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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.


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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178 Responses leave one →
  1. 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!!

  2. 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.

  3. March 30, 2010

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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? :)

  6. 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. :D

  7. 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.


  8. Elemental permalink
    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Eaterman permalink
    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.

  14. April 18, 2010


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

  15. Thos Weatherby permalink
    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.

  16. JSin permalink
    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.


  17. Guest permalink
    May 23, 2010

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

  18. evil todd permalink
    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.

  19. Heather permalink
    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!

  20. Liz Coughin permalink
    September 7, 2010

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

  21. Briana Thomas permalink
    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.)

  22. 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.

  23. Alexandra permalink
    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.

  24. From a patron's perspective permalink
    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.


  25. 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.

  26. Emily permalink
    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.

  27. Jessica permalink
    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.

  28. Txmom permalink
    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.

  29. Jenn permalink
    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!

  30. NOLA504 permalink
    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?

  31. RIZZO permalink
    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.)

  32. Jader permalink
    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.

  33. howdy permalink
    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.

  34. howdy permalink
    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?

  35. julia permalink
    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?

  36. Nate permalink
    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!

  37. HotWasabi permalink
    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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. nothavingit permalink
    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.

  42. SeeYaLater permalink
    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!

  43. anon permalink
    January 21, 2012

    i thought this was 100 things??

  44. MsLizzyTish permalink
    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.

  45. Henry permalink
    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

  46. 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.

  47. meetzemonsta permalink
    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!

  48. Jake permalink
    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.

  49. Lauren permalink
    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.

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