A server dishes: 10 customer don'ts


. photo courtesy of fizzix from

Sure, we hear plenty of complaints that diners have about poor service. Of course, there is another side to that story. Anyone who has ever been a server can attest to the fact that some pretty bad behavior must be tolerated on the job. We asked one local server to give us some tips on what not to do:

1. Calling 35 minutes before you come in on a Saturday night is not a reservation-- it's called a wait list. Make your reservation ahead of time.

2. "You're the greatest server," does not constitute a tip. Saying that and leaving 13% does not pay the mortgage. The norm for acceptable service, at least in urban restaurants, is 18% and it goes to 20% and beyond when the service is good and above average.

3. Coming to an urban restaurant, pointing at the menu and saying, "Gross, they serve snails!" is not acceptable behavior. Keep those comments to yourself.

4. Don't get an attitude if we don't offer free dessert on your birthday. Free birthday desserts are not mandatory.


5. Don't walk in at 6:30 on a Saturday without a reservation and get mad when the host says it will be an hour and a half wait. Again, call ahead for reservations.

6. This is a highchair and it's where your toddler goes. Well-behaved children are welcome--children under the table and running amok in the dining room are not welcome.

7. Yes, interesting that you are lactose intolerant and have a gluten allergy, but the point about your spastic colon... too much information. Keep personal bodily information to yourself.

8. Don't ask us for recommendations, order something never mentioned, and then complain about it. If you want a recommendation, then take it.

9. Telling us all the things you DON'T like is not helpful. Telling us what you DO like is helpful.

10. If you are ordering a beer, don't peruse the list and then ask for one that isn't listed. We don't have a secret beer collection--all beers offered are on the beer list.

Thank you for your cooperation.