11 Things Waiters Do in Restaurants That Drive Us Crazy

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place settingWe know waiters and waitresses work extremely hard and deserve our respect. I mean, most of them do. And everyone has a bad day at work. If I were to compose a list of things waiters and waitresses do that I LOVE, it would be a super-long list. And I should definitely do that soon. But hey, it's fun to complain about stuff! So here's our list of the most annoying things wait staff do at restaurants.

  1. Sighing when you take too long to decide what you want to order. I'm thinking! There are 1,000 items on this menu. Give me a second here.
  2. Being overly friendly. Everyone appreciates a warm, personable waiter. But sometimes they're a little too friendly -- like the guy who once squatted by my table just to shoot the breeze a while before taking our orders.
  3. Frowning disapprovingly at what you ordered. YES, I ordered a red wine to go with my fish. SO WHAT? You don't have to drink it!
  4. Giving vague answers to your questions. "What do you recommend?" "Oh, everything's good here." "Is that stir-fry dish spicy?" "Kind of." "What is the oxtail cooked with?" "Oxtail."
  5. Coming by every five minutes to ask how everything is -- especially when you're having an intense conversation.
  6. Disappearing for long periods of time so you feel forgotten. The other extreme.
  7. Not helping you find a high chair or booster seat when you obviously need one and the restaurant obviously provides them.
  8. Telling you not to breastfeed at the table, or telling you to cover up.
  9. Rushing your courses. You've just had three bites of your appetizer and your entree is already here. You're halfway through your entree and dessert arrives. "Oh, here, I'll just set it here at the edge of your table, but no rush, really." Can you please tell the kitchen that I'd like to chew and swallow my food?
  10. Calling you "fat" or leaving other mean comments on your bill.
  11. Writing in their own tip. No, you can't do that!

More from The Stir: Mom’s Cheap Tip Drives Angry Waitress to Do Something Crazy

Do you have any restaurant pet peeves?


Image via Dinner Series/Flickr

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nonmember avatar April

I hate HATE when servers sit at my booth with me. HATE IT. It makes me uncomfortable and invades my personal space. And I feel for them, because at some places, management MAKES them do that. To foster a friendly feeling, I guess. I have been a server, I feel for them. But I still just want them to stand there or even squat down and take my order. I don't want to sit there with them squeezed in next to me. I don't know them.

nonmember avatar Carol

Some of these are valid, but for others try to walk a mile in the waiter's shoes! As a waitress myself, let me help you out here...

Taking long to decide what you want to order is only annoying when you've called me over and told me that yes, you're ready. If you say you're ready to order, then please go ahead and spit it out. I don't have ten minutes to stand at your table while you narrow down what you'd like. I have other things to be doing, honey. If you're not ready, no problem. Just don't tie me up pretending that you're finished looking.

Rushing your courses? Really? I'm not cooking the meals, I'm just putting the order in and bringing it to you. And no, if the restaurant is full I can't tell the kitchen to lag on your order. You're getting your food when it's ready. Considering the alternative, really late food, I think getting your courses earlier is definitely a plus!

Clearly you've never worked in the food industry.

BirdCo BirdCo

Asking how everything is right when I take a bite of food.

happi... happinessforyou

I hate a huge menu-it tells me that you buy lots of product, yet are really not "great" at anything.... narrow your menu and do something better than anyone else! I don't need to choose from 35 different sandwiches for example. Make 8 and make them the best sandwich in the world!! big smile mini

basmet basmet

To the above commenter, Carol, I get that it could annoy you... but is a heavy sigh really polite even if they're doing something that bothers you?  I tip no matter what, but if I hear a heavy sigh then the tip is staying at 15% instead of getting bumped up to 25% so that sigh could cost you, even if I am being annoying.  Servers could try smiling and say "Could I help you narrow it down?"  Or "Let me give you a minute, I'll be right back". But we all know that sometimes when we aren't ready to order and the server leaves for "a minute" they take a very long time to come back, when they could have just stayed at my table for 35 seconds while I decided between the two things I was eyeing. 

nonmember avatar Carly Davenport

Being overly friendly? Really? How do you expect a server to know if your having an intense conversation? Get over yourself. Since you apparently have the "recipe" for the perfect waitress why don't you go try it for yourself, it's harder than you think, especially since most issues are out of our control. As a waitress, I find this post offensive. I will Never visit it again.

roman... romanceparty4u

seriously, a waiter or waitress would call a customer fat? It'd be on like donkey kong!

Bekah Fuemmeler Painter

Cannot stand it when they reach over your plate or drink! It's rude, and grosses me out.

Cathi Gabbert-Smith

sweeping the floor while im trying to eat .. please ?? now all the dirt and dust is in my food seriously ?

Michael Hallmark

"Do you need any change back?"

'Why? Are you too lazy to walk back with my money?"

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