What Waiters Are Really Thinking During Dinner Service

by Sarah Niderost, 3 minutes read
HOME blog what waiters are really thinking during dinner service

You’ve had a long week. What better way to celebrate the weekend than having a meal out with some friends and courses of delicious food?

While you indulge in your appetizers and the first set of drinks, you may just be wondering if you ordered the right dishes. And your waiter might be wondering the same thing. They were smiling as they jotted down your order — what was that about? Read on and see what your waiter might be really thinking during dinner service.

“Are you sure you want four appetizers for your party of two?”

Even if you say you’re starving, your waiter knows every portion size on the menu. So if they recommend one or two starters for your table, they’re making an educated one. And if you still insist on getting four, they’ll have to-go boxes ready for you at the end of your meal.

“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that.”

Waiters can sometimes check in on your table at the most awkward of times – especially when you’re talking about something personal. But don’t worry. It’s probably not the first time they started to approach diners during a private conversation. They’ve learned to act like business as usual even in the most awkward of situations.

“This looks like a first date. I’m treating them.”

Many waiters, servers, and hosts are extremely observant. If they have an inkling that you’re dining for a special occasion, and you didn’t add it to your note on your reservation, don’t be surprised when you have two complimentary glasses of champagne or a shareable dessert on your table before you head out to watch a movie with your special someone.

“Yes, we can make that change, but it may not taste good.”

Restaurants often put weeks — or even months — of research and development into items that are added to their menu. Many restaurants that serve seasonal offerings will also change their menu as frequently as ideal produce is at its peak quality. If you’re asking for a lot of modifications to your main entree, you may get a look from your waitstaff. And they may rebuttal recommendations for the sake of your taste buds.

“Another birthday?!?”

Though staff seem cheery, singing the same song over and over again can be a bit daunting. It’s not like they don’t want you to have a happy birthday, but they do want a break for the sake of their vocal cords.

“Please do not snap to get my attention.”

While they want to make sure that you're getting the best customer service during your meal, your waiter is also tending to multiple tables at once. If you’re dining on a busier evening. they will absolutely appreciate a simple wave and a smile if you need anything.

“This is the 40th corny joke I’ve heard today.”

If your waiter asks you if they can get you anything else at the end of your meal, and you answer with “a million dollars,” don’t expect the biggest of chuckles coming from them. They’ve worked here for plenty of busy shifts and have heard every joke in every book.

"I hope they become a regular."

When you kindly thank your server for being so gracious and patient throughout their dining experience, you’re giving them the affirmation that their hard work is paying off. They’re working many busy shifts and are composed even during the most overwhelming happy hour. Acknowledging your enjoyable visit to their restaurant can easily make their day.

“I love that outfit.”

Your waiter may be thinking this, but depending on how busy the restaurant is, they may not have time to say it. Just know that when you’re dressing to impress, your dinner party isn’t the only group of people who are adoring the new pair of heels you wore out just for the occasion.

Bon appetit

Enjoying your meal, ambiance, and service are what your waitstaff are trained and eager to do. Even if you’re a repeat customer or new diner. The smiles on your faces as you finish your last bite can be the food review, they didn’t even ask you to post on social media.

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