage, in fine dining a helluva lot more… if you enhance my evening by being friendly, helpful and warm, I’ll give you a huge tip even if you spill soup in my lap. If you are biting your tongue about everything I’m doing wrong (“Ach, sorry, I misheard you because I was talking with my friends, how dare I!!”) you’ll get nothing – and not because I won’t be back, because you don’t deserve it.

  • ChefTanner June 6, 2012  

    As a working member of the restaurant industry, it really doesn’t surprise me to see a collection of bullshit like this. It is abhorrent what most members of the waitstaff get paid by the restaurants they work for. A little over $2 is quite a slap in the face. Interesting that there are plenty of people willing, even competing, for these “horrible jobs.” As a sous chef in a fine dining restaurant, I have a hard time feigning sympathy for the pretty little girls who complain about only making $250 that night because some “assholes” took up her table for 30 minutes after they were finished. I agree that losing the opportunity to make more money would aggravate anyone, but if it were against the rules to linger and enjoy your full belly after a fine meal that you PAID for, there would be a sign on the front door. At fine restaurants, customers are the only thing that keep your job afloat. And, moreover, the slammed kitchen staff putting out amazing, hot, clean plates of food that you will be rewarded with tip money for, appreciate the slight break. I would say very few servers in the industry have found the key to success in this business, which is taking a general interest in your customers, and not getting too emotionally involved. If someone is rude to you, or acts in a manner that embarrasses themselves, you should probably let it roll off your back. It isn’t like they know you personally and are personally attack you. They are paying your rent and bills. If they are a jackass, just look forward to the next customer who will surely not be as bad. It’s called perspective. Try using it, and stop being such self-important whiners. Or find another job.

  • crystal June 6, 2012  

    I stopped reading by number 30 due to the unnecessary condescending tone of the author. There’s no need for that.

  • Jamie June 11, 2012  

    Whoever wrote this article is a douchnozzle himself, quoting one of his comments. I hope to God I never go to a restuarant with this person as a server. All sorts of ‘suggestions’ for people that go to restaurants that are. How about another article on doing your job properly so half these things don’t happen? I worked in the industry and I can agree to the concept of most of these comments, but the sarcastic way it has been presented here is crap. ESPECIALLY when talking about tips. I could care less about the food when giving a tip, I base it solely on the service. I will over tip when the server deserves it. I will give a crappy tip or no tip at all if I have crappy service. Just like there are rude customers, there are shitty servers. When you learn how to properly make a “what not to do” list, maybe you’ll get people who will listen.

  • Kyle June 18, 2012  

    the author of this article seems self-centered, most of the points are reiterating the same thing- dont be rude, and it only focuses on the server’s annoyances- there are plenty of things a patron can do to annoy the chef and kitchen staff and they never get mentioned. its not all about the server

  • Loco @ Home June 19, 2012  

    I was pretty much with you until you started talking about kids. The wife and I choose restaurants that cater to kids when we take the little one out, and we reserve the nights when we have no little one to go to nicer restaurants.

    With that said, I don’t need a 20 y/o with no children telling me to get my kid to eat real food. If you’ve never had a kid, don’t talk. Just stop. Trying to negotiate dinner with a child is like a hostage crisis, that usually ends poorly for both parties. Leave the remark out and I agree.

  • Matt Sterbashun June 19, 2012  

    Don’t be a crap server and most of this stuff won’t happen to you. A customer shouldn’t have to ask for splenda or snap their fingers to get a drink refill. If you’ve got more tables than you can handle then that is between you and the FOH manager. It is not the customer’s problem or their fault. Their problem is an server who can’t handle their tables.

    Earn a tip. Stop expecting one. Stop saying that you only make $2.13 an hour. When was the last time you actually just made that amount for an hour? You want paying customers to show you all of this respect and integrity when you probably don’t even claim all of your tips.

    You don’t respect your own job. Why should they?

  • Michelle June 19, 2012  


  • maureen June 24, 2012  

    this was the most obnoxious thing i have ever read. there are bad things that come with the territory of every job-including waitstaff. if you hate people so much, choose another career path. this was really awful.

