13 Things Your Waiter Won't Tell You
July 31, 2008
1. Avoid eating out on holidays and Saturday nights. The volume of customers guarantees that most kitchens will be pushed beyond their ability to produce a high-quality meal.
2. There are almost never any sick days in the restaurant business. A busboy with a child to support isn‘t going to stay home and miss out on $100 because he‘s got strep throat.
3. When customers make personal attacks, adulterating food or drink is a convenient way for servers to exact covert vengeance. Waiters can and do spit in people‘s food.
4. Never say "I‘m friends with the owner." Restaurant owners don‘t have friends. This marks you as a clueless poseur the moment you walk in the door.
5. Treat others as you want to be treated.
6. Don‘t snap your fingers to get attention.
7. Don‘t order meals that aren‘t on the menu. You‘re forcing the chef to cook something he doesn‘t make on a regular basis, and it won’t be as good.
8. Splitting entrées is okay, but don‘t ask for water, lemon, and sugar so you can make your own lemonade.
9. If you find a waiter you like, always ask to be seated in his or her section. Tell all your friends so they‘ll start asking for that server as well. The server will be grateful and take good care of you.
10. If you can‘t afford to leave a tip, you can‘t afford to eat in the restaurant.
11. Always examine the check. Sometimes large parties are unaware that a gratuity has been added to the bill, so they tip on top of it. Waiters "facilitate" this error.
12. If you want to hang out, that‘s fine. But increase the tip to make up for money the server would have made if he or she had had another seating at that table.
13. Never, ever come in 15 minutes before closing time. While you‘re chitchatting over salads, your entrées will be languishing under the heat lamp while the dishwasher is spraying industrial-strength, carcinogenic cleaning solvents in their immediate vicinity.