100 Things Restaurant Patrons Should Never Do – Part 2

Nearly two years ago, ESer LB responded to The New York Times’ 100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do with her own 100 Things Restaurant Patrons Should Never Do — basically a server’s wish list/bill of rights. While we only actually came up with 50 items for the original list, this continues to be one of Endless Simmer’s most popular posts, so we’re pleased to present part 2 of the list, as suggested by ES commenters.

51. Don’t walk back into my kitchen to tell me that you are allergic to something.

52. Don’t tell me how to do something. I don’t care, if you think you should pay AFTER you eat. If I’m telling you to pay BEFORE, just do it.

53. 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.

54. 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.

55. 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?”

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

57.  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. 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.

58. Quit 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.

59. 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.

60. 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!

61. 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.

62. No calculator needed. Give the server $1 for every $5 you spend, always round up. It’s that easy.

63. 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.

64. 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.)

65. 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?!

66. …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.”

67. 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.

68. 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.

69. 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.

70. 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.

71. 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.

72. 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.

73. Don’t dine out for the sole purpose of nit-picking and criticizing

74. Don’t yell at your server if you don’t like the rules. If s/he says extra sauce costs 45 cents, then it just does.

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

Mas complaints? Leave your own restaurant patron dos and don’ts in the comments.

Read part one of 100 Things Restaurant Patrons Should Never Do.

(Photo: Scilly Stuff)

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  • Jen January 25, 2012  

    Honestly, if you think so little of your customers or are as rude to them as you are in this article, I’m not surprised if you get attitude in return or bad tips. You make some good points, but coating them with insults does nothing to help your arguments. It just makes me not want to dine in your restaurant (and I’m a respectful, tipping customer). I worked in a restaurant for years. All the waiters had bad incidents with customers at some point. But an experience with a rude waiter sucks just as bad.

  • Jessica January 25, 2012  

    I agree with Jen. This list just drips with disdain for your customers. You’ve chosen the wrong industry to be in if you’re not actually that interested in serving others. And it’s not the customer’s fault that you make $2.63 an hour, nor our responsibility to ensure that you make enough in tips to pay your bills. Of course restaurant patrons should treat staff with respect as fellow human beings, but telling your paying customers to NOT order food well done, or to insist that they leave when YOU decide it’s time for them to leave is a little ridiculous.

  • erica January 25, 2012  

    BS did you write this list? i’ve read it before. it’s been posted on Endless previously, no?

    i cooked my way through college. yes, while it is annoying that everyone wants to tailor their meal to their tastes, it’s just the name of the game, and you have to learn to pay attention to your tickets or you’re just going to have to do it over again and waste more time. taking umbrage at substitutions is like getting mad at people for asking for their food well-done. oh, wait…

  • BS January 25, 2012  

    @Erica: This is a follow-up to the original list. All of the items included here were additions suggested by readers who commented on the original post.

  • erica January 25, 2012  

    ok, gotcha! that’s where i’ve seen them before.

  • ML'S Mom January 25, 2012  

    Have someone, maybe Madeline proof read the list for you before you print it-Just sayin

  • Sadie January 26, 2012  

    How can I take this article seriously when there are numerous spelling and grammar mistakes?

  • smith January 26, 2012  

    I can’t say I haven’t thought all of these things at one point or another while working in a restaurant. Yes the staff wants you to feel accommodated and happy, and, like the list pointed out, no question, request, or complaint is unacceptable so long as it’s delivered kindly. The most frustrating thing about working in a restaurant though is having customers who forget the we are people too. Yes we can make all of those accommodations for you, but when you have 10 tables all asking for special treatment it can be so tiring. Some customers just don’t understand that, but as long as you are understanding and not demanding everyone will get along fine.

  • Ryan January 28, 2012  

    This list is terrible. This list does not represent ES very well. I always tip 20% or more, I dine respectfully, and I feel I should be respected in return. This list reeks of self-righteousness, and I wouldn’t want to set foot in any joint that represents itself like this. Although saying that might subject me to rule #61. That might make me like one of the customers that “vows to never come back again.” You probably don’t want my money anyway. The original New York Times article was abhorrent. These rules are just as detestable. Just get out of the food industry because it’s so apparent that you’re not interested in the service part of the service industry at all.

  • MJ January 29, 2012  

    I disagree with #58 and #59. For #59 – yes, it’s ridiculous for someone to order a $30 steak and ask you to cook the crap out of it. But if that’s how they like it done, why do you care? Now if they whine because it’s taking longer to cook, that’s another story…

    Now #58 – no substitutions? Are you kidding me? Unless someone is asking for something ridiculous, like “Can you make my eggplant parm without the eggplant?” or “Can I get lobster as a side dish instead of the baked potato?”, it’s in your best interest as a SERVICE industry to try to accommodate. Honestly, this one seems more like just b*tching about something the cook/server doesn’t want to deal with rather than a valid complaint of something customers shouldn’t do. In this case, just because you don’t like doing it, doesn’t mean the customer is wrong for asking for it.

  • Leif February 2, 2012  

    Keep on doing what you do. Please do no change a thing.

    Love, a competitor

  • Chris February 18, 2012  

    In response to 55 and 56. I have been dragged by my non-vegetarian friends to numerous restaurants and have done my share of ordering from the available salads or veggie sides. While I agree that it’s not a chef’s responsibility to whip up something for me that’s not on the menu, I do think that it is the responsibility of the servers/chefs to know what is in the foods served on the menu. The only time it is appropriate for a server to tell a customer that there isn’t meat in a particular menu item is when they are sure there isn’t meat in it. If the server isn’t sure, they should ask the chef. If the chef isn’t sure, they should tell the customer that. I would much rather just not order an item the staff isn’t sure about than receive a highly unwelcome surprise when my food is served.