  • I AGREE! July 1, 2012  

    I am happy someone finally said it! I had to agree with just about every single one of these things. I cannot believe everybody is being so rude, every restaurant is different. Not every server just serves food, refill drinks and takes orders (THANK YOU Disgruntled Patron you are very RUDE). For instance, Red Lobster has its work staff running around for most of the day. They are forced to make the salads for the table, go back and forth from table to table because people are very demanding, prep food in the back, make desert, and yes, refill drinks. When a server gets sat with 3 other tables all at once, it is very difficult to get drinks, take orders, and bring food for 3 tables at once, they are only one person.

    And yes, I DO AGREE, this list could have been written a bit nicer, but so could everybody else’s comments. Then again I also agree that some of the things listed is just someone bitching about their job, these things come with the territory.

    And trust me I have worked in a restaurant and I know from personal experience, NOT EVERYBODY CAN HANDLE WORKING IN A RESTAURANT!!! I mostly say this because of Disgruntled Patron. I no longer work in the restaurant business but I appreciate everybody that does! It is a very fast paced job, and you have to be able to remember a million things at a time. I have seen countless servers that have come and gone within a month because it was just too difficult for them to handle.

  • Katie July 6, 2012  

    Where I’m from, we don’t tip at all. Because we actually have proper wage standards. Please don’t assume that America is the only place to have restaurants. In some countries, it’s is actually offensive to tip. I don’t pay extra to use a chair, so why should I have to pay for somebody to serve me. I don’t pay you; your employer does. The price of the meal includes service, venue etc. (Besides, VAT is high enough at 23 percent here.)
    Not to be offensive, but if you don’t like your job then don’t do it.

  • Curtis July 9, 2012  

    Obviously you have never worked in a restaurant or bar, so do not appreciate how common some of the things addressed come up. Think beyond yourself, not everyone has proper manners, or maybe think of yourself because a flame post just to flame is pretty rude. I found this article to be incredibly good reading, maybe just because I encounter these things on a fairly consistent basis. Not only that, but it was written with a voice that yes, isn’t happy with everyone, but also takes a lot of it lightly. You know, as if they had actually been through these things (which they probably have). So until you educate yourself how it is to be treated the way your probably treat your own servers, you are a lost cause and should stick to yelp.

  • brooklyn July 20, 2012  

    i loved this !! i have been a waitress for several years and i do it because it it fun and the hours work with my schooling..except when you get a jerk who does any of these things. i agree with all of these ! you are my hero, it needed to be said ! and the people who don’t like this are obviously so unhappy with themselves they want other people to be miserable with them…butt hurt jerks. lol any way i just wanted to thank you for putting a huge smile on my face =D this was awesome !

  • GoEatSomewhereElse August 1, 2012  

    To the person that said they would rather serve themselves, and that servers are just “an annoying add-on”: I hope you realize that you sound like an idiot. If you don’t like servers and they service they give you, I have great news for you. They invented something called buffets. You serve yourself to all you can eat. I bet your fat self would love that! But guess what? They still have servers refill your drinks. So I guess you still lose. If you don’t want to tip, and you dislike servers, please learn to cook at home!!!

    To the person that says other people’s opinion doesn’t matter: well since you have SO MUCH respect for people other than yourself, and feel the need to TYPE like A MORON, your opinion doesn’t really matter that much either. Yes, life isn’t fair sometimes and sometimes work really sucks, but it’s people like you that makes life and work that way. God, you’re such a winner.

  • Sia August 3, 2012  

    I don’t smile. Period.

  • mike August 12, 2012  

    This article is clearly written by someone who ONLY cares about themselves as a server. You clearly just want customers to bend over backwards to make your life easier. A lot of it is just common sense, but you phrase it in such a way that you consider customers nothing by bags of money. I tip, often a lot more than I should. Trust me, EVERYONE knows the whole “we get paid less than minimum wage” routine. If you get tipped less than that, you are either dealing with foreign tourists, hippies, or your service was bad. Tipping is based on service – if you only come by to check if anyone needs refills or anything else once, and/or if you are rude, expect a 10%ish tip. If you are unremarkable and simply do your job, expect 15%. If you are very nice and attentive, or if I can tell you are doing your best despite being extremely busy, expect 20-25%. It’s not that hard. Expecting at least 20% ALWAYS is not realistic. I don’t agree with not tipping and I would never do something as insulting as tipping a penny, but you have to earn it if you want a good tip.

