Your Waiter Is Judging You: This Is Why

Categories: Things We Hate

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Peter Pearson via Flickr
Ordering your steak well? You're being judged.
Here's some cold hard truth: Your waiter is judging you. And it's not because you scanned our restaurant's list of preachy, precious dishes made with esoteric (but local!) ingredients and then asked what celeriac or chimicurri are. Waiters don't care about that. Answering questions like that is their job. No, it's not about what you know, it's about how you act, and your waiter is surveying you to determine whether you're a badly behaved diner. How do they know? Presenting the 10 most obvious signs.

10. You ask for drinks without ice.
Unless you have an awful toothache or other predisposition against cold beverages, a waiter will take this as you being cheap, trying to get more bang for your beverage-buck by leaving the ice out. Oh, you want your cocktail without ice, or with "just a tiny bit of ice?" That's cool, the barkeep will be happy to pour the same six-count of vodka he'd normally pour, top it off with tonic and a lime, and watch you enjoy a tepid, weak-tasting drink. Whatever you like, but gross.

9. You say you know the chef.
If you know the chef, odds are, s/he knows you're coming, because you texted before you came and s/he told us to expect you, where to seat you, and to notify the kitchen immediately upon your arrival so s/he could come say hi. If you're trying to be cute and make a surprise, you should know that restaurants do not do well with surprises.

8. You want your steak well done.
If the idea of eating meat makes you so uncomfortable that you can't bear to slurp its delicious, bloody, animal juices, get something that is best eaten cooked through... Like chicken or eggplant or pasta. It's the restaurant's job to serve you food that you'll enjoy, and we're not going to tell you you can't sear all of the animal spirit and life blood from a 30-day dry-aged, heritage beef steak. But here's where your waiter draws the line: If you MUST have your steak well done, it's going to take extra time to cook it all the way through, so please be patient, and don't take your mounting hunger out on us.

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66 comments
chantal_marchon
chantal_marchon

I definitely agree with 1 and 2.  Common courtesy is free and makes the day more pleasant for everyone.  Children should always be supervised in public- they could easily knock over people or trays of food- I have seen that happen.  I also know of an incident where a child was molested by a stranger at a restaurant and the shift manager was the witness that stopped it and informed the parents.  They aren't babysitters, you aren't at your house- keep an eye on your kids.

glorib
glorib

Oh the things we find to waste a beautiful Saturday on. See you outside. 

asprings131
asprings131

"5. You ask the kitchen to drastically change a dish"

 Everyone has a right to get what *THEY* want for ********THEIR HARD EARNED MONEY*****!

 This is VERY LAZY, because anyone that *CARED* about other people, wouldn't MIND doing more work for their money to *EARN* their pay.

 I heavily modify just about *ALL* my things I order. 

"I think I know the menu better than the chef."

At some restaurants, I actually *DID* know more than the kitchen staff honestly, because I *READ* the menu, ********THEY DIDN'T********! Several times I have known more things than the entire staff, because I actually take the time to *READ* the menu descriptions.

 

BelmaczMayfair
BelmaczMayfair

@TheArtfulEaters ,of course, can feel eyes and tentative tip gage working at times in advance ... When at a joint for the first time

Jones
Jones

You are a waiter. The last thing anyone of us cares is being judged by someone much lower down the social ladder. If you want more respect, how about trying to get a real job, then perhaps people will care about you judging them?

sxg282
sxg282

so basically instead of worrying about enjoying the food and company I have to think about the waiter judging me? Too bad I'm too lazy to multitask, judge on, good waiter!

Michael Fortunato
Michael Fortunato

fuck my waiter!!! he or she is useless and expects 20% for shit service and bad attitude.

fuckouttaheah
fuckouttaheah

but your job is to SERVE them. remember that as you try to establish some type of  hierarchy, schmuck!

wrenbrandi
wrenbrandi

Wow. I've been a server. THIS is just bitching by somebody who hates their job. Guess what? Most people don't give a flying f@$k if their server judges them. Why should somebody alter their order just because their server thinks they should? I mean, some of these are just common courtesy (talking on the phone, letting your kid run wild, etc.). But the judgments for what you eat? Why do you care??? Maybe spend your energy caring about something worthwhile or something that's your own damn business. This article just makes YOU look like the asshole, not the customer.

