With all the people they see on any given day, there’s bound to be some guests who are more annoying than others. There are some behaviors that annoy servers more than others, and most of them have absolutely nothing to do with tipping.
Ordering Hot Tea
Time is always a factor for servers. They need to get orders into the kitchen and food out to the patrons as fast as possible, so it always sucks to become tied up in getting someone tea when just getting them a soda is so much faster. They have to boil the water, prepare the tea bag, and bring out the teapot out to you and in the time that it took to assemble all of that, they could have done so many other things, like getting orders from other tables or clearing away dishes. Still, you should feel free to get the tea, by all means, but just make sure you take a moment to appreciate the work it took to get that tea out there to you.
Chilling At The Table Long After You’ve Finished Your Meal
Tables are prime real estate in restaurants. It’s awesome that you’re having such a good time that you want to hang around a while, but you’ve already paid the bill and the server’s walked off with the tip, take the party somewhere else. That table could be better used to seat another paying customer. Remember, servers don’t really get paid that much, so the more tips they make a night, the better. With you sitting at that table, no longer ordering food and not about to place a second tip on the table, the server’s just sitting around, losing out on money they could be earning.
Stopping Your Server As They’re Carrying A Stack Of Dishes
Balancing a bunch of plates isn’t exactly easy. Your server just wants to get those plates where they need to go as quickly as possible so their arms can finally take a break. The longer you stand there talking to them, the longer they have to hold that dedicatedly balanced stack of dishes that could easily crash at any moment. Have a heart and let them finish up before you tell them whatever it is you needed to say. You definitely don’t want to make your server accidentally drop all those plates, which just could just make a mess that they’ll have to clean up, or the fall could really hurt them.
Splitting The Bill In A Confusing, Complicated Way
Sure, point of sales systems have come a long way in recent years, but that doesn’t really matter if the customer makes paying more difficult than it needs to be. If you want to split the check, just let the server know before you even order to make sure they get everything properly set up. That way, the server at least has a chance of getting it right the first time and getting you taken care of in a timely fashion. Asking for this method of payment when the check has already placed on the table is probably the worst thing you could do to a server, especially if there were appetizers, bottles of wine, or anything beyond one meal and one drink per person really. Plus, sending your fellow dining guests your split of a check is easier than ever nowadays.
Not Asking For Little Things All At The Same Time
Your mom wants a refill on her soda, you need extra napkins, and your great aunt Susie wants another lemon for her water. Do yourselves, and your server, a favor by asking for all three at the same time. Nothing’s more time consuming for a server than having to make three separate trips to the condiment station for the same table. There’s a reason why servers ask, “Can I get anything for anyone else,” after they get requests. It’s to avoid situations just like this and save everyone involved a bit of time. Don’t be afraid to ask for things you need, but at least try to make an effort to consolidate your requests as much as possible.
Tearing Up Sugar Packets, Napkins, Etc.
No one really knows why, but there are just some people out there who can’t keep still and insist on taking out their excess energy on sugar packets and napkins by tearing them up into little pieces. While this is no doubt very satisfying for the person doing it, there’s someone who has to come behind you and clean it all up. Making a mess in public that someone else has to clean up is a big no-no. Even if it’s their job to clean up after diners, it’s rude to make your server’s job harder than it needs to be. If you have twitchy fingers that need constant entertainment, take it out on a fidget spinner, not your hapless server’s condiment section that they’ll need to clean and restock after your reign of destruction.
Waltzing Through The Door One Minute Before Close
Even before the restaurant actually closes, the staff is working on closing duties and doing what they can to get any lingering diners out so they can get to the real business of closing down. When you walk in just minutes before close, you disrupt that delicate system and throw them off their game. Your presence also means that they have to stay that much later in order to serve you. It’s not just your server that gets annoyed by this sort of behavior, though. The chefs, bussers, and managers will also need to stay behind to make sure things run smoothly, so by coming in that late you’ve messed up everyone’s night.
Switching Tables Whenever The Mood Hits
Your server didn’t seat you at that specific table on a whim. There’s a system in play that keeps things running smoothly so that servers can focus on getting orders to the kitchen and food out to the customer. And that usually involves making sure no one waiter’s section becomes overwhelmed with customers while another’s is completely bare. But with all that willy-nilly table switching, things are bound to get confusing, not to mention all the time it wastes. Now your server has to hunt you down, all because you decided you wanted to table close to the window after all. If you want a different table, just let the server know. At some restaurants, a manager is needed in order to move your tab from your old table to your new one, so a little forewarning is always welcome.
Snapping Your Fingers At Them
Here’s a public service announcement that everyone can learn from: your server is not a dog. Snapping your fingers at them will definitely get their attention, but definitely not in a good way. Your server has a name that they will gladly answer to. If you can’t remember their name, or maybe they forgot to introduce themselves, just wait a bit. Eventually, they’ll wander close enough for you to snag their attention with a quick, “Excuse me.” There’s no need to treat them like they’re sub-human just so you can get your extra side of ranch. Clapping your hands, yelling out “Hey, waiter/waitress” across the restaurant, or anything else that’s loud and embarrassing is also off limits if you want to be courteous to your server.
Freaking Out When Your Card Gets Declined
Sometimes cards get declined. It happens to just about everyone at some point or another. Whether it happens because of a glitch in the card system, a banking error, or because you just don’t have enough funds to cover the cost, just keep your cool. Flipping out over something like that in no way makes the situation better or makes the ultimate outcome come any faster. Whoever’s fault it is that your card got declined is definitely not your server’s, so give them a break and just give your bank a call. That’s bound to do more for you than just berating your server for something they had no control over in the first place.
