Working in restaurants for over 7 years, I’ve seen every type of customer and I have definitely seen my fair share of jerk customers. I understand every job has its ups and downs and I know that I choose to do this job. That being said, the fact that I am your server does not mean I am your servant. Servers are humans with feelings too. It’s very easy to not be an asshole, just use common sense and simple human decency.
Here are some things to keep in mind while at a restaurant to make sure you are not coming off like a jerk.
1. Don’t ignore me. This is common respect.
This happens at least once a night and is probably my biggest pet peeve. When I walk up to your table and say “Hi, how are you tonight?” It is not retoracle and if you don’t like conversation, that’s fine, at least give me a “Fine.” or “Hi.” Don’t just stare at your menu or your phone while I’m standing there waiting for an answer. I will assume you are not ready for me and I will walk away.
2.When the server comes to greet your table, quickly finish your current conversation or put it on hold.
How would you feel if you went to Starbucks and the employees wouldn’t stop talking when you walked up? When I come to greet your table, I likely have 10 other things I have to do when I walk away. I don’t have time to stand at your table for 5 minutes while you finish telling your best friend about how you can’t stick to your diet. If it really can’t wait, tell me you need a few more minutes but don’t expect me to stand at your table to wait.
3. PLEASE do not cut me off during my greeting speil.
When I walk up and say “Hi my name is” and I’m cut off with “water. lemon.” You are not saving time because I will simply say “ok” and finsih what I was saying. The only thing you accomplish is having me curse you under my breath foe the rest of the service. Don’t be rude.
4. Don’t snap your fingers or whislte.
I am not your pet, I will not come to snapped fingers. It will actually make me ignore you and get to you when I’m ready. I told you my name during my greeting so you can easily use that. Even a small wave when I’m looking in your direction is fine. Snapping and whistling is just plain rude.
5. Let everyone at the table order their own water.
Unless they are your children, there is no need to order water “for the table.” All this does is slow down my ability to get the drinks that people actually want to the table and takes me longer to clear the table when you leave. It drives me crazy when 1 person out of 7 orders “water all around.” I know I’m going to end up clearing 6 FULL glasses of water when you’re gone.
6. Please don’t let you children take 10 minutes decide what they want.
I have a son of my own and I am all for children making their own decisions and telling me their order but please help them pick it out before I come to take the order. It happens too many times when I’ve taken the table’s order and when I get to the child, the parent leans over and asks “Do you want the pasta, steak or chicken?” and the child just keeps coloring. Talk to them about it before I get there ot tell me you need a few minutes.
Doing these simple things will help to ensure that you have a pleasent experience and the server has a better night overall.