Eat & Drink

6 Things You Should Never Ask Your Server

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Manners seem to have gone out of fashion in much the same way as petticoats, bustles and mutton chops. It’s like no one remembers how to treat other human beings anymore. The age of social media has made it too easy to type out an insult or ask an offensive question when its going out into the great anonymous Internet. It’s one thing to spit out a nasty review on Yelp full of rude comments and observations, but quite another to say it to the actual person who is handling your food. You know how we were all taught to respect our elders? Try that with your servers too.

Here are six things you should never ask your server:

“What else do you do besides wait tables?”

This question implies the need to be doing something in addition to waiting tables for a living. If a server is working 40 hours a week at their restaurant, when on earth are they supposed to be doing something else? The assumption that waiting tables isn’t enough is a flat-out rude. Try going to your child’s school and asking their teacher what else they do beside teach. Spoiler alert: if you ask them, they might say waiting tables since being a teacher is a notoriously low paying job.

“How much money do you make?”

This is just rude to ask anyone period. It’s none of your business and if you need the answer so badly, fill out a fucking application, train for two weeks, wrap an apron around your waist and find out the answer for yourself. Problem solved!

Anything personal.

This includes asking if they’re pregnant, or what ethnicity they are, or about martial status. Don’t ask why they have a certain tattoo or piercing or why their hair color is particular hue. You don’t need to ask about their attractiveness or their weight either. And don’t ask for their phone number. If you want to leave your number for them, go for it. Just make sure you leave a good tip too. Leaving your phone number with a 5% tip is a guarantee that that your phone number will get used in ways you did not intend.

“What are the prices so high?”

This is not a question for your server. It might be a question for the owner of the restaurant if you feel so inclined to hear about food costs, labor costs, gross profit margins, competitive pricing, and the national supply chain, but the bottom line is the bottom line. The restaurant chooses how much to charge for something and then the customer decides whether or not it’s worth it to them. Leave your server out of it.

“I know it’s not on the menu, but can I…?”

Don’t ask for the Thursday special on Friday, don’t ask for the happy hour prices after happy hour has ended, and don’t ask for Coke when they have Pepsi products. The answer is going to be no, so save yourself the time and effort of asking, because it’s not going to happen.

“Can we get waters for everyone at the table?”

Seriously, just stop with that. If you want water, ask for it. Unless you know within the shadow of a doubt that every single person at your table is parched and wants a glass of water, don’t ask for it on their behalf. Asking for it en masse usually results in wasted time, wasted water, and wasted glassware. The server is either going to bring everyone some water or people can ask for it themselves.

There are dozens of other things you shouldn’t be asking your server If you find yourself questioning the question you’re about to ask you waiter or waitress, it’s probably best to just not ask 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.

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