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Tips for Being a Good Customer from a Restaurant Server

Updated on July 23, 2010

Restaurant Tips for Being a Good Customer

  • Most restaurant places have a host that will seat you. It is impolite to just walk in and seat yourself. Sometimes you may be standing there for a little while, but hey look around, they might actually be busy.Some places require the host to be a busgirl or they may have to take to go orders. It all depends on the restaurant.
  • If the place is not busy, just ask somebody if you may be seated. When you seat yourself, try not to sit a dirty table. It is quite interesting and mind boggling as to why I have seen many people do that, especially in a setting where the restaurant is busy or if there is a clean table a few inches away.
  • Try to be as courteous and polite as you can. (After all they are dealing with your food! Haha, just kidding. But you should still beware! Most of the people working in the restaurant will remember people who are either rude, picky, impolite, or are very nice.)
  • A lot of restaurants have multiple servers so they usually have a system to divide up the customers that walk in to be seated at certain sections or tables.So try to request your favorite server when you walk in.
  • Tipping: Unless you are going to a restaurant where they have a stricter dress code and have a moderately higher priced menu, the minimum tip should be between 15%-18%, if you had good service. I have noticed that some people like to lower the percentage of gratuity for small mishaps such as length of time for your meal, or extra charges for modifications of your meal--Sometimes it may not be the servers fault. Tip according to how well you think they tried to make your meal a pleasant one or how well they handled the mishap.
  • Servers often make less than minimum wage when they are paid per hour, so they depend on tips to make money. If you must tip other people, do not split the gratuity that was meant for the server amongst the chefs, host, bartender, etc. They are paid at a higher rate.
  • Most servers will remember people who tip well and tip bad, who are nice and polite and who are impatient and rude. To get the best service and best experience from your server, try to be as pleasant as possible. After all they are human too. Treat them how you would like to be treated.--Sometimes there are customers who walk in and is hated by everybody working there. Countless may happen to people who are disliked if you know what I mean. I have seen things done before.
  • If you must request a certain server, please make sure you at least tip them well. Do not insult them by leaving them less than 15%-18%. It just looks really bad. That server will most likely hide from you when they see you coming.
  • If you order takeout with your server ad you are sitting down, you should still tip based on the bill amount. The server is not doing "less work" as most people think. They still have to pack your takeout order for you.
  • IF you leave a mess and it happens. Do not attempt to cover it up by throwing napkins to hide it. It is more polite to let us know if you spill a drink or dropped something sticky. Most importantly, if you have kids and you know they are messy, please clean up after your kids as much as you can. Better yet bring something to cover the surrounding floor. Your server will thank you for it! :) Think about how hard it can be to sweep up crushed cereal and mashed up rice. Be considerate!
  • Your food order will be cooked in the order it came. Be patient. If you are in a hurry, kindly let you server know. They may suggest something that may be prepared faster.
  • Do not ask or say lewd or inappropriate things to your server. You may be asked to leave.
  • Try to control your kids. There are other people in the restaurant trying to enjoy their meal too!
  • Always call ahead to let the restaurant know if you have a large party coming. That way you will save yourself the trouble of waiting or driving around if your party can not be accommodated.

These are just a few things that I have observed over the years. And okay, I may have a few rants too. A lot of times when you are working in a public area, you will never know who you are dealing with or who will you meet. In the end we are all human, so we should treat everyone as humanely as possible, right?

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