Letter to the Editor

Remember restaurant etiquette

Sunday, August 16, 2009

To the Editor:

I am one of those that does not cook much at home.

I have found that sometimes, it is cheaper to eat out. Eating out, I have learned a lot about people and how they act and treat their waitstaff at restaurants. There are a few things that people need to be made aware of and think about the next time they eat out.

The person taking your order and bringing it to you to eat is not the person that cooks your order. Why do people always rant and rave at the waitstaff?

Yes, if your order isn't right, you should send it back. But, do so in a polite way. The cooks make a lot more money per hour than the waitstaff does. Did you know that most restaurants pay about $2.50-$3 an hour to the waitstaff but when they turn in their wages to the government, they put it in at whatever the minimum wage is? That is why these people need tips.

And this takes us to another point. Tip your waitstaff. If you can afford to eat out, you can afford to leave a tip. Fifteen percent is considered the going rate these days. That is 15 percent of what your meal is, not including tax. Trust me, if you tip your waitstaff well, the next time you are there, they will remember you and you will get very good service.

But don't cheat the waitstaff just because the cook messed up your order. This isn't fair.

Treat your waitstaff with respect. These men and women are working very hard. Some people have no idea how hard it is to wait tables. Also, do not act like these servers are stupid. They aren't. Many of them have college educations but have found that they can earn more waiting tables than in their chosen profession. Be nice to them. They will be nice to you.

Remember the old adage: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That is very important.

If you have small children, please do not let them run wild at the restaurant. Your servers are carrying plates of very hot food. Children get under foot and if one of the servers should trip and spill hot food on your child, it would be devastating to all concerned. Also remember that other patrons are not as excited about your child as you may be. We do not like listening to screaming, crying children. This isn't good for anyone's digestion. Keep them under control.

Always remember that working with the public is a tough job, no matter what that job is. Try to be polite and courteous to anyone you come in contact with. Not everyone can do these jobs. These people have families relying on what they make as well as your family does from you.

So next time you are eating out, no matter what kind of restaurant it is, think about these things. Open your eyes and watch people around you to see how they are acting.

Jaqui Griffith,