Restaurant Etiquette 101

This is just for me to get it off my chest. The sad thing is that most if not all of you reading this already know these things, but it will make make me feel better to have stated them.

1. Talking on your cell phone at your table is just rude. The blackberry is even worse. For one it is totally rude to your guests, and even if your dining alone it’s rude to the other people in the restaurant, not to mention your server.

a. If you must take a call keep it brief and keep your voice down! Or better yet step into a hallway or outside.

b. Don’t be irritated that your server doesn’t come over to help you while you’re on the phone – if you want to talk to them hang up the phone!

*There was this guy talking so loudly this past weekend I felt the need to apologize to my other guests! Not to mention how bad I felt for the other people he was with. Oh, and my favorite is when someone is on the phone and they flag me down, put their caller on hold and quickly place their order with me – classy!

2. Don’t get mad that your server can’t read your mind.

*I don’t know that you don’t want to order until you’ve finished your cocktail – communicate that politely rather than glare at me rudely when I come to take your order after delivering your drinks. This older woman almost reduced me to tears with how rude she was “We’ll order when we’ve finished our cocktails!”

3. If you’re bringing anything over 10 people to a restaurant call and make a reservation or at least give them a heads up that you are coming – especially if you’re coming within the last hour they’re open!

*Our favorite USC students are famous for this one!

4. With regard to tipping…

a. If you have a coupon or discount, you tip on the ORIGINAL amount, NOT the discounted amount.

b. Never tip less than 10% – it’s like a slap in the face. If you really received service that was that bad, speak to a manger. They need to know about it, and most likely you’ll get something free. However, your server could just be having a bad day – we all have them. Your crappy tip will not help matters.

c. Tips should be between 15 and 20% for adequate to great service.

d. Verbal tips DO NOT make up for crappy monetary tips – while it’s nice to hear, words do not pay the rent. If you were that pleased, leave a great tip!

e. If you’re with younger people who are taking care of their own bill, make sure they leave an appropriate tip or cover it for them.

f. If you’re paying with cash and a card, tip on the WHOLE amount, not just the amount charged to your card. Come on people, I know you’re smarter than that!

g. If you stay at a table much longer than the usual time it takes to eat (45 min – 1 hr) your tip should reflect that. You are taking up the table and causing your server to lose money by not getting another sitting. Your tip should reflect that or you should leave. That’s why God created coffee shops!

*I have multitudes of stories for each of these points, but we’ll just leave them as self-explanatory for today.

5. Don’t ask your server to do more than 5 separate checks – it’s just rude.

*I had a table straight up ask me for 10 separate checks – are you kidding me?!

6. Let your server know about any coupons or discounts you have at the onset, NOT when you’re ready to leave and are irriated that your server now has to find a manger to take care of your coupon.

a. If you’re in a hurry, pay with a credit card or request no change back from your cash. The last thing your server needs when they’re trying to get you out is to have to go get change! Trust me this all for your own good.

I think that’s it for today. Now, if someone will just get this published in every newspaper and magazine in the country we’ll be good to go! 😉


~ by Shannon on February 8, 2009.

3 Responses to “Restaurant Etiquette 101”

  1. beware of over annoyed restaurant servers. next think you know, they will walk around with their food in their trousers before they give it to you.

    If I ever come in your restaurant…I tip well. Please, please remember that 😉

  2. I agree that this should be published in every magazine and newspaper in the country. Maybe you should throw it inside menus as well. Being a server is definitely not an easy job…

  3. Shannon, I love you, you know I do, but on behalf of those coming into restaurants…we have bad days too, and we don’t always remember the proper etiquette on such days. People not tipping well is inexcusable, but all the rest…they’re human too. But…I hear ya friend. People suck sometimes.

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