On the surface, eating at a restaurant should be a fairly simple activity. You sit down, you look at the menu, you order, you eat, you pay, you leave. But it’s actually a social interaction as much as a monetary one, and there are some things you really shouldn’t ever say to your server, for a variety of reasons.
If you’ve ever spent any time as a waiter or waitress, we’re sure that you have numerous horror stories about rude, inconsiderate, or otherwise clueless customers who mistake the word “server” for “servant.” Customers order by way of pointing to menu items while talking on their phone, snap their fingers to get a server’s attention, let their kids run wild and then blame the poor busboy when they collide, and leave abysmal tips. Yes, the servers are ostensibly being paid to provide you with a service, but that doesn’t give you permission to walk all over them and treat them like dirt.
If you’re dining at a restaurant and care about not being a jerk, the number one thing you can do is treat your server with respect. They’re on their feet all day, dealing with hungry and impatient people, usually for very low pay. Cut them some slack and just be nice to them (and tip 20 percent!), and it’ll go a long way.
It’s not easing waiting tables. It is easy to be a good customer, though. Just keep a few no-brainers in mind: Treat your server like a human being, don’t be rude, leave a decent tip, don’t loiter at your table for two hours after your bill has been paid, and don’t even think about saying any of the following things to them.