Working for tips has its perks. Although the cash servers earn is decent, waiting tables comes with everyday annoyances that quickly grate on these workers’ patience.
Here are eight faux pas you unknowingly commit that make your server want to punch you, right in the face.
You just want water “for now”
If you don’t plan to partake in alcoholic beverages during your dining experience, by all means order a water or soda. But don’t tell your server your sticking with water “for now.” By doing so, you’re indicating you’d like another drink later, and your server will be compelled to offer you a drink, repeatedly. So order water and let’s be done with it.
You seat yourself
If the establishment has a host stand, and there appears to be someone staffing it, then you should not seat yourself. You could be stealing the table from someone who followed the rules, by checking in with the host, and who is currently waiting for that very spot. Or you could have landed in an unstaffed section of the restaurant where you’ll wait for a server that won’t ever come. Worst of all, you could have inadvertently chosen a section staffed by an already swamped server who doesn’t take kindly to presumptuous guests who are too fancy for the host. Check in at the host stand upon arrival for the best service.
You stiffed her last time
“Forgot” to leave a tip on your last visit? Your server certainly hasn’t forgotten your mistake. And she’ll be less than motivated to hurry back with your beer knowing she’s likely losing money on this deal.
You slip in just before closing
Say it’s 9:55 p.m. on a Tuesday, and you stop into an eatery for a late-night bite. You stroll into the deserted restaurant, ask the nearest server whether the kitchen is still open, and she answers, “for five more minutes.” That’s your cue to turn around and hit the nearest drivethru. Little do you know, by the time you arrived, the underpaid cook in back had already switched off the grill, disassembled the salad bar, and begun washing his utensils. And when that server rushes back to alert him of your arrival, you can bet she’s going to get an earful for the bother.
You want to split the check fourteen ways
Given the advancements in restaurant computers, it’s usually easy to slice and dice a tab any which way. But in most cases, your server needs to know at the outset that you’ll want a divided check. That way she can record each guest’s purchases according to seat as they order. If you wait until your party has hundreds in purchases tallied up, she could get stuck dividing everything after the fact.
You order hot tea
Unless you’re at a coffee or tea house, don’t order hot tea. Ever. Tea has about twenty eight components (tea bag, mug, saucer, spoon, lemon, honey, pot of hot water, etc.), all of which are inexplicably depleted or scattered throughout the restaurant. And in gathering them, your server will likely burn herself on your hot water. Iced tea, no problem. Hot tea? I hate you.
You unroll silverware that you have no intention of using
If you ordered finger food and need a napkin, grab one from the supply at the end of your table and leave your silverware alone. For every set you unroll, you create one more set of silverware your server will have to roll back up later.
You rearrange the furniture
If your expanding party outgrows your table, don’t borrow chairs and tables from nearby. Not without permission, anyway. For all you know, those tables are reserved or waiting to be sat, and by stealing them, you’re also stealing the cash that server would have made off them. So if you need more room, let your server know, and she’ll configure seating accordingly.
What do you think, service industry workers? Are there any other annoyances I forgot? Tell me in the comments or tweet me!