4. Being ignored after saying hello to a table.
Gotta love those people who think that drinks, food, and requests for lemon slices and extra ketchup are magically appearing at their table at the hands of the Invisible Restaurant God. Oh no wait, that’s me.
7. Substitutions. Of ANY kind.
The kitchen staff is hot and greasy and tired, and asking for the sweet potato fries we have at lunch instead of the risotto that was specifically designed to be paired with that particular dish will most likely ensure your imminent death by frying pan. Shortly after mine.
8. People saying they’re ready to order when they are soooo not.
“I’d love to listen to you debate the food choices that you told me you made 10 minutes ago when I arrived at this table, but I have to go do literally ANYTHING else. Plus I was seated with four more tables while you were talking. Nbd.”
9. Accommodating “dietary restrictions”…
Five years ago, hardly anyone knew what “gluten free” or “vegan” meant. Now you have a memorized list of all every flourless, dairy-less, animal product-less menu item the restaurant has, as well as any menu items that could potentially be made flour/dairy/animal product-less, and you hate yourself for it.
10. …or people who are just plain picky.
You are not allergic to extra salt, the kitchen cannot “whip up” a raspberry vinaigrette for your salad, and no, we are not going to pick the tomatoes out of our bruschetta because you don’t like them.
11. Not having enough glassware/silverware/plates/etc.
The restaurant seats 130 people. There are 50 wine glasses in house. This gets super fun during peak volume on a Friday night when five people at your four different tables want pinot grigio and malbec. * panic *
12. Being blamed when food takes a long time to come out.
I am not in a chef’s coat because I am not the chef. I do not cook the food. I am a server. I serve. But table 74 gives you and your empty hands dirty, dirty looks every time you walk by, and that’s when you discover just how many ways there are to get around the restaurant without having to make eye contact with them.
13. That person who needs an extra side of dressing. And when you come back with that, they need a sweet tea refill. And when you come back with that, they need another napkin. And when you come back with that…
I super appreciate the exercise, but I do my running in the morning with my Nike’s on. Make a list. Ask for it all at once. Pleaseandthankyou.
14. Being flagged down in any way, shape or form.
Please please please, for your safety and my job security, do not shake your glass of ice at me indicating you need a refill. Chances are, I’ve already noticed and it’s on my list of a million things to do. Chances also are that if you shake that glass of ice at me again, I will dump it down your shirt.
A.k.a restaurant jail where servers go to die just when they think they’re finally, finally free. “I have a medical condition that prevents me from polishing silverware. It’s weird and rare and highly contagious so I should probably leave okay bye.”
16. Last minute walk-ins.
Closing at 10pm does NOT mean that you can (or should) come in and order a three-course meal at 9:59. The sheer intensity of the death stares you receive will probably burn holes through your clothing. Just don’t do it. Under any circumstances. Ever.
18. Bad tips.
This is a serious PSA: Servers make $2.13 an hour. Two dollars and thirteen cents an hour, and (all and I do mean ALL) of that is taken by the government for taxes. We literally live off tips, and thanks to tip sharing, we don’t even get to keep all of those. It doesn’t matter if you’re at Waffle House, a local bar or Ruth Chris. If you can afford to eat out, you can always, always, always afford to leave a 20% tip.
If you need help with that, here’s a little tip etiquette for ya.
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