Tips for being a good customer while dining out

You enter a restaurant over lunch hour. It is busy. You look around worried you may not get a seat, until you spot one at a corner. With a sigh of relief you begin a mad dash. In the process you almost knock over a waitress carrying a tray, overflowing with food and drink.

“Look where you are going,” you growl, as you elbow her aside.

A moment later she brings you the menu and before she can ask you what you would like, you interrupt her.

“Today’s special and a bottle of water,” you say without looking up; eyes fixed on the newspaper.

In a short while, she returns.

“Your order,” she says, serving the food and water. This time you are on the phone and you immediately note that the water is not your favorite brand.

“Don’t you have Highlands water?” you ask, putting the caller on hold. Without waiting for an answer, you hand back the water and immediately turn away and get back to your call,

“I do not understand why they can’t hire fffing waitresses with some brain matter between their ears. I mean…,” you begin to rant to the caller as the waitress walks away overhearing every word.

She returns back with the water and you immediately begin to whine that the portions of the meal are too tiny for the exorbitant’ price the restaurant is charging.

“Bring me the bill,” you say whilst digging for your wallet.When the bill arrives all hell breaks loose.

“What do you mean the VAT is not included in the initial cost? This service charge is a rip off for the bad service,” you moan.

“Well, it is clearly indicated in the menu,” the waitress informs you.

“I never even looked at the damn menu,” you say adding a couple of expletives.

You pay the bill and dash of to your more important job.

Professionals working in the service industry have loads of horror stories about customers behaving badly while dining out. Often servers are young people who are treated with little respect by customers perhaps due to the assumption that their job is not as important as those of other professionals in the job market.

However they too need your respect. A memorable and enjoyable meal out can only be a reality when the customer and the server work together. Follow these tips for a great experience dining out.

Dos while dining out

Do make way for the server carrying a tray of food to other customers.

Do say hello to your server, make eye contact, smile and refer to them by name.

Do take a moment to look at the menu and make a clear decision.

Do ask questions if unsure of your order.

Do give your full order. Avoid wasting your servers time by sending them back and forth.

Do leave your table as clean as you possibly can.

Do leave a tip

Don’ts while dining out

Do not curse or use expletives at your server if unhappy with the order. Be polite.

Do not use rude words with your dinner companions while referring to the server. They just might overhear.

Don’t whine about not getting what you did not order for. Ask, cut out the whining.

Dining etiquette: Why you should be polite to your waitress

Enjoying a nice, relaxing and delicious dinner is a favorite pastime of many. A couple’s first date often involves a nice dinner at a restaurant. Celebrations, such as birthdays and anniversaries oftentimes take place at a nice restaurant. Allowing a day off for the cook, whether that be Mom, wife, or Dad, is another reason people choose to dine out. Regardless of the occasion, when we dine out, we expect that we will receive good service and a delicious meal. Many restaurant employees are involved in providing us this dining experience. However, the backbone of this dining experience is the person who waits on your table. This is why you should be polite to your waitress. After working as a “Server” (I prefer the title “waitress”), I realized that this occupation must be the most under-appreciated, underpaid job available. Though I try to approach every new guest with a positive attitude and a gleaming smile, it isn’t difficult to determine those certain guests that you know are going to be trouble from the start. You can see it in their eyes. The way they hold their posture. The way they look at you, as if you are merely someone they can bark orders at and run ragged without any gesture of appreciation. It didn’t take long to understand why the title “server” replaced waiters and waitresses. That is what we do. We serve the hungry public. I learned that when people are hungry, they aren’t exactly the most friendly and courteous. This shouldn’t give them a free ticket to treat servers badly though. It seems that servers get the blame for most anything and everything that might happen in the restaurant. It doesn’t matter if they are upset because they had a forty-minute wait, when promised it would only be twenty. The guest may be upset because they were sat at a table next to a crying baby. Or, if the guests idea of a steak cooked “medium” is a little less pink than the restaurant’s idea of “medium.” Whatever the reason, the server is the one who suffers the consequences. And by consequences, I mean “gratuity.” First of all, the server is not a host or hostess. We didn’t have control over how long our guest waited, nor where their table was situated in the restaurant. And, we are not to blame for the steak not being properly cooked, considering we ordered it as the guest requested. My job as a server is to provide my guests with a comfortable, relaxed, and delicious dining experience. I believe I do an excellent job as a server. Unfortunately, at the end of the evening, my tips don’t always add up to what they should. A tip, or gratuity, can be defined as a gift of money given to someone for performing a service or menial task, over and above the payment due for the service. Tips are not required, but they are expected by many people in the service industry. I have to wonder if the public realizes that servers rely on tips as their income; that we only make around $3.00 an hour. When a guest leaves me a $2.00 tip on a fifty dollar check, especially when I have been waiting on them for over an hour, refilling drinks several times, fetching all of the “extras” they have to have immediately, clearing plates, bringing more bread, and fulfilling all of the many other requests they have, I become pretty disappointed. I don’t know how many people can survive on $5.00 an hour, but I know I can’t. I have no intentions of continuing as a server for a long period of time, but for the sake of those who have chosen to make this a career, please be polite and tip your servers.