  • Margaret Mapp February 26, 2012  

    This list made me cringe. I understand that some customers can be a pain, but you are making the assumption that EVERY customer is going to be one. It sounds like you might need to get a new job, you surely don’t sound happy with yours.

  • Brian March 13, 2012  

    As a restaurant manager (up from bartender and server) I can identify each and every one of the people that didn’t like this list… you all suck and should never go out to eat. Do the rest of the world a favor and stick to McDonald’s where you belong. There’s a new generation of diners in the world and they are just as shitty, snotty and self-righteous as…well the new generation of kids today.

    Suck it Monkeys!

  • Wellgoodson March 19, 2012  

    Ef your cooking is as good as yur righting i just cant wait to eat at your resturant!

  • Patricia March 25, 2012  

    I loved this list although there were a couple of things I thought a little picky. We love going out to eat and when my kids were little we always had a “busy” bag we took so they would stay in their seats and behave. We never had any trouble with the kids at restaurants and always had people (servers and other patrons) tell us how good our children were. Now they are adults and we all go out to eat once in a while and still enjoy the experience. We are always respectful and enjoy ourselves, I mean that is the whole point of going out to eat isn’t it? I don’t envy the job you do at all. I mean I have seen other people who I want to get up and kick out of a restaurant for their behaviour. I have been a waitress at a truck stop and at an upscale establishment and I Hear and Agree with what you listed. I don’t think you hate your job I think you might however be fed up with rude and demanding people and I don’t agree that you think all of your customers fall into that group. Now if only people will listen…

  • Stiffs March 26, 2012  

    BS you should look in the mirror, I bet you’re just as bad as any of these customers. Considering how many of your points stem from your valuing less work higher than satisfying others to the utmost in a service industry position, I have to imagine that you yourself don’t always consider the hidden factors that may influence the behaviors of others.

    That guy who was short, impatient and quick to point out the mistake in his order? Maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to judge…Maybe he just lost his wife, and is looking to your food as the only constant he can rely on.

    It’s called Cognitive Complexity, look into it.

    I am unfortunately being a hypocrite in saying this, but so be it. Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house. Ya bitch.

    And @Brian you are a jerk too. Try not making generalizations about entire generations of people just because some people (generally the more noticeable) are jackasses. People have been entitled and inconsiderate for way longer than us ‘new generation’ folks have been around.

  • Dawn March 27, 2012  

    Bartenders make drinks differently, just as different chefs have their own style of cooking. If you request a “special” drink you once had somewhere, the bartender is not familiar with it, and you don’t know what’s in it, don’t get pissed off when what they bring you is not the EXACT same thing. Bartending is an art, not an exact science.

  • Some Guy March 27, 2012  

    How is there only 75 items on a 100 item list?

  • Payton April 3, 2012  

    Learn the proper uses of your, and you’re

  • Felisa Knight April 6, 2012  

    This article is filled with contempt. I hope I never eat at your restaurant.

  • Jane doe April 9, 2012  

    I’m a waitress so I know all the people you mentioned in this list. Most of my customers are wonderful, but every now and then I get one of the above mentioned people and you can usually spot them as soon as they sit in your section, in most cases they don’t just do one of the things they will do about 5 of them.

  • Jane Deer April 11, 2012  

    The only people who are bitching in this article seem to be small-minded customers. Enjoy the spit in your food, guys!!

  • Lisa April 14, 2012  

    I’ve been a server for 25 years in fine dining. This list is correct of what you shouldn’t do. I’ve worked with some horrible servers. I’ve also waited on horrible people. Like Payton, for example. I see you’re one to look for problems. Correcting the spelling? How about finishing a sentence with a period?
    And Felisa, I hope you never eat at this guy’s restaurant either. This article is not filled with contempt, it’s true. There IS people out there there that do this.
    And Stiffs, Maybe your server is a single mom who is paying a babysitter by the hour and the longer a person squats at a table means she has to pay more money every hour you sit. And maybe she’s a widow too. Think about that. (Your name says it all) And no name calling, please.
    Margret. Nobody mentioned ‘EVERY’ customer does this. And, by the way, people are referred to as a ‘guest’….and I hope you act like one when dining.
    And hey, MJ, There are too many people out there who ask for lobster instead of something of lesser value. Like creamed spinach and french fries.
    And Sadie, If this article had so many grammar and spelling errors, why did you bother reading the whole thing? To mentally correct spelling and feel superior? Same thing with you, ML’s Mommy. Give me a break.
    Last but not least..Jen and Jessica: We don’t think little of our ‘GUESTS’ < let me stress again, that is what restaurants refer to you as. Not 'customers'. Not all guests are bad. But there are MANY who do this every shift servers work. This list is for those who are ignorant in many other aspects of life. It is also guide for the rude. If you feel offended in any way……we servers, understand where you're coming from.

  • Jack April 14, 2012  

    I agree 100% with every point on this list. But I also take great satisfaction that people sit at there desk at work for the last hour of there miserable day, day dreaming about how wonderful life will be when they come to the place I work. I’ve watched people reconnect with old friends, meet new ones, sing, dance, laugh, cry and fall in love where I work. That shit doesn’t happen in a cubicle or digging ditches. Yes there are assholes out there but I think generally most people just want to have a good time…they aren’t at work! I don’t go to the DMV, my lawyer’s office, the dentist, the bank or the grocery store to unwind and enjoy life.

