This Is Why Your Waiter Hates You

Categories: LOLS

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roger jones/Flickr
If you can afford a $200 Pinot, you can sure as hell afford to tip on it.
​Do you consider yourself a polite, sophisticated diner? Of course you do. You say "please" and "thank you." You know how to use chopsticks. You can define the word "Burrata." But if you're one of the millions of people who have never waited tables, there are a few subtle breaches of dining behavior you might (unwittingly) be guilty of ― ones that are causing your server financial and emotional harm.
 
You're more interested in your Smartphone than you are in your dinner.
Or your fellow diners. Or your waiter. Here's a tip: When you sit at the table with other humans, they might be offended that you find what's on your iPhone more fascinating than you find them. And your waiter will hate you because you're going to ask him to repeat the litany of specials he just described to everyone else for the second (or third) time because you weren't paying attention. Put the phone down. Better yet, turn it off and put it away. And please take that damned Bluetooth thing out of your ear. Your server might not be as technologically savvy as you think. He might mistake it for a hearing aid and yell directly into it.

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derekGavey/Flickr
Don't sniff. Please.
You sniff corks.
Tasting wine should be a relatively simple ― and ideally a painless ― procedure. The waiter shows you the bottle you've ordered, citing the pertinent information (maker, vineyard, vintage, etc.); you accept the bottle; waiter opens said bottle and pours a little of the wine into your glass after placing the cork in front of you. The sole purpose of cork inspection is to determine whether or not the bottle has been stored properly. When you sniff the cork, it is a clear sign to your waiter that you have no idea what you're doing. A true cork will invariably smell as God intended it to smell: Like cork. Take a whiff of the wine instead. And, whatever happens, never dramatically wave a screw cap under your nose, even as a joke. That particular move has led to blood loss on more than one occasion.

You stay all night.
Don't be a "camper." Lingering over a romantic dinner is one thing, but hogging a table in a busy restaurant for the entire evening is a surefire way to bring on the ire of your server, the hostess, management, and the nice people who have been patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for their turn to dine. If someone came into your place of business for an appointment in the morning and then decided to hang out until closing time, making it impossible for you to see other clients and earn money, you'd probably hate them, too.

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thoth92/Flickr
This is not tipping ― it's more like clearing your pockets.
You're a crappy tipper.
There are few things that can match the sense of betrayal a good server feels when he or she has been stiffed on a gratuity ― especially after her guests have just finished telling her what a marvelous dinner they had and how great she was. The last time we checked, landlords and student loan officers do not accept good wishes as legal tender. Don't think you need to tip on that $200 bottle of wine? Think again: Not only is your server taxed on that sale, but she has to pay her support staff (hostess, busser, food runner, etc.) on it, whether you tip or not. If you can afford to eat well, you can afford to tip well. Otherwise, just do takeout. That way, you can check e-mail to your heart's content, sniff anything you like, stuff a dollar in the tip jar, and hang out all night in the place where you truly belong anyway ― at home.

Michael Procopio works as a waiter in San Francisco and blogs at Food for the Thoughtless. Follow him on Twitter at @procopster. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie.

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26 comments
watlington
watlington

"What i find scandolous is the pic of the food on the menu in alot of restaurants does not represent whats brought to you. We just learned most recipes n make it at home .. saves us tons."  If you're eating in places that have pictures of food on the menu you SHOULD just stay home. Geez.

GoodLuck
GoodLuck

F waiters. Go to school, then you wouldn't have to be a waiter. Instead you get paid to SERVE me. And I will sniff whatever the hell I like, I will linger for however long I like and I will tip you EXACTLY as you deserve to be tipped - not a penny more and not a penny less. And if you are rude to me because I want to sniff my wine, or impatient with me because I'm having the time of my life on a date, I will tip you NOTHING, because that, and a punch in the mouth, is what you deserve for being the only bad part of my evening. 


Now, that said, if you are a GOOD waiter/server, I will tip you accordingly. And if I linger for the time of two diners, don't be shocked when I tip you double. But that isn't a guarantee - if you're an a-hole I'll tip you like one. And like the arrogant douchenozzle you are, you'll cry to your coworkers or write an arrogant article like this one whining about me being a bad customer - because you're too f-in stupid to recognize that the tip is a direct reflection of your service. 

When the "waiter empowerment movement" began is a mystery to me, but every article like this makes me want to tip you less, you whining bastards. F off already. If you don't like it, get a real job and stop being a paid servant. Now get me a glass of water - I sat down 10 goddamn minutes ago. Your tip just dropped 5% a-hole.  

bellamaybee
bellamaybee

What, exactly, is considered an acceptable tip, for acceptable service? Nothing stellar, minimal complaints, but maybe the food came out at different times, or the drinks took a really long time, or the server forgot something, then took a while to correct it. I was at brunch with a server friend and tipped 23% and was mortified when she threw another $10 on the table as we were leaving. 

Jon Wolslau
Jon Wolslau

What i find scandolous is the pic of the food on the menu in alot of restaurants does not represent whats brought to you. We just learned most recipes n make it at home .. saves us tons .

