10 Reasons A Server Might Spit In Your Food

10 Reasons A Server Might Spit In Your Food

Don't be that customer.
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I’ve been working in restaurants for three years now, and although it seems like a long time to me, I’m considered a baby compared to the veterans of the restaurant business. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.6 million servers working in more than 600,000 restaurants in the U.S in 2016. Employment in the serving industry is expected to increase 7 percent by 2026, so let’s talk about unacceptable restaurant etiquette and 10 reasons a server might spit in your food.

1. You’re a squatter

If you sit in a server’s section for longer than average, you’re being a bad customer. Think about it. In Wisconsin, server wage is $2.33 plus tips. We expect to earn anywhere from $3 to $10 per table, depending on the bill and, at the restaurant where I work, tables tend to flip every 20 to 40 minutes. Don’t waste our time and take our money by occupying a table in our section for two hours. You and Nancy can talk as long as you want at the Starbucks down the street.

2. Your order is absurd

A menu is a menu, not a guideline. I understand if you hate tomatoes or prefer cheddar instead of swiss, but our establishment is not open for you to build your own meal. If you want something that is not on our menu, do us a favor and make it at home.

If you have any dietary restrictions, are vegan or vegetarian, or suffer from allergies, look up the menu before you come. Then, if you still have questions, feel free to ask them at the table. I am a vegan, or at least I try my best, and I look at the menu beforehand every time I go out to eat. No one want to listen to you ask 15 questions about which menu items are gluten free.

3. You’re needy af

There is nothing worse than a needy group in the middle of a rush. The tables at every restaurant are split up into sections, which can include anywhere from 3 to 15 tables. If your server looks busy, they probably are. If you aren’t the only table in the restaurant, don’t expect your server to treat you like you are.

4. Your kids are insane

Do not let your kids run around my restaurant like it’s a McDonald’s PlayPlace. There are chains for that: Chuck-E-Cheese, The Mineshaft, StoneFire Pizza or Dave & Busters. Those sugar caddies on the tables are for coffee, not your child’s game of 52-sugar packet pick up.

5. You’re a bad tipper

Please see #1. If you can’t leave a decent tip, don’t go out to eat. We are on our feet all day, carrying dangerously hot plates full of delicious food we can’t eat even though we skipped lunch, dreaming about the nap we’re going to take as soon as we get home. We work hard for you people. A good tip is 20 percent, but if your server goes above and beyond, tip accordingly.

6. You’re rude

National Waitstaff Day is May 21st, but you should treat your server with respect every single time you go out to eat. Listen to their opening statement, ask them how their day is going, thank them for bringing you your food, and leave a reasonable tip.

7. You blame us for things we can’t control

If you had to wait 45 minutes for the table, don’t complain to us about it. If your food comes out wrong, more often then not, it’s the cooks’ fault. When you forget your doggie bag, it is not our responsibility to keep it safe for you. If the group behind you smells like pot, we can’t change that.

8. You’re a chronic check splitter

Servers try their best to remember every item that every person in every party ordered, but we aren’t perfect. Most of us are more than happy to split a 2-top, but no way in hell will I split a 15-person bill in the middle of a rush. See #6.

9. You come in on holidays

People eat all day every day. Consequently, servers work all day, every day. We work days, nights, weekends, holidays and sometimes even our birthdays. Don’t comment on how horrible it is that we have to work on Christmas Eve, Jessica from table 2, because your pancakes are the reason we’re here. See #6.

10. You dine and dash

Please re-read #1 for the third time. I make $2.33 per hour. I live off of my tips, so next time you think it’s “cool” to dine and dash, remember that your server thinks you’re a huge douche. See #6.

Cover Image Credit: Elizabeth Sloan

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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My Strange Obsession: Bibibop Addition

I am obsessed with Bibibop.

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I am obsessed with Bibibop.

Sounds strange, right? But it's true.

For those of you who have never had the opportunity to experience Bibibop, Bibibop is an Asian Grill set up similar to Chipotle. You're able to go down the line of food, choosing a base (always go with the purple rice), hot toppings (they all slap), protein (the tofu is to die for), some cold toppings (a great way to try kale for the first time), and a sauce (if you don't get the Yum Yum sauce, you're weird.)

And, let me tell you, the final product is always delicious.

I hadn't been introduced to Bibibop until this past year, but once I tried it for the first time, I never looked back. Now I am constantly craving the taste of the Yum Yum sauce. I usually hit up Bibibop once every two weeks, but if I was rich, I would probably eat it every other day.

Though, admittedly, the prices are pretty good. And they celebrate meatless Mondays with 20% off to anyone who doesn't get meat in their bowl.

Plus, it's pretty healthy. Unlike most restaurants, like Chipotle, where your somewhat healthy meal can instantly become bad for you with the addition of something on the menu, Bibibop's entire menu provides nutritional value and offers gluten-free and vegan options.

Basically, Bibibop is the most underrated and most delicious restaurant in the world, which is why my obsession with it runs so deep. Although I would usually admit that obsessions are unhealthy, I think this one might be okay.

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