It's hard to be a waiter. Customers who tip 4% and asshole managers makes their day hard. So, what is a well-behaved guest supposed to do?
Some advice picked up from great waiter blogs:
1. Don't use your kids to get the stuff you want.
"Children can be a whiny, needy bunch. But is it just me or are parents using that to their advantage? Every day, I notice that more and more parents are exploiting the fact that we servers will hop to it when a little kid wants a refill or an extra side."
Read the entry at Iserveidiots.com: Your daughter doesn't want cherries, ma'am. You do.
2. Complementary bread is not a right
"I hate bread Nazis, they troll restaurants and bars solely to run their sever for complementary bread and freak out if anything gets in the way."
Read about bread nazis at the Insane Waiter.
3. You should refrain from doing certain things
"–Take your girl out for a nice dinner, make her cry throughout the appetizer and entree courses, and then try to make up with her over a shared dessert that you ordered.
–Take your elderly relative out for a nice dinner and make it very clear to the staff what a nuisance this relative is.
–Make a reservation for 7 people, show up with 12, and complain about having to wait a few minutes while we scramble to re-set the table because, “I have a reservation.”"
More here: A short list of unoriginal things to do in a restaurant at Restaurant Gal.
4. Don't be a water freak
“How about getting us some water then?” he snaps. “What kind of mineral water do you have?”
“We have Pellegrino or Panna, sir.”
“No Fiji?” the man says, interrupting me. “What about Ty Nant or Voss?”
“I don’t like Pellegrino. Are you sure you don’t have anything else?”
Read the full entry: Source Municipal at Waiter Rant.
5. Tip right
"Most servers and bartenders ONLY make $2.13 an hour, and $3.23 at an overtime rate. We rely on you to pay our bills. A %15 tip on the post-tax check is socially acceptable, and will give us a somewhat living wage."
Read more about Rules for tipping at Ragingserver