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What Your Waiter Won't Tell You1 of 11
Going out to dinner is a treat — who wouldn’t enjoy eating good food without having to cook or clean up? Well, there’s one person who doesn’t always have the best time … and that person is your waiter. Read on to learn about all the surprising secrets your server is hiding.
We Aren't Ignoring You2 of 11
By Amanda Greene for Woman's Day
We know you want service, but we're busy, so please be patient. "It's extremely distracting to be serving a table and see, in my peripheral vision, another party waving their hands or signaling for me to come over," says Brittney W., who waited tables in Atlanta.
Tips Are Our Salary3 of 11
Waiters' salaries are low — minimum wage varies from state to state, but according to the United States Department of Labor, these wages start at just $2.13 per hour — because they get tips. So when diners fail to give their server the tip they deserve, it's frustrating. "We prefer if you get separate checks," says Brynn M., who waited tables at multiple New York City restaurants for four years.
A Simple "Thank You" Goes A Long Way4 of 11
"I always hated when I would bring people their order and they wouldn't thank, or even acknowledge, me," says Christine C. "I'm your waiter, not your servant."
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We Can Tell When You're Full Of It5 of 11
"Especially at high-end restaurants, we servers know when you don't know good food and wine. It's better to plead ignorance than try to fake it," says Amber O.
If You're Done Eating, Leave!6 of 11
Camping out at your table is seriously annoying to servers. "In the hour that one couple spends gazing at each other over a long-empty table, two other paying, tipping parties could have been seated," says Brittney.
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Not Everything Is As "Fresh" As You Think7 of 11
"Those celery sticks you get with your order of buffalo wings have been touched by at least 10 people,” says Bea C., a longtime server at an Arizona family food chain. "Same goes for the lemon in your water. And the special of the night is probably something that's about to expire."
Don't Complain About Your Meal After You've Eaten It8 of 11
"I can't do much to fix the situation if you tell me at the end of your meal, and frankly, your clean plate makes your complaint of dissatisfaction less credible," says Dara K.
Don't Help Me Clear the Table9 of 11
"There's a method to stacking 16 pounds of cast iron serving plates and bowls so that I can clear the entire table at once, which is a general requirement for fine dining. It throws me off when you hand me your half-empty coffee cup," says Dara.
We Can Sense Tension, Just Like You10 of 11
When fighting couples come out to eat, their moods, rolled eyes and vicious glares can make their waiter feel extremely awkward.
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Don't Ask Us What We "Do"11 of 11
Asking what your waiter does for a living can be offensive — and presumptuous. Dara adds, "Yes, I may have another 'real' job, or be going to school for my MBA, but I also may be doing this full-time, in which case this conversation has just become quite awkward, hasn't it?"