Going out to eat can be a fun and enjoyable experience. You get to spend time with your family and friends, all while eating food you didn’t have to prepare and cook yourself.
While you are out, however, you shouldn’t forget you're being provided a service by someone else. The serving staff at the restaurant is there to make sure you have the best time possible.
Here are a few pet peeves every member of the serving staff has, which can inhibit your enjoyable time and their work experience:
1. Your server is not a second-class citizen.
You may be paying for a service, but there is no reason to be rude if your server isn't rude to you. In fact, if you aren’t in the mood to be pleasant to someone asking what you’d like to drink, stay at home.
In most cases, your server is not a career server. He or she is working toward something, and serving is not his or her calling. Even if it is, there is no reason for you to treat your server like the cow manure beneath your feet.
“Please” and “thank you” can go a long way.
2. If you’re unhappy with something, let your server know.
Servers can’t read your mind. In fact, there are very few people on this earth that can read your mind, or guess what you’re thinking.
With that being said, if you need something else, or if your food isn’t cooked the way you like it, say something. There’s no reason to be rude to servers about it, however. They didn’t cook the food.
In most cases, the server will quickly get you what you need, or have the kitchen recook something for you.
Just speak up and ask the question.
3. Tip your server at least 20 percent.
This is the strongest point I can ever make on this subject because this constantly infuriates me as well as other servers.
Servers make less than the minimum wage. Their only compensation for their hard work is your tips. If you don’t have enough money or don’t want to tip 20 percent, then don’t eat out. It’s that simple.
If you plan on taking a server’s table up for longer than an hour or so, you should tip them more than 20 percent. If you have a large group and all demand separate checks, you should tip more than 20 percent.
If your server was particularly attentive and sweet to you and your children, you should tip more than 20 percent.
However, if you felt your server was rude or undeserving of a 20 percent tip, let a manager know.
Also, you should never punish a server for food being ill-prepared or taking too long. It’s usually not the server's fault.
4. Tip despite special circumstances.
If you ordered carry-out, it’s well-appreciated to give a few extra dollars. In most restaurants, there isn’t someone manning the phones.
That means a server, who may already be incredibly busy, has to stop what he or she is doing and take your order. Servers have to ring it in, pack it up and cash you out. They are doing all this extra work for you.
By no means are you expected to tip the full 20 percent that is customary for dining guests. However, it is an appreciated gesture for their service to you.
5. Please don’t come in five minutes before the restaurant closes.
This is especially true if you plan on ordering a full-course meal.
Chances are your server has been spending the past 30 minutes stocking and cleaning. In fact, so has the kitchen and dishwashing staff.
You coming in five minutes before closing and ordering milkshakes, steak, fries and chicken fingers means the entire closing staff has to stay in the restaurant that much longer. And they will probably be there for an extra 30 minutes after you leave.
Just have some common decency and eat at home.
6. Order only when you’re ready.
You know how it goes. Your server says, “Do you need another minute or are you ready to order?” You say, “Yes, we are ready.”
After you assert your readiness, you should order immediately. Servers have a running list in their heads of things they need to do. If you aren’t completely sure of what you want, let them know so they can give you a minute.
Instead of standing there and waiting, they can go do something else while you decide.
If you are cognizant and mindful of the serving staff at the restaurant you are dining at, every human being will walk out of that restaurant happy and satisfied.