After several years as a waitress, there are some things I just need to say!!!! If you care about behaving like a decent person when you go out to a restaurant, here is some advice from one who knows!!! And for the sake of this post, the personal pronoun “I” really stands for ALL SERVERS you will ever meet in life.
1. Don’t act like I’M inconveniencing YOU when I come to the table! You’d be amazed at how many times I’ve gotten rude facial expressions or even words, telling me to “Go away, we’re not ready yet” or something after I’ve given a table plenty of time to decide on their order. If you want to take your time and aren’t in a rush, just tell me that nicely in the first place. Otherwise I’m going to assume you came in to actually EAT so don’t get fresh with me for trying to serve you promptly!
2. Realize what’s going on around you, and that I’m not the only one serving you. I take your order, but the bartender makes the drinks, and the cooks make your food. Hence, if your drink order is taking awhile, it’s not my fault!!! Same goes for the food. If you see me hovering at the bar pleading with the bartender to hurry it up, know that I am doing my best for you!
4. Order preemptively. If I come by and ask if anyone wants another drink, and you are anywhere close to finishing yours and know you will want another, just order it! There is nothing more annoying than a large table where one person asks for one more thing each time I bring something to the table. Get in sync, people! I should not have to make six consecutive trips just to get you one more round!
3. If you’re going to complain, have a solution in mind. I hate it when people tell me something is wrong but then reject every offer I make to correct the problem! First of all, if something is wrong with your dish, stop eating it and tell me ASAP! “Problems” reported about things you’ve already practically finished will NOT be taken seriously. Duh. But, if you don’t want your food remade, don’t want to speak to the manager about a discount, or don’t want a free dessert, why are you even telling me??? You are a complainer for complaining’s sake and I’d rather just not hear about it if you’re not going to let me fix the problem.
4. Something small but significant: make it obvious when you’re ready to pay! Stick the cash or credit card out of the top of the little black book, and stand it up or put it somewhere different on the table. I HATE it when people just stick their card inside and leave it exactly where I placed it. That makes me have to guess whether or not there is something in there, and believe it or not I am not psychic. And there is nothing more awkward then having to go up to a table and ASK if I should take the check. If you’re not ready, it just makes it seem like I am rushing you, when really I was afraid that I was keeping YOU waiting. So stick your freakin’ credit card out the top, people!!!
5. Don’t think you can make up for a bad tip by being super nice to me. This is known as the “verbal tip.” Honestly, it’s just like an extra-hard slap in the face. If you’re really nice and complimentary the whole time, then I’m going to expect a good tip. Not getting one from such nice people makes me lose my faith in humanity. I can’t take your compliments to the bank.
6. I make $4.35 per hour. That’s NOTHING. My checks are like a bonus. I live on tips. 20% OF YOUR BILL IS THE NORMAL TIP FOR A GOOD SERVER!!!! (I’m talking to you Euros, you’re in America now.) So, you should always start with the idea of tipping 20%. If the service is bad and it is clearly the server’s fault, you can deduct. If the service is AWESOME, or you feel like being extra generous, feel free to tip over 20%!!! But you should never tip less than 20% for good service in this day and age. Also, guess what? I don’t even get to keep all of those tips you give me. At the end of the night, I give 10% of my total tips to the bartender, another 10% to the busser, and 5% to the host. So I only even keep 75% of the tips I make!!!! Also look at it this way: when you tip me, you’re also tipping everyone else who’s working to serve you!
I’m sure I will think of more of these later so perhaps I will add to this post. But for now, keep this post in mind next time you go out to eat! What do you think? Have you done any of these things I just warned about? Or are you always an awesome customer and appalled that others are not?