10 Things to Know When Going Out to Eat
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10 Things to Know When Going Out to Eat

Tips and tricks to helping your server not hate your guts.

10 Things to Know When Going Out to Eat

Working in restaurants provides an interesting opportunity to look into how people treat others; more importantly, the people that are serving them. The service industry is a broad-scale term to say the least, ranging from janitorial staff to hedge fund managers, but all of those professions in between are bound by the same term – service. Whether someone is cleaning your toilets, parking your car or bringing you your food, these people are performing a service for you, and they deserve respect. With that being said, the restaurant industry is a special beast, and if you’ve never worked in one, here’s a list of things to know:

1. Never rush your server/bartender.

We are here to make your experience quick, easy and memorable; absolutely. We also have other people that want that exact same experience, and sometimes more. Rushing us will only make your experience take longer than it needs to.

2. Please order from the menu.

“No, I’m sorry, we don’t have spaghetti.” Something I’ve actually had to say at someone that I’ve waited on…at a steakhouse. Having to make something off-menu that “the other server/bartender did last time” is one of the most aggravating and time-consuming aspects of our jobs, and it should be avoided at all costs. We can’t prepare you everything and anything.

3. You are not a special snowflake.

Not in the restaurant industry anyway. Unless you own the restaurant or are a celebrity of some kind, don’t expect extra-special treatment. There’re very few things more annoying than someone acting like a big-shot to get a better deal.

4. Tip or go home.

Really, this should’ve been every point on this list. Some people still don’t know, but servers and bartenders don’t usually make a wage. That means that we live on our tips. For rent, for bills, for everything. So your compliment (while appreciated) doesn’t pay for our electric bill – just the same as your 5% tip. It’s as simple as that. If you can’t afford to tip correctly, then don’t go out to eat.

5. Don't be rude.

Our jobs are merely that. Jobs. We don’t want a parade in our honor for bringing you the right drink. But we also don’t enjoy people who make our job harder by being rude, obnoxious or mean to us. I don’t feel like I should have to say this to anybody, but it happens enough to make it a point.

6. We don't get to do holidays/weekends.

We don’t usually get any holidays off, and weekends are our bread & butter, so we don’t get the luxury to spend those times with our friends or family. We understand this when we take restaurant jobs, but it doesn’t make sacrificing that time any easier (especially when people make those days even harder).

7. Please don't camp.

Camping in a restaurant is when you sit at your table for hours after your meal is over and your check has been paid. When people do this, we lose money on that unusable table, so if you’re going to sit, please tip accordingly for the time that we’ve lost to make your stay more enjoyable, it’s just manners.

8. Don't stay past close.

Your server or bartender cannot leave until you leave. We’ve been at work for hours, sometimes all day, and we would very much like to go home and sleep. Please understand that before you decide to stay for another hour after we close.

9. Do your best to make sure your children behave accordingly.

We completely understand that you want to/need to bring your children out to dinner with you, and that’s great! That is until I can’t hear your order over the wailing that you refuse to do anything about. It’s also really cute when they fling their French fries and ketchup all over the place, but not when we have to clean it up. I don’t think it’s asking a lot to try and limit the destruction.

10. Everybody makes mistakes.

Whether it’s your drink being…uh “weak” or your food being overdone, understand that servers have very little control over how your food and drinks turn out. We take the order, and yes, sometimes we mishear you or ring something in wrong – those are on us, but other times it’s not our fault. Even if it is our fault, a good server or bartender will do what is necessary to make it right. Please don’t drag the mistake out or make a mountain out of a molehill. It’s never as big of a problem as it seems.

With those points being made, all that restaurant employees want are for you to enjoy your time out. We’re happy when you’re happy, and that’s what hospitality is all about. So with this knowledge, go forth and conquer your evening.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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