Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Idiot's Guide To Proper Restaurant Etiquette

Yes, I know this is a sports blog. And yes, there has been sort of a lot going on lately in the sports world (go Soul!), but not really. Ken Griffey Jr. is on the White Sox now? Wonderful. Manny was traded to the Dodgers? Nice Job Red Sox. You made out like bandits. Brett Favre is still a donkey raping shiteater? Par for the course. Last year I wrote The Idiot's Guide To Leaving A Tip and it seemed to go over fairly well. So now I'm writing a follow up to let people know how to conduct themselves in a restaurant.

This is not going to encompass the more obvious things, such s not sending things back seven times or insulting your server. If you don't know things like that, you're hopeless. This is meant to address the things that most people wouldn't think of unless they have worked in a restaurant before.

First of all, don't seat yourself unless there is a sign instructing you to do so. Even if you don't see a hostess, wait politely at the door until someone acknowledges you. Trust me, it wont take long. And, when you are seated, look at your menu! You're there to eat! I don't want to come back six times because you "haven't even looked yet". You'll have plenty of time to chat before, during and after your meal. (By the way, this doesn't mean you should rush into ordering. It just means you should start looking at the menu as soon as possible. That way, if you have questions, we can help you. And yes, please feel free to ask questions. Just don't ask stupid ones.)

When ordering, order entire courses together. (And it is ideal that you order everything at once, but if you want to get some appetizers working while you decide on your main courses, that's totally fine.) Don't have me bring out your entrees and then decide you want that side of fries. That annoys the kitchen staff to no end, and they are NOT the people you want to piss off. Oh, and if you're one of those weirdos that wants a side of mayo with his burger, order it when you order the burger. Don't make me go get it when the burger arrives. You know damn well you wanted that side of mayo, you fucking weirdo. You ordering it at the last minute is not going to make me not judge you.

Now that you have ordered, don't complain about food taking too long. I'm just the fucking waiter. I'm not back there cooking it too.

When your food has arrived, there are a couple of mid-meal things you must consider. First of all, if you need something, such as more napkins, or another fork, ask me for them. Do not grab that roll up from another table because "you didn't want to bother me". Who the fuck do you think has to replace that roll up? Don't you think that taking another napkin, putting a fork, knife and spoon in it, rolling it up and putting it back on the table might inconvenience me more than just getting you some more napkins? For fuck's sake people, bringing you shit is my job. If you want to get your own napkins and silverware, go to a fast food joint.

And, if there is a problem with your food, it really is okay to say something. If your steak or burger is undercooked, or if you asked us to hold something (due to an allergy or religious reasons) and we didn't, please feel free to point it out. You're paying for this meal, you deserve to have it prepared properly. Just don't be a dick about it. Don't complain because you asked for no lettuce on your burger and there was still lettuce when it arrived. Just take the lettuce off and eat the damn burger, you fucking prima donna.

Once you're finished with everything, and your server asks you if you need anything else, don't sit there and say, "Oh, I think we're okay for now". What the fuck does that mean? Do you want a few minutes to think about dessert? Fine. Say that. Are you done? Then ask for the check. And when it arrives, hey asshole, pay it! Feel free to sit and talk as long as you like, but pay your check right away (and tip 20%). You never know when my shift is over and your open check is the last thing keeping me from going out and getting hammered.

By following these simple guidelines, I can assure that your dining experience will be the best one possible. And it will also make my job a lot easier, so everybody wins.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go find as many pieces regarding my first place Phillies as possible. After all, some people who say they write about sports actually do it.


Anonymous said...

hey buddy i got a question about tipping. say you go to an all you can eat buffet style where you serve yourself, and all your waitperson has to do is bring you a soda (and maybe a refill) and then clean up after you. still 20%? i wouldnt mind if that's true, i just want to know what waitpeople are expecting in that scenario. thanx.

Lionel McClure said...

Personally, I would leave 20% at a buffet, but I've never worked in one or eaten at one that wasn't in a hotel, so I may not be the best authority on this.

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