5 Things Your Server Really Doesn't Want You To Do

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Everyone who plans on ever dining out should be forced to serve, at least for a month or two. Then maybe folks would have a little more compassion for the fine ladies and gentlemen who take care of them from the greasy spoon diners to the upscale steakhouses. While we don't expect y'all to rush out and do a stint of serving for empathy's sake, we do have some suggestions on what you should never do to make the restaurant scene better for servers and you alike.

See Also: 5 Things Your Bartender Really Doesn't Want You to Do

The Order Switch You've put in your order and then decide you want something completely different ten minutes after you told your server. Too bad. The kitchen is already making your meal, and is likely close to being done with your ticket and sending it out. It's too late to change it so don't make your server feel crappy just because you're indecisive. If you're not ready to order or unsure, ask for more time or ask for suggestions. Otherwise, you can try out your second choice the next time you come.

Mid-Rush Megalomania Don't go to a restaurant during peak dining hours and expect to be the only person your server serves. That's what crazy people do. They have other tables. They know you're there. You're just going to have to be a little patient. If you went to a high volume sit-down restaurant on your 30 minute lunch break, it's silly to even expect to be back to work on time. Get fast food, but just don't demand your food is cooked faster and your server serve you before everyone else just because you're in a hurry. Good food takes time.

NO TOUCHING! This should be a no-brainer, but seriously. It's really not cool to put your hands on a server unless you know them and you know it's okay. A server isn't your therapist and they certainly aren't your plaything just because you're planning on throwing a couple bucks their way in a little while. That sort of thing isn't even tolerated at strip clubs so whatever got you thinking that you can put your hand on your server's lower back or touch the back of their arm or worse needs to be reconciled--like yesterday.

Low-Ball Breakfast Tip It's not clear when the myth of tipping 15% at breakfast or lunch and 20% at dinner first became a thing, but no. Servers at breakfast and lunch joints usually do just as much work as their dinner counterparts and likely have smaller tabs because booze is bought less and specials are king during those meals. Throw them a bone and tip 20%. Chances are they're already making next to nothing off of your $6 sandwich special with a $1.50 drink so tacking on a little bit extra isn't going to kill you.

P.A.S.S. (or the Passive Aggressive Service Suggestion) Servers really try their hardest to make your dining experience a pleasure. They're pretty much saints. So if you're not pleased with the way something is going, say so. They'll reconcile it as best they can in hopes that you'll leave happy and return often. If you don't like the way your burger was cooked and they offer to exchange it and you decline, you certainly have no room to mumble and grumble and sigh. Help them help you. Polite, direct people always get the best service.

Oh, and did you notice how stiff your server or walk out on a tab aren't on there? Yeah, that's because those should be so unacceptable that it's common sense. No excuses.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.