Tips from a waiter

Want to make sure your waiter never spits in your food? Follow these tips!

Working as a waiter for the last two years have taught me a lot of patience. We have the best and nicest guests, but every server has a few pet peeves that we all struggle with. As such my fellow servers and I have come up with a list of annoying things people do.

  • Don’t seat yourself.
  • Do not seat yourself and expect us to know that you magically appeared from thin air. And then sarcastically ask to see a menu.
  • Don’t seat yourself at the only dirty table in the shop (just as the previous guests are leaving).
  • Don’t seat yourself at a dirty table and then complain about it being dirty and then insist on seeing a menu while your waiter is cleaning up.
  • Do NOT move the tables and chairs around. Our shop is set up a certain way to ensure that we can reach all the tables and everyone has some space.
  • On that note: Do not be a chauvinistic asshole and push your seat so far back that you block any passage around your table.
  • Do NOT stand in the thoroughfare to have an hour-long conversation with your long-lost friend. There are other customers in the restaurant that can’t be served if their waiter can’t reach them.
  • Bikers: I now your helmet is probably worth more than this shop. But it isn’t going to order food and thus cannot have a table all to itself. This goes for all sport and leisure gear, guys. Ladies, your handbags also falls in this category.
  • If you are dining alone, please try not to take a seat at a table for four.
  • If you have a reservation arrive, on time, or call to cancel. Don’t bring extra guests along and expect us to somehow fit another person after carefully planning the bookings and seats.
  • Read the menu! Don’t complain about the ingredients of a dish if it was clearly stated in black and white.
  • Dear customers, we only have two hands. We didn’t forget your order, but can only manage so many plates at one time.
  • In the same vein, if someone at your table orders water, you can too. Don’t make us walk up and down five times just to fetch five glasses of water.
  • Don’t touch your waiter. Ever.
  • This goes especially for grabbing your waiter by the arm while they are speaking to another guest. It’s rude to both the waiter and the customers they are serving.
  • Good food takes time. Waiting half an hour for a dish in a busy restaurant is not a long time. If you want fast food, head over to McDonald’s.
  • Tip your waiter. Even if your food took half an hour. Even if the table next to you got their food first, although they arrived 30 seconds after you. This is South Africa. We work for minimum wage and really need the tips.
  • Do not tip your waiter R3 on a R800 tab. Then just don’t tip. R3 isn’t going to pay my rent and to be honest, its an insult. Just keep it. The only people who ever tip R3 are those that complain the most anyway. Whatever, ma’am, I won’t lose sleep over the fact that you were upset over the bread crumb on your table, the temperature of your coffee or that we don’t serve pizza for your snotty child. I work hard to earn a living and don’t need to be insulted by someone disgruntled by the world as a whole.

Thank you to the magnificent people that look after us, tip well and make us smile. You are the reason we haven’t killed anyone with a kitchen knife… yet.