    Patricia, busy bag? My mom had crayons in her pockabook…that’s all it took. I work at a restaurant where the tables are all chalk boards and there is chalk at every table. It even keeps the grown ups occupied and sitting still!

  • diditforyears April 16, 2012  

    I agreed with a lot of these, particularly number 54. I’ve worked in every front of the house position in restaurants and bars large and small and this list sounded much like the rants other servers and I had regularly in our waitstations. On number 73: Don’t shoot the messenger but these people are simply an unfortunate fact of life in all restaurants in all corner of the world.

    All that being said, I have my list of 3 things bloggers should never do.
    1. Post your blog on the world wide web without proofreading it.
    2. Writing a blog for the world wide web without at least a 12th grade understanding of the English language (the difference between to, too and two as well as between your and you’re just for starters)
    3. Post your blog to the world wide web before reading it. This list had many redundancies and could probably be cut to 50 or even 35 items with nothing more than basic editing skills.

  • Jayne Lukinchuk April 18, 2012  

    I agree whole heartedly with most of these. I want to weigh in about tipping. You will never be able to convince me that a tip is mandatory. I am a polite patron. i say please and thankyou. I am specific about my order. i smile, act pleasant , and don’t cause a fuss or make a mess. If I get bad service, I leave no tip. End of story! Servers who chew gum like a cud, get my order wrong then argue with me about it ( did I mention that I am very specific with my orders?), do not engage with me or make eye contact as they take my order or later throw my food on the table. You get the message. If it is fault of the kitchen, I do not take it out on the server. Having said that, i rarely ever feel the need to leve no tip. I generally leave 15% for good service, and have tipped up to 50% for excellent service. The point being, it is MY choice. My advice for servers, do a good job, get a good tip. We all know you make a good part of your living this way. Work for it. Hanging out at the bar chatting up the cute bartender while you have 3 tables waiting to order doesn’t get the job done. ( An actual experience. I never did get my dressing on the side)

  • Caroline May 5, 2012  

    100 things never to do on the internet:
    make lists that don’t have the number of items the title says

  • Austintatious May 8, 2012  

    I find this list absolutely ridiculous. You could have saved everyone’s time by saying don’t be a jackass and just respect the Wait Staff. That’s common sense. Beyond that, telling a customer to not ask for a specialty cooked item or asking for a steak well done is absolute shit. Telling someone how to Tip is absolute shit. As a customer me leaving a tip is my right as the patron. If I didn’t like your service, I WILL NOT give you even 10% if you are a great server you get a better tip. Are you a human being? Yes, but it is your JOB to make sure that I am taken care of while I am at your restaurant, just like if you were to call me up at my job, I would have to make sure I answer all your questions and cater to what you are looking for. Yes there are unreasonable requests, but there are absolutely reasonable requests that should not be looked at and frowned on. If I ask you for a side of Ranch Dressing with my burger or if I ask for Steak Sauce instead of horseradish then bring me the damn Steak Sauce. Don’t bitch that I’m not taking your Chef’s super Horseradish. Maybe I’m someone that does not enjoy horseradish but the cut of steak is what I want. I hate so bad when pretentious waiters think that their job is so much above the patrons that pay their bills.

  • Anthony May 10, 2012  

    I wish I had the time to make a “don’t” list for all those wonderful waiters out there who think the customer is always wrong. Here are just a couple to get the ball rolling:

    1) Don’t take it out on me if your kitchen crew doesn’t know the meaning of medium rare;
    2) Just because the restaurant is slow, don’t decide that it’s time to take your break and visit with your other waiter friends who are standing around talking, instead of coming by and asking if my glass, which has been empty for the last ten minutes, needs filling;
    3) If you want to be treated as a professional, please know the specials if I ask you;
    4) Please don’t wipe crumbs from the table onto my chair as I stand there watching you, and then expect me to sit on that chair;
    5) If my tablecloth is dripping with spaghetti sauce from a previous customer, and I sit down and it gets all over my shirt, please don’t bring a wet towel to the table and walk away, leaving me to clean your mess;

  • Christina May 13, 2012  

    This list has a lot of truth in it. I have often theorized that people are worse than they used to be because our expectations have increased for the amount of money we pay and time we wait. Perhaps because eating out used to be a treat and now so many people do it to save time.

    I agree with the writer and I love working with people. 90 % of the people who came in to restaurants were great. The last 10% really suck. I think the article sounds critical because you get the same bad treatment over and over each day from the 10% and eventually it gets to you. The funny thing is people don;t act this way at the grocery store or the movie theater, why is a restaurant different?

    I would also add
    1. Don’t ask “it is not on your menu but do you have…(fill in the blank) I don;t mean just because its your favorite and you hope somehow we have it. I mean you expect us to just make it for you because you want it. Menus are to tell people what we have so that we can sell and make money. They are not a list of possibilities and anything else you can think of is fair game too.

    Along the same lines is if you ask me a question like :what is the soup today? And I say “chicken” Don’t respond with “how about tomato”? Again I would tell you if we had other options because I want you to buy them.

    2. People with the cheapest bills are often the most work. If you drank 100 glasses of water and 35 cups of coffee, your server did more work for you than opening the $200 dollar bottle of wine, Think about that before you tip $.50.

    3. If you are a really cheap tipper, then find out what the house tip put is. It is disheartening when a person spends a lot of money and tips 2% when the server tips out 5%. They paid 3% of you meal for you to eat there. Again, it is just the though of paying to work that irks me. And don;t pretend you don’t know because you are foreign.

