###Happy National Waiters and Waitresses Day, everybody!
I know, I know: You’re all, like, Is that a thing? Indeed it is, a no doubt welcome opportunity to pay tribute to your beloved servers.
I myself worked as a waitress through most of my twenties; I’ve got the spaghetti-sauce stained, button-down boys’ shirts and orthopedic shoes to prove it. So it is from a position of knowledge — and as a sort of salute to those we’re celebrating — that I’ve decided to compose a mini instructional manual on the subject of proper restaurant etiquette. Specifically, proper restaurant etiquette if you’re trying to hit on your waitress. (Or really, even if you’re not.) There’s an art to this sort of thing, and I’ve done by best — comprised a list of do’s and don’ts — to show you how to go about it.
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DON’T: Respond to her initial greeting by shouting “We’re not ready yet!” Your waitress will approach you, as waiters and waitresses so often do, by asking, “Hi: How are you tonight?” All she’s doing in this instance is letting you know that she’ll be your server for the evening. Perhaps she’ll see if you care for anything to drink, perhaps tell you about the specials. If all she says is, “Hi. How are…” before you bark: “WE’RE NOT READY YET!” you look nothing but anxious and ill-mannered. In the immortal words of Ice Cube: “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”
DON’T: Stare lecherously at her physique, howsoever it’s presented in the uniform she’s wearing. Maybe it’s some slinky black number, maybe it’s tee-shirt and jeans. Regardless, look her in the eyes as she approaches, speaks, departs.
DON’T: Order anything other than what’s listed on the menu. Here’s what 99.9% of waiters think when people do this: “Oh, happy day. Another self-entitled moron.” It’s fine to want steamed, sauce-less salmon for dinner. But then stay the frack home, son, and cook it for yourself. You don’t want to come off so unlikable to your future lady-friend, so instead be like, “Ooo. That pork belly sounds amazing. I think I’ll have that.”
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DON’T: Complain about how high the prices on the menu are. She, whoever she is, has as much power over menu prices as you have over whether an asteroid collides with planet Earth. If the prices are too high, fine. Don’t eat there again. And don’t complain about it to your waitress.
DON’T: Call her sweetheart. Duh hecky, of course. But I thought I’d ere on the safe side, and go ahead and spell it out.
DO: Say please and thank you. Duh hecky again. But lest you needed a reminder — or perhaps an introduction — here ‘tis, from me to you: It is polite to say “Please” and also “thank you.” You should do this in all areas of your life, because it is decent and kind. And because it will make waiters and waitresses like you.
DO: Tip 20%. I’ve been employed by many a restaurant, and I can tell you a common belief amongst waiters is that bad tippers are bad in the sack. Ungenerous in tip? Ungenerous in oral sex. It’s a theory corroborated by many a promiscuous coworker, male and female both. So: Should you hope to impress a lady, throw down that 20% as a hope of things to come. (No pun intended!)
DO: Write her a winning note you leave on the table. This, friend, is the nuts and bolts of how you’ll seal this deal. You’ll ask her to her borrow a pen and scrap of paper. She’s a waitress; she’ll have them on her. Then you’ll write a note you leave in the check presenter, alongside the cash or credit card slip. You’ll say something like, “To my charming and delightful waitress: Pardon me for being so forward, but it simply must be said: You’re a stunner. And I’d love to take you out. (INSERT PHONE NUMBER HERE.) Call or text anytime. I’d love to hear from you.”
###“Sara Barron is the author of People Are Unappealing and the forthcoming Eating While Peeing: and other adventures.”
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