My last night working as a server happened to be on New Year’s Eve, which meant staying late to cocktail waitress. I didn’t mind because I figured I’d make some pocket cash before leaving the restaurant world behind. It started to get late and the manager was moving things around to make room for dancing which in return made me lose track of my final table. After looking everywhere and not being able to find them, I had to pay their bill and I lost out on that amount of money I had made in tips. I was devastated. I had worked at this place for so long and never had that happen to me. People who would do such a thing baffle me. I can’t understand how little they care about the people who work for minimum wage.
As someone who has worked in restaurants for many years, there is something about how people act when dining in a public place that can tell you a lot about who they are as a person. I’ve learned this from my years of people watching instead of whatever else I was supposed to be doing. Some people come into restaurants and completely lose their minds. It’s like they have forgotten how to interact with another human that is just trying to do their job. I’ve seen people yell at servers for minor things or scream at bartenders to get their attention as if they didn’t hear them the first time, and these are only a few examples of how people act the wrong way in a restaurant. The way a person treats minimum wage workers can show you who they are inside without even answering any questions.
Don’t get me wrong, if the server is doing something insanely terrible, then you have every right to be upset but the way you handle that anger will tell me all I need to know about you. What you have to realize is that these people come into work every day and deal with tons of random people for hours at a time. That can be exhausting. On top of that, you as a diner have no idea what this person’s life is like. You have no idea what might have happened to them recently and might be affecting their mood. They are people just like you, which is something you need to remember as a customer.
Here’s another thing to keep in mind, servers are not mind readers. They don’t know if you don’t like or are allergic to something, so you must tell them. Read the menu, actually look at what you want to order and make sure there’s nothing in it that you can’t have. Make that noted to the server when you sit down because they know the menu better than you do. Just be aware of what you are ordering and how you ask questions, because normally servers don’t mind answering things if you are polite. This way, you’ll get the order you want without any hassle.
Patience is another huge red flag. You don’t know how busy the server, bar or kitchen are, so if it takes a little longer than you were expecting to get things to you, just be patient. Of course, you can ask the server but there’s no need to yell or get angry. Everything will make its way to the table. It’s cliché but true, treat people the way you want to be treated, it makes all the difference.
If you’re with a family member, friend or even on a date, you shouldn’t be afraid to speak up if the person you are with is being rude. People need to learn that we’re all humans just trying to get by. Being polite shouldn’t be something we have to ask for, it should just be common sense.