From rude customers snapping their fingers to ridiculously picky eaters, waiters are dished up their fair share of painful moments each day.

We asked a number of Sydney waiters and bartenders to tell us the things they hated customers doing the most…Below are the most common responses… how many of these are you guilty of?


Interrupting during their introduction

Many cafes and restaurants require their servers to deliver a brief introductory welcome and mention of the daily specials. Don’t interrupt them right in the middle of it. It’s dismissive, obnoxious and downright rude. Remember that the waiter is just doing their job and surely your drink order can wait 30 seconds…

Touching them

You would think not doing this is common sense, however a number of respondents claimed that customers regularly touch, grab or even stroke them! Unless you happen to know your waiter and have their express permission to do so, don’t touch them under any circumstances.

Leaving your used tissues on the table

We all get a bit unwell sometimes…but when you’ve blown your nose do you usually hand the used tissue to a random stranger to dispose of? No, so you shouldn’t do the same thing at a restaurant. Dispose of your tissues in the bathroom, don’t hand them to a waiter, leave them on your plate or even worse – put it in the bottom of a glass for the poor waiter to have to pick out.

Not splitting the bill the right way

Most bars, restaurants & cafes hate being asked to split the bill, and for good reason. It takes a lot of time to process multiple credit cards… time that the waiters should be spending serving tables. To avoid this situation, download Groupee (App Store or Google Play). It’s an app that allows you & your friends to effortlessly split the bill without even leaving your table.


Saying you’re ready to order when you actually aren’t

It’s ok to be indecisive, but please do it before you’ve called the waiter over to your table to order. Wait staff are often very busy servicing multiple tables at a table so their time is very precious. It’s ok to ask for more time to decide what you’d like to eat if the waiter approaches you but if you ask them to come over, you better know what you’re going to order.

Complaining after you’ve eaten the entire meal
If you notice an issue with your meal that you believe is worth complaining about, let your waiter know straight away. They may be able to get you a replacement meal or offer you a quick alternative. If you were happy to eat the entire meal and then expect the restaurant to refund you then you’re most likely going to be out of luck. 

Doing their job for them

As one of the most commonly mentioned issues wait staff face, you should definitely take note of this one. When you’ve finished eating or drinking, allow the waiter to collect the menus, plates and glasses on their own. You trying to stack plates or glasses onto their already precarious tray is not helping the situation.

Treating them like an animal

Want to get your waiter’s attention? Easy. Either patiently wait for them or subtly gesture when they’re looking your way and they’ll be over as soon as they can. NEVER whistle, snap your fingers or yell across a restaurant to get their attention. They’re human beings just like you, not dogs.

Saying you know the owner

This may seem uncommon, but apparently it’s anything but. Saying you know the owner isn’t going to get you a free meal, discount or better table unless the owner had previously instructed the waiter to do so for you. Unless you have arranged this beforehand, there’s no point mentioning it.

Next time you go out for dinner come in with these frustrations in mind & remember that waitstaff are there to serve you and make sure you have a positive experience at their restaurant. Making your waiter’s life easier will in turn will help you have a smooth, enjoyable dining experience.