Ten rudest things customers do to make servers wish you'd never come to their restaurants

annoyedserver.jpg
Your server can't stand you. Can you blame him?
I ate out nearly 500 times last year, and when you eat out as often as I do, you're bound to witness truly bad behavior, both on the side of the server and on the side of the guest. But recently, I've seen far more diners than servers exhibit the kind of obnoxious theatrics that make me want to plug their piehole with the food from Furr's Cafeteria.

If you can't treat the service staff with a modicum of respect -- if you feel compelled to snap your fingers, wave your hands in the air like a referee, make like a bulldozer and storm into the kitchen, ignore a server because you can't part with your cell phone long enough to order, or threaten to write, oh, let's say a Yelp review because your children weren't allowed to run around like hooligans, then do everyone a favor: Stay home and cook in your own damn kitchen.

Or just promise that you'll avoid these simple etiquette faux pas while dining out, otherwise don't blame your server if he pees in your pint glass.

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58 comments
michellangelo33
michellangelo33

I truly appreciate everything you had to say.  This is one of the most stressful jobs on the planet and every day it can make you one second away from feeling like you'll go postal.  I guarantee that all your negative comments have been from those who have never been in customer service and I pray that they all have to experience it one day :)  It can be good but it can also be pure hell! 

jc77
jc77

HeHeHeHe...Im a server and make more than you.

Colton
Colton

This has to be the most inane, asinine, and downright stupid article and comment chain to ever have appeared on the Westword online. We all have jobs. They all have quirks. What makes a servers' problems any different than that of anyone else doing a job for someone? 

 

Everyone just shut up, go back to work, and be cool. Fuck. 

Jane Doe
Jane Doe

 guest "arrogant and rude." You are VERY, VERY WRONG!! I am actually *NICER* than the servers because I still tell them "THANK YOU" even though they don't say they are sorry most of the time when they make mistakes. I do ask nicely for things "Can I get another coke" even saying "Thank you." "whom they deem "beneath" them." They are beneath us A LOT of times because we are more KNOWLEDGEABLE about the MENU and the JOB than MOST SERVERS ARE!!  When you have to point out things on the menu and it's your FIRST TIME THERE, it's sad, it really is that *YOU* KNOW MORE THAN THE SERVERS, EVEN MANAGERS EVEN!! IT'S PATHETIC AND SAD, IT REALLY IS!! "This article was spot on." It's not spot on, because nobody has to talk to the server like they are a friend. We are there to be SERVED with what we want *OUR* money to be spent on, which that is OUR TIME, NOT the server's time to decide on how it should be.

Springs1
Springs1

 "because you are an annoyingly picky person" Anyone who says this is **********LAZY*********** AND **********UNCARING***********!! "This is personally insulting to most of us and makes us not like you anyway. Your the same kind of diner who grabs the salt and pepper shaker off the table before tasting the food and douses it with both. Most of the time your food is prepared to be flavored just right. By ordering sauce on the side not only are you messing with this balance and perfect flavor of the food, but you are also not allowing us to present the food in the way it was intended, something we pride ourselves on." First off, nobody's taste is the same. Secondly, if it's not your money, you have **********ZERO*********** say so in what the customer wants for *THEIR MONEY*, not only for the food, but for the tip they are paying as well for the service. "If you want to make your food the way you like it cook at home!" Sorry, but my money makes me *****************ENTITLED************ to the food the way ************I**************************** like it. TOUGH SHIT if you are too LAZY ASS to serve it that way. "i have to stop and double check the ticket, then double check while the salad is made, then double check to make sure the server took the right one." AWWW, POOR YOU, you actually had to do some ***********WORK************! WHAT A LAZY ASS, LAZY ASS, LAZY ASS, UNCARING ASSHOLE!! Seriously, FUCK YOU!! WE RULE THE SHOW, NOT YOU!! FUCK YOU!! I don't order it on the side and none on the food, I order **********ALWAYS******** ******************EXTRA CONDIMENTS*****************, so I have MANY SIDES of ranch, mayo, mustard, honey mustard, etc. "Can you see how this would be annoying?" NO, because I am not ************LAZY************* like you are.  I want to not be bored on the job and I like having something to do. I am not like you. "So for all you customers who order sauce in the side, please stop! " WHY, so you can be LAZY on the job and so you can get it *YOUR* WAY when you aren't paying us? FUCK YOU!! "You slow down the kitchen, other customers satisfaction, and are a largely hated part of the dining community." SO WHAT? No customers are tipping basing on other customers, meaning, NO OTHER CUSTOMERS CARE ABOUT *OUR* DINING EXPERIENCES, WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT THEIRS? YOU ARE FUCKING LAZY, YOU REALLY ARE!! "We are more than happy to bring you a sample" That's more work, WHY? I like to have *EXTRA* condiments. I get it on the food and on the side. Like I order 3 or 4 sides of ranch with a side salad. I order ranch with bread even. Why would you rather not give the customer want *THEY* want, huh?

