Avoid These 18 Rude Behaviors That Annoy All Restaurant Servers

Treating people with respect isn’t so difficult, but at times we conduct ourselves poorly, especially toward people in service. Restaurant servers see a lot of customers from different backgrounds and tolerate a lot of behavior. This article talks about 18 things that all servers in restaurants wish you wouldn’t do. 

Ignoring Greetings and Pleasantries

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It’s only polite to greet people when you meet them: it establishes a good rapport and sets a positive tone. Greeting someone is a sign of respect and acknowledgment of their presence. Ensure to reply if a restaurant server greets you or asks any questions, and thank them after any service.

Snapping Fingers or Whistling for Attention

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Restaurants can be crowded sometimes, and in the struggle to get someone’s attention, you might snap your fingers or whistle. This is rude. Even though you might not know the server’s name, invite them verbally by saying “excuse me,” or wait for them to notice you. 

Constantly Interrupting the Server

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Patience is key when it comes to interacting with restaurant servers; constantly interrupting them can be rude and disruptive. As they attend to another table, don’t interject. It can also be annoying when an individual repeatedly calls out to the server unnecessarily. Review the menu well and be ready before you make your order.

Making Excessive or Unreasonable Demands

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Some people can be particular about what they want, and that’s understandable. However, making excessive or unreasonable demands is frustrating to the servers. Choose wisely where you eat, don’t ask for items that aren’t on the menu, and be patient, as everyone is waiting to be served. Yahoo! News Canada says that if you have a number of special requests, ask for them all at once; “all those little trips add up and can often really delay getting you in and out the door.”

Criticizing the Food or Service in a Disrespectful Manner

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You have the right to give feedback about your experience at a restaurant but do it constructively and without causing a scene. The servers are only messengers, and most of the big decisions are from management. Avoid blaming the server for issues beyond their control.

Leaving a Messy Table or Ignoring Table Etiquette

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Observe dining etiquette when eating in public. As the saying goes, treat others as you want to be treated. Even though it’s their job to clean up and serve, show some consideration. Don’t leave your table messy. After eating, stack the dishes together. 

Talking Loudly or Being Disruptive

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A calm and quiet environment is pleasant for everyone in the restaurant. Be mindful of your volume level and avoid disruptive behavior. Even if you’re having a small get-together with your friends or colleagues, don’t speak too loudly or shout across the table. 

Making Inappropriate or Offensive Comments

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Respectful communication is very important in public service. No matter how you view the person, maintain professional boundaries. Some restaurants may have uniforms that are revealing, so refrain from commenting on someone’s appearance. Even in places where they sing or have corny greetings, don’t make jokes or use any offensive language.

Demanding Special or VIP Treatment

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Every diner deserves equal respect and attention; demanding special treatment can create tension and resentment among restaurant staff. If you want VIP treatment, some places provide that service at a cost. It doesn’t matter who you are; all customers are important, so don’t belittle anyone.

Undermining or Disregarding COVID-19 Safety Measures

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Ensuring public safety is always a priority. Even though you’re sure of your health status, you must follow all the COVID-19 safety protocols. The Institute of Physics says refusing to wear a mask or disregarding social distancing guidelines puts you and others at risk of spreading the disease.

Excessive PDA or Inappropriate Behavior

Couples eating in restaurant
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Showing too much affection in public, making others uncomfortable, or being disrespectful ruins the dining atmosphere. If you’re on a date or dining out with your partner, don’t kiss or be too intimate. Keeping personal displays of affection private and respectful helps everyone enjoy their meals without feeling awkward or embarrassed.

Taking Advantage of Freebies or Complimentary Items

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Restaurants provide complimentary items to be nice, but overdoing it can make them lose money. Eating too much of the free stuff or asking for too many extras without buying anything isn’t fair to the restaurant. Enjoy what they offer in moderation and with gratitude.

Making a Scene or Creating Drama

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Yelling, complaining loudly, or causing a fuss over small things is rude. Whether it’s with someone you came with or the restaurant staff, it disrupts other people’s meals and makes the restaurant staff’s job harder. Maintain your composure and resolve issues calmly.

Not Tipping or Under-tipping

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Tipping is customary in many cultures and shows appreciation for good service. You don’t have to leave a lot of money. NerdWallet says a good rule of thumb is to tip 15% to 20% of your bill. It depends on the type of service you receive and how much money you may have at the moment. 

Making Unwelcome Advances or Flirting with Staff

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It’s not okay to flirt with or make inappropriate comments to the staff. They’re there to do their job, not to be bothered. Making them uncomfortable can make them feel unsafe at work. It’s important to treat them with respect and keep interactions professional. 

Bringing Outside Food or Drink without Permission

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Restaurants are businesses, and they must pay their bills. Using their space while eating outside food is disrespectful and costs them money. For example, some people sit at a restaurant for hours and just order a small cup of coffee or water while taking up space from other customers.

Lingering at the Table Past Closing Time

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After the restaurant’s closing time, it’s time to go. Staying too long keeps the staff from finishing their work and going home. Pay your bill promptly, and leave when it’s time. This helps them close without any extra stress. Some restaurants work on reservations, and any delays from you can disrupt their schedule.

Failing to Acknowledge Good Service or Express Gratitude

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When the service is good, it’s important to say thank you. Showing gratitude makes the servers feel appreciated for their hard work. Forgetting to thank them or leaving without a kind word might make them feel unappreciated. It’s nice to spread some positivity by acknowledging good service.

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