Nobody wants to admit to being annoying. The most annoying people probably don’t even realize that they are, and that makes them even more annoying. And when we’re in a restaurant, the one person we annoy the most (unless it’s our date) is our server.
We’ll start by saying that the minimum allowed hourly wage for tipped employees is $2.13. Do the math, and that comes out to $102 per week, assuming eight hours worked per day for six days a week — before taxes. This doesn’t just mean that you should always leave a good tip (which you absolutely should), it also means that you should go out of your way to be as not-annoying to these underpaid folks as possible.
How, exactly, are you annoying your server? It’s good to remind yourself of the Golden Rule: Treat other people as you’d wish to be treated yourself. If you were taking someone’s order, would you like it if the customer said, “Yeah, gimme a chicken sandwich,” and then shouted your name and demanded ketchup while you were busy taking someone else’s order? Yeah, you’d probably be a little annoyed with that guy, too.
So read on to learn about 11 ways that you’re quite possibly annoying your server. It’s not easy to ask people what they want to eat for a living, and if you go out of your way to be a polite and friendly customer, you’ll most likely have a better time, and you’ll make your server’s day a little easier as well.
1. Switching tables
Even though it may not be apparent, there’s a method to where you were seated when you were seated. If you have major concerns with your table, you should voice them to the host or hostess and politely ask to be seated elsewhere, instead of just moving. If you just get up and sit down at another table, you could throw the whole dining room out of whack.
2. Not letting them speak
When a server first approaches your table, let them speak; they have important things to say. Let them at least introduce themselves before you interrupt them, demanding bread.
3. Touching them
Never touch your server, even if it’s just a tap on the shoulder. Their personal space isn’t yours to invade. (Of course, by the same token, a server should never touch you.)
4. Telling them you're "allergic"
So you’re allergic to onions? Really? If you want something left out of your dish, just ask politely for it to be left out; or better yet, order something that you’re willing to eat without demanding that the kitchen make endless substitutions.
5. Hailing them when they're with another table
They’re your servers, not your servants. They have multiple tables to handle, and you honestly can wait 30 seconds for your free refill? They’ll look in your direction soon; just catch their eye and they’ll come over.
6. Not listening to them
It’s one thing to ask your server to repeat the components of an intriguing special, but it’s another thing to ignore him or her entirely during a presentation of the specials, then ask to hear the same thing all over again — or to send your salmon back for being undercooked when you were clearly told that it’s served medium-rare.
Avoid doing these things in restaurants that may be annoying your server.
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