We all like to think our servers are good people whom we can trust with our food, but apparently, that is not always the case.
“We put sugar in our kids’ meals so kids will like them more. Seriously. We even put extra sugar in the dough for the kids’ pizzas” (source).
“You’ll never know the difference”
“If you’re a vegetarian and you ask if we use vegetable stock, I’m going to say yes, even if we don’t. You’ll never know the difference” (source).
Never Ask For Lemon
“Now that I’ve worked in a restaurant, I never ask for lemon in a drink. Everybody touches them. Nobody washes them. We just peel the stickers off, cut them up, and throw them in your iced tea” (source).
Messing With Credit Cards
“I’ve never seen anybody do anything to your food, but I have seen servers mess with your credit card. If a server doesn’t like you, he might try to embarrass you in front of your business associate or date by bringing your credit card back and saying, ‘Do you have another card? This one didn’t go through'” (source).
“Some places buy salad dressings in one-gallon jars, then add a few ingredients, like a blue cheese crumble or fresh herbs, and call it homemade on the menu” (source).
“In many restaurants, the tips are pooled, so if you have a bad experience with the server, you’re stiffing the bartender who made your drinks, the water boy who poured your water, sometimes the hostess, the food runners, and maybe the other waiters” (source).
It’s The Kitchen
“People think that just because your food took a long time, it’s the server’s fault. Nine times out of ten, it’s the kitchen. Or it’s the fact that you ordered a well-done burger” (source).
Recognized As A Regular
“It’s much easier to be recognized as a regular on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays. Once you’re recognized as a regular, good things start to happen. You’ll find your wineglass gets filled without being put on your bill, or the chef might bring you a sample” (source).
Order For Your Child
“If the restaurant is busy and your child is shy, please order for him. Kids can sit there forever trying to decide, or they whisper and you can’t hear them. Meanwhile, the people at the next table are yelling at you to come over” (source).
Dates = Tips
“First dates, especially blind Internet dates, are great for tips. You know he’ll probably order a bottle of wine and leave a 20 to 25 percent tip because he’s showing off” (source).
“It’s one of our most popular dishes”
“We’re not allowed to tell our customers we don’t like a dish. So if you ask your server how something is and she says, ‘It’s one of our most popular dishes,’ chances are she doesn’t like it” (source).
“If you’re looking for your waiter and another waiter tells you he’s getting something out of the stockroom, you can bet he’s out back having a quick smoke” (source).
Spoon Under Hot Water
“If you make a big fuss about sending your soup back because it’s not hot enough, we like to take your spoon and run it under really hot water, so when you put the hot spoon in your mouth, you’re going to get the impression—often the very painful impression—that your soup is indeed hot” (source).
“If your dessert says ‘homemade’ it probably is. But it might be homemade at a bakery three miles away” (source).
“I’ll be right back…”
“Oh, you needed more water so badly, you had to snap or tap or whistle? I’ll be right back … in ten minutes” (source).
Water For Everyone
“My biggest pet peeve? When I walk up to a table of six or seven people and one person decides everyone needs water. I’m making a trip to deliver seven waters, and four or five of them never get touched” (source).
“Assume we’re listening”
“If you’re having a disagreement over dinner and all of a sudden other servers come by to refill your water or clear your plates, or you notice a server slowly refilling the salt and pepper shakers at the table next to yours, assume that we’re listening” (source).
A Prosthetic Arm
“The strangest thing I’ve seen lately? A man with a prosthetic arm asked me to coat check it because the table was a little bit crowded. He just removed his arm and handed it to me: ‘Can you take this?'” (source).
Use Their Name
“Use your waiter’s name. When I say, ‘Hi, my name is JR, and I’ll be taking care of you,’ it’s great when you say, ‘Hi, JR. How are you doing tonight?’ Then, the next time you go in, ask for that waiter. He may not remember you, but if you requested him, he’s going to give you really special service” (source).
Always Remember Your Tip
“If you walk out with the slip you wrote the tip on and leave behind the blank one, the server gets nothing. It happens all the time, especially with people who’ve had a few bottles of wine” (source).
Be Wary Of Salads
“At one restaurant where I worked, the salads were made up to three days earlier. They were sitting on a tray with a thousand other salads in the refrigerator. The waiters went back, grabbed a plate and some dressing, and handed it to the customer” (source).
Truth Behind Smoothies
“Ask what’s in your smoothie. A lot of restaurants use half-and-half. So you think you’re ordering a healthy strawberry-banana smoothie, but it’s really full of fat” (source).
Speak To The Owner
“If you’re having a problem, speak to the owner if you can. Managers may have very little power. They’re less likely to compensate a meal, and most aren’t authorized to give away free alcohol. They’ll also take it out on the server if you have problems” (source).
Interacting With The Human Race
“When I’m hiring, I always look for someone who’s spent some time as a waiter. What I learned waiting tables was far more valuable than anything I learned in college as far as how to interact with the human race” (source).