  • Ophelia August 14, 2012  

    I am a server, have been for 6 years in a huge foodie city. Serving is an occupation. I have to 100% agree with everything he wrote. It’s more of a server rant, trust me THESE THINGS HAPPEN ATLEAST 1/5 tables a night. I’m sure most of you who read the list and have never worked in a restaurant feels accosted or insulted, so it’s not you. But yes there are many assholes who I serve and when They leave I hope they never come back. You are not the only table. When the restaurant is full….o guess what I am busy. I’m an excellent, sweet, knowledgleable server and I love serving, I love food. Don’t ask me if I’m in school (even though I am, not all server are, and it’s rude) don’t ask me super personal questions, all his points hit bullshit we get from assholes right on the head. Nurses; do y’all appericiate annoying family member or over needy patients, or patients who don’t deserve to be there?? In all job occupations people deal with assholes, epically the service industry. Give us a break, OR go through a drive through, cook at home or order in.

  • Mindy August 27, 2012  

    One hundred complaints against restaurant patrons–really? You’re a restaurant manager, hey? Can’t wait to visit your establishment. Seems like it would be a swell place. I mean, really, you must be eager to please your customers.

  • Andrew August 27, 2012  

    100 things restaurant managers should never blog about:

    1) Long and bitter lists of complaints directed toward patrons.

    2-100) See number 1.

  • C~ September 4, 2012  

    Why would someone log a complaint about the content or aim of an article and then go on to write a piece doing the exact same thing? That’s rhetorical, you do this because you’re a hypocrite. Don’t stack plates? You presume to tell me when and how much to tip and where and when to stand or whom in the establishment I speak of. I find you annoying personally and the “voice” that comes through in your writing is like nails on a chalk board. Please stick to your menial day job.

  • kjc October 15, 2012  

    Can I add to the list: When your server arrives to greet you, “hello” is an appropriate response…we’ll have plenty of time to address check dividing when you actually order.

    Please ask for a moment rather than trying to order while you’re on the phone.

    Don’t be a ‘spokes-person’ for your entire table…if you want lemon in your OWN water, that’s fine…

    Please frame questions that allow for sincere responses…”what’s good here?” vs “what do you recommend?” Clearly, your server will be uncomfortable telling you that tonight’s special is leftover from sometime last week…ask what he or she likes & you’ll get a more honest reply…and an opportunity to make a personal connection with the serving ‘someone’ who can ensure you have a quality experience.

    Comments like “Wow, you guys are busy tonight.” Really? Thank heavens you were patient enough to wait 45 minutes for a table. I may have never figured out why I was stressed out & sweaty if not for your brilliant observation!

    And PLEASE…speak audibly! The old saying “if you want to get someone’s attention, whisper” does not apply on ‘Band Night.’

  • whit October 15, 2012  

    try being a busboy…way more work (dirty work, at that) and much less appreciation than serving. oh, also not shit for tips considering the amount of effort required. i hold this position and i too, as some people have previously mentioned, enjoy when patrons pre-stack plates. it lets me know that they are definitely finished and are ready for me to remove the plates and it keeps me from having to reach over people and/or ask for people to hand me their dirty plates. most people are competent enough to stack the plates neatly as so they will not tip over when one picks them up.

  • tim December 20, 2012  

    sounded like you are angry with your customers.
    remember who pays your bill

    if you have problems (running into the hundreds) with your patrons, you either needs re-training or you are simply in the wrong trade.

  • krao January 7, 2013  

    I like my meat well done. Why should I not order my food the way I like it just so I can make a waiter’s life a little easier?

