This is one that I just have to share. Zagat, the national restaurant survey organization, has come up with a list of eight things you can do to irritate the hell out of your server. (See www.zagat.com/buzz.)
1. Lay out your cell phone, iPod, sunglasses or other items on the table, and don’t move them when the server is trying to deliver food. Keep your personal belongings out of the way, and don’t give your server a dirty look when he/she dribbles water on your cell phone.
2. Order while on your cell phone or texting. Interacting with anyone while on your cell phone is just straight up rude.
3. Talk to your server while he/she is putting an order into the computer. Unless they are attending a large group, many servers today don’t take orders on pads; the time between the table and the computer is sacred to memory. Don’t interrupt their thought process because you … desperately need another fork? If you can’t be patient, don’t blame your server for a mangled order.
4. Request “water for the table” because you’re really thirsty. If you’re in a restaurant that doesn’t offer water when you are seated, it may be because they don’t have the busing staff to do so. Don’t make a lot of extra work for your server. Besides, do you really know that all of your dining companions are also thirsty?
5. Enter the kitchen to ask your server for something. There is never a reason for you to enter the kitchen, unless you are personally invited by the chef.
6. Ask for separate checks at the same table. While you may think there’s a good reason to do so, it does make a lot more work for your server. Often, people who ask for their own check are just too lazy to do simple math. Besides, cell phones these days are equipped with mini tip calculators. Dude, there’s an app for that!
7. Hand your server an empty glass or plate when his/her hands are already full. Hey, use your head. Clearly if the server’s hands are full, this is not the ideal time to hand them your empty glass. Putting it at the edge of the table will do just fine.
8. Complain about your meal after you’ve eaten all of it. What exactly is the point of complaining after you’ve eaten something? The server can’t return the item or get you something else, and not charging you for it would be a bit too generous considering you ate the whole damn thing. So basically you just look like a jerk who’s trying to make someone feel bad, which you are.