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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 October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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