Adam Schaible
Adam Schaible

Could you be more daring and edgy next time? Maybe something like Why The Register Jockey at Kmart Is Judging You? You can make witty, insightful commentary about the rack you got those pants from that don't have a price tag, things not being on sale, and screaming babies. It'll surely be the hit of the autumnal writing season!

Linda Snyder
Linda Snyder

they'd have loved my uncle - his answer to How do you want your steak? Thawed.

Thisoneguy
Thisoneguy

judge all you want, I can do the same and choose not to tip.

alestage
alestage

@asprings131 you can take your hard earned money to the grocery store and make your own food

chantal_marchon
chantal_marchon

@asprings131  well, I do agree you should enjoy the meal you are paying for, the staff isn't resentful because they are lazy.  It's because the extra time involved fixing your very particular meal effects the time they have to serve their other guests. And depending on the restaurant and time of day, they could have anywhere from 2 to 20 others to serve. Servers do not want to give poor service to others because one person is so demanding. They aren't personal servants or butlers.


Kitchen staff gets bent out of shape, because they have many items to make not just one or two.  In a full service restaurant on Friday night it is not unusual for the kitchen monitors to have 40 orders on a single station. It can be very chaotic and the cooks must get the food out very quickly. Usually in less than 15 to 20 minutes. Slowing down to change a meal can be confusing and frustating for a cook already under pressure. 


If you need to modify your food a lot, consider going to the restaurant when it isn't crazy busy.

daveygravey
daveygravey

If you want to write your own effing menu, take your "hard-earned" money and open your own effing restaurant. I'm sure you also wonder why at every restaurant you have the same lousy experience... Like it's the restaurant that is the common denominator. You obviously are exactly the person every server hates to get, since you lamely and rather incoherently defend such ridiculous and pathetic train of thought. Of course you modify the crap out of everything you order... It's probably one of the few things in your life you feel like you have control over. Heavily modify this.

galpal
galpal

And you're the douche everyone hates.

guitarmaker101
guitarmaker101

@asprings131 Obviously your the asshole they are describing and you cant even figure that much out on your own

luckykc1122
luckykc1122

@asprings131 Here's the problem: often, it is the "high maintenance" customers that are bad tippers.  Perhaps if the entitled customers tipped as well as their demands suggest they should, servers wouldn't be so salty about it.  But more often than not (and I see this with my legal clients as well as with my restaurant clients in the past), it is the demanding, particular clients that treat servers with disdain and tip accordingly. 

brandon__150
brandon__150

@Jones I can tell by that dimwitted comment that you are more then likely a middle aged man with a warped sense of perception on the current job market. The paradigm of a "social ladder" is ever diminishing in our current economic system. Thus with the continuously growing middle class, the annual incomes of most occupations are in closer proximity then ever. 

Jobs as it is are hard to come by. People who have went to 4+ years at post-secondary institutions, most times, are not able to pre sue their field of study as a career choice, due to lack of opportunity. The world isn't the place you grew up in, where anyone, and everyone could get a job, with little to no education. People work hard, don't discredit their journey just because you have a different one.  

daveygravey
daveygravey

Social ladder? What a dimwitted and pedantic response. Like anyone with social stature would talk like that. Lol. You're an idiot.

rachephil
rachephil

Jones  Your line of logic doesn't quite add up, however.  If all servers decided to get a "real job" and stopped waiting on tables there would be no one left to wait on you Jones.  So you see, someone has to be on those lower rungs of the ladder as you so eloquently put it if anyone is going to be available to wait on you.  I was a server all through graduate school and I can attest to the fact that this article is quite accurate.  Your comments only confirm what everybody already knows.

lilcaligrl56
lilcaligrl56

@Jonesyou are the most ignorant fucking piece of shit ever.  Honestly I hope you get run over by a train. You think you are so much further up the social ladder? what do you do for a living that makes you superior then anyone else???? 

lilcaligrl56
lilcaligrl56

@Jones you are the most ignorant fucking piece of shit ever.  Honestly I hope you get run over by a train. You think you are so much further up the social ladder? what do you do for a living that makes you superior then anyone else???? 

guitarmaker101
guitarmaker101

@Jones You know assholes like you are the people that make this world a crummy place to live in. I was a waiter the whole time I did my residency. I had to deal with morons such as yourself who thought they were better than everyone else. When you really investigate people like you, you find they are insecure selfish little pricks with Daddy issues. Instead of telling people who work hard as a waiter or waitress to find a real job, you should get a real disposition on life instead of being a snob and a phony.