  • Rob January 7, 2013  

    I rarely tip because of attitudes like this being rampant in the service industry. I’ve dated several servers and whenever they told me about their day it was always negative about customers. Usually their problem with a customer was insignificant. Yes, I am aware not all servers are like this, but the majority are from my experience. I’m not going to tip someone who is going to talk crap about me when I’m gone or make a post like “100 things restaurant patrons should never do”

  • Patron January 7, 2013  

    In the author’s own words:

    “This idea of training through a series of do nots instead of through illustrations of what should be done irks me in and of itself…”

  • Server January 20, 2013  

    Seriously… you sound like that one server that will complain about everything and then wonder why you get crappy tips. If you can actually sit down and make a list of 100 things your customers shouldnt do, then maybe you should find another job. Were not high and mighty.. were servers, we’re there for the guests. I hate working with servers like you

  • Tawny February 7, 2013  

    Most people below who left negative comments, have you EVER worked in a resturant before? If not, your point of view is irrelevant. I am a pre-medical student working as a waitress to pay for school on my own. I work hard and the amount of crap I hear from negative people is ridiculous. Word of advice leave your shit at the door.

  • michelle April 11, 2013  

    i too am a server and love it. i agree with the article most people think serving is only taking orders and serving food. that is not all we do. we have to have some kind of customer relations, have a good memory, be patient, respectful, fast(except when it comes to cooking the food) remember we just serve the food not cook it so if it is taking too long not our fault!! but i usually offer dessert or let the manager handle it. anyway have trained people who have told me that they never really payed attention to a server until they became one. i love my job and make good money too. the key is (with any job you have) you must love what you do or it will show. most people can tell if a server likes his or her job or it they are just doing it for the money!!

  • meh May 2, 2013  

    Um I’ve been a server for 6 years (that’s not a long time, trust me) and this is the most ridiculous article ever. Very rude tone. Yeah,, I know some guests are a little annoying with the things they do, and you’re not going to like every person you wait on, but get your head out of your ass and take a little pride in your job. Your job is to take care if them. So do it, and shut up. And as for the Australian tourist. Please realize servers in the US make 2-4 dollars am hour. Though minimum wage is 7 something. Severs make less..so 15-20% is the amount to tip if you’re service was . I said good. Not absolutely outstanding. In that case, leave an extra dollar or two more. One extra dollar means a lot more to them than it does to you. This article could suffice with 5 things. Not 100.

  • Kim May 10, 2013  

    I worked for many years as a waitress and honestly, you sound really burned out. Like the way people who did it for too long get – EVERYTHING irritates them. The things you describe are just innocent things people do all the time in restaurants and your job is to be polite, firendly, and get them their splenda, or whatever, so they have a nice dining experience. Your customers aren’t idiots or clods(well, maybe a few) they’re nice people who deserve your respect. And as far as tips go – quit counting! Just average it out per hour at the end of the night and see what you made – that way you don’t spend every night angry at someone for not giving you enough, and taking it out on the next customer, etc.

  • Robbie May 24, 2013  

    I’ve been in food management for around 5 years now, I was even a GM for a year and a half, but I have always wondered, why should tips be in the form of percentage? I think there should be a min and a max EXPECTED, people can always pay more or less. To my main point, I’ve been in service for years, and believe me I work my TAIL OFF, to do my job, and even as a GM with all the hours I worked I was lucky to make $12 an hour, I would say a server should expect 9-10/he on an average basis. So if you serve 5 tables and.hour that’s 2 bucks per table. Is that bad? I’ve just always wondered why tips have to be based on percentage, off if my bill was $100 because you had to bring a bottle of wine, I would never expect $15 for opening a bottle. Give me some thoughts

  • madison May 31, 2013  

    I’ve served people as well for about 7 years, and to be honest, whoever wrote this article needs to get off their high horse and realize that this is part of our profession. There are numerous of times where I’ve wanted to pour hot coffee in someone’s eyes because they grabbed me or just so happen to be a complete jerk. But we still serve with a smile a deal with it. This article is rude and quite possibly the most stupidest thing I’ve heard. Not to mention the fact that MAYBE this person is a rude waiter/waitress/host/hostess and need to find a better profession for themselves.