Springs1
Springs1

" 1. Refusing to say "Please" and "Thank You" should result in a mandatory sentence to repeat preschool." Refusing to say you are sorry when a mess up happens creates a lower tip in most situations.

Springs1
Springs1

" 10. When a server comes to greet your table, don't -- I repeat, don't -- interrupt her midway through her preamble to demand a diet Coke or vodka on the rocks. Worse, if she asks what kind of day you're having -- as in "How are you?"-- and you respond by demanding a menu, free bread or water, no ice, then I hope she gets your name and number and prank-calls you at 2 a.m. I've seen guests behave in this fashion a dozen times over the course of the last month, and it's beyond rude." Actually, it's beyond rude to ********PURPOSELY *******DELAY********* SOMEONE FROM ORDERING AND BEING CONTROLLING ON HOW *******WE****** WANT TO SPEND **********OUR MONEY****************(remember *WE* PAY FOR THE SERVICE, NOT YOU*). In all honesty, it's the ********SERVER********* that is being VERY RUDE FIRST, don't you understand that the *LONGER* you take to get our order, the *LONGER* we have to WAIT because of ****************YOU********************? Also, there's no "DEMANDING" anything. This is a **************JOB***************, so STFU and just take our orders. We don't need to tell you how we are doing. It's none of your business honestly. What if  *************YOU************* just waited an ***********HOUR*********** for a table how would **********YOU************* feel getting delayed on purpose MORE, huh? We don't have to respond, because you aren't paying us ANYTHING. ************WE RULE THE SHOW, NOT YOU***********!! WHEN YOU PAY US, *THEN*  YOU CAN TELL US HOW TO RUN THINGS, UNDERSTAND? Why do servers care about this so much? WHY don't you see that it turns and burns the tables ****************FASTER************ if you SHUT YOUR MOUTHS AND TAKE OUR ORDERS? It's ***********OUR MONEY************, so it's up to *******US********* on HOW we spend our time, NOT YOU CONTROL FREAK!! YOU HAVE CONTROL ISSUES, YOU REALLY DO!! It's our money.  It's not YOU tipping us.  WHY can't realize that *YOU* are BEING RUDE FIRST BY PURPOSELY ***********************DELAYING**************** US FROM PLACING OUR ORDERS, HUH? I REALLY DON'T GET THAT, I REALLY, REALLY DON'T?

Doughboy
Doughboy

The sad fact that you're not willing to face is that there an operative word here: "server" (or "waiter" or "hostess").    That implies service, that YOU as the server is providing to ME as the customer. Is it arrogant to state that fact?   If you really don't believe in that model, then you probably shouldn't be a thirty year old trying to convince yourself that your hourly wage job is really some kind of "profession" that you can proudly tell your parents about.  Have fun trying to pick me out of the crowd, because like most customers I am actually a pleasant, undemanding person who enjoys a night out without my children and tips my servers 20 percent no matter how bitchy they are.   

Jackinichole_33
Jackinichole_33

You have no idea what you are talking about and you are exactly the type of uneducated, judgmental, arrogant customers who we as servers dread. Maybe you have continually gotten bad service from servers who "don't care" because your shitty attitude and arrogant behavior frustrates your server. And despite how you probably feel, just because I am your server doesn't make me sub-human, and if you treat me like shit, I will treat your food, your experience, and you personally just as badly.