    4. Don;t lie about making a reservation. We want to serve you but when you lie it makes us think we did something wrong and we struggle to make it right at the cost others.

    5. Don’t ask to substitute something if you aren’t willing to pay for it. You can’t go to the store and say I am allergic to peanuts, can I get pecans instead at that price.

    6. If a restaurant is willing to substitute (and it is up to each restaurant and the kind of service they want to do) then expect it to take longer. Changes make people have to think and take different steps.

    7. Don’t make any joke that is about “it coming out of you tip” It is tacky. I would say that to you.

    8. If you are taking your kids out watch them. Some parents think that
    servers are babysitters, and I have not charged you for that. You would be shocked at some of the things I have caught kids doing.

    9. I understand that babies can be hard to eat with, but please don’t let them destroy all of the sugar packages leaving a huge mess everywhere. Bring toys, or even ask for a pen for gosh sakes.

    10. Some people may have lost the sensitivity of their nerves and not realize that something is hot when it is not. We have all gotten food cold when it should be hot, but I have taking food directly of the stove three times for some people only for them to moan that its cold. Also some items cool of in second s such at pasta with no sauce. Stir it up you will see steam.

    11. Getting mad at the server for rules that the restaurant has is ridiculous. Complain to management. Servers are front line people. Often restaurants don’t care what they think either so if you want something done tell the right person. I wouldn’t yell at my bank teller that interest rates are too high.

    12. If you get up to change tables on your own, please take your menus with you. Better yet, tell someone. It is always awkward trying to figure out what happened.

    13. If you want to sit at a table that is dirty don’t hover over the staff trying to clean it for you and put your stuff on the table. It makes it take longer, is awkward, and no one is going to give your table away.

    14. Please don;t ask to change your order if some time has gone by. We feel obligated to do it, but this will cost us money since your old order will have to be thrown out. Legally you are obligated to pay for it but most restaurants won;t ask for it. Overhead is EXTREMELY high in restaurants and every plate counts.

    15. If you are in a large party, everything takes longer. While the meal is being served(which takes many trips) don’t expect the waiter to be able to give you your bill and cash you out suddenly. They also can ring everyone’s credit card at once. If there are 20 of you, then someone is going to wait at least 20 minutes to get their credit card back.

    16. If you ask for separate checks don’t keep playing musical chairs, at least until the waiter knows who you are. The larger the party, the longer this will take.

    I am sure I have tons more. But I am tired.

  • beaker May 14, 2012  

    I work in a small, white-table cloth restaurant as a hostess. The fact that the establishment is high-class means that I face a lot of pretentious customers who think that my job is to bow down to their riches and/or read their minds. I have had customers who literally will not talk to me or even look at me; instead, they will direct their questions to another member of their party who will then ask me, and in turn pass my answer along to them. Now, guests with this level of douche-baggery are few and far between, but I can’t help wondering if they realize that I’m actually a human being. While this is incredibly rude and demeaning, my top four pet peeves must be:
    1) Don’t seat yourself. I don’t care how much money you have, if it’s your birthday, or how many times you have come to this restaurant. I’m standing at the front of the restaurant for a reason, and the fact that there are open tables does NOT mean you can sit at any of them, especially if you didn’t make a reservation.
    2) Don’t call 10 minutes before you get to the restaurant to make a reservation and then complain when you don’t get the best table in the house. Guests who are courteous enough to make a reservation a few days in advance get precedence over your last minute scramble to chose a restaurant.
    3) Don’t expect me to recognize you. I don’t work every single shift which means I don’t see you every time you come into the restaurant. Even if I were to recognize you, I would only recognize your face, not necessarily your name. Nothing is more awkward than when a party assumes I know what name their reservation is under because they’re “regulars” or, even worse, demands a better table because they’ve “been so loyal”.
    4) Don’t ask the owner/manager for a table! I am in charge of the seating and if I say we don’t have anything available at the moment, talking to the owner/manager isn’t going to change that, even if you’ve known him for years. What’s worse, don’t ask to talk to the owner before you’ve even talked to me; it’s obvious that you just want everyone in your party to see that you know the owner, and it just makes you look like a douche and me less likely to be nice.

  • Ex-Server May 19, 2012  

    Does anybody actually read things through anymore, or do you just get so indignant about being called out on your bad habits that you skip ahead. For the dozen or so idiots who said the writer was a server, go back and actually read the beginning! This is a restaraunt manager who witnesses people’s bad dining behavior toward her employees everyday and decided to write an article calling people out on it. If you don’t feel guilty after reading it, then you are a model diner. If you do feel guilty, dont post your rage, just eat at home or change your behavior. Karma people. it’s that simple.

  • Mingus Waits May 24, 2012  

    Yeah, this list is pretty good. I spent 20 years in food service and loved everything but the guests. I really wish that weren’t true, but thankfully it was a minority.

    Truth be told, I would complain about guests’ behavior often because they are ruining the experience of other guests. Yes, that is my tip being affected, but it was also my job to provide the best experience possible for ALL of my guests. Not just the ones that want to be coddled or can’t be bothered to use a little common sense when dining out.

    For the author, you did have a lot of typos and it was painful to read. I can usually let that kind of thing go, but you lost a lot of the credibility of your argument with so many mistakes. Rather than appearing insightful, this comes off like a rant.

