If the line is long and you really don’t have the time, don’t stay
So many people make the mistake of thinking they can be in and out of a sit down restaurant in 30 minutes or less. As a person who used to be a server in a steakhouse this rarely ever happens and when it does it’s only because it’s lunch time and usually your lunch is guaranteed in 30 minutes or less. If you have an engagement you have to get to or an appointment that must be kept please don’t do this to yourself or your server. You will be upset about the wait, although it is only normal and then more than likely your server’s tip will suffer.
If the table or seat is dirty don’t sit down
I know many people will sit at a dirty table and wait for it to be wiped off. The only words to describe this is EWW GROSS! If you had seen some of the things that happen at those tables you may not want to sit there at all, clean or not. So many people set their silverware on the table after it has been in their mouth, they set dirty, snotty tissues on the table, small children are allowed to but non watching parents to put their feet and shoes on the table and so much more but I’m sure you get the point. You never know what was happening 20 minutes ago at that same table when someone else was sitting there. Wait an extra minute and let someone wipe it down.
Don’t take forever ordering your drink
If the restaurant is busy then more than likely your server is too. Honestly she doesn’t have time to wait while you contemplate if you want a coke or a Jack Daniels and coke. When you walk through the door have your drink in mind. Causing your server to wait will only upset her rhythm of what she is doing and then it could take longer for her to get back to take your order.
Don’t touch things in the bathroom
Did your mother ever teach you to use the seat covers? If they are not provided please use toilet paper on the seat. This really should be something you do all the time in a public restrooms, but restaurants have so many people in and out all day that the need to do it here is HUGE! Also use your foot to flush the toilet. When leaving the restroom don’t touch the door knob or handle. Either use the paper towel you still have that you dried your hands with or grab some toilet paper. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who don’t wash their hands when leaving the restroom and then go back to the table to eat.
When ordering your meal listen to your server
When your ordering a meal, stop the conversation at the table and those on any cell phones. Listen to your server when she is asking questions. Even if your not the one ordering many times you will get answers to questions you have about your meal. You don’t know how many times a server has to repeat the list of salad dressings or sides at one table because people were not listening. Making her repeat the list over and over only slows down the process and your food will take longer to get to you.
Be careful when sending food back
This one is key to your meal enjoyment, trust me. When sending your food back please, please be nice to your server. Express the fact that you know he did not cook it. Being nice to your server could save you in the long run. Cooks hate to have food come back to the kitchen and many times they will take it out on the food, your food. All the horror stories you have seen or hear about cooks spitting in the food, dropping it on the floor and then serving it and countless other things many times really does happen. Now I wont say it happens in all places but it does and can happen to you. If your nice to your server then they may be able to save you from this by picking a certain cook who wont do this or by watching what is happen to your food and not serving it if things are not right.
Don’t complain if it’s really not that important
Don’t be the complaining customers. If there was an issue at your table that your server fixed, don’t complain. If your food took a few extra minutes but your server was making sure your drinks were full and your table was tended too, don’t complain. If your having a bad day and just need to complain, don’t do it! I have seen many people fired or disciplined because of a customer complaint that really wasn’t their fault. Always remember before you speak that people’s lives are on the line. We all have our off days, we are all human. If it really wasn’t that serious just let it go.
Don’t forget to tip!
Whatever you do don’t forget to tip your server. Standard now is 18%-20% for decent service and 25%-30% for great, top of the line service. If you can’t afford to tip and do it well for good service don’t eat out. It’s really that simple. Server’s make a very small minimum wage, for instance in Michigan it is $2.65 an hour. They rely on tips to pay their bills, feed their kids and live their lives. If you want great service you have to pay for it. Please don’t think they wont remember you the next time you come to eat, because they will and trust me your service will suffer. Be good to them and they will be good to you!
Eating out at a nice restaurant can be something enjoyable for the whole group, if you just remember these simple tips!