Jenjah0212
Jenjah0212

Ahhh, the cardinal rule of thumb is, DON'T FUCK WITH PEOPLE WHO HANDLE YOUR FOOD DUMBASS!!!

Ersleeps
Ersleeps

Thank you SO much Lori for writing this article!!! From all of us that work in the service industry & LOVE our jobs, it's nice to have someone stand up for us & not just lump us all together with their angry words on yelp. :) cheers!

guest
guest

You try handling the job. I think people are clueless about the finesse and multitasking skills it takes to wait tables in a busy restaurant. It should be part of high school education. Of course there will be people who don't give a rat's ass about their job - those exist in every industry......but that doesn't give people the immediate right to be rude and dismissive. I try to practice politeness and attentiveness anytime I'm dealing with any sort of service industry employee, even in the Taco Bell drive thru. 

guest
guest

I've worked in the restaurant industry for going on 13 years.....here and in Brooklyn and I just want to say thank you for writing this list!!! I read Sean Kenyon's response, in fact our boss at work passed out copies and I agree with him, servers and bartenders SHOULD NEVER make a guest feel like we are doing them a favor BUT  a little consideration towards us goes a long, long way! It blows my mind how rude customers can be towards their server - not acknowledging us when we say hello or check on them, never saying please or thank you.......this stuff happens more often than not. I want to scream at customers when I return shortly after their entrees have been delivered to see if everything is okay or if they need anything else and they ignore me. It's my job to do so - if you don't want to be bothered, stay home.

Cory Winget
Cory Winget

"you now get to treat us like hired help" S-E-R-V-I-C-E  I-N-D-U-S-T-R-Y

Doughboy
Doughboy

Whose the dick for calling his customer's vacuous bimbos and emotionally castrated pricks?  It just shows how much respect that denver chef has for his customers.  His chest-beating about the enjoyment he gets throwing customers out of this restaurant tells me all I need to know about how angry he is being in this business.  Why bother, if you really hate it that much?      

Doughboy
Doughboy

Stay at home if you can't get it together to do your job; I'm not paying you to bitch and moan about your personal problems.      Wait staff is getting paid to notice who's at their tables and whether they've been served or not.  90% of the time, when a table has been sitting unserved for twenty minutes the waiter damn well knows he fucked up.  He just needs to acknowledge and move on.  Don't expect a pleasant response when you try to cover up your mess by completely ignoring it.   Case it point I was at one the finer Italian restaurants in town a week ago, and there was a half and hour between the time our salad plates were taken away and when the second course was served.   The waitress chose to ignore it, when it was apparent to everyone that we were waiting for a very long time.  It would have been nice for her just to say, "Hey I'm sorry the kitchen is a bit late on your pastas, but I'll get them out to you as soon as they come up."  It's busy, we know, we just like some acknowlegment that there is a problem so we don't have to wonder whether you're actually trying to solve it or not.

T D Ward23
T D Ward23

And you've become the troll.....

Kaceyharris2002
Kaceyharris2002

You should prrobably sit your grouchy ass at home if you think pursed lips is the best way to convey emotion. The waiter isn't clueless but they also aren't beneath you. How do you know they aren't busy? or dealing with regulars? or having family problems? My niece passed away recently and I had to work the next day. I probably wasn't on the ball that night. Get over yourself and show a little understanding.

Your Server
Your Server

I love this post. So many denver diners are too used to the "pleasentries" of chain restaurant dining. I do believe that they truely dont know what it is like to get a quality meal made with fresh quality ingredients and prepared in house from start to finish. As for the post about the calorie watching on sauce on side. Bull shit. You are just so used to being a pain in the ass that you see no wrong in it. Order your calorie watching SOS at Chili's or Applebees where you belong. If you are going to a quality restaurant that actually has trained chefs on hand, then allow them to do what they do best, which is provide a great dinner/lunch/brunch for you. Especially now that 50% of the Denver population has every alergy thinkable that chefs are forced to deal with. Just stay at home and yelp about the pet store or metro transportation that didnt satisfy you. Dont make up an alergy for yourself like a 5 year old because you dont like it, or are not up to the challenge of actually trying something new.

