For those of you that don’t know, I am wrapping up working in the restaurant industry for the better part of a year.

This was not my first rodeo & this time around I was much more cognizant of how people treated me and my coworkers. It has become clear to me that so many have never worked in a restaurant or understand how they function.

I am so embarrassed by the actions of some individuals who choose to dine out, I felt compelled to enlighten & offer guidance over their next run to the local food joint.

  • This is their job.

Seems obvious, but is necessary to state. This is the livelihood of the people serving you, cooking for you & running the restaurant. Most of them really, truly love what they do and this is their full time gig. What’s more, most of them have families they are supporting. How do you support a family? Correct. Money.

On average, servers and bartenders can be paid as little as $2.13 an hour. This means they can often get paychecks from their employer for $0.00. Your tip is ultimately what makes it count for them.

You should be leaving at least 15% of your bill for a tip. If you can’t tip the proper amount, you probably should not be going out to eat.

Beyond money, if you feel you waiter/waitress has given you great service, you should verbalize it and thank them.

  • They are not punching bags.

It will never cease to amaze me the amount of emotional bulldozing that happens as guests enter and dine in a restaurant. I cannot count the number of times men and women of all ages have publicly berated me or cursed me out for something that didn’t involve me or was out of my control.

You are responsible for your own actions. If you cannot enter a dining facility & rid of your personal aggression prior to entering, don’t bother.

Here are some suggestions for avoiding these embarrassing behaviors:

  1. Get off your phone. Finish up your call or text before you enter.
  2. Make eye contact with the host and reply with a greeting when they say hello.
  3. Don’t become frustrated when they ask for seating preference or the number of people in your party. They want to give the best experience possible.
  4. If you’re frustrated from work or in a bad mood, just let them know! They are good listeners, and would rather know you’re upset than simply have you yell at them.
  5. If you do have issue with the service, food or overall safety or the establishment, calmly let one of the workers know. They can report it to management.

Finally, bear in mind that as you sit and eat with your family, the person serving you probably hasn’t had their meal yet and is away from their loved ones. Respect their opportunity cost, especially on a holiday.

  • Follow the Golden Rule

Say it with me: “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you”.

I’m no fool. I understand the idea of those words & I know it’s often difficult to put into action. However, that’s not an excuse.

Being served by someone does not make them part of the wall. Look up at them when they speak to you.

You had a rough day at work? Darn. The person serving you might have just lost a loved one.

When we want someone to like us we seem to have no problem putting this into action, but there is a serious issue when it comes to people that seemingly have no impact on our lives. Allow me to remind you that for those serving you and a restaurant; your money and attitude is impacting theirs.

To put it simply: All restaurant workers are humans with a life and a full range of emotions, just like you.

My hope is that you take this knowledge & think before the next time you dine out.

If the roles were reversed, how would you want someone to treat you?

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