Top 10 Ways to Tick Off Your Waiter


Most of us have had jobs in the food service industry and we can all appreciate how difficult it can be, especially when dealing with customers who think the wait staff are their personal verbal punching bags. Order up: Here are the top 10 ways to tick of your waiter or waitress.

10. Demand a straw/Take a straw

Drinking straws

It’s called “please” and “thank you”. Not even that: just ask nicely. “Could I get a straw please?” Your waiter or server isn’t going to slap you upside the head or spit in your food for asking for a straw. 99 times out of 100 there is a straw in the server’s apron and they don’t mind taking the extra two seconds to dig it out and hand it to you with a smile.

9. Tell the server how to do their job

They’ve been trained. They haven’t been fired yet. Don’t tell them what to do. Unless they’ve completely abandoned you (in the sense that you’ve probably irritated them to the point that they quit) then don’t play Hitler and demand this, that, and the kitchen sink.

8. Put a time limit on you server


Most of the time, you are not the only table the server has, the only table in the restaurant, or the only table in the world. If a server says that they’ll be back with your drink, chips, whatever: don’t pull out your stopwatch and assume that “right back” means “1 minute, ready, set, go!”

7. Assume that sending your food back will result in the servers spitting in it or in any way defacing it

If the server offers to take it back, then give it to them! It’s not that big of a deal! They’ll take it back, fix it, and bring it back with plenty of time for your appetite.

6. Associate any problem with your dining experience to be the fault of the server


If your food came out wrong, it’s the kitchen’s fault. If your table isn’t clean, it’s the bus boy’s fault or the host’s fault for sitting you at a dirty table. If something happens that is obviously the fault of someone else who works at the restaurant, then don’t shoot the server. They are the messengers of the kitchen, so politely inform them of the problem and they will notify the person in charge. (key word: politely)

5. Leave any kind literature on the table for us to read

Manet, Edouard - La Serveuse de Bocks (The Waitress), 1879

We will throw it away.We are way too busy to stop and read your latest novel or whatever you are trying to sell. If it’s that important, talk to us. It’s our job to be social.

4. Tell us you’re ready to order, then change your mind fifty times

A group of diners give their order to the waiter at a restaurant in the West End of London, spring 1941. D2957

Again, you are not the only table in the restaurant.Your server has a laundry list of things to get done and if you decide that the words dribbling from your mouth are more important than the rest of the patrons of the restaurant, it gets old and frustrating and then we will probably spit in your food.

3. Say something rude

Try it and see what happens. Your server will give you a big smile and crappy service. We are people too. Just because our title is “server” doesn’t mean we are in any way inferior to you. If they offer you an appetizer, don’t retort that you haven’t opened the menu or something else rude.

2. Take out your problems on the server’s tip

Image result for poor tip

If it wasn’t the server’s fault (See number 6) then don’t retaliate by giving the server a dollar or you pocket change. The kitchen, the managers, and virtually everyone will get paid more than the server and by attacking they’re tip you will not in any way get back at the person responsible.

1. Don’t tip at all

There is absolutely no reason in this universe to not tip. It doesn’t matter if the restaurant burned down on you, tip SOMETHING! It doesn’t prove anything except that you are a completely heartless jerk. (Side note: don’t find dumb reasons to not tip either. Lightning will strike you as you exit the restaurant.)

Written by Michael McNay

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  1. Wow, lots of responses on this one. But I must agree with most of the people on here. I myself am a waitress and barlady; but I don’t demand or depend on tips. If I give someone crappy service I don’t expect anything and even if I give great service I don’t expect anything. A tip is something you’re given if the patron believes you deserve it or if you went out of your way (something you should do anyway)

    Another fact is that there is no point to get nasty with someone because they DON’T tip; my best clients are those that don’t tip, purely because they’re nice people and I communicate with them. Just because they don’t ‘give’ me money doesn’t make them jerks.

    You don’t ‘deserve’ a tip, as you get paid already; your assumption that you do deserve is one probably why you don’t get any to start with. The expectation of a tip will only serve to make you a bitter waiter and unappreciated by everyone.

    If you want money for nothing then go sit on the street and beg like the homeless people; otherwise, suck it up and work for what you’re paid; don’t expect handouts. You’ll be A LOT happier if you do. Trust me.