    For those of you offended by this list, it is probably because you are guilty of doing one or more things on this list. A lot of it is over the top (ie. the no substitutions idea is ridiculous) but taken with a grain of salt and sanity, these really are good rules to live by.

    Cheers and Bon Apetite. I have code to write so I can go eat in a restaurant instead of work in one.

  • Sky May 24, 2012  

    When you enter a restaurant, the “Please Wait to be Seated” is not just a friendly suggestion. Just because our bar area becomes “seat yourself” after 9 does not mean you can find a booth or table in there any time you come in. Likewise, just because there is an outside gate to our patio does not mean you can just go sit down. Some one could be inside waiting for the table you just took; or if it is slow, there is a good chance the servers will not even know you are out there.

    Just because a restaurant is open until 12 am does not mean every server is supposed to work until that time. When no one has been sat near you for over an hour and you have watched your server pull out every booth in his or her section and swept, it may be time for you to pay and leave.

    Telling your server that you were once a sever does not give you a right to leave a 10% tip.

    Do not be mad when I can not accept your cracked/faded/broken ID. I will not risk my job over a pint of beer if I cannot see your face or read the information on the card.

    Many restaurants require servers to pay for walkouts. The joke “it’s on you right?” really is not funny, or original.

  • Cece June 9, 2012  

    Seriously, people who are leaving snide comments: you are proving yourselves to be the kind of people who just look for something to complain about. The author never said that everyone does all of the things on his list, he is just pointing out some unfortunate truths that we (I am a waitress at a diner) deal with SOME of the time. Don’t take everything so personally.

  • Casey June 9, 2012  

    I am a To-go girl at a diner and I cannot tell you how many times people complain about the price of a burger combo when I ring them up. Um, I’m sorry but I don’t make the prices. Unnecessary rudeness.

  • WK June 19, 2012  

    Don’t be overly flirtatious with your server! Especially if you are dining with your wife/husband!! It puts the server in a really awkward position.

    If you ask for your server’s advice on what to order, and you don’t like what they suggested, don’t make them feel bad about it. Order something else before you eat all of it, or just eat it and shut up!

  • Jess July 4, 2012  

    #57 is just my golden rule of the service industry. If you dont want me to come into your place of business and act the way you are acting right now, check yourself. Just because I’m serving you food doesn’t mean I’m a lower-class human being. Most of us are putting ourselves through school and/or raising children on the money we make doing crappy jobs like waiting tables.

  • Amused July 6, 2012  

    My entire family have and some still do work in the hospitality industry. My uncle is a well known chef and works with one of the most recognised hospitality schools in the world and I’m fairly certain if he saw this list, or anyone else in my family, they would be mortified to have someone like you representing the industry.

    Be polite to your customers and they will be polite to you (with the exception of very few). Please go back to school and learn how to spell, and use correct punctuation and grammar.

    Customers have a right to ask for a dish to be changed and if it can be accommodated, you should accommodate, or make another suggestion as to how you can help that customer. Furthermore, if a customer is very upset and offers feedback/a complaint, they are rarely going to be kind about it and you need to learn to deal with such words with dignity and grace.

    Perhaps you should find an industry that you don’t dislike quite so much.

  • Lauren July 6, 2012  

    Be polite, be efficient, and try to be genuine.
    Also, remain aware that a restaurant involves a wide variation of different people…just go with it, and try to remain neutral, even when customers or servers behave rudely. The best way to react to that is not to react at all. Save the drama for Obama

  • Me July 6, 2012  

    This list is pretty cocky. You must not like your job very much. Although I did find some of these points seemed unnecessary, many of them are quite helpful. My family and I don’t dine out very often, so I’m not all that familiar with the rules and etiquette.

  • Jennifer Terry July 9, 2012  

    How did #59 end up with 4 typos?? Geez.

    That said, many of these gripes could be applied to my own profession: nursing. I went from waiting tables to waiting on patients……surprisingly similar and not in good ways.

  • Ashlie July 15, 2012  

    First of all, to all the other commenters, if you don’t read the whole article, don’t point out the writer’s tone of voice. They did say things were about to get snarky on the first page before the list began. With rude customers, they are aggravated and rightfully so.

    I work at a Qdoba Mexican Grill and you wouldn’t believe the rudeness of some people!
    Some people throw a hissy because guacamole and queso are extra.

    There was one lady that came in and asked for onions (raw ones at that) on her burrito, the only onions we have are sauteed in the peppers and onions, which are extra, and the diced onions in the corn salsa and pico de gallo. She threw a hissy over us not having just onions cut for her and seemed like she expected us to go to the back and chop some up for her when we had other customers to tend to. And I’m sorry but it wastes a LOT of time to sit there and try to pick out JUST onions out of the pico because they’re tiny.

  • Suzy July 19, 2012  

    While I understand the tone of this article was intended to be snarky and reflect the other article complaining about what crappy servers do, I can’t help but feel like you really hate your job, considering several of these points can be summed up in “don’t be an asshole,” which is something every decent person knows.

    I can assure you that I’m a nice person. I’m not demanding, and I don’t feel it’s outlandish to ask for a side of mac and cheese instead of, say, mashed potatoes. I’m even willing to pay extra for that adjustment. I tip when appropriate. If you forget to turn my order in (which has happened, I once waited an hour for an order that never got sent to the kitchen) you won’t be getting anything extra from me, and that’s just the way it is. I’d expect you’d do the same if I failed to service YOU efficiently at any time at MY job. If you can’t even do the basics right, you don’t DESERVE a tip. I’m not entitled to anything, and neither are you, therefore, tips do not come standard. It isn’t that hard. Just smile and be nice. You represent the company you work for, at least TRY to act like you’re in a good mood. It’s pretty depressing when an unhappy, blank-faced wait-person is pouring my drinks and asking if they can “get me anything else” in a flat tone. It has seriously ruined outings before.

