21 Things People Do At Restaurants That Really Piss Off Servers

The first thing I’ll do after quarantine and this pandemic mess is go to a restaurant. I want to see how it feels to be welcomed, seated, asked ‘what would you like to order?’, be showered with ‘excellent choice,’ poured a glass of Chardonnay, and make up my mind what to get for dessert.

Most importantly, it’s the opportunity to be smiled at and smiled to, joyfully and with ease, like nothing else exists in this world except that restaurant, the food, your companion… and the server.

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But this is where it gets tricky. In such a lovely environment like a restaurant, servers still have to deal, time to time, with a fair share of serial a-holes. And it’s not a-holes per se that annoy the heck of them, it’s their a-hole behaviors that refuse to abide by unwritten rules.

For those who’re wondering what the unwritten rules actually are, I’d say it’s half common sense, half being polite, patient, and understanding. But let’s hear from the servers themselves who shared honest responses to the “What unwritten rules do restaurant servers wish patrons would abide by?” question posted on Quora.

#1 Crying Children And Adults Who Ignore It

When children cry and cry and cry and cry in a restaurant, other people find it annoying. Please, take your child outside for a moment to calm him down.

Image credits: Edith Deween

#2 Snapping Your Fingers At Servers

Don’t ever snap your fingers at a server, bartender, anyone. Ever.

Image credits: Sofia Korkala

#3 When People Go And Sit At A Dirty Table


First of all, it’s gross. Why would you sit yourself down in someone else’s mess?

Second of all, if it’s not clean, we aren’t ready for you at that table yet. Now someone has to awkwardly bus the table and wipe it down while your impatient ass just sits there being all in-the-way.

Image credits: Natalie Knowles

#4 Ordering Something That’s Not On The Menu

Do not order anything that isn’t on the menu. I’ve run into so many situations where customers want to make up their own dish that isn’t on the menu (ordering fish and chips at an Italian restaurant). Perhaps it’s because they don’t know how to read, and therefore can’t understand anything the menu says. That menu is there for a reason. Read it. This is not a private chef service

Image credits: Maxwell Arnold

#5 Being Impolite

Please, get off your cellphone when I’m taking your order

Image credits: Edith Deween

#6 Being Overly Picky And Making It More Difficult For The Staff

The menu is not a canvas for your wildest imagination, unfortunately. I have come across customers who ask what ingredients do we have, and start building their own portion based on them.
I know the struggle of being a hard customer and not being able to take whatever from the menu due to dangerous allergies, but don’t be picky in vain. The staff is usually crowded with special orders anyway.

Image credits: Sofia Korkala

#7 Coming In Minutes Before Closing

If Google says that the restaurant closes at 11, the right time to order is not three minutes before closing.

The staff are not people willing to work every single day overtime like they had no lives of their own.

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They are people with loved ones and hobbies as well.

Image credits: Sofia Korkala

#8 Flirting

Don’t hit on waitresses. Don’t touch waitresses. I’ve cooked in bars where my job included removing such people from the establishment with force.

Image credits: Sara Thorn

#9 Disrespectful Behavior

Do not address us as “waiter”/“waitress”, or snap your fingers at us.
This is basic human respect. I will openly ignore such requests for my attention, and you’ll be waiting a while for me to come back.

Image credits: Maxwell Arnold

#10 Touching Their Servers

When people touch their server. I’m not to be touched. I don’t like it, and I’m not your pet. I’m not your buddy, baby, friend, or lover.

Image credits: Mike DiGirolamo

#11 Acting Like You Own The Place

This restaurant is not your house. You’re a paying customer. We get that, and we respect that. But do not forget that you are a guest. In addition, you are not the only guest. There are other people here too. So when you request that we turn down the music, turn up the lights, or adjust the heat/air conditioning, you should know that we may not be able to make this accommodation, even if you ask nicely. If you go on to demand such accommodations, you’re not only disrespecting us (because you’re essentially treating the restaurant like your house, and us like servants who run it for you), you’re also disrespecting the other guests (because they may not desire the same accommodations that you desire). This is not your house, and this is a space that you’re sharing with other people – and if you’re the only one asking for something to be changed, we’re unlikely to do it if it will affect other guests.