rachephil
rachephil

@sxg282 I don't think you have to worry about the waiter judging you.  If you're familiar with basic good manners and proper etiquette you'll be fine.

glorib
glorib

@Michael Fortunato.  Maybe you can find a place without useless waiters where you can save your 20% like your kitchen. Sorry you will have shit service & bad attitude.

lilcaligrl56
lilcaligrl56

@Michael Fortunato did you not read the situation?? I am sorry but number 2 is right on the money!! if you cannot control your children in a PUBLIC setting THEN DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN!!! The public does NOT have to deal with your incompetence as a parent and your out of control shitty attitude kid.

asprings131
asprings131

@alestage  "you can take your hard earned money to the grocery store and make your own food"

 NOT the way the RESTAURANTS do it.  I much prefer restaurant food over home cooked food no matter who does the cooking.

asprings1311
asprings1311

@chantal_marchon

These other customers just have as much rights as I do to order in that manner.  You don't get that, do you?

What about the other customers that send their steaks back 2-3 times and I am a person that rarely ever orders steak? You aren't remembering those people, are you?

So the other guests feelings and time matter more just because they want it the way it comes? NO, they shouldn't. It should be *EQUAL/EQUAL* when it comes to that.  If they want it the way it comes, that's their business. They have just as much right to modify everything as I do. Those other customers don't care about my time, so why should I care about theirs? I am paying for *MY SERVICE*, NOT theirs and they are paying for *THEIR SERVICE*, NOT mine.


" Servers do not want to give poor service to others because one person is so demanding."

There's no such thing as "demanding." Asking for things aren't "demands." Demands are saying things in a mean way without asking just telling the server rather than asking.

As far as the others go, they may have others that modify things too as well just like me. Everyone in that restaurant has just as much right to modify things as I do.


"They aren't personal servants or butlers."

This is where you are 100 BILLION PERCENT WRONG HERE! A tip is being paid to be the customer's personal servant. YOU SOUND VERY LAZY, VERY LAZY and VERY UNCARING of a person.

They are there to do as you ask for every cent they get.  You want 25%-30% BUST YOUR ASS, otherwise, you won't get that much.

They are my personal servant. I ask for 4 ranches, they get them. I ask for more bread, they get it. My husband ask for his 4th refill of diet coke or iced tea, the server gets it.  Do you understand that the server is at OUR MERCY IF THEY WANT OUR MONEY?

Yes they are servants.  I was a servant at the donut shop/diner I used to work for back in 1998-2002 off and and on a little over 2yrs worth if I wanted a tip or a good tip. Sure I made at least min. wage, but if I expected more than that at all, I had to do a good job.  I had to bust my ass.  I was at their beck and call if I expected a tip at all from them since I did make min. wage at least(got some raises too).

Servers are at our beck and call to get EVERY SINGLE THING WE ASK FOR if they want our tip money.  

You are SOOOOOOOOOOOOO 100 BILLION PERCENT WRONG! They are there to make a tip. If you want a good tip, you have to do what *********I*********** want, every single solitary thing I ask.

My server is my personal servant. I don't know WHERE THE HELL YOU GET THAT THEY CAN REFUSE TO DO SOMETHING YOU ASK AND GET A TIP FROM, HUH? Not talking about automatic gratuity of course.


"If you need to modify your food a lot, consider going to the restaurant when it isn't crazy busy."

Sometimes that can't be helped like you are going out to eat with a group or getting off of work at a certain time or just that time is the time you were able to go or get there.

I go when I want to go though.  It's MY TIP MONEY, MY SERVICE, MY CHOICE! It's not your choice.

I do try to go early, but sometimes you can't. I have had appointments like dentist or doctor which if that's the only time they have, then go eat afterwards, which could be at a busy time. I am not going to live my life for you CONTROL FREAK!

I am not sure where you get that they aren't servants from? They are there to get you your EVERY NEED AND WANT. If I want more water, more coke, more this more that, extra napkins, etc. They are there to **************WORK************** FOR THAT TIP MONEY!

They are my personal servant and will ALWAYS BE my personal servant.  I am very nice when asking them to get something and say "thank you" even times when they don't say they are sorry about a mistake, but they are there to get my EVERY NEED is what I am saying. That's their job. 

As I said before, I have JUST AS MUCH RIGHTS as ANYONE ELSE to have longer service(modified orders). I am not sure why you think the person that orders as it comes is more important than the modified order customer? If you think someone is above anyone else in this world, you are a jackass.

asprings1311
asprings1311

@daveygravey "If you want to write your own effing menu, take your "hard-earned" money and open your own effing restaurant."