Jon Wolslau
Jon Wolslau

hey wait ass all u do is take the order n bring the food .. ez gig u wanna bring in your bs tude go home n cry or deal with it. Ill take my own damn order n bring my own food i do it everyday at home.

Corey Prior
Corey Prior

Deal with it! I did it for years now someone else can wait on me.

Lauren Larsson
Lauren Larsson

I have never seen this happen. I spend a lot of time in, and have worked in, restaurants.

Stephanie Zenith
Stephanie Zenith

i think they are when you're trying to take an order & you can't get their attention so you have to come back

Lauren Larsson
Lauren Larsson

Why do you use this article to grind your ax about cell phones? Surely they're not as annoying to waiters as they potentially are to your tablemates.

p.perrino1
p.perrino1

How is the server taxed on the sale of wine? Isn't the owner the one taxed on sales?

moondogmane
moondogmane

Watch the opening scene of Reservoir Dogs and get back to me.

Dulcinea Marie Sihra
Dulcinea Marie Sihra

Duh?! Thank you captain obvious! What did this article do other than waste space?! Lol

Stu Smith
Stu Smith

and boy can they get even with you...wait staff and bartenders from many restaurants get together after every shift and share their horror and wonder stories, and if you become known, you better take a health inspector with you to the next 'good' restaurant you go to...revenge in restaurants can be horrible...

Christopher Enzi
Christopher Enzi

I thought it was because they were waiters. I hated all diners when I worked in restaurants!

Michael Procopio
Michael Procopio

This piece will haunt me for the rest of my life. It's a good thing I like to be haunted.

Sean Timberlake
Sean Timberlake

That Michael Procopio just keeps coming up all over.

TinyTim
TinyTim

Survey please: How many readers of SF Weekly buy $200 bottles of wine? Don't such imbibers read luxury-oriented periodicals instead? When was the last time you tipped a reference librarian for giving you great service? And what about the garbageman who hauls away your slop at 4AM? Do you run out after him to palm him with a double sawbuck? The bagger at the grocery who doesn't pack your avocados at the bottom of the bag? The tagger who avoids your apartment wall? The cashier who smiles for (a) change? The guard at the museum? Your MUNI driver? Yourself for paying $200 for a bottle of wine? Your kid for saying thank you?

drfostar
drfostar

Wow dude! I think you missed the point of the article. It's not like you're ever going to know that we hate you. You just look like a douche bag when you pull stuff like this. If you don't give an ef about what other people think of you then go right ahead and keep doing what you are doing, but just to let you know, even the servers that you tip well think you are a d-bag. They're just smarter than you, and are better at hiding their true feelings.

tselliott68
tselliott68

Then you should stay home and make your own food a hole!

wvento
wvento

@Lauren Larsson a waiter is essentially performing for your tip money. By not paying attention to this performance, you're sending the not-so-subtle message that you don't really care about where you are, the meal you're about to eat, and the gratuity you are going to leave at the end. I know it's a bit of an exaggeration to compare a server to an actor on stage, but you don't play with your phone at the theater, do you? It's disrespectful to not pay attention when someone is explaining a complicated array of menu specials. 

wvento
wvento

@p.perrino1 The employer reports wages and tips are part of those wages. More often than not, the employer uses a % of a server's sales to determine the gratuity that is implied. Don't order anything that you can't tip at least 15-20% on top of. 

Agentprovokatur
Agentprovokatur

@TinyTim Whadda wonk, conflating jobs where tipping is a STRUCTURAL part of the compensation system that bleeds back into everything including distribution to the rest of the staff and the TAX CODE which whacks the server directly with other jobs that do not.  Don't like those facts then DON'T EAT OUT, lobby for higher wages that will then be included in the bill (or added as mandatory charges as many other countries do) or stick to Mickie D's.  I bet you're one of those petty types who view what should be a fun dining and social experience as an opportunity to pass on to the wait staff all of the "indignities" that you believe life has unfairly dumped on you.

Next time try floating a "logic" balloon that doesn't beg to be shot out of the air with a nuclear air burst.

And FYI - I have ordered expensive wine and understand that tipping on it IS part of the cost of the meal, so even your correlation of reading habits and income/social activities is as specious as the rest of your drivel.

p.perrino1
p.perrino1

@wvento@p.perrino1 Hi wvento, thanks for the explanation. I agree, I default to 20% of the total bill regardless what was ordered. I just didn't understand the tax issue, but it makes sense now. Thanks again.

FunBobby
FunBobby

@Agentprovokatur @TinyTim  Nice view on tip related professions buddy, waiters earn a server wage (below minimum wage) because of tips and taxes/. Servers could lobby for fair pay rates but then restaurants would have to completely change staffing hours and increase meal prices making it completely over expensive to dine out for most people (but this is what you do not understand about the restaurant business) the only way that it can work is for the customer to basically provide the servers income via tipping. So if you eat out you need to tip 15-20 percent or stay home and cook. 

wvento
wvento

@p.perrino1 @wvento 20% is my default too. Now that nearly all restaurants are using POS terminals to input orders, all sales are tracked to the penny and really easy to pull reports for the tax man. 

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