A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Tips to be a good customer — from your waitstaff

Courtesy Life Of Pics
Become the poster child of good customers by following this list of tips.

Maybe you’re oblivious to your inappropriate restaurant behavior. Now is the time for change. Before blaming the server, examine yourself. And if the problem really was the staff’s fault, the manager will give you free stuff to save us from a bad Yelp review.

If you find yourself making any of the following complaints, consider that we, as servers, are people too. 


  • “I should get my way just because I’m a customer!”

No, the customer is not always right.

If you come into a restaurant as a guest thinking your opinion is the only correct one, I already don’t want to serve you. Obviously, our goal is to make you happy, but not at the cost of our pain. 


  • “I don’t wanna wait a long time for a table!”

Please just wait your turn.

We are running a restaurant, a fast-paced, high energy venue. Sometimes, you need to wait for your reserved table. Or if you walk in with no reservations with a party of eight at 7 p.m., don’t be upset if it’s going to take a while to be seated.


  • “So just because I’m late, I don’t get seated immediately?!”

If you make a reservation, be on time.

When you’re late, it disrupts the entire chain of events. We plan tables and seating arrangements based on the reservations and headcount we have for the night. If you are not on time, it forces us to run late with your service, and then the next party — and eventually the entire night — is askew.


  • “I wanted that specific table!”

Sit down in the seat I give you, and say thank you.

Okay, I’m sorry I could not get your favorite table, but the one right next to it is open, set and ready. And no, I’m not giving you a bad table because I don’t like you; but if you keep complaining, I won’t.


  • “Why did you make my food taste bad?!”

I did not cook your food. I did not cook your food. I did not cook your food.

The front of the house is separate from the back. I am sorry your steak is undercooked, but I did not grill that. I was not hired to roast asparagus. I was hired to serve your roasted asparagus and recommend a light, crisp sauvignon blanc to pair with it.


  • “I’ve already paid enough for the meal, why add extra?!”

Here’s a tip: Leave one.

We have spent all night running to your table, filling water glasses, plastering on a fake smile and trying to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. The absolute least you can do in return is show gratitude by properly supplementing the hourly minimum I make with a 15% tip and round up my pay to a living wage.


  • “I’m taking my time eating, I don’t care how late it is!”

We close at 10 p.m. Please leave. I just want to go home.

If the host sat you 10 minutes before the kitchen closed, then you’re not going to finish before we shut the doors, and this does not apply to you. But if you’ve been occupying the patio table since 7 p.m., gone through three courses and are not planning to order anything else, please reevaluate your actions. If you have to ask, “Are we keeping you?” then it’s time to leave.

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About the Contributor
Ava Domenichelli
Ava Domenichelli, Reporter
Ava Domenichelli (she/her) is a journalism-broadcasting major in her first semester at The Oak Leaf. She spent the last three semesters as a theater major, but recently decided journalism is her passion. Ava is planning to transfer in Fall 2022 to pursue broadcasting and producing.

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