It's not easy work. Yes, the principle of bartending, waiting, bussing, or running food to tables sounds easy from an outsider point of view, but actually executing it isn't a walk in the park. So, for all of you restaurant go-ers out there (which is all of you), here is what your staff is thinking from the start to the finish of your meal.
A host greets you. Here's the thing, she is seating based on section. So yes, when you ask if it's an inconvenient to sit at the spacious booth across the restaurant, it definitely is. Here's what you don't realize: you just made a waiter or waitress lose a whole sale/tip and a large party was deemed to sit there, so now their wait is longer.
You sit down at your spacious booth. Your waiter or waitress is now supposed to introduce themselves. This is where he or she will judge the "vibe" of your table. So be pleasant. No one wants to give amazing service to people who don't try to communicate or interact with them. While yes, it's their job to keep your night care-free, they do a lot to make that happen. Respect that it's probably been a long day and a simple "hello" and "how are you" can go a long way.
You now want to order a drink. Keep in mind that if your drink takes longer than five minutes (especially during dinner rush), the bar is probably extremely busy. They're doing their best.
You've been looking at the menu and want to ask a few questions. That's totally okay. However, we don't always know if the meat was raised humanely or if the tomatoes and carrots came from the same farm. Be reasonable here, people.
It's been about five to ten minutes since you've ordered your meal. You're starting to get antsy and the hunger is really kicking in. Keep in mind that your waitress or waiter doesn't run the kitchen. No matter how many times they check on your food, it still may not be ready. Be patient. You and about 20 other tables ordered your dinner at the same time.
Sidebar: your waiter also has about 5-6 other tables. If you need him or her and want their attention, snapping is definitely NOT the way to go about it. Simply wait for them to walk by or ask another employee to send them to your table.
Your food is now on the table and you notice that it's not quite right. It happens and it's an easy fix. However, there's a way of about your complaint that can make or break the rest of your waiter's evening. DO NOT: give them aggressive amounts of attitude. They're human and they make mistakes. DO: be understanding and ask for a new plate politely.
Everything tasted fabulous and it's dessert and coffee time. This means it's about time for the check. If you're in a massive party and want separate checks, be understanding that it's a tedious task. It may take a couple minutes so just cool your jets and enjoy your ice cream and cup of joe.
Tipping time now. And yes, you should absolutely, 100%, and without a doubt ALWAYS tip at least 15%. Even if your service wasn't all that great, be respectful of the fact that waitstaff makes well below minimum wage and earns a living on tips. If you had great service, 20% is the way to go. It is not acceptable to skip out on a tip on any occasion. IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO TIP YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO GO OUT.
It's just a matter of being respectful and receiving respect back. Be kind and grateful for your service and understanding that it's not always the easiest job. People tend to forget that their personalities and attitudes will decide the type of service they're provided. Just be human beings and going out to eat will always be a pleasant experience.