I want to like you. I appreciate how hard you work, I understand the complexities of the kitchen, I feel your sorry psyche when some thoughtless asshole makes unreasonable demands and then expects you to pick up the tab on your pitiful wages. I’ve walked in your shoes and I feel the pain in your feet and back. I even understand that your boss may be pushing you to free up my table for the next group of diners. But right now, this is my table—my meal. I tip well—never under 15%, even for poor service. But your tip could be an easy 20% or more if you just pay attention:
- I love it when a server knows the menu well enough to talk coherently about the ingredients in the dishes, what is popular with diners, his or her favorite items and why those dishes are particularly appealing.
- If I ask for my glass of wine to be delivered with my entree, that’s when I want it. I will wait a few minutes for that glass of wine to arrive, but the longer I wait, the hungrier and crankier I’m going to get. Don’t even bother to bring it when my plate is half empty. If you bring after I have finished my entree, I will send it back.
- If even one person at the table is still eating their main course, do NOT interrupt to ask if anyone wants dessert. This is utterly rude and makes the still-dining person feel like a pig or a slacker. And if I happen to be the one still dining, I am still enjoying my entree, haven’t given a thought to dessert just yet, and don’t appreciate the interruption.
- Of course it is nice when you remove plates as each dinner has finished their course. However, if my fork is in my hand, don’t even think about asking me if I’m finished. Again, this is insulting and demeaning. Unless my utensils are laid across the right edge of my plate and my hands are in my lap, I am still enjoying my meal. It may not be fashionable for ladies to eat every bite of food on their plates, but let that me my faux pas, not your problem.
- Here is a final head-scratcher for you. When I come to a fine dining establishment, I am not one of the “guys.” I’ve earned these gray hairs and facial ruts. Greetings such as: “How are you guys tonight?” or “What can I get for you guys?” may be overlooked at a greasy spoon. But I am not dining at a greasy spoon.