  • SWF June 18, 2013  

    Tipping is actually related to what country you are in. In my country (Denmark) the waiters/servers get more money for their work and the tip is automatically included, unlike in the USA.
    I never tip in my own country and on trips I use the tourist guide’s instructions on, how much I should tip.

    Also, you sound really burnt out.

  • domingo June 22, 2013  

    Everyone on here who is ‘insulted’ at the tone of this article, has either never worked in the hospitality industry, or, if they have, has zero self respect. First off, the tone comes as a direct response playing off the tone of the original New York Times article, which lists 100-things-restaurant-servers-should-never-do, and is, in itself, quite condescending (if you dont think so, it is because you are self-absorbed and think once you walk into a restaurant, your ass should be kissed). Second, the point of the list that is this article, is to articulate to people whom are going out to eat, that they are dealing with other human beings, and there are many considerations to be made, other than simply what suits you. If you have worked in the industry, and find this article to be abrasive, you’re probably either half-asleep, not doing this professionally (only passing the time until your ‘real job’ comes along), or, are a complete idiot without a semblance of dignity. Everything the author wrote is spot on, and the dining experience would be exponentially better for both patron and guest, if only the people that came out to eat (granted a minority, but significant nonetheless), had even the slightest clue of how to treat the people serving them. Just as ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it, ignorance of hospitality culture is no excuse for treating people like they are less than your peers when you dine out. What’s hard to understand about not ignoring the host? Or making eye contact and smiling at your server? Hospitality cuts both ways – you have to show respect and dignity to command respect and dignity. Otherwise, your just an asshole, that deserves to be treated like one.

  • shelly July 20, 2013  

    YOU ARE A WAITER GOD! And completely understand what it means to work 60hours a week get treated like shit and still can’t afford to buy your son new shoes. Fuck the haters they don’t get what real work is. Its to give up all pride, dignity, respect, education just to see your family well cared for.

  • James Taylor August 6, 2013  

    While some of the items listed are a bit of a stretch, I do tend to side with the writer more so than with some of those pf you commenting. Sadly, most of the items listed are a reflection of the inability (or lack of desire) of those dining out to separate their public and private behaviors. Many diners bring the same poor table manners, sloppiness, and lack of respect for others from their homes right into restaurants and expect everyone to be completely accommodating/understanding.

    I would add two more to the list…

    101. If you have some sort of “condition” or if you’re a chain smoker, don’t use the cloth napkin to deposit the mouthful of phlegm you might cough up. The same applies if you have older relatives who cough and hack up stuff frequently, please bring a hand towel with you or ask for some paper napkins as soon as you sit down at the table.

    102. If the restaurant is one of those toilet-only setups with a lock on the door where one person can use the bathroom at a time, do not go to the bathroom and sit on the toilet for 20 minutes-especially when the restaurant is really busy.

    103. If you’re reading this, you’re probably capable of searching the internet well enough to search for “basic table manners.” In an hour, you can probably learn what your parents or some other adult should have taught you as a child. As a result, you can probably avoid 15 to 20 of the “don’ts” listed above.


  • Jerry Russell February 1, 2014  

    As a restaurant manager, I find this article to be quite presumptuous. Restaurant patrons are PAYING customers, and we in the restaurant industry have no business setting up rules. While I have had my share of difficult and sometimes rude guests, I still go out of my way to treat them like guests, not servants.

  • David February 22, 2014  

    I have bee
    n reading this after observing empty tables on a busy Saturday night. I asked what we were waiting when there were tables available. The answer – our kitchen was slammed by several large parties and we need some time to catch up. The follow up – would you like seats at the bar, we have several opening up right now. An honest answer and an offered solution. The essence of good service and an intelligent approach, giving credit while expecting the same.

    This is so different from the condescending, insulting drivel provided by the author of “100 things patrons should never do”. It not only dishonors those who capably do the work he apparently loathes, it exemplifies why some who become disaffected in their work and lives need to either take a time out or retire.

