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100 Things Restaurant Patrons Should Never Do

Posted by on March 24 2010 in Featured, Lists, Rants & Raves, Restaurants, Trends

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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.

8. NEVER STEAL FROM A RESTAURANT.

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.

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175 Responses leave one →
  1. Tyler permalink
    March 24, 2010

    “douchenozzle”…haha

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Erin permalink
    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.

  9. Mark permalink
    March 24, 2010

    Erin-

    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.

  10. Kate permalink
    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)

  11. In response to Erin permalink
    March 24, 2010

    Erin,
    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

  12. Stewart permalink
    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.

  13. 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?

  14. Frank permalink
    March 24, 2010

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

  15. beatbox permalink
    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.

  16. slimjim permalink
    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Alison permalink
    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”. ;)

  19. nathan permalink
    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.

  20. 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;

    http://www.servernotservant.com/2009/11/05/64-suggestions-for-restaurant-customers/

    #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.)

  21. 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?

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. Leah permalink
    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.”

  25. Carla permalink
    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.

  26. Ana Hauser permalink
    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?

  27. Sarah permalink
    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.

  28. March 25, 2010

    Ana
    “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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. March 26, 2010

    Al-

    Please stay home. Thank you.

  33. Erin permalink
    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

  34. March 26, 2010

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

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. March 26, 2010

    Kitty:
    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.

  38. March 26, 2010

    Amy,

    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.

  39. Erin permalink
    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.

  40. Nancy permalink
    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.

  41. 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.

  42. March 27, 2010

    Erin
    “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.

    IT SURE DOES DELAY FOOD FROM BEING NEXT ON THE LIST. Where do you get that MINUTES DON’T COUNT?

    “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.”

    This one REALLY MAKES ME MAD!! You aren’t EVER supposed to let people CUT!! Don’t you get that by EVEN CONSIDERING the people that are WAITING IN THE WAITING AREA, YOU ARE TRULY LETTING *THEM* CUT IN FRONT OF OUR TURN BY NOT GOING TO PUT IN THE ORDER FIRST.

    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?

  43. Patrick permalink
    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?

  44. Two cents from a happy diner permalink
    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.

  45. juanstumofu permalink
    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.

  46. 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.”

    The restaurant’s servers are supposed to please the people already there FIRST BEFORE others that AREN’T EVEN SEATED. YOU WAIT FOR A TABLE IN AN ORDER, WHY YOU WAIT NOT IN AN ORDER FOR YOUR ORDERS TO PUT INTO THE COMPUTER IS AN UNFAIR SITUATION MADE BY YOUR SERVER THAT COULD BE VERY WELL PREVENTED IF THEY CARED!!!

    “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?

  47. 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

  48. mike permalink
    March 28, 2010

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

  49. adam permalink
    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?

  50. lifer permalink
    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.

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