    That’s not to say, however, that I don’t respect the hell out of those people who DO do their jobs in the service industry. My mom waited and bar-tended for years, and that’s what paid for all my (and my sister’s) lunches all through middle and high school (and we ate a lot, being teenage girls.) She earned CRAZY tips because she worked her ass off. She’d be exhausted, every night but, HEY, she made $80 in tips that night, and could therefore pay for our food for the next week or so.

  • An`Lee July 27, 2012  

    I’ve read through the article, and I’ve really enjoyed that I found the original post on stumble upon.

    What I don’t quite get is all of the negative comments in response to it. Sure it may have a little disdain in some of the tips, but do you really think it would have been that entertaining if it were just a list of tips without any comment?

    And while I view myself as a courteous and patient patron when I go out to eat that tips very well, I have found a few things on this list that I will be sure to keep in mind when I go out to eat next time. I mean, I’m patient when it takes a while to be seated even if I see open tables. But I don’t exactly stop to think that someone else was smart enough to place a reservation when I just walk in at a very busy point in the day. Knowing that will make me even more patient and maybe even think ahead the next time I want to go out to eat.

    Everyone can learn from this list whether you think that you’re the best patron or not. Even if you do not agree with everything.

    And now I’m going to send it to my friends.

  • Meg July 30, 2012  

    I love this list, and if you’re leaving negative comments it’s because you’ve never worked in that special kind of restaurant where every customer is rude and cruel. Work in a restaurant near a million dollar neighborhood and you’ll see what the author is talking about.
    I’ve been tapped on the ass and called toots one too many times.

  • Sherri August 2, 2012  

    A lot of these are good things to remember, but yes, this person has an attitude problem to boot. And they do not know how to spell. So maybe they need to learn to spell before they post an article. And some of these are repetitive.
    General rule: treat people/servers the way you would want to be treated. Yes, they do work hard for their money. That does not mean they should treat customers badly though. It works both ways.

  • Bailey August 11, 2012  

    Its so funny how people think the writer of this article is rude and wouldnt want to eat at his restaurant. (PEOPLE BELOW) I will eat there anyday because everything on here is true! PEOPLE lets take things with a grain of salt. If you hate the article then READ ANOTHER ONE! Although I definately feel as if he left one thing out ! DO NOT GET UP TO GO AND FIND YOUR SERVER TO TELL THEM SOMETHING YOU FORGOT TO ASK FOR WHEN THEY WERE AT YOUR TABLE. one would think people wouldnt do this but you would be so surprised. It makes the server look like they arent taking care of you. SIT DOWN !

  • Perstephane August 28, 2012  

    As far as #58 & 59 – I HAVE to have my burgers and steak well done due to an particular GI disorder. This also means having to ask for things to be prepared differently once in awhile. I’m sorry, but I don’t think I should be banned from eating out just because it might take a little longer to make my food. And I’m not going to be sick for 8 hours just to make it easier on the chef. I appreciate that working in a service industry can be incredibly hard and taxing (I’ve done it – still do, to a degree), but I have a right to eat out without jeopardizing my health.

  • Perstephane August 28, 2012  

    Also, would you be more amenable to doing those things if you knew that I tip 20%, tell a manager EVERY time I get a good waiter/waitress, am unfailingly polite, say please for everything, clean my own messes, and even step in to defend staff if someone else is being an ass? Not everyone who wants something done a certain way is a douche about it.

  • M-J October 24, 2012  

    Speak up! I shouldn’t have to say “pardon me?” after everything you say. Don’t ever ask your server to wait for you while you finish a call on your cell phone. If someone is deathly allergic to a food, they should be deathly afraid to eat out. At least know yourself what you can or can’t have. I’m vegetarian and wouldn’t bother going to a steak house. I stick with places like Thai or Chinese something like that where I know I can get more than bread or a salad!

  • nogoodusernamesleft November 7, 2012  

    1) I can’t pay my bills on compliments.
    If you feel I have done a good job, please tip accordingly. Also, feel free to tell a manager on duty; by speaking to someone about your experience, you actually do your server some good, they often times get a pat on the back which, let’s be honest, just feels good sometimes. It’s nice when people recognize that you actually enjoy your job, and that you’re actually good at your job, and it’s especially nice to hear it from the people who sign your paycheques.

    2) Please don’t assume that since I am a server that I am uneducated. It’s demeaning, plain and simple. A lot of the girls I work with have diplomas/degrees/their masters, we CHOOSE to serve because we enjoy it, and the money isn’t terrible.

  • Joy November 13, 2012  

    I think it more like amounts to “Be considerate”. We are quiet, considerate, and good tippers. but I kinda got tired of the constant use of the vulgarism ‘d-bag’ in this article. Seems to give you an attitude.