  • Chris Juricich July 25, 2014  

    Leave a TIP…regardless? Simply beCAUSE?

    I never leave a tip because it’s expected. I leave a tip if all goes smoothly, but if things go completely south. I’ll consider NO tip. And those restaurants that apply service charges which are simply built-in tips? No. Just charge me more for the damn food and I’ll be the judge of whether to tip, or if the price of your vittles are too high, to find another restaurant.

  • joseph July 30, 2014  

    I love this article and you have every right to say it out loud. We, in the hospitality industry, would never say these things to customers but we sure would love them to know a few things about manners wouldn’t we? I mean, cmon, all your negative comments to the author are ridiculous. I’ve been in restaurants for 14 years, am a GM and a Sommelier, and I still wish people would have a few manners. You’re in public, not your home, so respect the people around you, and be appreciative to the person taking care of you. It’s just being a decent, civilized human being.

  • Joe August 8, 2014  

    What is wrong with saying “Yeah, I’ll take…” when ordering the food? It may not be the most formal way to order food but it’s far from impolite.

  • Brad August 19, 2014  

    Kind of a ridiculous list. Aside from the sheer hypocrisy of railing against lists such as these before turning around to write one of your own, there are a number of problems here. Firstly, there are a bunch of repeats, just changed around and worded a little differently(#1 and #4 are essentially the same thing). Secondly, a number of these points fall into the realm of “common sense”(#16 springs to mind) or “criminal”(#8), and when combined with your overall tone, really lend a snobbish element to your article, which suggests that you seem to disdain any kind of interaction with customers(at which point I might suggest you’re in the wrong line of work).

    Now, a personal pet peeve of mine: tipping. A number of your points deal with tipping, and how it shouldn’t be done. Basically, they all amount to “leave a bunch of money for your server”. Now, I wouldn’t think you’d need this explained to you, but let me just explain exactly what a tip is.

    There are three parties in this particular equation. Myself(the customer), you(the server), and the restaurant(your employer). When I come into the restaurant and order a meal, I pay for it. This money is used to keep the restaurant functioning, which includes paying your wage. If you have a problem with your wage, that’s actually a problem between you and your employer, and I, as a customer, don’t have a damn thing to do with it. A server’s job, is, at it’s core, an unskilled labour position that requires very minimal training. As a result, servers are cheap and expendable. It’s great that you work hard(or think you work hard), have a good attitude, and like your job. At the base, it’s still a simple job. If you really want more money, get yourself a better job.

    So, now that we’ve established that I have actually already partially paid your salary by visiting your restaurant, and that your wage complaint is actually none of my responsibility, I owe you precisely nothing, beyond the cost of my bill. Now, a tip, or gratuity, actually comes from Latin, and translates to “give freely”. As in “I am freely giving you this extra money, with absolutely no obligation to do so.” In our current society, a tip is intended to reward a person for service above and beyond the accepted standard. The accepted standard is defined by what people are willing to tolerate without going and spending their money elsewhere. This, of course, is open to all kinds of subjectivity and criticism. However, to suggest not only that every service requires a tip, but that it should be “$1 for every $5 spent, rounded up(paraphrased)”(as is #62 on Part 2), is ludicrous. Some people cannot afford to tip 20%, a plight that someone bemoaning the average server’s wage should perhaps be a little more sympathetic to/aware of. And quite frankly, there are plenty of service staff that don’t deserve a nickel more than whatever their hourly wage is(this is called capitalism, boys and girls, and it’s what makes the world function). Now, I’m fine with tipping 20% or even more(and frequently do), but the restaurant industry in general(and certainly you, by the tone of your article) seems to be under the false impression that we, as customers, are somehow obligated to leave you, as servers, some kind of additional money, regardless of how we judge the quality of our service. Because, as we’ve established, that’s what a gratuity is; money freely given without an obligation to do so.

