Fifty things restaurant staffers should never do
Let's show some manners! My faves:
2. Do not make a singleton feel bad. Do not say, "Are you waiting for someone?" Ask for a reservation. Ask if he or she would like to sit at the bar. (I hate that "Just one?")
6. Do not lead the witness with, "Bottled water or just tap?" Both are fine. Remain neutral. (I would add, if tap is not fine, figure out why and fix it!)
8. Do not interrupt a conversation. For any reason. Especially not to recite specials. Wait for the right moment. (Don't ask "how is everything?" when you can see we all just took a bite.)
12. Do not touch the rim of a water glass. Or any other glass.
14. When you ask, "How is everything?" or "How was the meal?" listen to the answer and fix whatever is not right.
15. Never say "I don't know" to any question without following with, "I'll find out." (This is a rule for LIFE!) From the comments: Think the "I don't know," and don't open your mouth until you get to "I'll find out."
17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait. (Some don't agree, but I think it makes the slower eater feel rushed.)
18. Know before approaching a table who has ordered what. Do not ask, "Who's having the shrimp?" (Unless the group is playing musical chairs, there is no reason a server doesn't know who ordered what.)
25. Make sure the glasses are clean. Inspect them before placing them on the table. (Who wants dirty dishes? I can stay at home for that. J/K!)
30. Never let the wine bottle touch the glass into which you are pouring. No one wants to drink the dust or dirt from the bottle. (I probably wouldn't notice, but interesting to note.)
40. Never say, "Good choice," implying that other choices are bad. (Love it! Don't make the rest of the group insecure!)
46. Never acknowledge any one guest over and above any other. All guests are equal. (Repeat after me: all guests are equal. Don't judge a book by it's cover. Age or lack of age should not determine how people are treated anywhere, just as clothing doesn't show how much money someone will spend. On the other hand, customers anywhere should present themselves the way they WANT to be treated, rather than expecting to be treated fairly while presenting themselves as bums.)
48. Do not ask what someone is eating or drinking when they ask for more; remember or consult the order. (This goes with #18. A server's job is to know who wants what.)
From the comments: When picking up the check, PLEASE do not ask "Do you need change?" Bring the change, or say "I'll be right back with your change." (And give me my change, rather than assuming any tip--what if someone else at the table is leaving the tip?)
Don't ask "Still working on that?" when eying my not-empty plate! Food is for pleasure, not for work. (Kinda funny!)
These are actually good rules for the guests too: never touch the server, never curse, never ask for the server's favorites, etc. It is easy to forget that a compliment to one person, when in a group, often means others feel left out. No one means to snub, but they happen. If we all thought about the over all experience our interactions create, we would be much better off.