  • Donald November 16, 2012  

    I am sorry, but I am not a Romney. Maybe 20% is the expected tip but believe me, if you are not friendly or competent you won’t get near that. I have a limited budget and will tip what I can. But if I don’t meet your “expectations” don’t think ill of me. I know that your greedy-ass boss is probably paying you two bucks an hour(because that’s what they do) but I do my best to tip you well. And you will never be stiffed, unless you are the insufferable screw up..and there ARE some of those out there. I am not high maintenance but I do like to be treated like I am important. Because I have a coupon for something free, or because I am not dressed up like a rich robber-baron(your boss) do NOT look down your nose, scowl or otherwise judge me as a non-tipper. Trust me, I know your job is difficult as you deal with both ignorant customers and arrogant managers. I have been there…

  • Natalie November 22, 2012  

    Please read the menu. When the restaurant is slammed during peak times, we don’t have time to go through all the side options. Please stop ordering things that aren’t on the menu. You’ll know we don’t carry the item if you read the menu! Don’t come to the wait station if you are receiving tableside service. See all those other customers in the dining room? They were there before you and are going to receive service before you no matter how many times you interrupt me in the kitchen! If we are exceptionally busy, it’s not a good time to use the restaurant to socialize your toddler. Order for junior. Don’t make the server stand there while you tell junior to “Tell the lady what you want,” or “What do you say to the lady?” If kids can’t talk to me without coaching, they probably shouldn’t be talking to me.

  • Dee December 26, 2012  

    Do not “help me out” by taking plates and glasses off the tray unless I have looked you in the eye and said, “Yes, you may take the chicken dish off of the tray” otherwise you are going to wear it and chances are, I will laugh at you. It’s better to wait the aditional ten seconds it will take me to place that same tray on the tray jack and hand it out.

    Servers are not babysitters, nannies, or house keepers, your kid throws all the sugar packets on the ground PICK THEM UP!

    Expect to recieve exactly the same attitude you give

    If all of you are on cell phones when I walk up to your table and none of you look up and aknowledge me, DO NOT get attitude when I walk away. I have other tables who need me at that exact moment, you obviously do not

  • Mr. Me January 7, 2013  

    This list is utter rubbish. There are a few that are no brainers, however the rest seems to be bitching for bitching’s sake.

  • Joshua January 7, 2013  

    My biggest pet peeve: We seat u places for a reason, if we put u somewhere STAY THERE! Don’t jump to another table halfway through your meal or ask to be moved just because a table u like better just opened up (yea I’ve had it happen several times). This just makes us hate u and gives us now 2 tables to clean up instead of just one.

  • uhhhhhh January 7, 2013  

    jesus christ i hate the fact that so many servers think they deserve 20% tip no matter what. I know what it feels like to get a shit tip/no tip but when I served I never EXPECTED to get at least 20% unless I knew I did an awesome job. Percent tip is fucking stupid anyway, servers should just get paid a normal wage and receive optional tip for exemplary service. Just because the dish costs $30 instead of $15 doesn’t mean you should get more money, the price doesn’t make the work any more difficult…

  • Liz S January 17, 2013  

    Sorry that I don’t like my meat pink…. damn bitchy.

  • Franco February 5, 2013  

    Ordering by course, annoying, waste of time, and the height of pomposity

  • Person February 24, 2013  

    Uhrm.. no offence or anything but you complain about tips like its the law. I find it quite rude how you complain that people only tip 10%, and that you require 20% or whatever, very rude. I got quite angry reading that and I think that you are at fault and not the customer there, you shouldn’t expect tips. If you get them, that’s a bonus, it is not obligatory.

  • TT March 25, 2013  

    I am just a patron & I can agree with some of this list – but a lot of the list just seems like complaints from restaurant staff. They have a right to bitch about their jobs & people they deal with. But don’t publicize a list of complaints telling their clientele how they are supposed to behave, it just says you don’t need the business or the money … And how is this different than any other profession ? There is no one out there without bad customer stories…….

  • Kristin April 23, 2013  

    You guys that think tipping is optional are out of your minds!!!! The only reason they allow companies to pay a serving wage( not minimum wage) is because you are supposed to tip. If you don’t tip then it’s like the minimum wage and labor laws mean nothing. Don’t be an asshole. Don’t go out to eat if you can’t tip.

  • Brad April 29, 2013  

    Fuck you cheap bitches that say oh you should be fine with 10%. Oh I can’t afford to tip 20%. If you can’t afford to tip you can’t afford to eat out. It is part of the package mother fucker. Keep your cheap ass at home or go somewhere that doesn’t have servers. Eat a dick.

  • Leon May 21, 2013  

    Is this a joke? I work at a fine dining restaurant and this server is the server that every other server in the restaurant hates. It’s fine dining so stop treating your customers as a number and do your job!

  • UK Server June 18, 2013  

    I’m a server myself, and I agree with everything on this list. One thing I would add, which isn’t necessarily a terrible thing for a patron to do but is really annoying, is saying you hated your meal as a joke when your plate it empty. We’re glad you’ve enjoyed your meal, but we’ve heard the joke 14000 times before, it’s not funny.

  • possibly Ur bartender July 15, 2013  

    $2.13 is not enough to pay bills, if you aren’t going to tip me don’t come to my bar! Simple fact, I’m going to take care of the people I know are servers and other bartenders before the drunk chick climbing over the bar screaming for water… If you want water go home or there’s a sink in the bathroom go there! Just saying you will get the same respect you give me! If you cuss at me expect it back and your beer to be hot!

  • April August 2, 2013  

    Don’t reach out, with both hands to take a plate from the server as he/she is serving it to you. Are you trying to relieve me of the last ten inches of my journey from the kitchen. This is so awkward and weird and shockingly common.
    2) If you know my name, do NOT shout it at me for any reason while I am serving many tables. I will forget yours for good.

  • Wayfarer August 5, 2013  

    After reading this list, I am starting to wish I had booked self-catering accommodation for my upcoming trip to the U.S.

