11 Things You're Saying That Are Really Annoying Your Server

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. 

“I’m Severely Allergic to…” (If You’re Not)

If you have a severe allergy to a specific food, by all means let your server know. Many restaurants will go above and beyond in order to make sure the offending ingredient doesn't go anywhere near your food, including switching out knives and cutting boards. If you don't actually have that allergy and just don't like that particular food, you just created a lot of extra work for the kitchen. Just say you don't like it.

“Can We Add More People to This Table?”

If you have a reservation for a party of three and one more person decides they want to come along at the last minute, call ahead and let the restaurant know; they should be able to accommodate. But if your party of three becomes a party of six and you don't let anyone know until you're about to sit down, don't expect the restaurant to reshuffle the entire dining room for you. 

“What’s Good Here?”

Servers hate being asked this question for a couple reasons. One, taste is subjective, and ideally every dish on the menu is good in some respect. Two, if a particular menu item isn't good, there's no way the server is going to tell. And three, if they suggest a dish that the diner ends up not liking, then they're opening themselves up to even more grief.


This isn't a Disney movie. A simple "Excuse me?" will do. 

“We’re Moving to This Table.”

If a hostess seats your party at a specific table, you're there for a reason. Different servers have different sections, and they get a table when it's their turn. If you're unhappy with your table you have every right to request a different one before you sit down, but asking to move once the meal is in progress creates a headache for everyone involved.

“I Know It’s Not on the Menu, But…”

If a restaurant has a legendary off-menu burger, go ahead and inquire about it. But your personal chef isn't hanging out in the kitchen, at your beck and call, ready to whip up something special for you. If that risotto special you had last time isn't on the menu, don't expect them to make it from scratch for you. 

“Can We Split This Bill Five Ways?”

A server's job is difficult enough; don't ask them to do complex math. If everyone at the table is paying separately, make sure everyone brings enough cash to cover their end. 

“I Don’t Like This, Can I Order Something Else?”

If you're confused by a component of a dish you're about to order, ask your server about it, because if you didn't know that morcilla is blood sausage before you ordered it, then you're out of luck. If a dish legitimately tastes bad and it's no fault of your own (over-salted, spoiled meat, etc.), then explain exactly what the problem is (ideally before you take your second bite), and request something else

“You Got This Order Wrong.”

If you requested your sandwich with no tomatoes and it shows up with tomatoes on it, then it's the kitchen that got the order wrong, not the server. If the kitchen makes a mistake, don't take out your frustrations on the server; they're probably just as peeved at the kitchen as you are, and have to apologize on the kitchen's behalf.  

“When Is Our Food Coming Out?”

Your food will come out when your food is ready. If the kitchen is backed up, it's (once again) the kitchen's fault, not the server. If you've been waiting an inordinate amount of time, you're free to ask the server to check on the status of your meal, but they're not wizards who can predict exactly how long it'll be before you're served. 

“We’re in a Hurry.”

The fact that you have poor time management skills doesn't give you permission to force the kitchen to alter their process in order to hurry your meal along. Dishes are prepared in the order in which the tickets come in, so if you don't want to be late for your show, give yourself more than half an hour for dinner