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Read This Before You Eat in a Restaurant on Thanksgiving

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Do you want to forgo the hassle of roasting the perfectly golden turkey for Thanksgiving dinner? Is curating an impeccable combination of side dishes and desserts while also getting your home in peak “company’s coming” condition proving too much for you? Then make a reservation for your family at a favorite restaurant instead! But here are a few things to keep in mind and to be thankful for while you cram your piehole with whole pies in a restaurant on Thanksgiving.

You’re not at home Part 1

It might be a typical Thanksgiving dinner for you to have a screaming match with your drunk uncle about the state of American politics, but save that for your own dining room table. When you’re in a public place, keep it simple. No one at the restaurant, from the server to the family at the booth next to you, wants to hear your family drama.

You’re not at home Part 2

If the mashed potatoes don’t taste like the mashed potatoes that your grandma used to make, that’s because your grandma didn’t make these mashed potatoes. The menu is what it is. If you need a very specific English Pea Salad that your aunt makes, and Thanksgiving doesn’t complete without it, maybe a restaurant isn’t for you.

You’re not at home Part 3

Some restaurants simply do not have the television blaring or, shockingly, they don’t even have one. Don’t be upset if you can’t watch the big sports game while you eat. If the restaurant does have a television and it’s either turned off or not on the channel you want it to be, accept it. Not everyone wants to watch grown men in tight pants and shoulder pads chase each other while playing with balls.

You’re not at home Part 4:

Put a little effort into your attire. Even if the restaurant has no dress code, save the grey sweatpants for home. You don’t need to wear your Sunday best, but for the sake of the Thanksgiving family photo that your server will take of you, at least try to look like you care.

Things to be Thankful for:

When it comes time to grasp hands with your loved ones and announce all of the things you are grateful for this year, here are a few things to be thankful for other than family and health:

  • Appreciate that the restaurant is open for you to enjoy. It doesn’t have to be, and some choose to stay closed on Thanksgiving. If they are open, it’s specifically for you.
  • Be thankful that the staff has decided to spend Thanksgiving serving your family instead of being with their own. A lot of them might rather be at at home than at work, but the decision has been made for them. Tell them thank you. Tip accordingly.
  • Be grateful that someone else is washing all of the dishes for you. No one wants to wash the roasting pan that the turkey cooked in for six hours in and the person doing it is probably not being paid an awful lot to do it. Remember: you don’t only have to tip your server.
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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.

1 Comment

  1. November 23, 2022 at 9:42 am — Reply

    For the sake of both staff and guests, I wish the COVID requirements of the last two years were still in place – especially since 1 – the pandemic is NOT over, and 2 – the “tripledemic” (COVID/flu/RSV) has already begun. 😷

    Everyone stay safe… and consider eating at the outdoor parklets of your favourite restaurants (Bay Area weather’s supposed to be great on Turkey Day). And, at the very least, tip your servers no less than 20% for putting up with you.

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