We’ve all been there. Whether you’ve worked in the customer service industry, know someone who does or you’ve had to sit beside one of those nagging, high-maintenance customers, we all know just what pushes a server’s buttons.
We hear story after story of customers receiving what they believe to be as poor service… yet, did those customers ever stop to think that they were the ones causing the disastrous atrocity of their ketchup not being delivered in 0.025 seconds? That it might possibly be the degrading tone or the master-vs-peasant attitude they have while addressing their server that causes the lack of empathy the guest receives when their server “accidentally” drops their ketchup (delivered in approximately 1.52 seconds after they asked 3 different times for it) right on their lap? For those of you who are extremely naïve or perhaps just don’t go out to restaurants enough to know how it works, I am about to solve all of your problems. Here are the top 8 ways to piss off your server (remember, ketchup isn’t the easiest thing to get out of your clothes so I would suggest taking some notes).
“Hi my name is….I’LL GET A WATER.”
This is probably the worst way to greet your server. Clearly it’s in their verbal server contract to introduce themself, ask if there’s any special occasion, tell you about the drink specials, etc. Even if it’s not required of them (on the extremely rare occasion) to ask you how you’re doing, they’re probably just being a decent human being so just maybe you should think about being one too. Even if you’re miserable or you’re in a rush, show some courtesy. Talk about starting off on a bad foot.
Snap, Snap, Snap.
This is not, I repeat, NOT, a way to get a server’s attention. There is nothing more degrading or rude than snapping at your server. Servers are not your slave and you are not their master. Get it? Got it? Good.
“I have an allergy to gluten, all vegetables and I am also vegan, do you have a menu for that?”
Do you even know what gluten is?! Please tell me? Anyone? No one? That’s what I thought. So no, don’t try and tell me you have a gluten allergy as I see you mow down a bite of your friends burger. Also, don’t try and convince me of all your ridiculous made-up allergies because you are on some weird, Dr. Oz diet. You should go out to a restaurant to enjoy yourself, to indulge, not to pick apart the menu. Some people do have legitimate allergies; customers shouldn’t be abusing that fact. It’s unfortunate when customers with actual allergies, especially those that are severe, do not get the respect or care that is needed with the ordering and preparation of their food.
“We’re ready to order”…10 minutes later and you still can’t decide.
Please, I beg of you, figure out what you would like to order before you rudely snap at me to come over to the table. Servers usually have at least four other tables. Four other tables that probably needed something, and who are now probably pissed off, while you took 10 minutes to decide what you wanted. Do not call your server over unless you are ready. Simple as that.
“I didn’t order this.”
No no no. You did not just say that. After you not only picked apart the menu, had me run back and forth 4 different times to check which items were gluten free and dairy free, you are claiming you didn’t order this?! Even worse, that you don’t like your completely modified food item that doesn’t even remotely resemble anything on your menu anymore?! Excuse my language but…NO SHIT you don’t like it. You ordered it, so eat it.
“Um excuse me, can I get help with payment?!”
Sorry to break it to you but servers are not mind readers. You have had your bill sitting on the table for over 45 minutes, I have offered twice to help you with payment but both times you have claimed that you are not ready, I have seen no signs of a card or cash, and now you are in a huge rush?! Now I am going to take my sweet ass time (just kidding, you haven’t tipped me yet).
Camping is made for the outdoors, not inside at a restaurant. If you have paid your bill, please do not linger. Servers make the majority of their money based on tips so if you continue to sit at table for another 2 hours and do not order anything, servers are losing out on a possible two other tables that could have both been in out and by the time you left. Sure, if the restaurant is empty and there are tons of empty tables left in the servers section, sit there for as long as you like. Just please don’t sit around on a Friday night for what seems like decades when there is an hour wait for a table.
“That was amazing service” (tip = $0.00)
After you went on and on telling me how amazing the service was, you proceeded to tip $0.00. Although all of these are pretty bad, this has got to be the absolute worst. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the minimum wage for liquor servers is $9.00 whereas the minimum wage in B.C. is $10.25 . What people ALSO don’t realize is that servers normally tip out, on average, 3 – 5% of their total sales for every shift to be distributed amongst other service partners in the restaurant, such as hostesses, chefs, bartenders etc. For example, if a customer’s bill was $100 and they left a tip of $0.00, the server just paid $5 out of their own pocket to the other service partners in the restaurant. Not only did they have to pay for you sit at their table and pay to serve you, they also made $1.25 less hourly to wait on you. Sure, if the service was absolutely horrendous, go ahead and leave nothing. But do not commend the server on how amazing the service was and proceed to leave nothing just because you didn’t realize how expensive your bill was and couldn’t afford to tip. While going out to a restaurant, budget your spending and leave room to tip your server based on the service you received. Servers do NOT get paid in compliments.
So, there you have it – the top 8 ways that are sure to piss off your server. Do us all a favor and don’t be one of those people.