Don’t Snap Your Fingers

by Marissa Rubin

Here are some do’s and don’ts for eating out. Please take this stuff to heart! I may not be well-versed in many things, but I’ve been serving for over three years and have a good idea how this stuff goes. Pay attention for the sake of myself, my co-workers, and every other server.

Things We Very Much Dislike:

1. When you leave a business card, religious tract, or Avon catalogue along with a bad tip. Even worse is when this replaces the cash. No bueno.

2. When you rip up straw wrappers into 294 pieces. Feel free to rip, but please discard appropriately.

3. When you interrupt us while we are introducing ourselves or talking about featured menu items. Trust me, we know you want a water with lemon (72% of you do). Please just let us do our job.

4. When you get frustrated with us if your food takes a long time. In most cases, this is the kitchen’s fault. Common sense…

5. When you take forever to order. Take as long as you like to make a decision, but please don’t make us wait at your table. We more than likely have other guests to tend to. We would love to come back in a few moments.

6. When you snap your fingers to get our attention or tap your glass when as we walk by when you want a refill. Excuse me works great!

7. When you remain at your table far after you are finished eating. Servers have sections that usually contain five or six tables. When you remain at yours for the entire lunch rush, you are more than likely cheating us out of a few additional tips. Always gauge this though… If the restaurant is not extremely busy, it might be okay. If this is the case, make sure you make a point to settle up on the bill completely. You might be the only thing between the server and their clock-out time. Otherwise, if the restaurant is busy, relocate to a coffee shop. That’s what they’re for.

8. When you don’t tip well and we know we did at least a satisfactory job. We get paid $4.00 an hour (in Colorado). I got paid $2.00 an hour when I lived in Delaware! We work for about four hours each shift. We give a decent percentage to the host, busser, and bartender at the end of the night. We also get ranked and scheduled according to our tip percentages. I could write an entire blog on tipping. 20% is the standard nowadays, in case you weren’t aware. Yeah…leave a girl a tip. : )

Things We Love:

1. When you ask our opinion/what our favorite menu items are.

2. When you remember our name and say it a few times throughout the meal.

3. When you make at least occasional eye contact while we are going through our sometimes lengthy suggestive selling spiels.

4. When you make your kids order their own food and use their manners. I like this at least. : ) Shows you are a respectable person.

5. When you write “thank you!” on the bill. Smiley faces are an added bonus. Oh, and telling us works too. : )

6.  When you are ready for us to take your bill back from you and you make it evident. Ex: closed book at the edge of the table. upright with the credit card sticking out. We hate to interrupt your conversation to ask for payment. Making it clear is easier all the way around.

7. When you are not the one who is paying and you slip us a few extra dollars. Are you out to eat with your grandparents? Most elderly people and foreigners tip extremely low.

8. When you ask to be seated in our section at your next visit! We like regulars.

Overall, just be kind/respectable! If you are nice, but slip up on a few restaurant etiquette commonalities, we will more than likely still like you and have a super shift! Heck, we slip up too, of course. I forget refills, sides of salsa, extra lemon, and your military discount. Anyway, know that YOU have the power to make or break our workday.