Food & Drink

The 20 Worst Questions to Ask Your Server

Published On 09/25/2014 Published On 09/25/2014

Waiters are used to dealing with a lot of things: incompetent managers, infallible chefs, and, of course, insane patrons who ask very strange questions, and then go back to their garden-level apartments to hoard more figurines of kitties dressed as angels.

Behold, some of the worst, thanks to The Bitchy Waiter

1. "Is our food ready yet?"

You should know that when your food is ready, it will be on the table in front of you. Trust me.

2. "You don't close for two more minutes, right?"

You don't want to be the ones who are keeping an entire restaurant staff at work longer than they want to be.

Flickr/Carolyn Coles

3. "I don't see it on the menu, but can you make me ______?"

The menu has one purpose. Literally, one purpose. Use it.
 

4. "What's your real job?"

Plenty of people make their living waiting tables, and that makes it a real job.
 

5. "Can you change the music?"

Your server probably has no control over the music that is being piped in and, if he does, then he already chose what he wants to listen to. Anyway, do you go into your friend's house and immediately plug in your iPod? 

Au Cheval

6. "What's taking my well-done burger so long, did they have to go kill the cow?"

Well-done burgers take time, and that joke wasn't funny the first time your server heard it a million years ago. Also, why do you like all of the flavor cooked out of your burger?
 

7. "Can we sit over there instead of here?"

There is a method to the hostess' madness. But if you insist on asking this, do it before you sit down, place your order, and eat half of your food.
 

8. "What do you have?"

Again, we have a menu. Again, you should be using it.

Flickr/waferboard

9. "Is the coffee hot?"

If you have to ask, it probably won't be hot enough for you.
 

10. "If I'm allergic to gluten, what can I eat?"

You should know your own restrictions, but your server can answer more specific questions.
 

11. "Can you put a rush on my food?"

You are not more important than the people who ordered before you.

Andy Kryza

12. "Can I get a little extra liquor in my drink?"

If you're willing to pay for it, you surely can. Because that's basically ordering a second drink.
 

13. "Can I substitute the tomatoes in my salad for chicken instead?"

There is no restaurant in the world where diced tomato is an equal substitution for grilled chicken. Accept that.
 

14. "Is it okay if we sit here for a few more hours even though we paid our check and we don't want anything else?"

Servers make money by rotating their tables and if you hold it for too long, they lose out. So, is it okay if you slowly deplete your server's future earnings?

Leyla Shams

15. "What should I tip?"

Most servers are not allowed to discuss tips, but if they were they would tell you to tip at least 20% of your bill.
 

16. "What's the weather like out on the patio?"

Presumably, it's the same weather that you just experienced before you walked into the restaurant. Five seconds ago.
 

17. "Do I get something for free since it's my birthday?"

What are you? 5?

Eli Gay

18. "Can you charge my iPhone for me?"

Your server can do this if you're okay with your iPhone sitting in a random side-stand without anyone watching it while pitchers of water and dirty plates get thrown around it.
 

19. "Can I get this teeny, tiny last bite of food wrapped up in a to-go container?"

Save your server the trouble, save the environment from another piece of Styrofoam, and just eat that last bite.
 

20. "Do you have a restroom?"

Of course we do. This is a restaurant. What you want to know is "where" it is.

The Bitchy Waiter lives and works in New York City and has been waiting tables pretty consistently for almost 25 years. He has discovered that writing stories on the Internet about annoying customers is better than poking the annoying customers in their eyes with forks. He enjoys The Brady BunchThe Facts of Life, and cocktails almost as much as he hates your baby. Follow him: @bitchywaiter.

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