What Not to Do When Dining in a Restaurant

Posted on March 23, 2011
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Dining Out

When you go out to dinner, you expect great food and great service. The trouble is, some people believe that going out for dinner means also being entitled to acting like royalty. The following tips provide an outline of what not to do for all the respectful, polite diners out there who respect the hard-working waiters/servers/baristas/food runners and other industry laborers. However, if you are in the business of pissing people off, then follow these instructions when dining out at your favorite restaurant:

  1. Make as many requests to customize the dish as you possibly can. Sometimes this is unavoidable, like if you have some silly food allergy or some other nonsense. Even if you have no good reason, see if you can get the server frazzled from the get-go by asking for as many substitutions, additions, extras or sides as possible when you make your initial order.
  2. Play musical chairs. Switch seats with the rest of your party several times throughout the meal to see if your server can keep up and remember who ordered what.
  3. Flag her down at every opportunity. When your server asks if you need anything, smile and say you do not. Then, proceed to wave dramatically at your server every three minutes, or every time she comes into view. Keep her on her toes by asking her for things like packets of ketchup, toothpicks, ice cubes and wet wipes.
  4. Be messy. Being messy is a sure-fire way to irritate a waiter, and probably your fellow diners while you’re at it! Blow your nose loudly several times throughout the meal, then leave all your tissues on the table for your server to clean up. Mix a concoction of condiments in your water glass, going for the most disgusting color. You might even try to spill as much as you can, including drinks, flatware and food, which also helps make more of an annoying scene at your table.
  5. Blame your server for the food quality. Pretend not to like your dish and then blame your waiter personally, assuming she made it herself. Ask pointed questions such as, “What possessed you to pair fish with kumquats??” Or, go with the vague approach and demand “Why on earth is my steak cooked this way?”
  6. Send your dish back to the kitchen. Complain to your server that your food was disgusting and inedible, and ask to have it sent back immediately. Do this only after eating most of the meal and leaving only a few bites remaining on the plate.
  7. Ask your server what else she does for a living. Now we’re getting into hot water.
  8. Make the transaction more difficult. Wait until the last possible moment to request that your server split your check. Do this especially when you have a party of six or more.
  9. Do not tip above 10%. Tipping is how most servers earn their income, and it is common courtesy to tip 18-20% on every check unless there was something seriously wrong. Leaving a tip of 10% suggests that you had a bad experience, you disrespect the server or you are simply seeking to piss someone off.
  10. Steal your server’s pen. This is the final sign of disrespect before running out the door and never looking back. Servers usually carry one pen for the customer to sign the check after paying with a credit card. Taking the pen is the ultimate middle finger to the server, and this act alone can piss off just about any server.
FSW Staff FSW Staff (139 Posts)

The writing team at FoodServiceWarehouse is dedicated to bringing you the freshest tips, tricks and trends for your professional or home kitchen.

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