Proper ettiquette enriches restaurant experience

By Wendy Brown
Staff Writer

As the holidays come up more people decide to go out to eat with friend and family. This means that restaurants are going to be extra busy. Doing the wrong thing can hurt your chances of being seated and can annoy the servers and hosts even more. Follow these helpful tips for faster and better service.

At the Host Stand:

  • If you are a larger party, be sure to know the exact number in your party before you arrive to put your name in. This way the host can give you a better wait time, and can seat your party in the most efficient way.
  • When you first walk in, make sure to clearly state whether you would prefer a booth or table. Waiting to tell the host when she gets to a table will only harm your experience since she might have to double seat a server.
  • If your party has any special requests, like a wheel chair accessible table or a highchair or car seat sling, make sure you make that known when you are talking to the host.
  • When a host gives you a wait time, do not complain. This will only aggravate the host and make them want to do fewer favors for you. It is their job to seat you as fast as possible. Note that if you ask for any special requests such as a booth, a car seat, or a wheelchair accessible table you may have a longer wait time.
  • If you happen to be waiting beyond your wait time, go up to the host stand and ask why, They should be able to give you a reasonable excuse, and if they can’t ask to talk to a manager.

At the Table:

  • When you arrive at the table make sure that you sit in an area most comfortable to you. If the booth or table isn’t going to work for you, tell your waitress when they walk by that way they can move you to a more appropriate area. Do not move yourself to a random table. It might not be in a server’s seating section and you may not get served.
  • You should only be waiting for about two minutes before your waiter or staff comes by to take your drink order. If you catch yourself waiting longer, find the nearest staff and tell them the situation.
  • When you are comfortably seated be sure to sit in the same place the entire night. This is especially true for larger parties, since most restaurants use seat numbers to tell who to add on a bill. Moving constantly around will only hurt you when its time to take out the check since it will take longer for the server to match up everyone on a certain bill
  • If you are paying separately, tell your waiter who will be on what bill when they give you your drinks. This way you won’t have to wait as long at the end of your meal because they will know who will be on what bill.
  • You should always try to tip 20% of your total bill. If a waiter was exceptionally good you should tip more, and if the service was bad you can tip less but ask to see a manager and that way the problems will be addressed.
  • Do not judge an entire restaurant for a server’s mistake, always talk to a manager if you have had a bad experience. This way they can give you freebies to encourage you to come back in.
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