how to make a waitress hate your guts. (part 1)

10 Jul

Unfortunately, this post applies directly to you. Generally speaking, you are well behaved in restaurants, and consider yourself a good tipper who never makes a scene. I hate to break it to you, but this is totally not the case. Here are some inadvertent things you do that really irritate your server:

  • Send food back to the kitchen unnecessarily – If you don’t like asparagus and it shows up on your plate, do not ask the waitress to send the plate back to the kitchen in order to have the asparagus removed. At many restaurants, forks are provided. These are not only useful for eating, but also for removing large ingredients from the plate (and placing them on a separate plate, perhaps a bread one or a side one). Oddly enough, you are also in full control of which items become loaded onto the fork, and which ones enter your mouth. It’s pretty incredible, if you take the time to think about it.
  • Complain that it’s too hot, then complain that it’s too cold. – Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to do anything about it. Yes, I’ll adjust the thermostat a degree or two, but in all honesty you are never going to be happy. No matter what temperature the restaurant is held at, it is never going to be as cozy as your home. Also, being seasonally specific, complaining that a restaurant is cold during the summer is ridiculous. By the time you become an adult, you need to learn that if you tend to be chilly, you should bring a hoodie or a cardigan with you while indoors. That’s the thing about air conditioning. It makes places cool on a hot day.
  • Start a sentence with “I really never complain, but….” – Once that phrase cruises through your lips, we automatically translate whatever comes after it as “I want free shit.” It honestly doesn’t even matter what you’re complaining about, chances are it will be dealt with in the following way:  1) We’ll try to buy you dessert, which you will decline even though you totally want it, but are holding out for a better deal. 2) We’ll give you a card that’s good for an appetizer or dessert on your next visit. We’ll tell you that the calamari is delicious. You’ll tell us that you don’t think you’ll be coming back because we didn’t fix your problem. Yup, you’ll still be holding out. 3) We’ll lecture you on why it is important to complain before you polish off an entire entree that you don’t enjoy as opposed to when your plate is totally empty, that way we can rectify the situation. 4) You will give us a look as if to say “I obviously am playing you in order to get you to take my food off the bill.” 5) I will show you a photo of my babygirl and mention that you’re literally preventing her from playing tee ball because of the money we had to take off your bill. 6) You will accept the discount and we will make faces at you because we don’t like you. 7) You’ll come back next week, hopefully when the other manager is working, and try it al again.
  • Be Gluten-Free. – This doesn’t apply to every person who has Celiac Disease, just most of them. Because not knowing what you can or cannot eat when you’ve got a gluten allergy is fucking ridiculous. Fine, you have a question on a particular sauce? I get that. I would constantly wonder if I can have the horseradish mustard sauce that we serve with the salmon, because it’s damn good and definitely wishy-washy as far as potential ingredients go. But please don’t ask me if you can have chicken parmesan. That doesn’t even make any sense. You manage to function every other day with your allergy, why today can you not figure out that you should eat a plain piece of steak, some sautéed vegetables and a fucking baked potato? I will humor you and make your damn gluten-free menu, masses. But don’t get all cranky pants when you find us all making fun of you in the server station.
  • An 18% tip on the subtotal is not a good tip. – The general rule of thumb for a “good tip” for restaurant people is 20% of the total bill. So if the bill comes to $50, $10 is like the minimum amount that would constitute a good tip. Writing “thanks for the great service” or whatever else on your charge slip is like automatically making your server the greatest hero in the history of the world according to his managers. So if you really appreciated your experience, leave a 25% gratuity and a little thank you note. It takes like no time and maybe a couple bucks, but goes a hell of a long way to your server. On the flip side, if you are a regular customer who routinely leaves 18% on the subtotal (one guy shows his work… super bizarre) then don’t be surprised when you are always dumped with the shitty new dork socially awkward drink-spilling waiter. You did it to yourself, my friend.

If none of these applied to you, don’t get all cocky and think that you’re one of the good ones. This is simply part one of a LONG LONG LONG series of irritating things that customers (even you!) do in order to make waitress hate your guts. I’m totally one of you, if it makes you feel any better. I order an iced tea and a water at the same time, I let my kid jump on the booth, I’m allergic to tables when there are booths around and I never ever ever remember a server’s name. There, do you feel better? You’re not the only shitty customer in town.


One Response to “how to make a waitress hate your guts. (part 1)”

  1. Lindsey July 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    On a gluten free note… just came back from the Fairmont Hotel in Playa del Carmen and oddly enough they have an entire gluten free menu, vegetarian menu and diet menu included in their bible sized menu book that they give you at every restaurant. While I applaud them for really catering to their customers it makes the menu weigh about 40 lbs. which is not good when your one year old child wants to play with it and turn the pages, which she can’t because it is double her size.

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