The rudest things you can do in a restaurant – according to staff

Dining out should be an enjoyable and exciting experience.

However, just because you’re a guest in a restaurant, bar or cafe, doesn’t mean all your manners should go out the window.

But sadly, hospitality staff are all too familiar with impolite customers – including some celebrities. Most recently, James Corden made headlines after a restaurant owner accused him of treating staff badly.

So what are some of the rudest things you can do in a restaurant or bar?

Hospitality staff have shed light on some of the dos and don’ts for dining out below.

From clicking your fingers to shouting, these are the things you should avoid…

Aggressive communication

If there’s a problem, communicate it calmly, explains Antoine Melon, a former restaurateur and co-founder of HOMETAINMENT.

‘It goes without saying, but whether it’s the food order or a mix-up with the drinks, customers should be aware that restaurateurs and servers want you to have the best experience and top quality service, so any faults or mistakes should be communicated in a calm manner,’ Antoine explains

‘We understand it can be frustrating, but please don’t ruin the dining experience for other guests or be hostile to staff.

‘If there’s a problem, avoid making a scene and communicate the issue calmly – it’s nothing we can’t fix and we are more than happy to compensate for the mix up.’

Not informing about lateness

‘Restaurants will often have to deal with late customers but the more notice you can give us the better we can be prepared and cater for late customers so we don’t lose business,’ adds Antoine.

If you turn up late, servers will get a backlog of orders to fill – especially if multiple customers are late – and this can add up to lost business or longer waiting times.

So it’s in everyone’s best interests to let staff know about lateness.

Clicking at a waiter

Would you click at someone in any other setting: in a shop, in your office, or at a friend?

No.

So don’t do this to hospitality staff, stresses Antoine.

He says: ‘Waiters work really hard and are on their feet all day. Don’t click to get their attention – just raise your hand or call for them in a respectful manner.’

Shouting at staff

Shouting at the staff never ends well, says Antoine.

He explains: ‘By creating a scene it would make other guests uncomfortable, the waiter will feel very bad and anxious and the guest extremely unhappy and irritated. 

‘One day I had to throw a guest out of the restaurant for being extremely rude to the team. He was shouting, extremely impolite and had no manners.’

Getting up to leave or chase food

If you have been waiting for a while, rather than standing and going to the bar or walking towards the waiter, it’s better to get the attention of a manager or another waiter to chase your order. 

‘Standing and talking to a waiter who is in the middle of taking an order or serving a table is embarrassing for everyone and creates a tense atmosphere,’ explains Antoine.

Don’t joke about emptiness

‘If you book the first seating time in a restaurant, making a sharp joke on arrival about the place being empty won’t make anyone laugh, it’ll just place a huge red flag on your table,’ explains Rob Maynard from Wild Flor in Hove.

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