stephen
stephen

Yes, it is a business transaction, but that doesn't mean that you need to be an ill mannered prick.  If you don't like that, then feel free to dine at all the shitty chain restaurants you can (TGI Fridays, Cheesecake Factory, Chilis, etc) where they probably will put up with your behavior, while happily overcharging you for some crapass dish involving too much cheese and butter in order to smother the poor quality ingredients lurking underneath.  Enjoy, dick.

stephen
stephen

Actually, there IS specific dining etiquette.  The fact that you and at least 17 other people don't know that is evidence that blogs like this one are, in fact, quite needed.

stephen
stephen

You are a fucking moron.  Now go troll elsewhere.  

tada
tada

 Was this a real steakhouse, like Elways, and not something like Lone Star? You should have called for the manager immediately.

WillyJ
WillyJ

Denver has the worst servers (and management) in any city I have ever encountered.  THE WORST customers too.  Podunk.  

Brakeks
Brakeks

Amazing! I have been a server/bartender fur over 13 years abs I couldn't agree more! You nailed it...

ng3
ng3

The bottom line is if the customer modifies something, maybe even excessively, then the establishment shouldn't have to stand behind that dish as being something great or good. If you modify the dish, you are on your own, there is a reason it is on the menu that way, never send something back or complain about a dish after you've stripped of one of it's main ingredients, ie, "I ordered this without gorgonzola and now it just doesn't taste like anything...." well, duh, that's why it had gorgonzola on it. If you can't eat the blue cheese, talk to your server and they can usually find you another dish that you can eat and that will taste great....

ngs
ngs

If I ask you if you would like anything else, don't answer with the clever response, "I'd like a million dollars." Context is important, that sort of question is for the shady investment bank of your choosing.....

I'll Just Have A Sandwich
I'll Just Have A Sandwich

After reading the article and all the comments I don't think I ever want to eat out again.  Customers suck.  Servers have it so rough.  The guys in the back of the house sound like complete assholes.  Where did it all go wrong?

DC
DC

That's outrageous. I would have walked out.

Doughboy
Doughboy

About No. 1, I agree that it's rude to ignore the waiter's pleasantries, but you sometime have to take that in context.  Sometimes when you bring them up short, you're really telling the waiter:  We have been sitting here twenty minutes and had to ask someone else to get us the menus because you forgot about us while you were chatting and laughing it up with the table of ladies  while completely ignoring the rest of your customers."  

thesmartwaitress
thesmartwaitress

My restaurant changes things in the menu on a weekly basis. In other words, just because I am not 100% certain about the item you are questioning me about, does not mean I am "beneath you". And, believe it or not, restaurants hire new people(what?! no! new people?!) and they often are not sure of every single detail of every single menu item.  You can put someone through menu training (as we do) and they will still have trouble answering certain questions. Give the person a break before you consider yourself above them (i.e. curve the snobbery).

thesmartwaitress
thesmartwaitress

Note to self: Do NOT ask the customer "How are you doing?". This is considered rude and unacceptable. 

We ramble off specials in the beginning because we HAVE to..it's part of the job. Trust me, I would never "purposely delay" getting someone as rude as you out of my section. I know that you can't wait to get your hands on those 5 sides of ranch that you drown that poor, unsuspecting side salad in, but maybe consider the pleasantries the server attempts is because they might actually want to make a decent tip?

thesmartwaitress
thesmartwaitress

Wow...unbelievable. Is serving that "beneath" you that you have to be this rude about it? Is it such a lowly "profession" that you feel the need to belittle those of us who consider it a career? I would LOVE to see you (or anyone) serve for one night. It's not just about taking your order. We (at my restaurant) wait on anywhere from 15-25 people at one time at ALL TIMES for 7 hours. It's non-stop multi-tasking all the while maintating a pleasant demeanor. It's constant movement, carrying trays FULL of drinks, food, etc. It's carrying out various shift duties throughout the night. I PROUDLY tell my parents about how much money I make each night at my "profession". I hope you don't choke on your foot when your children become servers....try to be proud.

