We recently asked restaurant servers of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about their biggest customer pet peeves. Here are some of the things that reaaaaally grind their gears:
1. Not giving them room to place the dish in front of you.
"I was a server for too long at a Red Robin. The worst thing a customer can do is not move their hands out of the way when I'm trying to put their plate in front of them. I once got third-degree burns on my hand because of this."
2. Sending back an "undercooked" steak when you ordered it RARE.
"One thing that never fails to be annoying is when a guest orders a steak rare and sends it back for being undercooked. Even worse, they’ll order it well-done and send it back because it’s too chewy. Know your meat, people!"
3. And, expecting a well-done steak to be cooked quickly.
"So many people order massive steaks well-done. Then, they get mad at me because it's taking too long. I’m sorry you decided you wanted beef jerky. It takes a couple of days!"
4. Not asking for what you need all at once.
"It's annoying when people make their server take multiple trips back and forth because they don't order everything at the same time. If you know you like ketchup, ranch, hot sauce, and more ranch, please ask for it all at once."
5. And expecting to not be charged when you order extra sides.
"When customers ask for a ton of extra sides like extra cheese, guacamole, or rice, and then get the bill and are surprised we charged them for the extra sides! When you go out to eat, food isn't usually free."
6. Allowing your kids to run around the restaurant.
"My biggest complaint is when people let their children run around as if the restaurant is their playground. It’s a huge safety problem, to be honest. If I try to remind parents that a lack of shoes is a safety issue, I am ignored or yelled at."
7. Asking your server to turn the AC up or down.
"My pet peeve is when customers ask to have the air conditioning turned up or down. Like, you think this is your house?? The 100+ other people in this building need to conform to your needs? There is sweat pouring down my face and you have the gall to look me in the eye and ask to turn the air off? Outrageous."
8. Shaking your glass for a refill instead of — you know — politely asking for one.
"My pet peeve is when people shake their glass at me for a refill, or insist that everyone at their table needs water, and then nobody ends up drinking it."
9. Snapping your fingers to get your server's attention.
"Literally nothing irritates me more than when people snap at me. I’m not your dog or your servant. Do not snap at me."
10. Calling your server over to take your order when you don't know what you want.
"I hate when people say they're ready to order when they're really not. If you're still looking at the menu, that's fine, but let your server know so they can go take care of other things. I promise they will come back to you in just a few minutes!"
11. *Rudely* interrupting your server when they're dealing with other customers.
"I hate when customers think they’re my only table, so they interrupt me when I'm literally in the middle of taking someone else's order. Just wait your turn."
12. Seating yourself when you're CLEARLY supposed to wait for a table.
"I hate when customers walk by the 'Please wait to be seated' sign and decide to seat themselves. Then they get mad because they don’t have menus, or a server hasn’t been by to take their order!! Nobody saw you come in! If you had read the sign and stopped by the hostess stand, you would have menus and a server."
13. Staying at the table for HOURS after you've paid.
"It's annoying when customers sit at my table for hours after they’ve finished eating. When you don’t leave my table, no one else can sit there, so I’m losing money."
14. Stealing the pens instead of just signing your damn receipt and returning them.
"Please don’t take our pens. The restaurant does not give them to us, so we have to purchase them. On that same note, don’t take the signed receipt, either. There’s a reason we give you two receipts."
15. Expecting special treatment because you "know" the manager.
"Expecting 'extras' of any kind — extra service, extra discounts, extra food —because they’re a regular or because they know the manager."
16. Asking for water that you don't actually drink.
"It's annoying when only half the table asks for water, and only AFTER I bring it to them will the rest of the table decide that they want water too. Then nobody drinks the water and I can't clear the table quickly for the next group because of all the damn full cups."
17. Taking a TON of napkins and not using them all.
"I work for a fast-food restaurant known for its Twitter chops. The most annoying things are when customers take STACKS of napkins. I’m talking 20–30 napkins 'just in case.' Then, they leave them on their tables afterward. We are not allowed to reuse them, and the waste drives me insane."
18. Not making a damn reservation for a large group.
"Parties of five or more need a reservation!!! I work at a small sushi restaurant in a smaller town, and we constantly get ambushed by parties of five to eight. We don’t have the space, and have a limited amount of servers."
19. And not specifying how you want the bill split.
"I hate when customers don't communicate about splitting the bill, or how they want it split. I've had to go back and redo payments because I put in a payment 'wrong' just because they didn't tell me how they wanted to split it up."
20. Entering the restaurant to order food right before closing time.
"I hate when people come in less than 30 minutes before closing. Don't. Do. It."
21. Picking your own place to sit.
"I hate when people decide that they want to sit somewhere in the restaurant that isn't where I was about to seat them. People who don’t work in a restaurant don’t know this, but we seat you somewhere because we have to rotate customers to each server’s section to make sure that tips are distributed equally. If you don’t sit where I put you, it means someone gets ahead and someone else gets behind, which really messes up the system."
22. Sitting down for lunch when you have a VERY short lunch break.
"It's annoying when guests come in for lunch and immediately say they're in a hurry. Don’t come into a sit-down restaurant if you only have a 30-minute lunch break!"
23. And stacking your dirty dishes on the table.
"Please stop stacking your dirty dishes and silverware on top of one other. I have to use my fingers to fish out your dirty knife covered in used ketchup. I know you think you're helping, but you aren't."
24. Removing food or drinks from your server's tray yourself.
"DO NOT take items off my tray. Especially not drinks. Everything is carefully organized on my tray for balance. I cannot believe how many adults have done this and then gotten pissed at me for spilling their table’s drinks."
25. And, of course, complaining just to get a free meal, when there was absolutely nothing wrong.
"It's annoying when people complain to get a free meal, even if everything was fine. Also, if you have special dietary restrictions, you should know what you can and cannot eat if the menu explicitly lists the ingredients under every item."