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Things That Servers Want You To Do When Eating Out

Things That Servers Want You To Do When Eating Out

It’s Saturday night and you’re trying to tie the perfect Windsor for a first date dinner. It’s Wednesday, you’ve just left the office and you’re calling that new steakhouse to make a reservation to celebrate your unexpected promotion. It could be Friday’s ‘Mom doesn’t want to cook’ family outing, or appetizers and wine on Tuesday with the girls. Whatever the occasion, eating out is a staple activity for celebration and social interaction. Naturally, you want the experience to be as positive as possible, which means making the job for restaurant staff as straightforward as possible to avoid mishaps and sent back dishes.

Knowing proper restaurant etiquette will make the entire experience a whole lot better. Here are some things to remember.

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If you’re uncertain of a drink or food order, tell your server so they may leave and comeback, rather than them having wait

Maybe you didn’t get a chance to look at the menu, or maybe you’re very indecisive today (or always). Your server will likely be juggling multiple tables and tasks, and thus be aiming for as much efficiency as possible. Rather than having them wait a minute or two for you to make up your mind, invite them to return shortly for your order. This, in turn, shows consideration and respect for their time and won’t go unnoticed.

Speak loud enough and clearly when ordering

A restaurant, when busy, is a noisy place. A table, when drinking, is also very noisy. When you’re asking questions about certain items, make sure your waiter can understand the first time and the whole process will be short and sweet. This is especially important when ordering. Look at your waiter and speak loudly, and he will correctly write the order down, every time. It sounds nitpicky, but some items sound like others or are similar – like a chipotle mango chicken and a chipotle chicken quesadilla.

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Make sure the table orders all their waters and drink refills when the server is checking up

A good server will be checking up from time to time to ascertain everyone’s satisfaction with the food and to inquire about more drinks. If you know your wife will want water with her meal but she hasn’t said anything, go ahead and mention it. If you haven’t finished your beer but are on the low side, order it alongside Chelsea’s glass of water or little Tim’s chocolate milk. You’ll save your waiter a trip and not feel the need to (awkwardly) waive him down later when your glass is empty and you’re three bites into your burger.

Be polite!

This point may seem obvious but there are a few common blunders: When you’re in deep conversation it’s easy to forget that the world is still spinning around you. A server approaching your table is simply trying to do their job – put the conversation on hold until you’ve given them some direction. If something is wrong with your order or you don’t like the food, be as likeable as you can. It’s sometimes hard to control anger, especially if you’re had a rough day, but it’s not necessarily the server’s fault and being harsh won’t undo the damage. It will only make things uncomfortable for everyone.

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Feedback is always welcomed

Is the steak cooked to perfection? Tell your server and you’ll get a smile. You’ll also get better service. Serving can be hectic during the dinner rush and If you let your waiter know your happy, they will feel more comfortable going over to your table to check up on you. If everything went well and your server did a good job, tell them. Your appreciation of their service is just as important as the tip. Well, almost. Kind of.

When the server is clearing plates, help him out!

Cleaning up after a large table is a daunting task. It requires good watchfulness and timing, and the server has to run to and from the table with piles of dirty dishes. When a server is busy they may not get to the table the second you’ve eaten your last bite, so do them a favor and do yourself one at the same time and pile what needs to go on your plate, like napkins and utensils, so your server can pop in and grab it quickly. This also helps the waiter know when you’re done eating if there’s food left on your plate.

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Never tip lower than 15 %, ever, unless you really, really didn’t like the service. Really.

Servers are paid under minimum wage so most of their earnings are from their tips. A portion of their sales they need to give to other members of the staff like the kitchen, the bussers and the hostesses. Sometimes that percentage is as high as 8% and often it is no less than 4%. So a 15% tip is only fair. The restaurant industry is unreliable – sometimes entire months are very slow. Servers get no benefits and are disadvantaged with banks and credit companies so they rely heavily on the 15% standard gratuity you’re supposed to give them. Tips also act as motivation for servers to fulfill and surpass what guests expect them to do. And justly so – when eating out it is the extra thoughtfulness and flair from your waiter that can make the night much better. Tips are the oil that run the service industry, so if you’re going out tip appropriately, or order in.

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Things That Servers Want You To Do When Eating Out

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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