9 Ways Of How NOT To Treat Your Server
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9 Ways You Can Treat Your Server If You Want To Be The Worst Person Ever

Your server is doing a lot more than you think to maintain your satisfaction.

9 Ways You Can Treat Your Server If You Want To Be The Worst Person Ever
Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

Waiting tables is a job that many people don't realize just how difficult it can be sometimes.

It requires a special combination of skills, including memory, balance, endurance, customer service skills, money management, and multi-tasking. Your server is not only taking care of you but every single person at your table and every single person at every table within their section, while also helping out coworkers and other tables who may stop them.

With that being said, if your server is respecting you, you should always respect your server.

As someone who works in the summertime between college semesters as a waitress, I have witnessed every type of customer from those who are laid back and understanding, to those who will do anything for free food and even to the select few who think it's fun to dine and dash. I've been around and I've seen it all and it led me here to tell you 9 ways of how not to treat your server.

1. Being unfriendly

If you're immediately disrespecting your server, this is a problem.

Yes, it's their job to accommodate you, but they are real people, too. You never know what kind of things they are facing in their personal life and whether or not coming to work and being friendly with their tables is an outlet for them.

Others may not like to wait tables, but do it because it's a decent second job to keep the food on the table for their kids or it's a way for them to make money to pay for their college tuition.

You don't know your server's story, just as they don't know yours. If your server greets you with a smile and is being polite, for God's sake, treat them with the same respect. Don't respond to "How are you all doing this evening?" with "water with lemon, light ice."

2. Having a lack of understanding

Please understand that your server is doing so many things at once. Like I said previously, they are real people, too, which means sometimes people make mistakes.

Sometimes those mistakes may be the fault of your server and sometimes it may not. Your server isn't the one cooking your food and they can't make it come out any faster, so understand that it's not your server's fault that you don't have your food yet. Far too often are servers blamed for things completely out of their control.

If it's a busy Saturday night and the restaurant runs out of something, understand that your server isn't lying to you and would much rather you be getting what you originally want than settling for a second choice. Your server should know what is going on and notice if your ticket is taking a long time.

If you haven't seen your server in a while and you've been waiting on food, understand that they are probably in the kitchen making sure that your order is going to be on it's way out.

No server wants you unsatisfied. Remember that.

3. Waving your glass or sucking on your straw when there's nothing left in the cup

Okay, for some reason this is my biggest pet peeve as a server.

I know not all servers are the best at maintaining refills because it can cause us to fall behind. However, I think I speak for most servers when I say if we see that your drink is getting low, we will refill it as soon as we can. We have eyes and can see that your glass is empty so we don't need you waving it around in the air trying to get our attention from the other side of the room with the clacking sound of ice bouncing around in the empty glass.

All you have to do is ask and your server should always bring you another drink. There's no need to make us feel crappy about overseeing an empty glass or notifying the rest of the restaurant that you finished your drink.

4. Unwillingness to accept a glass of water

This is kind of a random one, but you don't have to be rude if your server brings you a glass of water either when they greet you or bring you alcohol.

For me personally, I work at an outdoor restaurant and so when I greet most of my tables, I bring them water as I introduce myself so that they can stay hydrated because it's usually warm out. It always upsets me when people seem offended that I brought them a water as if I was trying to say they must only drink water.

If you don't want it, simply just don't drink it or thank your server and kindly turn down the gesture.

Complimentary water just means we're looking out for you and trying to make sure you're hydrated and have something to sip on in the process of drink refills.

5. Not listening or communicating

I can not stress this one enough.

When your server is talking, listen to them! Nothing is more irritating than telling your table something and then they get mad at you because they chose not to listen. When the food is getting passed out, especially if it's a larger party, pay attention to what the server says.

If you notice you're missing something, listen to see if they say "I'll be right back with the rest" or that "the kitchen said to come right back on fries." Going along with that, if you hear your server say, "I'll be right back with ketchup and napkins," don't look up in a frenzy and say "bring us some napkins!"

6. Running your server around

This is a big one. Nobody who goes out to eat is going to want mediocre service.

Well, I'm going to be honest, no server can give all their tables great service if every table is running them around like crazy. If you notice you need something, figure out what all you need and ask for it all at once. Don't ask for napkins and then when they return, ask for ketchup and then when they return, ask for mayonnaise.

Not only does this exhaust your server, but it makes your food less enjoyable because instead of your server knowing what all you need and bringing it all at once, they are running back and forth while either your food gets cold or you pout because you've started eating before getting something you wanted. Another thing about running your server around means that you're taking away another table's server.

Like I said earlier, multitasking is a huge part of the job. They can't take Betty's order at table 20 or refill little Johnny's Sprite at table 12 if you're making them run back and forth. This brings me back to understanding the lack of understanding if your waitress is busy running around for another table and it takes them a few minutes to bring you your third Diet Coke with lemon.

7. Stiffing your server

This one is always up for a great debate.

Should you or should you not tip your server? Honestly, it's so disrespectful if you had a server who was respectful and tried their best to bring you satisfaction and you stiff them.

It's one thing if your server clearly has no interest in helping you and is rude to you (which in that case, you should speak to a manager and report them), but if they are genuine and legitimately doing their job, you should give them the courtesy of leaving a tip.

That server is making next to nothing hourly and tips are literally their source of income. If you don't have the decency to tip your server, stay home and make your own dinner.

8. Harassing or hitting on your server

This goes for both genders. Your server is there to feed your stomach, not your sexual desires.

Do not sit there and sexually harass your server or make them feel uncomfortable. This typically happens the most when a table has had a bit to drink. Your server is not an object, they are a human being. Don't touch them or make passes at them.

They're not there to find a date, they're there to make money and do their job, which is hard to do if you're too uncomfortable to go back to the table.

9. Blaming your servers for things they can't control

This ties into having a lack of understanding. I don't think people realize how little control a server actually has in the restaurant and its policies.

Your server did not decide the prices for the menu, so don't complain to them like it's their fault. However long your food takes to come out is in the kitchen's control, not your servers, so don't sit there and yell at your server like it's their fault, especially if they're keeping you updated.

If you would rather sit at a booth than a table, kindly ask your server to move. It's not their fault that the host sat you in their section. Do not blame your server for it being too hot or too cold in the restaurant because they aren't the one who decides the temperature.

If you're at an outdoor restaurant, don't complain to your server that it's hot. I promise you that your server is much hotter than you are.

With this article, I am in no way telling you not to let your server know if there's something wrong or for you to not ask for something you need.

Always communicate with your server, just be respectful. If you treat a server poorly from the beginning to end of your experience, I can guarantee that your server is going to stop trying to please you.

Treat your server how you want to be treated. Never forget that servers are people, too, and yes, it's their job to serve you, but it's not their job to get treated like crap. They want you to have a good experience just as much as you want to have one. Your server does not get angry or annoyed if you let them know you don't like them, but they do get frustrated if they're blamed for every little thing that you don't agree with.

Next time you go to a restaurant, think about everything your server is doing and how you would be if you were in their shoes. There's far too much negativity in the rest of the world, so keep behavior in restaurants kind and I can guarantee you that you will be happier with your experience the more respectful you are to your server.

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