The Modern Man’s Guide To Restaurant Etiquette
ips or no tips, serving in a restaurant can be a pretty thankless task at times. In just one night, staff can serve hundreds of people, many of them hangry, some of them just plain rude. They’ll clock up the equivalent of a half-marathon between the tables and the kitchen, all the while dealing with fed-up coworkers, a backlog of orders, and anything else the night throws their way.
To find out what your overworked waiters really think about you, we spoke to restaurant staff at some of the best London eateries. Read on to find out what their biggest pet peeves are while they’re on the clock. Hopefully you won’t see some of your “helpful” behaviours in the responses.
Good Manners Cost Nothing
“Speak to your waiter or anybody serving you like you would to somebody on the street or someone you are acquainted with,” says Matt Verona at . “Just because they are serving you doesn’t make them your servant.”
It’s basics: be nice to someone and they’ll be nice back. Just because you’re paying a restaurant for a meal, it doesn’t mean the waiter is in your employ. Would you snap your fingers at your hairstylist to get a quicker haircut? We’d hope not.
Find Out Our Names
“A good waiter would always introduce themselves at the beginning of a meal, so you should really try and remember,” says Daniel Pimentel, director of food and beverage at . “If not, it does no harm at all to ask them their name and give them yours.”
You’re going to be in their company for an evening, so why not get to know them? Serving staff will go above and beyond for customers that they like, whether that’s an extra second inverting the bottle while free pouring your drink, or picking up your food first from the pass.
Remember, We’re Shattered
“It can be a seriously exhausting industry to work in and makes such a difference to the staff when you take notice of them,” says Dan Wilson, co-founder and head chef at in Stoke Newington, London. “At Dandy we try to treat diners as friends and most of the time that’s what we get back. It makes for a happy and relaxed environment.”
Split shifts, doubles, back-to-backs, all-dayers, 15 days without a break – these phrases are all in a waiter’s lexicon. If it’s a busy service, there’s every chance a waiter’s working day can consist purely of 10-yard sprints for eight long hours. They will be tired. They might be frazzled. A bit of courtesy goes a long way.
Video: 25 Etiquette Rules You Should Know And Follow
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