    Now, that said, you did make a couple of fair, reasonable, perfectly valid points in this list. And, if you pared it down to maybe 20, you might have a leg to stand on. At this point, the only thing that this list proves is that you’re angry that some NYT writer called the industry out on a lot of things(probably some fair and others not; I’ll have to read it), you’re bitter toward the customers that provide for your livelihood, and you need to find another line of work. Hopefully, since publishing this article, you’ve left the restaurant industry and are working in a field that you enjoy more(and are better suited for, if your article is a snapshot of your personality).


  • Brad August 19, 2014  


    I just read through the NYT article by Mr. Buschel. I certainly can see the value of including an abbreviated version of his list into a training manual(his list, like this one, was stretched beyond appropriate limits in the desire to hit 100 points, and could be concisely condensed into 20 or so). Additionally, Mr. Buschel carries a far more professional tone throughout the entirety of his article(if you read it, you’ll note that the term “douche”-adjective does not appear once in the entirety of his article, nor is the reader greeted in Part 2 with the image of a dessert cup fashioned into the shape of a giant penis – a sure sign something has gone wrong). While I disagree with some of his points and can certainly sympathize with some of the comments on that article wondering when service staff changed into robots, it is not nearly as disrespectful of service staff as this article is to restaurant patrons. If a winner is to be declared, it is certainly Mr. Buschel.

  • Abbe Kulhanek January 5, 2015  

    I feel so bad. I enjoy going out to eat and I was under the apparently mistaken impression that the restaurant reciprocated the feeling. Tonight my friends and I went to eat and one member of our party ordered three beers over the course of an hour and a half. He had someone to drive him and was not becoming altered in any way noticeable. When he ordered the 4th the waitress loudly pronounced , ‘geez,you’re really suckin’ those down,’which was embarrassing to everyone. Kind of a bummer for our friend who is a nice man who had not been out for a while and just wanted to relax. Too bad our server spoiled it.

  • Abbe Kulhanek January 5, 2015  

    Additionally, I am a nurse. If anyone heard me speak this way about my patients, calling them obscenities, surely they would think I needed to change my profession. Get out before you do something purposely hurtful.

  • Mike March 9, 2015  

    Obviously written exclusively to benefit the server and establishment. Just this past weekend I had a long wait, while tables were empty, 4 servers hung out talking at the hostess tables, long wait for food and was asked to leave because others were waiting to be seated. Now, I had 7 adults, 4 of which were of drinking age, we were continuing to purchase food and drinks, 4 empty tables around us and very slow service. Most of what you said is proper behavior when the restaurant is acting properly. This was a mid level establishment at Snowshoe Ski Resort. With out doing many of what you said not to do, we would have been left to fend for ourselves. We were proper,not drunk and offended. When you spend $200 in a very nice burger joint you deserve attention. 100 things not do so as a patron, come on, you obviously do not eat out often. The customer is king, most often right and should only be asked to leave when the behavior is such that you never want them to come back. Do 100 things to do as a server. I understand this because I am in the service business ( one of your 100 things not to say ), service is everything, and I know how hard it is sometimes.

  • B Chin June 5, 2015  

    Here are some things a server should never do:

    1) Touch cups and glasses by the top, where the mouth goes.
    2) Touch unused silverware by where the mouth goes.
    3) Interrupt a conversation to ask if everything is OK if it’s a couple on a date. Walking by the table and making
    eye contact from a distance is more than enough to get our attention. Interrupting mid-sentence gets an
    extra black mark. Two black marks if you spoil the punch line of a story. Eternal damnation if you interrupt
    a marriage proposal.
    4) Bump the customer’s chair every time you walk by.

    I once went to an overpriced restaurant on a date at the misguided recommendation of a friend, the kind of place where you get two and a quarter forks full of food in a $40 so-called “entree”. Unfortunately, we were seated on the route from the kitchen, and the tables were so packed in that the staff violated (4) about once every 15 seconds, even though I’m skinny and my chair was pushed all the way in.

    I didn’t want to say anything in front of my date, but I was fuming.

    It turned into a comically bad meal when I could see over the table that my date was texting another guy whom she had “previously” dated, but I also managed not to say anything.

Leave a comment