FUCK YOU ASSHOLE! Everyone, even *YOU* should get what *THEY want for *THEIR* money.


So NO, I will keep getting it the way I want. You act like I can change my taste buds. I can't. 


"I'm sure you also wonder why at every restaurant you have the same lousy experience... Like it's the restaurant that is the common denominator."

NO, it's the lazy, uncaring servers like yourself that's the denominator like not writing down things, not verifying things they can, etc.


"You obviously are exactly the person every server hates to get,"

If they hate me, it's because they don't want to ************WORK********** for their tip.  They are VERY LAZY ASS WORKERS and you know it.


"It's probably one of the few things in your life you feel like you have control over."

NO, has nothing to do with control MORON! Has everything to do with taste buds.


asprings1311
asprings1311

@guitarmaker101 "Obviously your the asshole they are describing and you cant even figure that much out on your own"

NO, I am a VERY NICE PERSON! Obviously you are an uncaring human being.

asprings1311
asprings1311

@luckykc1122 "Here's the problem: often, it is the "high maintenance" customers that are bad tippers."

Probably because the workers get their orders wrong for things they could control. Did you ever think of that? 

" demands"

No one demands anything unless they are mean about their request.  I ask very NICELY for things.  You sound VERY LAZY.

asprings1311
asprings1311

@luckykc1122"You are precisely the client servers hope they don't get."

Because they are lazy and uncaring workers. You know that's the GOD'S HONEST TRUTH! Go ahead, tell me I am wrong.

Joshuabeare
Joshuabeare

@rachephil I like how your the only one to respond to that dude in a kind way.
I like that! Let's not fight Hate with hate!!

panzermench77
panzermench77

@asprings1311 @luckykc1122 

Yes, you sound absolutely LOVELY and I'm sure in real life you might be a joy to be around but here you just seem to be an asshole and I'm sure it comes off at the dinner table also.  They probably spit in your food.

pfunnk14
pfunnk14

@asprings1311 @luckykc1122 Yes, everyone in the service industry is lazy and uncaring. It has nothing to do with the fact that people like you make the entire restaurant want to kill themselves. Clearly it's the staff and not you. Clearly. You are not a self righteous, pompous asshole. You just know more than everyone. Clearly. 

panzermench77
panzermench77

@asprings1311 @luckykc1122 

AND it's not laziness.  When you modify the hell out of something that changes what happens.  The server has to leave their section, go to the chef, wait for him to pause running the kitchen, go over everything with him to make sure server has it understood (AND make sure he is okay with that), all the while other people in their section are wanting attention also.  Then wait while they make sure that they have the ability to comply.  Most restaurants only prep what they need that night and one or more items may be prepped specifically for what they are intended for and not extras.  Then the kitchen has to reroute their flow on a busy line and bottom line is that this can disrupt more than one job and bottle neck a kitchen.  Then you and other modifiers have caused others not to receive their food in a timely manner and they are unhappy.  It is not the employee's being lazy, it's you being clueless and rude.  Defend yourself all you want, you are wrong.  I promise you , if you come across as you do here, you have eaten some extra items they put in there for you.

asprings131
asprings131

@pfunnk14 You sound LAZY to say "people like you make the entire restaurant want to kill themselves" and you know it.


"people like you make the entire restaurant want to kill themselves."

I have PROVEN I know more to servers and even MANAGERS even.

asprings131
asprings131

@panzermench77 

"AND it's not laziness."

Yes it is.  NOT WRITING DOWN MY ORDER IS LAZY. NOT WRITING DOWN ANY REQUEST IS LAZY! 

Laziness by not comparing their written order to the food for obvious errors. 

Laziness, not comparing the menu prices to the check prices.

 Laziness when bringing out another server's food not comparing the ticket or computer screen order in the kitchen to the food for obvious errors.

Prove me wrong about these, go ahead STUPID IDIOT.

 "  The server has to leave their section, go to the chef,"

What chef? They got a COMPUTER to put the order into in most restaurants today. Also, condiments can be brought out ahead of time, which is mostly what I have problems with in general.


You sound SO UNCARING AND LAZY ASS to say this.


So what you are saying is the server has to do ***************WORK**************, OH MY GOSH I WOULDN'T HAVE THUNK IT????

