Eat & Drink

The Six Most Annoying Things Restaurant Customers Do

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It’s no surprise that a customer’s behavior can drastically influence how a server feels about that particular diner. When a group of servers were recently asked what customers do that servers consider annoying behavior, the servers questioned did not hold back.

Bad Parenting

So many moms and dads step over the restaurant threshold and completely forget how to parent. They let their kids run wild, weaving under the legs of servers carrying really heavy trays of really hot food. Those same kids will grind Cheerios into the carpet and write on the walls with the crayons that the very restaurant provided. While cleaning up after customers is part of the job, it does not mean its okay to let a child make an extraordinary mess. “Don’t worry about making a mess honey. Cleaning up after you is his job!” No. No, it isn’t.

Tired Ass Jokes

“Can I get you anything else?” asks the server. “A million dollars,” replies the wanna be comedian/restaurant customer. Look, it’s great that customers want to lighten the mood or show some levity with a joke, but can they please try to come up with something original? Anyone who has been waiting tables for longer than two weeks, has heard that joke before. They’ve also heard “Hey, I didn’t order the check” and “I hated it” as plate that has been practically licked clean is being cleared from the table. Being funny is cool, but try harder.

Obnoxious Physical Gestures

Snapping fingers at a server to get their attention is not only not okay, its downright rude. Flailing ones arms like they are directing an airplane down a runway is also annoying behavior. Whistling or clapping is even worse. Try just a simple nod of the head and eye contact if the server is needed at the table.

Asking for Too Many Things

Of course it’s part of the job description to bring things to the customer when they need it. However, time management is also part of the job and when a customer asks for four different things four different times, that’s when it gets annoying. “I need ketchup.” Server gets ketchup. “Can I get some more napkins?” Server gets napkins. “Oh, I need mayo too.” Server gets mayo. “I’d like a refill on my soda.” Server loses every last bit of patience and instantly begins to hate this customer with a fiery passion. When a server asks if anything else is needed, really think about the answer.

Ignoring the Server

Servers and customers talking to each other is part of the way things work in restaurants. Any time a server is at the table, they are their for a reason so it’s best to pay attention to them when they show up. They’re never there to just shoot the breeze and say hello. They have a purpose. When a customer doesn’t pause their conversation for a half a minute to find out what the server needs to tell them, it’s officially annoying behavior.

Arguing Over Who is Paying the Check

A server does not care who pays for the bill. It’s awkward and uncomfortable to have two or three people waving credit cards begging to be the one to pay for everything. The server doesn’t want to decide which credit card to take. It doesn’t matter to them who paid last time or how much someone owes somebody else. They don’t want to be the judge and juror and hear all the reasons one person should be buying lunch for the other. Settle that before the server gets to the table.

Honorable Mentions

Joking about something affecting the tip, ordering a gluten-free entree and then ordering a dessert that is full of gluten, getting a refill to-go, asking for recommendation and then complaining that it wasn’t good, moving furniture around, and breathing.

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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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