    Perhaps the author could consider the following points:

    1) You are apparently NOT a ‘people person’. Maybe you would be happier in a different career, perhaps one that doesn’t require any contact with the public. If it’s so awful, why would you put yourself through it day after day? (Could this be an indication that waiting tables is actually a lot more lucrative than we are all led to believe? Especially when no one really knows what proportion of their cash tips individual servers actually declare to the IRS)

    2) If you put half the energy into petitioning the government as you do moaning about customers (without whom, regardless of how much they tip or don’t tip, you would not have a job) then maybe your labour laws would be on the way to being fixed. I have heard the arguments that if restaurants were forced to pay staff a fair wage they would have to raise their prices and people wouldn’t be able to afford to eat there anymore. WHAT??? Firstly, if the tip is basically mandatory, customers are paying the higher prices anyway. Secondly, if it were true, there would be no restaurants anywhere else in the developed world except America.

    From the outside (of America, not the hospitality industry) it seems analogous to hookers moaning about the johns, totally oblivious that it’s their pimp who is really fucking them. Your anger is misdirected.

    That said, having worked as a waitress myself (albeit here in the UK) I agree with your sentiments regarding general politeness and consideration, which is something we should all be able to expect at work.

  • Moi Shannon November 6, 2013  

    Wow, I have experienced just about everything on this list, being a server for over 20 years. I love my job and I do believe, at times, we all become jaded. It happens to the best of us. A lot of the things listed about general politeness and manners doesn’t only affect the server it interferes with other guests’ experiences. A lot of diners have become progressively ruder and critical about service. I am amazed at how people speak to me sometimes. I really just want the guest to enjoy their dinner and their experience. If you are not happy with something, tell me, so I can make it right for you, and you leave happy and satisfied.
    Remember the Golden Rule. Do unto others….

  • ellen November 17, 2013  

    Wow, being a European who is about to make her first trip to the States, you scare the hell out of me. I always try to be friendly, helpful and patient to staff, but please do note that as a matter of fact foreigners *do* have other customs and traditions. Can I still step into a restaurant without being afraid of doing something wrong?
    I’m a teacher and I’ve had my part of rude and nasty students. But suppose I rant about those ‘motherfuckers’ and ‘douche bags’ on the net, would you be pleased to send your kid to me? Would you think “she must be a great teacher, let’s make her life easier by behaving friendly”? If not, maybe you should reconsider this article.

  • RD December 8, 2013  

    Stop with the ambiguous question “Is it spicy?”. There are varying levels of what is considered to be spicy. What the server considers to be “not spicy” to him/her may be very spicy for the customer. Just ask for a small sample, or simply just move on to something else.

  • Aaron March 19, 2014  

    If you are claiming that you “tip what you can” then you should be budgeting differently. Go out to eat somewhere you can afford, including tip.

  • AlskaNoelle March 20, 2014  

    I’m a hostess at a family restaurant, and honestly, at my three year mark, I’m finding myself losing patience having to deal with the same questions and the same bad attitudes that come with them day in and day out…

    One of my biggest pet peeves is when guests get upset and angry at ME if I don’t seat them exactly where they want to be seated even though they said NOTHING to me at all. Contrary to what is obviously popular belief, being psychic is NOT in a host/hostess’ job description. If you don’t want to sit in the back/near the kitchen/near the bathrooms, TELL ME. I’m happy to find you a seat elsewhere, but don’t drag me around the restaurant for ten minutes as I try to guess where you want to sit.

    Also, I completely agree with the point about managing your children when you go out to eat. Especially on a busy Friday or Saturday night, there are multiple servers and bussers trying to get around a maze of a restaurant with heavy drinks and hot plates in their hands. We really don’t want to also have to dodge your running, screaming children like we’re in a live-action game of Donkey Kong. It’s dangerous for us AND to your children! Please keep them seated at your table, for the sake of everyone’s safety!

    And if I tell you that I can not place a highchair/regular chair at the end of the booth/table you’re inquiring about, don’t cop an attitude with me. I’m not trying to destroy your happiness, it’s not job as the hostess to make sure fire codes and safety codes are met while seating guests, which means I’m telling you no because it’s not safe for you, your family, me or my co-workers. Oh and no, I’m sorry, I DON’T have a booth big enough for a party of nine with three high chairs. Don’t get upset with me! I didn’t built the restaurant! I’m doing my best!

    Sometimes though, it makes my day when a guest does one of these irksome things, and another guests takes the words (that I obviously can’t say) right out of my mouth. I had this older couple come in to my restaurant one day, and the next booth in rotation was a table in the back. So I lead them to that booth and the wife says “Is this okay for you?” And the husband responds with all kinds of attitude: “Well I woulda rather sat somewhere back there!” And right as I’m thinking it, the wife says “Well you shoulda said something them! Well we’re already back here, so sit down!” HAHA!

  • Jody June 27, 2014  

    Do not come into the restaurant with a handfull of trash from your car expecting there to be a place to throw them away. It makes you look trashy.

  • Charmaine August 17, 2014  

    And if you’re going to post a blog that the world will read, at least do a spell check first. ‘it will barley (?) have any nutrients? I think you meant ‘barely’. Won’t embarrass you by listing them all…

  • Jono December 2, 2014  

    Don’t stuff napkins or sugar packets right down the bottom of glasses and mugs. It makes it harder for the waiters and dishwashers to remove. Even if you think you are helping.

  • SotoFifi February 25, 2015  

    What do you do if someone joins a table but doesn’t want to eat or drink anything but is happy to sit there for an hour??

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