Eating out is a treat — if you're seated at the table. But for many servers, dealing with the public in restaurants is a tough dish to swallow.
Enter New York's Darron Cardosa, whose blog The Bitchy Waiter offers tales of horrible customers and advice on how to avoid irritating your waitstaff (who, it should be remembered, are handling things you're going to consume).
"It all started because I just liked to write out my complaints," Cardosa, who has over 30 years of experience in the service industry, told The Daily Mail.
So want to stay on the good side of your waiter or waitress? Here are eight gems of advice:
1. Don't be rude! Say 'please' and 'thank you.' You know, table manners
"When people are rude to me, it makes it very difficult for me to want to vie them good service," he said. And if you're greeted with "hello," please say "hello" back, rather than "grunt out" your bread or cocktail demands.
2. Don't forget that your waitstaff can't guess what your dietary requirements are
"When someone is gluten-free and they don't even bother to open the menu and expect me to tell them what they can eat, I get very annoyed," he said.
3. Don't linger at your table
"Staying in my section for another 30 minutes or an hour as they talk means that I can't reseat the table and I will be making less money than I could be," he said.
4. Stop expecting something free just because it's your birthday
"Everyone in the world was born, and most restaurants don't care that it's your birthday," he said. "Stop asking us to sing 'Happy Birthday.'"
5. Stop with the public displays of affection in restaurants
"If dinner is your foreplay, that's great, but let's not make it a threesome," he said.
6. Quit using your cellphones at the table
"Can't you put your cellphone away for a half an hour so that servers can do their job without interrupting your phone call?" Similarly, if you put your cellphone on the table you limit the area in which your food can be delivered, and expand the area on which fresh water might splash.
7. Don't forget to tip!
"People who say they 'don't believe in tipping' are refusing to accept the social contract in our country, which is that when you go out to eat, you tip your server 15 to 20 percent of the bill," he said. (That said, some restaurants are getting rid of tips entirely.)
Want to know more? Cardosa also has a book, "The Bitchy Waiter: Tales, Tips & Trials From a Life in Food Service." Clearly, there's plenty more where that came from.
This article was originally published on October 15, 2015.