Eat & Drink

The Jokes Your Server is Tired of Hearing You Say

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If you’ve ever been dining out in a restaurant and said something funny that made your server fall into a hysterical laughing fit, you might think you’re ready to book a national tour of standup comedy and that Netflix will soon be sending you a contract for your first special…but not so fast. The cold, hard, truth is that servers have heard your jokes before. That full-throated guffaw they gave you when you tried to be funny was almost certainly as fake as the dessert display at Cheesecake Factory.

There are several scenarios that a server never wants to experience again, because it’s exhausting to pretend that it’s the first time they’ve heard these so-called jokes. If you want to be amusing, please do so, but just know that some things aren’t going to cut it. If, after finishing your meal you point to your completely empty plate and say any one of the following, it’s not funny:

  • I hated it.
  • It was awful.
  • Can you wrap this up?
  • You don’t need to send this to the dishwasher.
  • You forgot to bring out my food.

Your server gets it: you liked your food and it was delicious. Just say thank you and stop trying to be Jerry Seinfeld. Those pathetic attempts at humor put you in the Dane Cook category.

When your server asks if there is anything you need, none of these responses are even slightly humorous:

  • A million dollars.
  • The winning lottery numbers.
  • A stack of hundreds.
  • You on a plate.

You’re not original. Saying any of those things might elicit a smile or chuckle from your server, but they will be biting the insides of their cheeks and struggling to keep their eyes from rolling into the back of their head.

Want more examples of what’s not funny to your server?

Server: How would you like your steak cooked?

Customer: On the grill.

Server: Ha ha. How would you like your steak cooked?

Customer: Rare. Like, I want it to still be mooing.

Not funny, customer. Those jokes are as old as the basket of bread you just ate.

Server: Here’s your hamburger, ma’am.

Customer: That took forever, did you have to slaughter to the cow?

Food takes time to cook, especially if you ask for something to be well done. And it’s never funny to talk about the butchering of animals.

And unless you’re Henny Youngman or Rodney Dangerfield, do not try these one-liners on anyone who has waited tables for more than four days:

  • The check? That’s the one thing we didn’t order.
  • Do I get a discount if I know the owner?
  • I think my glass has a hole in it because my beer is empty again.
  • I don’t need sugar for my coffee, I’m sweet enough.
  • I’m gonna have an old fashioned and she’s gonna have a new one.
  • Here’s a tip for you: don’t eat yellow snow.
  • The only allergy I have is bad food.
  • Are y’all hiring? I’m a great taste tester.
  • I’ll have the halibut, just for the halibut.
  • There’s no price on the fish of the day, so that must mean it’s free.
  • I’ll have a Corona, hold the virus.

Look, it’s great that you want to put a smile on the face of your server and they really do appreciate the effort, but nine times out of ten your server has heard the joke before. You can try it, but you’ll never know if they truly think it’s funny or not, because the one thing every server is great at is faking it.

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Bitchy Waiter

Bitchy Waiter

Darron Cardosa is a writer, actor, singer, and waiter. He lives and and works in New York City and enjoys "The Brady Bunch," "The Facts of Life" and cocktails almost as much as he hates your baby.