8 Things Your Waiter Wishes You Knew
Food industry pros weigh in on all of the right (and wrong) things a customer can do when dining out. Armed with a little insider perspective, you'll be your next waiter's favorite table.
The Do's and Don'ts of Dining Out
When you're out with someone who used to wait tables, you can almost always tell. "Could I please have a water whenever is convenient?" she might ask the server, leaning over the table with a giant smile. Former servers always tip 20 percent — and sometimes 30 percent. They have a zen patience about kitchen errors, accepting a cheeseburger even though they ordered avocado toast. Sometimes it's good to take a break from thinking about what you want from a restaurant in order to consider what servers wish you knew. So we asked! Here are tips from pros across America.
Illustrations courtesy of CopyPress
There's a reason those who worked in the restaurant industry feel so strongly about a gratuity of 20 percent or more: By and large, servers nationwide are making very little in base salaries. "The assumption is that we make minimum wage, which is not true," one Boston server, who has waited tables for 20 years, told us. "I make $3.35 an hour." Mic drop.
Please Don't Touch
Don’t Be the Late Diner
Note That Reservation Systems Know a Lot About You
You love your regular spot. But was your last date here the one who snapped for the waitress? Did you book your table online using OpenTable or Resy? Well, your next experience here might be ... different. Someone may have noted your date's behavior under your name. "It's usually positive," says our Boston waiter, such as "This regular enjoys a filet," but he's also seen "very negative things," such as "poor tipper," "camped out" or the euphemistic "particular." He says, "I would be defensive, for sure" if saddled with a "particular" patron's table.