  2. this video goes along with this article. This song is so true! All servers should watch this. Its called “Your Server Hates You” and its going up a lot in views. Looks like servers everywhere are loving it.


  4. Kevin Kennedy on

    I’ve been a Waiter for 15 yrs, Tipping is not mandatory, but is earned. It’s a service. I have a degree. If I make Min wage, it’s because I have manners, class and hygene. I have worked in the worst places, learning and passing knowledge. Serving people that have manners, class, to the white trashiest of us all. I give the same service to all, yet some are… just more respectful and understanding. Lets get to Service, the guys that you bring your car to, for instance make a meger wage, you by a small inexpensive part, it takes them 4 hours to put it in?? Do you argue the price, say the dealer made it harder for them to install it, try to get them to lower the price?? Say their knowledge, is less then the better more expensive place? My point is, Where you go, what you get, the knowledge base, all come into play. Great service at a “sit down, fine dining restaurant, better tip. $hh cheap crap restaurant , well.. People work in restaurants knowing, their working for tips and are going to run into degenerate people with no class, once in a while. Do you want your true colors to show? When people give me a crap tip, I say I hope to see you soon, or act overly appreciatve, people that are cheap, If I see them in the mall or in my neghborhood, you can believe, I’m going to say something to them in front of their family friends and make a scene in the mall. THIS PERSON IS SO CHEAP. DON’T COME INTO A FINE DINING RESTAURANT, WHERE I PAY 5 PERCENT TO SERVE YOU, AND THEN LEAVE ME TEN PERCENT LOSER, WHAT DO YOU DRIVE? A DELORIEN TIME MACHINE? TEN PERCENT IS FROM THE 1980’S, 15, FROM THE 90’S, ITS 2012, IT’S 20 PERCENT, the best is a retard, that can’t do 20 percent of $200.00.

  5. I’m Not from the US, I don’t understand tipping at all.

    Why does tipping occur in some places (like restaurants and café’s) and not other similar places (McDonalds)?

    The only people who seem to defend tipping are people who do it out of habit but don’t want to feel cheated by those who don’t, and Wait staff. The main argument for the wait staff seems to be that they don’t get much pay. Why is that anyone elses problem? Take it up with your employer or your government, it is not the Right of your customers to make up for your social injustices.

    Oh and this whole Idea of not going to eat at a restaurant if you don;t have enough to tip is obsurd. You don’t ask for the cost of a new TV with the expectation that You will have to pay the salesman 15% out of your pocket. If the menu says a burger is $5.50 then it’s $5.50. Period.

    And before anyone calls me cheep, I have Tipped in the past. It’s not even expected in my country but sometimes when someone has given you a great experience and earned it I Will Tip.

    • I am a server and I believe strongly that if u can not afford to tip AT LEAST 15% then do not go out to eat! Thats like ur boss saying ur not getting paid for watever job u do just because he doesnt feel like it. It is extremely rude not to tip and it really makes u look like trash n that u hate ur life!

  6. I eat out a lot, but will only tip when I feel that the waiter has done a good job. If I am expected to wait long periods between being served, even though I see the waiter talking to their collogues or taking their time clearing tables, then I am less likely to tip them. I have had some fantastic experiences whilst dining, with a favourite being on the first date of my now fiancée. The waiter was fabulous, assisting us from everything from our choices of wine to coming up to our table to tell us that we did not need to pay for the main course of the meal due to the chef being dissatisfied with it (we had not even complained). Because of this, we tipped around 30 percent, and have been back there on several other dates and always receive fabulous service. I have found many waiters to be rude or lazy though, and will not tip for poor service, no matter what the expected etiquette may be. Whilst in my teens I held a few menial min wage jobs, and so understand what is is like to work for little pay. But my point still stands, I am not tight if I do not tip. I am simply unhappy with the service I have received,

  7. I like this article but I have to admit that there was one occasion when I didn’t tip and that was only because by the time I paid I was out of cash and had no other means to.

