There are many people that you don't see
When someone usually thinks about what people work in a restaurant, jobs such as waiter, cook, manager, etc. But within the kitchen, there are many more jobs, with many of the people going unseen by the public their whole shift. For the past month, I've worked at Leatherby's Family Creamery, an ice cream shop based in Utah. On any given day, there are ten different positions, most with up to four employees working each position. On an average visit to Leatherby's, you see only four different positions. Starting with the Seater, greeted next by your Server, to have your ice cream made by a Dispenser and finally have your check ringed up with a Cashier. All of these positions have a pretty self-explanatory workload, but some of these unseen positions do more than you may expect. Unseen positions include Bussers, Dishers, Cooks, Managers, Assistant Managers, Take-Out. All of these people combine to give you a good dining experience.
Clean up after your group
There is nothing worse than a customer who leaves a messy table. And the biggest offenders are usually the large groups. Even though it may not seem like much, there are a few simple things you can do to make the workload much easier on those who have to clean up after you. Place your trash in a pile together on the table (or start by not using as much trash to begin with), stack similar sized plates together, and wipe any spills off of the table/seats. While these may take just a few extra seconds, it will most certainly save time for the Bussers who come to clean and sanitize your table after you have left. If all tables did this, Bussers would be able to spend much less time actually clearing the table and more time keeping the restaurant running. Things such as refilling ice, sanitizing kitchenware, and sweeping the floors would all be much easier to accomplish with the time saved if customers did these simple few things.
Tip your Server, even if they didn't reach all of your expectations
This should be common sense, but it also very well might not be. At Leatherby's, servers make $2.50/hr, which is $0.20/hr more than required. Now that you understand this, it should make more sense as to why you should leave a tip. 10-15% of your order total should be what is left as a tip. And contrary to common knowledge, Servers are not the only ones who receive the tips you leave. Bussers commonly make 10% of the total tips from the Servers, split evenly among all of the Bussers working that shift. So keep in mind that when you don't leave a tip, your Server isn't the only one losing out.
I can't even count how many times a single dish gets washed in a day
Dishers. The unsung heros of the restaurant. Washing dishes all night is no fun job, nor is it easy. Receiving all the dishes from all the customers in the restaurant, Dishers manage to keep all of the dishes and utensils cleaned and sanitized, to be used again by the next customer. To keep the restaurant running, Dishers have to be on their best game each shift they work. I can't count how many times a single dish gets washed on any given day. (And for all you germaphobes out there, don't worry, they get cleaned and sanitized every single time). Without this constant flow of clean and sanitary dishes, there would be no way the restaurant would be able to run at full capacity.
Be courteous to all the workers you see
Even though we try our hardest to be the nicest person you'll ever meet, sometimes we have a bad day. As we all do. So please understand this fact when you have an interaction with an employee. Usually, the employees you connect with will be warm and helpful. And on an added note, the nicer you are to the employees you meet, the nicer they'll be to you. And the same goes for the negative. The less you respect an employee, the less quality your service may be.
If you have a question, the best person to answer is your Server
While sitting at your table, you may interact with the Seater, Busser, Dispenser, or Server. And if you're like most people, you'll ask the first person you'll see to help answer whatever question you have. And instead of pulling aside the first employee you see, ask your Server. They are the most experienced of the employees you may come across, and they will be able to best answer your question. Taking into account having a glimpse of your situation when they first greet you or take your order, they will be the ones best able to help your specific needs when you have a question. Additionally, many of the other employees may not know where a specific item is in the restaurant, as their specific position usually does not deal with getting specific items for customers.
Even though there are only six items listed, these are the most important ones that customers should know. So next time you visit a restaurant, keep in mind these six things and you'll be sure to have a great experience.