Jackinichole_33
Jackinichole_33

And you respond acting like servers are less than human while waiting on you! "you wait on us, not the other way around..." does that give your poorly behaved children the right to run around our legs in circles while you yell at us for not getting out of their way? Give me a break. You're an arrogant asshole, and any manager I've worked for would gladly give me permission to nicely telling you do before kicking you out of the restaurant. Thank god for chefs like this one, who care enough about their staff to understand that just because we wait on you doesn't give you the right to treat us like whipping slaves. Get a fucking clue. Your parents should be slapped for raising you with absolutely no couth or respect.

Springs1
Springs1

 "Stay at home if you can't get it together to do your job; I'm not paying you to bitch and moan about your personal problems." THANK YOU!! They sure as hell don't care about *OUR* personal problems, WHY the HELL SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT THEIRS? This is *********BUSINESS***********, NOT A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP!!

Springs1
Springs1

 "My niece passed away recently and I had to work the next day." No, no one MADE you go to work. You DECIDED to. " How do you know they aren't busy? or dealing with regulars? or having family problems?" If you can't perform correctly, STAY THE FUCK HOME AND DON'T RUIN OUR LIVES BECAUSE OF IT!! Also, do you honestly *********CARE*********** about YOUR CUSTOMERS PERSONAL LIVES? I BET YOU DON'T, SO THEY SHOULDN'T CARE ABOUT YOU PERSONALLY.  IT'S A JOB, NOT A PITY PARTY!!

Spayurpets
Spayurpets

Your spelling tells me exactly why you are a 30 year old still waiting tables. 

Mmmr2012
Mmmr2012

a better way would be to just let the server know that you have waited longer than you like (since, like Lori wrote, they're not mind readers) and ask if they will please take your order and expedite your experience, but you can still answer their "hi, how are you?" sometimes there is a miscommunication as to which server is taking your table and while this is frustrating, there are many people responsible for your delay, not just the server. if you give short answers and try to communicate your frustration with tone of voice and attitude, nothing is accomplished except now you and the server get to be mad. by letting them know your disappointment in a calm and genuine matter, your message is clearly delivered and you might even get that "SCOTCH!!" for free.

asprings131
asprings131

 @thesmartwaitress "And, believe it or not, restaurants hire new people(what?! no! new people?!) and they often are not sure of every single detail of every single menu item."

 

That means you should have *STUDIED* MORE AT HOME!! If I know more than you(if you were my server), something is truly wrong with that, it really is.

asprings131
asprings131

 @thesmartwaitress 

"We ramble off specials"

 

I NEVER TALKED ABOUT SPECIALS. I talked about asking "How are you doing?" *****************LEARN TO **************************************READ***************** NEXT TIME!!

DenverDoughboy
DenverDoughboy

 @thesmartwaitress Yeah, you're right, I was being an asshole, and I apologize.  But that doesn't change the fact that server means service, and I hate waiters who want to be your pal instead of doing the job that you're there for. I've never waitered before, but I assume they should be smart enough to see when the people at the table are impatient or pissed off and a silly, breezy tone is not appropriate.   When I'm at my job and walk into a meeting ten minutes late with my boss, I know that it is stupid for me to come in and be chatty rather than offer a short apology and jump into the work that needs to be done.

thesmartwaitress
thesmartwaitress

Some people cannot just take the day off. If a server having a bad day and  their mediocre service "ruins your life", I think you have bigger things to worry about. And, I have made lifelong friends by getting to know my customers in the hour or so they are at my table..all because I do actually *gasp* CARE.

guest
guest

Springs1 and Doughboy can certainly look forward to receiving bad service almost anywhere they go to eat. Just by reading their comments, it is apparent that they are incredibly arrogant and rude. No one responds well to pursed lips and snappy orders, even "lowly" wait staff. You can always tell the true character of a person by how they treat those whom they deem "beneath" them. I have fired employees from my firm for their embarrassing treatment of people in the service industry. Get your heads out of your asses and stick to take out. Lori, you did a wonderful job. This article was spot on.