  8. 20% should be the standard tip for adequate service. Waiting tables can be extremely stressful, and you usually have to put up with a lot of crap… It’s not a walk in the park. I am a server and when I dine out I always tip at least 20% because I can empathize, of course there are the less than adequate service exceptions. I’ve noticed that other waiters tip on the higher end scale as well…

  9. This is why my wife and I so enjoy dining in Japan—no tips!!! Great service, great food, great experience. Yes, the tip (so to speak) is build-in to the menu pricing, but there are no surprises and we can dine as we please and still have excellent service. We would love the US to follow Japan’s lead on matters of tipping.

    We typically tip 20% or more, but soured completely on this when we ceased drinking soft drinks and alcohol in the evening. We have seen an attributable difference in service when just ordering water although we order several courses, and even the higher-end bottled waters. What this has led to is my wife and I using our kitchen more and for the first time, starting our own garden. Too bad neither my wife and I will be around to see robotics replace servers, but I’m sure many will praise this milestone when it eventually happens.

  10. Tipping is a north-american habit. You are not expected to tip in most countries of europe and asia, the “service” is included in their salary.

    (warning – commie-speak ahead) Tipping is a way of owners increasing their profits by unduly passing to the customers the salary of the waiters. No restaurant owner in NA lowers the kitchen staff salary expecting them to compete for tips.

  11. As it has been stated in many of these posts, tipping is not a requirement. It sucks that you are in a position where you are paid below minimum wage and you are counting on those, but that is not the customers fault.

    Would you A -Rather live on below minimum wage and have the potential to walk away with hundreds in cash (that quite frankly, most of the people I know lie about to avoid/cheat taxes or tipping out the staff) for doing a job that does not require much effort except a smile and walking.

    Or B – Have the restaurant raise the price across the board of the food to make it so you get paid an actual minimum wage ($7-8? an hour) and receive tips once in a blue moon (or if you did something phenomenal).

    To put it in perspective – Working an average of 50 hours a week on a 30k salary, my nights off are usually spent in a crowded/popular bar and grill watching a game or dancing. The good server/waitresses there can pull in 4 figures in tips a week on 2-4 shifts working 4-5 hours a night. Congratulations, you have the potential to earn more, doing less, in half the time, than a college graduate. Try doing it somewhere with higher potential, and not at Denny’s. Your employer is required to pay you an actual minimum wage if you don’t make enough in tips to equal the state law.

    One personal recommendation, I won’t tell you how to do your job, but for people with food allergies, give them the comfort of writing down their order. It’s irritating as hell to have to guess “Does my waitress/waiter have a good memory, or am I playing Russian roulette with fate…” and even more-so having to ask “Did you remember to request this ______ “?

  12. I don’t agree with what was said about not tipping at all. If the service is bad, the customer is under no obligation to tip. One should be fair and take into consideration the server’s workload, of course. If I don’t get great service, but I see the server hustling around and overworked, that definitely is factored in. There has only been one incident in which I did not tip at all. Other than that, I tend to over-tip.

  13. Why would I tip bad service? Here in the UK, you only tip if they deserve it. I work in the hospitality industry and people not to tip is just overlooked unless they’re bill was expensive.

  14. I’m glad we don’t tip in my country. Clubs, Bars, Pubs are trying to by placing a tip jar, but hells no. You get paid, I’m not paying you too.

  15. People would seriously stiff a waiter in California because they make minimum wage? Wtf? Do they not realize their taxes are so much higher, so of course they’re gonna make a little more, but after taxes they’re probably close to that $2-$4 range.

  16. Don’t minimize the service industry….no it’s not brain surgery, but it is quick money. Hence why intelligent people choose it, as opposed to riding a desk 9-5. I am a college educated woman, and I serve to supplement my income. Its insulting when people say “go back to school, so you can find something better.” I for one, am not complaining about my job, I understand the nature of waiting tables, and take it for what it is. But don’t assume people are waiting tables because they lack the education to something else. Most servers are highly educated, and/or paying their way through school.

    And as for tipping….let’s face it, ppl come to dine in restaurants to be taken care of. If you don’t want to tip, go to Burger King. I agree, servers aren’t entitled to tips, as poor service warrants poor tips. But if people just stop leaving tips altogether, we’d all be reduced to fast food. No one is going to wait on you hand and foot for 2.13 an hour alone.