Image credits: Maxwell Arnold

#12 Wasting Servers’ Time

This is a more Spanish restaurant specific thing than anything, but please for the love of god do not order 6 plates and then ask me which are spicy, having me bring back the ones that are. Please. It’s a Spanish restaurant, nearly everything is spicy. Stop wasting our time. You wouldn’t believe how often this happens.

Image credits: Kyle Redman

#13 Complaining That The Food Takes Longer To Come Out When The Place Is Busy

Food takes longer to come out when we’re busy

When a restaurant is busy, it’s usually no secret. It’s loud, it’s full, staff are running around, the whole deal. You can also anticipate when a restaurant will be busy, like on Friday and Saturday nights. If you choose to dine at such times as these, you can expect your food to take longer to come out. Why? More people, more orders, more work for the kitchen to do. So if you’ve just placed your order now, it could take 20, 30, 40 minutes, or even longer than that. If that’s too long for you, none of us have any sympathy for your complaints. You knew it was busy, so you knew it would take long. You chose to dine at this time, so you knew what you were getting into. We don’t care that you’re hungry. Everybody is hungry. That’s why they’re here! What do you think we’re going to do? Bring your food out first before someone else’s, just because you’re complaining? Dream on.

Image credits: Maxwell Arnold

#14 Not Considering The Hard Work In The Kitchen

Allergies. If the truth is you don’t like a food, then just say that. Say you don’t like bell pepper. The amount of work that happens in the kitchen is hardly ever seen in the dining room. Respect the staff by not adding to that amount of work if it’s not necessary.

Image credits: Sofia Korkala

#15 Not Understanding When The Bar Is Full

Understand that when the bar is full, the bar is full. No, I’m not going to go and ‘see if anyone’s done’ at the bar so you can squeeze in for free corn chips at happy hour. I’ve politely told you you’re more than welcome to stand at the bar, but all the seats are taken. And for the love of god, don’t try to take other customers’ seats while they’re in the bathroom.

Image credits: Kyle Redman

#16 Clients Who Can’t Manage Their Time

Don’t order a well-done steak if your movie starts in 15 minutes.

Image credits: Edith Deween

#17 Sitting At An Empty Table Without Asking

If you see a table with no one at it, that is not necessarily your table! There might be a reservation plotted for your table later that night. The restaurant limits how many people can sit in each time-block.

Image credits: Jesse Sutton

#18 Helping Without Being Asked To

I hated when customers tried to help me. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciated the sentiment, but when a customer took things from my tray or grabbed things from my hand it became dangerous.

Image credits: Sheila Blohm

#19 Not Accepting Where You’re Being Seated

Please accept where I seat you. I understand you want a booth. But we only have four, and by dinnertime, I’ve already reserved them for my six other 6:30 reservations. And if you’re a party of two, you’re going to get placed at a two top. Not a full-size table.

Image credits: Kyle Redman

#20 Being Glued To The Phone

Please do not be glued to your phone, especially if you’re in a large party. I work in a tapas restaurant, which means everyone orders small plates to share. We recently had a table of ten do this, ignoring runners and servers that were bringing their food, causing the food to be returned or eaten by different table members, and so the person who ordered the food would finally look up from their phone and start complaining that they never received the food they ordered. Of course, the other table members neglected to tell them they had received it and eaten it. Why? Because THEY were now on their phones. They nearly made a server cry with rude comments about her intelligence and figure (“that skinny bitch probably ate them, she needs to put on weight before her hips cut me”) is just one thing I heard. It’s worth mentioning that these were all morbidly obese people.

Image credits: Kyle Redman

#21 Tipping Is Important

Tipping is not mandatory, but servers live off of our tips.

Image credits: Edith Deween

Source: boredpanda.com

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