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The do’s and don’ts of dealing with bad service

You show up at a restaurant happy to receive that food that you always get and love. The Caesar salad and for the main course, a good medium well cooked ribeye. There is only one downside, your service was horrible. The steak was undercooked, the server was only at your table twice, and his drink is empty. What do you do for a living? There are many people who would go with the server or a manager, but as an adult, this is no way to handle yourself. You disagree. Here are some do’s and don’ts regarding proper restaurant etiquette.

DO: from the beginning, sit where the host sits you.

Unless you physically can’t sit there due to disability or are too cold so sit near the door, the host operates on a system where they rotate tables so they can even give tables to servers. It is widely understood that some people may not fit in the booths and that is perfectly fine. If you are noticeably upset for some reason, nine times out of ten the message will be immediately forwarded to the assigned server, who in certain situations might not want to spend too much time at your table.

NO: Stiffen your server.

In other words, don’t leave a zero dollar tip. Although some services are terribly awful, the staff are working to keep you happy and full while you try to feed your own. The average server makes about $5 an hour, which in retrospect is about $40 a week if it weren’t for tips. They earn money from the tips left by customers. When they get stiff, it’s almost like the whole table and all that energy is a waste of time. If you’re a regular customer who doesn’t tip, you’ll probably find you’re getting mediocre service night after night. That’s because in the servers mind, it’s not worth your time if you’re not going to tip. They prefer to have the couple in the corner that are newbies that are going to drop a nice couple of bucks for the server.

These are just two pieces of advice for a modern server who doesn’t want to see people coming and going upset. In the world of waiting tables, tips are everything and a happy customer means a happy server. If a problem occurs, speak like an adult to management and stay calm.