100 Things Restaurant Patrons Should Never Do
26. If you mention that you’re a frequent Yelp-er or Chowhound-er as a scare tactic, you are officially banned from ever eating out again. That is just so unnecessarily insulting (and makes you look like a real douche and gives all bloggers a bad name.)
27. You do not own a server or a bartender just because you know that their livelihood requires tips. Please, if you take nothing else from this list, remember this fact.
28. Please don’t be loud– the whole restaurant doesn’t need to hear about every detail of your life. I’m pretty certain the rest of your party isn’t interested, either.
29. Saying that you’re ready to order means that you’re ready to order. Don’t tell your server you’re ready, only to look over the menu one more time– your server has many other tables that he or she needs to attend to.
30. Server does not mean servant. Do not treat restaurant staff as being in a class lower than yours.
31. If you are not happy with something, speak up– let the staff try to make it better, that way you won’t have to be passive-aggressive on Yelp later.
32. At the same time, remember that no one is perfect. Be flexible and work with us, people.
33. Remember the golden rule. You’ll be fine.
34. Policies are put in place for a reason — and recognize the fact that no one is obliged to explain to you why a rule is in place. You probably wouldn’t understand, anyways.
35. Put your phones away — or if you must, keep conversations quick and quiet…you’re holding up service and disrupting those around you.
36. Don’t get mad when a restaurant doesn’t have that random condiment/vegetable/side dish you want. Food costs money and chefs don’t order food that isn’t on the menu.
37. If you have children, do understand that non-chain restaurants rarely have children’s menus. This sounds like the perfect chance to get your kid to start liking real food.
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.
40. Slipping money to the host or maitre d’ so that everyone can see you doing so is incredibly tacky. Also, it won’t necessarily get you anywhere faster.
41. PLEASE don’t fake having an illness (Diabetes seems to be the most common) in order to jump the waitlist. This happens constantly, and I’m sure that those with such illnesses wouldn’t appreciate you doing so.
42. Saying “but we’re just going to eat quickly!” doesn’t change the fact that there are no empty tables. I don’t understand why people don’t get that.
43. Trust the fact that if you’re nice and respectful to the staff, they will be the same back to you. If this doesn’t work, then you have the right to feel that you’re not receiving good service, and to say so.
44. Sending back an entree after you’ve eaten half? Really?
45. Don’t flash your money around and act like everyone around should be kissing your feet — odds are you won’t even tip well.
46. If you had a really great experience, let be known! Tell the manager if you had an outstanding server.
47. If you’re at the bar, waiting to order, and the bartender is clearly going as quickly as possible, please refrain from waving your arms wildly or yelling “hey, over here!”
48. Also, if you’re at the bar, don’t stand in the server/service area — people are trying to work, and you ordering your drink is holding up the entire floor.
49. If you’re with a group that is splitting the check or paying with more than one credit card, step up and insure that the server is still getting the right tip.
50. Remember, dining out should be fun, so chill out, leave the drama at home, and be respectful — it will get you far!
(Photo: Thomas Hawk)