thesmartwaitress
thesmartwaitress

Now, see..this offends me. I am a 30-year-old server and am quite intelligent. Just because I am a waitress at this age does NOT mean I am stupid and this is all I have left to do with my life. On most nights, I make $20-$30 an hour waiting tables...seems like a pretty smart job choice to me. Where else can a person work for 6 hours and make the same amount as a person who has worked a full 40-hour week at minimum wage? Point being, I would like for you, Spayurpets, to please refrain from insinuating that because a person is a server, they must be ignorant.

asprings131
asprings131

 @thesmartwaitress 

Since we *ALL*  know menus change, then they should be ***********STUDYING************* them MORE, because I KNOW MORE THAN THEM A LOT OF THE TIME I AM FINDING, EVEN MORE THAN SOME MANAGERS EVEN.

 

" Something is"truly wrong" with a person that puts themselves above another (Jane Doe) because they might know an answer the other does not."

 

No it's not wrong, it's the *********TRUTH********** that if you are TOO LAZY TO *************READ THE MENU******************, THEN WHY THE HELL ARE YOU AT THIS JOB, HUH? YOU SHOULD KNOW MORE THAN ME, BUT I KNOW MORE THAN YOU. SOMETHING IS TRULY WRONG WITH THAT CONSIDERING I AM TAKING EFFORT FOR *NO MONEY* AND YOU AREN'T TAKING EFFORT FOR THE MONEY YOU WANT, WTF??

 

That makes me a better person, because it shows I *CARE* about WHAT I am paying for and it shows that the server could care *LESS* about WHAT money they want from us.

thesmartwaitress
thesmartwaitress

@asprings131 Did you even read the sentence after that?! Or the first sentence?! Menus CHANGE. They ARE trained..they DO study. Have you ever worked in a restaurant before? They give tests on the menu...portion size, presentation, etc. before they let servers on the floor. And yes, even THEN, some faulter when asked certain questions. Do you know how it feels when someone asks you a question about a menu item and you don't know the answer? You feel embarrassed. It's bad enough to feel that way on your own without your table making you feel even worse. Something is"truly wrong" with a person that puts themselves above another (Jane Doe) because they might know an answer the other does not. 

dangerousdiva727
dangerousdiva727

 @asprings131  @thesmartwaitress Springs, stop trolling. I just saw your rants and raves on toptenz.net. I don't think anyone is taking you seriously. Believe it or not, a server may very well give you poor service because you seem like a jerk who wont tip anyways. So s/he will spend more time on other tables and get better tips from them. What's more money, wasting time on your problems and getting 10% tips on all seven tables or blowing you off and getting 15-20% on six tables?

thesmartwaitress
thesmartwaitress

I appreciate that, Denver. I can totally understand what you're saying about servers that...well..suck. I watch other servers around me (either at work, or while out) and sometimes, I get irritated as well..and I'm not even the customer! Not all people in this industry SHOULD be in this industry and it's those people that give servers like me a bad name. I thrive (literally) on being friendly and getting to know my tables. I have customers that were on vacation that I STILL keep in contact with (via email). My point is, there are servers out there than can handle being your pal AND keeping up with their sections at the same time.

 

I DO agree with you, though. I think they SHOULD be smart enough to pick up on the fact that your table is annoyed with you and maybe you should just focus on service. But, if they are good at their job, they wouldn't let their table get to that point in the first place.

 

thesmartwaiter
thesmartwaiter

@thesmartwaitress  thank you so much for speaking for all of us "servers".....some of us are excellent at this job.....unfortunately, I have worked with some servers who are better suited for other jobs.  You and I have excellent insight to this profession.  I side with the customers who get shitty service...it's unacceptable.  I also side with the servers who get shitty customers.  I have seen it all.....from both sides.  There are shitty servers.....AND...there are just plain shitty customers. I I have had coworkers (servers) that were so bad I could have cried.....same with customers.  I think that I encountered more bad customers than bad servers. Sorry if that hurts anyones feelings but I am just stating the facts.  I could write a book on the perspective from both sides.  To "thesmartwaitress"....stay cool!! I think I love you....lol.

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