" Most restaurants only prep what they need that night and one or more items may be prepped specifically for what they are intended for and not extras."

Not true they have for to-go orders pre-poured condiments that they just grab you STUPID IDIOT!

 "Then the kitchen has to reroute their flow on a busy line and bottom line is that this can disrupt more than one job and bottle neck a kitchen."

SO WHAT??? I am not tipping the kitchen staff to give a care.

 "Then you and other modifiers have caused others not to receive their food in a timely manner and they are unhappy."

No, those other customers can modify if they *CHOOSE* to.  That's not my fault.

I have every right to get what *I* want for *MY* TIP money as well as the money I am paying for the food just as much as *THEY* do and you know it.


"It is not the employee's being lazy, "

Yes it is.  Their job is to check the food.

"it's you being clueless and rude."

No, how is it being rude to want what you want for *YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY*, HUH?

It has nothing to do with being clueless and NOBODY is being rude, NOT A SOUL!

 "you are wrong.  I promise you"

No, I am not wrong, because my ************MONEY***************** (tip money as well as the item I am ordering) **********ENTITLES ME TO GET IT HOW I WANT IT, NOT HOW THE RESTAURANT'S EMPLOYEES WANT IT.

When ((((THEY)))))) PAY FOR MY MEAL, THEN ***********THEY************ CAN DICTATE HOW I WANT MY FOOD, but until then, it doesn't work like that CONTROL FREAK JERK!!!!

You are wrong, because it's not your money to dictate how you want the items.  

Don't *YOU* want what *YOU* want for *YOUR* money? Well if you do, SO DO I UNFAIR MORON!

 "if you come across as you do here, you have eaten some extra items they put in there for you."

No, I am very nice and who cares since I never got sick if they would have.

" Most restaurants only prep what they need that night"

I will say this again, you are WRONG! They prep extra condiments like ranch. I have gotten some without having to wait for anyone to fix it. They just grabbed some already poured. That's how STUPID YOU ARE!

 

"Then you and other modifiers have caused others not to receive their food in a timely manner"

Those people as I said have JUST AS MUCH RIGHTS as I do to order in the same manner.  Also, they don't care about my food being right, WHY should I care about theirs?

 "The server has to leave their section, go to the chef,"

Poor server, awwwww, poor you. You had to work MORE, AWWW. LAZY ASS! You are COMPLAINING about doing more work, PROVING YOU ARE VERY LAZY!

 "When you modify the hell out of something that changes what happens."

You honestly act like I can help this. I wish it came the way I liked it, but it doesn't. I am not going to stay home for you lazy, uncaring assholes out there.  When someone modifies something, it just means the server works harder as to why when I do have wonderful service they get 25%-30% or more even.

It is laziness. You are complaining you'd have to go to the chef. Do you even WRITE DOWN MY ORDER? I mean really, seriously a lot of servers are so lazy they don't write down things, then it gets even more messed up.

It is laziness.

Read and weep from a former waiter that agrees with me:

 http://slickdeals.net/f/600104-thoughts-on-tipping-in-restaurants?sduid=249745&p=7915572&highlight=springs1#post7915572


Demosthenes9 said: "Absolutely right. As a waiter, it was ultimately my responsibility to ensure that EVERYTHING was correct with your food. Cooks would plate up entrees and the expediter would "build tickets" by collecting the correct entrees, adding the side items, and placing the plates on a tray to complete the order. (at least that's how it worked just about everywhere I have been).  At that point, the waiter SHOULD check each plate to see that the order is correct to include having the correct side items. Waiter should also make sure that the food is still hot and didn't "die in the window" while waiting for the order to be filled.   Lastly, a waiter who actually knows what he is doing can simply look at your steak and tell with some accuracy whether it is cooked correctly or not. (There are of course exceptions where steaks are "borderline", like right between medium rare and medium, or between medium and mid well.)   I have had any number of cooks yell at me because I told them to recook a steak before I even took it to the table. It doesn't take a genius to see a somewhat burnt steak sitting on a plate and to figure out that it ISN'T medium rare as ordered.)   The funny thing is, if waiters took the time to pay attention to the little details like the one's Spring mentioned, they would actually have MORE time on their hands to take care of customers.  Afterall, it takes maybe 30 seconds to check over an order and make sure it's correct. Failure to do so means that you now have to go all the way back to the kitchen, argue with a cook, get a replacement side item, then carry it back out to the table.   That time could have been better spent taking care of other tables instead."

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