“Sit up straight and use your manners,” said Mother. Johnny was a good boy when we went out to eat. Now, Jonathan is a naughty, messy rude man who forgot how to dine properly.
This is a message from all of his servers.
DO: Acknowledge your server
It is unbearably awkward standing in front of two people carrying on a conversation as if we were invisible. To save us the embarrassment, join us in greeting each other to get the ball rolling.
Go ahead and “Hi” and humor our spiel of the Tuesday specials.
DON’T: Greet with an order
There’s nothing quite like a customer flat out denying our politeness. Last time I checked, “Can I get a Coke and that white sauce?” wasn’t a standard reply to, “Hi guys how are you?”
Good servers introduce themselves and by job description must greet their table. We have feelings too.
DO: Tip on your original bill
Coupons are awesome! Who doesn’t love a good coupon to cut your bill in half or worse, the entire thing? However, this does not mean our service was purely for our health. Tip.
DO: Imagine dinner at your mother’s
Would you spill balsamic dressing or worse two million grains of salt or sugar on your dear Momma’s dining room table without attempting to tidy up?
Perhaps you have a whole in your chin and that’s why half of your food is strewn about under your chair, but otherwise, please remember: our restaurant isn’t a barn.
There is no money in waiting for you to leave after sitting in our section for two hours. We count on turning our tables for the most lucrative shift. Sure if we’re slow, by all means chew that salad in slow motion.
But putting it honestly, our goal is to get you in and out as fast as possible without rushing you. Kindly enjoy your digestion, but do not pitch a tent and start a fire unless you plan on ordering dessert and whiskey.
DON’T: Put your dirty glasses or plates on nearby tables
Manners 101: dirty plates go to the dish pit, not on a clean table where other guests will sit. It’s borderline littering. We will remove your unwanted dishware, relax.
DO: Research the United States’ tipping terms and regulations
Perhaps you’ve just arrived in the U.S. for the first time and have granted us with your presence. Welcome, bonjour. Or, maybe you’re a Brit and reside in town.
Whether foreign or not, this should go without saying– servers in the United States do not make minimum wage.
Hourly pay is $2.13 so we deeply depend on your tipping discretion. Tipping $1.77 on a $50 tab is a sin.
DON’T: Have separate checks for 10+ customers and then pay with cash
Greeaaaaat. It’s a hassle and a half and you’ll be waiting another thirty minutes for us to breathe through the painful math of making change and closing out your checks.
DON’T: Shoot the messenger
“If I order my filet medium, is it actually going to be medium? Because if not, I’m just letting you know, I’m going to send it back,” said the kind gentleman.
“Sorry, we don’t make cappuccinos.” *Customer rolls eyes, fumes, and flips table*
Please don’t catch an attitude about things out of our control. First of all, if you hadn’t noticed, we aren’t the ones who cook your food.
If your food doesn’t come out how you ordered, 9 times out of 10 it wasn’t a server error. Secondly, we cannot create items that don’t exist on our menu.
If we don’t have decaf tea and it’s severely going to affect the rest of your afternoon, take it up with the manager.
DO: Help us out!
You’d think all of humanity would share the same excitement when the entrees arrive: whispering, “food’s here”, sitting up in your seat and shifting your existing plates and silverware so that your server can easily set down your food.
Especially if we take on two scalding plates of food at once, we unfortunately do not have the means or chromosomes to extend a third appendage to make room.
DO: Read the menu and remember what you ordered
Calling out “Chicken Oscar” or “steak fajitas” multiple times without someone to claim them tests our patience.
Also, if you look here at the menu, you should be able to see that yes, bacon comes on our spinach salads and maybe you would’ve liked to have shared with me that you don’t eat bacon before receiving your meal.
“Thank you, sir! It was a pleasure having you, I hope you enjoyed everything and we hope to see you again.“
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