Ignoring The Staffs’ Greeting
There’s nothing worse than having someone just blow past you when you’re trying greet them. It’s super awkward for the person left hanging. It’s part of their job to greet you and make a little bit of small talk, so it’s best to just take those few seconds to look them in the eye and give a quick response. Honestly, it won’t take more than a minute and it’s a great way to start your meal off on the right foot. Not that your server would ever be disgusting enough to do anything nasty to your food, but you never really know.
Waiting To Complain About Your Dish Until After You’ve Finished
If you don’t like the way something tastes let your server know right away. They’ll be more than happy to replace the offending meal with something you’ll like better. If you wait until you’ve already eaten the whole thing, they’ll figure (and often rightly so) that you’re just trying to scam yourself a free or discounted meal. Maybe that’s not what you were trying to do and you honestly didn’t like the way the dish tasted. Well…too bad. If it didn’t taste right on the first bite, it was highly unlikely that it would start tasting better as you go on. This is why it’s always better to speak up right away, everyone on the staff will be much more sympathetic towards you, just as long as it doesn’t seem like you’re trying to scam the restaurant out of food.
Interrupting Your Server While They’re With Another Table
Your table is not the only one your server has, so there will, of course, be times when they’re with another table. Interrupting a server when they’re taking care of someone else isn’t just rude to your server, it’s rude to the other table too. Just imagine if someone came over and interrupted you in the middle of giving your order. Doesn’t sound great, does it? That other table has just as much right as anyone else to get great service out of their server and they don’t deserve any interruptions. Just stay courteous and wait your turn, the server will be with you as soon as they can.
Demanding That Your Server Tastes Your Food
They get it. The food doesn’t taste right. Either it’s burned, undercooked, too salty, or not enough salt, but whatever the case may be, your server is more than willing to fix things for you without the unnecessary step of tasting your meal themselves. Your server would rather just replace your meal, no questions asked, than have you try to force feed them something off your plate. That’s just plain unsanitary. The people who try and force their server to eat off their utensils are the worst of all. If you insist on shoving your fork into your server’s face, then it’s not about getting your food just right, it’s just some sort of weird power trip you want to force on them.
Ordering From Anyone Other Than Your Specific Server
Just grabbing any old person you see walking around is not the way to get what you want. The 15-year-old busboy is not going to have a clue how to enter in your order, they have no idea what is or is not on the menu, and they’re not old enough to go get you that drink anyway. Don’t get any ideas about asking for stuff from other servers, either, as they have their own tables to worry about. Why not just wait for your actual server to show up? A little patience will go a long way towards getting what you’re after.
Not Tipping When The Bill Gets Too High
When you go out to eat, you should figure the tip into the total bill. Even if the bill comes out higher than you expected, you shouldn’t take it out on the server. For example, what happens if your bill comes out to $100 and you only tip your server $2? Well, most restaurants have a policy where servers have to share their tips with the hosts and bussers. It’s usually a set percentage, let’s say five percent. So for the pleasure of serving your table, the server ends up having to pay out $3 to the rest of their coworkers. When you don’t tip well, especially on larger bills, servers actually lose money on you. Try to keep tabs on your costs as you order so you don’t end up stiffing your server when they actually gave you great service the whole time.
Over-The-Top Flirting With Your Server
A little bit of flirtation goes a long way with your server. They’re paid to be friendly, courteous, and to put up with a lot of crap from customers, so they’re used to people hitting on them a bit. What they shouldn’t have to deal with is getting hit on in a way that makes them feel super uncomfortable. Aggressively hitting on your server is a no-no because they can’t really turn you down the way they might have if it weren’t for the fact that their tip depends on how friendly and accommodating they are. Don’t force your server into an awkward interaction they have no easy way of getting out of. It’s time to learn that there is a distinct difference between a server who is being polite and friendly for the sake of a paycheck and a server who is genuinely interested in you romantically. You’ll find the latter very, very rarely, so tread carefully.
Talking On The Phone Instead Of To Your Server
Most servers are trained to spend a minute or two engaging guests in a bit of light conversation before they dive into the nitty gritty business of taking orders. It’s an easy way for servers to set up a rapport with their customers in order to maximize their potential tips. Plus, most customers just seem to enjoy chatting with their server and that little bit of small talk actually enhances their dining experience. You miss out on all of that when you spend the whole time on the phone, talking to someone who’s not even in the same room. Sometimes you can’t help but be on the phone, especially if it’s an important call, but it’s better to finish up that call before you order just to avoid being rude.
Asking For Something The Restaurant Clearly Doesn’t Serve
Who doesn’t love sushi? It’s delicious, it’s healthy, it’s pretty much the hippest dish you could ever order and lots of restaurants serve it. And a lot of restaurants DON’T serve it, so it doesn’t really make sense for someone to try and order something a restaurant clearly doesn’t serve. Don’t go to an Italian restaurant and request sushi. Likewise, don’t go to a sushi restaurant and cause a scene because they won’t serve you spaghetti. Also, menu items change all the time. Sometimes restaurants are just trying things out and will only offer it for a limited amount of time, so it’s possible that since the last time you went to your favorite restaurant, some things have changed and are no longer available. Causing a stink about it won’t magically stock the kitchen with the items they’d need to make whatever dish it is that you’re looking for, so why even bother in the first place, then?