The dos and don’ts of restaurants

Working as a waitress or waiter can be a social and rewarding job, often with flexible hours and good tips. You can meet interesting people, appreciative customers and gain an insight into the food industry. However, you can also meet challenges, frustrations and people who are out for one thing: to destroy you.
From various interviews with waiting staff, past and present I’ve compiled a list of how to be a good restaurant patron and thus avoid breaking the soul of your waiter/waitress:
Stop waving wildly to get my attention:
I can see you, we are but a few feet apart, my momentary absence from your table (though painful) will soon be over. Just.sit.tight.
Of course, a subtle wave or polite beckoning can be ok but keep your hand below your head. You’re not on the dancefloor and the roof is not on fire. We hope.
Be honest:
I want you to enjoy your meal. If you don’t like a certain ingredient such as egg or garlic then tell me, and I will discuss with the chef suitable dishes for you. Please don’t tell me you are highly allergic to gluten products and then tuck in to your friend’s garlic bread when it arrives. We take allergies seriously and you should too. Plus, your deceit hurts my feelings.
Make way for the food:
You may be in the midst of a romantic evening which requires outstretched interlocking limbs with your date but when the food arrives you need to put that to one side. Literally. These plates are emitting heat, (second only to your love), so please consider my fingertips and break the table hogging embrace.
Avoid the non-verbal ordering:
Brandishing a fork/empty glass/napkin in my direction is not really an appropriate method of communication. If you can use your words to tell me the font on the menu is hideous, you can use them to ask for an extra napkin.
Refrain from touching:
While a gentle tap on the shoulder or clap on the back isn’t problematic, please refrain from poking me to get my attention. This is especially important while I’m dealing with other customers or carrying a tray/plates/birthday cake. I keep my fingers out of your food, kindly keep yours out of my ribs.
Try to give us notice when your booking has doubled in size:
“We have a few more joining us but they’re small (LOL), that’s ok, yeah?” Sure, please excuse me as I birth four chairs. Also in this category, if a table is reserved, so too are the chairs. Taking said chairs is basically the same as taking the whole table.
Don’t ask to “just pay for your own”:
There’s food, there’s drink, there’s service charge and most importantly there’s 17 of you.
Photo Credit: Adikos Flickr