The Easiest Ways To Get Bad Service At A Restaurant

Side Note: This list does include an affiliate link.

“Don’t fuck with people that handle your food”

If you have seen the movie Waiting, then the words above should resonate with you for all the wrong reasons. If you haven’t seen the movie Waiting, you really should. It’s a workplace comedy and it stars a young Ryan Reynolds, do you really need another reason?

I am not condoning some of the actions that take place in that movie, but I can certainly empathize with working in the restaurant industry. I have been in the service industry for about 10 years now and can probably write a book of horror stories and anecdotes I’ve heard throughout my years. That’s actually not a bad idea, would you read that? Sorry, lets not get off track. Drawing on my experience and with input from my current, and previous server friends, I’ve decided to give a list of the easiest ways to ensure that your server will hate you. Hopefully after reading this the next time you’re out to eat you’ll remember to avoid doing these. Going out to eat isn’t complete without good service, and getting good service depends on you as much as it does on the server. Nobody likes a rude table.

1. Snapping your fingers.

Not only is snapping your fingers at a server to get his or her attention completely rude, bordering on disrespectful, it will almost guarantee you that whoever is serving you will be doing the bare minimum for the remainder of your stay. Servers are people too, treat them with some respect and courtesy.

2. Yelling or waving across the restaurant.

We see you. Trust me, servers see you. If you need something in a hurry, make sure to make eye contact and a slight raise of the hand will usually do the trick. Nobody wants to hear you yelling, “Hey!” “Sir!” “Hey Chief!” Make sure you get your servers name if it wasn’t provided, and communicate like the functioning adults we are.

3. Not being understanding.

We’re not perfect. Working in the restaurant industry there are a lot of variables that can affect the customer experience. I can only speak for myself and for those who I’ve worked with, but generally servers want you to enjoy your meal with as few interruptions as possible. Mistakes however, do happen, whether your steak was over done, or your salad should’ve been chopped, keep in mind that our jobs and income depend on you being satisfied and happy. If there is a problem, servers are built to rectify those situations, all we ask is that you work with us just a little, and everybody ends up happier at the end.

4. The dreaded last table.

Not all last tables are the same. Some people already know what they want, they have looked at menus beforehand and are ready for battle. I will speak for all servers when I say, we love you and keep up the good work. I don’t expect everyone that goes out to eat late to abide by those standards, but if you’re out to eat and the restaurant is closing shortly, please get your order in as quickly as you can. Some servers work 12 hour shifts on weekends carrying plates and glass racks up and down stairs.

The world’s smallest violin

Not to mention the kitchen staff that spends those 12 hours in a hot crammed kitchen space. We don’t want to rush you out, but I’ve personally had tables stay in the dining area after our kitchen has already closed for more than an hour. Don’t be that table.

5. Tipping.

I was unsure about including this because you don’t find out what your tip is until you’re already done with your table and your awesome serving skills might have gone unappreciated. I’m talking to you 10% tipper. Tipping is how servers make a living.

In the good ‘ole USA a tip at a restaurant is usually around 17%–20%

Tipping, however is completely up to your discretion, but keep in mind that servers have the memory of an elephant; we never forget.

Hopefully you have taken this list as a rough guideline of some of the more extreme behavior that servers encounter. Trust me you want to avoid being the table that is wondering why they’re server hasn’t been around to check on everything.

If you have some of your own advice to help would be guests be the best table they can be, or if you’ve had the table from hell, sorry, please feel free to mention it below! I’d love to hear from you!