What waiters really wish customers knew

We’ve all been in situations at a restaurant where our food is late, or cold, or we haven’t had our drinks, and we’ve been sitting here for almost an hour. Often our waiter has to bear the brunt of our frustrations, and that’s not really fair. The waiter is often the last person responsible for our frustrations, but they are the face of the establishment, so that’s who we direct them at. Here are some of the secrets that waiters wish they could tell you, but because they are such pros, they’ll suffer on in silence.

They’re busy

It’s quite common to be sitting at your table when you’ve finished stuffing your face, trying to make eye contact with a waiter or waitress to get the check. They most likely aren’t ignoring, you, but they are probably run off their feet. Sure, it is annoying to have to wait for what can feel like an age, but you’re out for the evening, so a minute or two longer isn’t going to hurt. If you’re in a rush, you can always get up and find a member of the waiting staff. Try to refrain from yelling across the restaurant at your server, this won’t speed up your service and will make others around you uncomfortable.

What waiters really wish customers knew

Don’t snap

Waiting staff hate it when people snap their fingers at them. It is rude and demeaning. Much like in life, ask yourself if you’d be happy for people to do it at you, if not then probably don’t do it. If you are looking for a quick meal, most places have their menus online to check beforehand. Knowing what you want to order before going in can really save time, and keep frustrations to a minimum.

Be clear and speak up

Waiting staff like it when their customers are open and honest about the service. If the food is cold, or not cooked to your liking, let them know, and they can rectify it. D’Andrea Garner, who has waiting experience at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, understands people don’t like speaking up, but she wants customers to have a great experience. She would prefer you speak up in the restaurant rather than going home to get behind your keyboard and leave a bad review.


We’ve all seen those stories online, the ones where a member of the waiting staff has been left an enormous tip in a gesture of goodwill. Sadly, most waiters won’t ever receive such a tip. Worryingly, many waiters are actually ignored by their customers and do not receive any kind of tip at all. Garner thinks that lousy service deserves a bad tip – after all, the tip is for good service. She does believe that not tipping, whatsoever, is not acceptable. Adding that during her waiting career she has often not been tipped an appropriate amount.

What waiters really wish customers knew

That’s why pencils have erasers

Waiting staff are not infallible, they too make mistakes, so maybe try not giving them such a hard time over it. Olivia Sehl has over three years experience as a waiter, she mentions that they are just trying to do their jobs and a little bit of sympathy would go a long way. Not all servers in the world work hard, that is fair enough, but the ones that do should be recognized by their customers.

Those are some of the thoughts waiting staff have and want to share with customers. They say to truly know someone you should try walking a mile in their shoes, so if you’re still full of disdain for waiting staff maybe give it a go and then see if you feel the same.