Table Manners—For Servers

Serving diners is hard, low-paying work. That’s why we tip. But given how some waiters fiddle with the way it’s done, a few other tips are in order

theessentials_masa_tSometimes less really is more. Save the shoulder-touching intimacies for people you actually know.


theessentials_masa_tStop asking “Have you eaten here before? Do you know how the menu works?” Small plates. Not-so-small prices. Understood.


theessentials_masa_tIt’s a restaurant, not a CrossFit class. No need to squat beside the table; we can tilt our heads a few inches to meet your gaze.


theessentials_masa_tActing lessons have honed your memory, but don’t be so cool you can’t write down our order. It only makes forgotten items even more galling.


theessentials_masa_tAnd while everyone craves validation, we’d prefer getting ours from a therapist or a pet, not a server who randomly tells us “Great choice!”


 Illustrations by Daniel Krall