Are you sure this is decaf?
While you should almost ALWAYS leave a 20% tip, here’s a list of things you should almost NEVER say to your waitress. It’s not that they are so awful they are unbearable, it’s just that, well, EVERYONE says them.
I too have fallen guilty of these clichéd statements and questions at certain low points in my life.
The following list was generated by me, my co-workers and my fellow industry friends:
- “Do you have coke or Pepsi products.” Seriously? Does it REALLY matter? Are you going to order water if they don’t have Pepsi and you want Coke?
- “Oh my god, I hated it!” *guest gushes dramatically as the server clears their empty plate* False. You loved it. Variations of this obnoxious reply include “It was AWWWWful.” “Send it back.” ”It was horrible I need another one.”
- “I’ll have a decaf coffee. Decaf, please.” Server walks away. Makes coffee. Brings back to the table. “Are you SURE this is decaf?” No. I’m not. I made a cup of coffee two seconds ago and now I can’t remember if it’s decaf or not. This is the ULTIMATE. It’s a clear assault to a server’s intelligence. You may not think so, but trust, they do.
- You go out to dinner a little past the rush and the server tells you, unfortunately, that they are out of the soup. “Oh but that’s why we CAME!” No it’s not. And this isn’t funny.
- Fries placed in front of the guest. Server: “Can I get you any ketchup or aioli?” Guest: “Yes, please.” …… Yes is not a defining response. Do you want both? Or just the ketchup? Stop drooling over your fries and focus, please.
- Guest: “I can’t decide between the steak or the fish. Which do you like better?” Server: “The steak.” Guest: “Okay, I’ll have the fish!!!” Why do you even ask?
- Guest: “Could we get the check?” Server:”Absolutely.” Server walks away, waits in line at the POS system, prints the check. Walks back to the table. Guest hands the server the credit card or immediately places the card on top of the check presenter. Why ask for the check? If you’re not going to look and just pay for the thing without checking your bill, why not save your server some time and just hand them the credit card in the first place?
- Guest: “I’ll have the steak.” Server: “How would you like that prepared?” Guest: “Can I have it between medium and medium-rare?” No, you may not. This temperature does not exist. Medium rare is the temperature between medium and rare, that’s why it’s there. There is no “medium-medium-rare” temperature, probably because it sounds ridiculous.
- ”I’ll have the fish, but will you ask the chef not to over-cook it? No ma’am, I won’t, because I’m not going to tell him how to do his job. Would you like it if I came to your place of work and told YOU how to do YOUR job? Didn’t think so.
- Any statement that starts with, “I know this is a pain, but…” So you KNOW you’re being difficult and you STILL don’t care? It’s almost worse.
- The act of asking for bread IMMEDIATELY after your server has taken your dinner order. Generally, in nicer restaurants, bread comes after the order. Relax, you will get your carb fix momentarily. Try not to sound like you’re starving to death.
- “Can I have water with NO ice and lemon?” After your server pours you a glass of water with ice…REALLY?
- Server: “Are you folks interested in dessert this evening?” Guest: “No, but we’ll take a look at the menu.” WHY?!?!!
I’m sure there are others, but these are some of the classics. Next time you go out to eat, take notice at how frequently the people you are with uses one of these faux pax statements, or even take note of yourself and how frequently you are tempted to use one.
If you are striving for the best restaurant behavior (as my mother used to say) avoid these statements at all costs.