Top 5 Tips for Handling a Rude Server

Rude Waiter or Rude Waitress

Meet your rude server “Stinkface McGee”. What do you do next?

Rude Server

No one wants to be a rude server. Unless prompted by something that occurred at the table, no waiter or waitress goes into serving a table trying to be rude. But waiting tables is a stressful job. We’ve all been guilty of being short tempered or mildly ill-mannered at our place of work before. And while it’s in every waiter or waitresses best interest to not be rude, and to not carry over negative energy from a previous table in the evening, sometimes a waiter may show up at the table acting, well… rude.

Waiters and waitresses: avoid this demeanor at all costs. It sounds like common sense, but being brash, impatient, annoyed, or just plain rude isn’t going to bode well for a good evening or a good tip.

And nearly every restaurant goer has had an experience where a good meal at a good restaurant goes down the tubes over a rude waiter or waitress. Whether they’re short fused and ill-tempered, neglecting your table completely, or making mistakes without a care, a rude waiter or waitress is the last thing anyone orders at a restaurant. And while there’s no easy way to avoid getting a rude waiter or waitress, there are some things you can do when you meet this situation to stack the deck in your favor, and get out of it alive.

Restaurant patrons? If you do unfortunately encounter a rude server here are the:


Top Five Tips for Dealing With Rude Waiters


1. Just Ignore It

Possibly the hardest, but often the most effective way of dealing with a rude waiter, is to just try to ignore it. It doesn’t do any good to be rude back. And who knows? Maybe someone at another table just told them they look like crap today. Or they just got a dessert spilled on their shoes in the kitchen. Ignore for a short while, and see if they get beyond it. Worst case scenario, you can make your interactions with the waiter as short as you’d like them to be. If you’re not benefitting from your waiter or waitress being around your table, due to their attitude, you can control how long they spend there. So try to brush it off, and ignore it.

2. Kill ‘Em With Kindness

Sometimes all a waiter or waitress needs is for someone to be genuinely nice to them. Most often, restaurant servers deal with a lot of negativity throughout their day; angry customers, needy people, etc. If they come to your table with and have little stink around them, trying being as nice as possible to your waiter or waitress. You might just snap them out of streak by feeling like they’re dealing with real human being who’s being nice to them. This might even work in your favor too. The nicer and more engaging you can be from the jump, it’s likely that you’ll get service to match your demeanor. It’s a cyclical thing, and you can control how it to make it work for you.

3. Climb the Chain of Command

If it can’t be ignored, and no positivity you throw into the mix is working to crank up the positivity on old stink-face, it’s time to speak to someone else. Mainly the manager. Try to be level-headed about it and explain that the demeanor of your server is adding a negative energy to your dining experience, and request that you be taken care of by another waiter or waitress in the restaurant. If the manager declines this request, which only might happen if that waiter or waitress is the only one on staff, you can also request to be waited on by the manager his/herself. They are the face of the restaurant, if the face you’re getting is crabby, it’s the managers job to step in and be the new face for you.

4. Let Your Tip Speak for You

But not just your tip. If you genuinely felt you received rude service, there’s nothing wrong with letting that show in the amount you tip your waiter or waitress. The industry standard for a good tip used to be 10 percent. These days, 10 percent is closer to the industry average for a bad tip. Feel free to tip 10 percent or lower if you felt like the rude demeanor of your server necessitated it. And these days, credit cards are used so often, you nearly always will have a pen at your table. If you do it right and aren’t nasty about it, there can be effective ways of informing a waiter or waitress what you thought about their attitude throughout the evening. “Try not to be so negative!!” Or something like “We tip for polite service!” A “bad” tip can mean a multitude of things, so a quick note that’s executed well can inform a waiter or waitress what to do better next time.

5. Contact the Restaurant Ownership

Restaurants want you to keep returning. It’s much more cost-effective, just as a business model, to keep customers coming back on their own accord. Rude service is the last thing on the list that will assist in that. And they don’t want rude people being the face of their business. If after trying to ignore their rudeness, trying to be even more polite to compensate, speaking with a manager, and leaving a deserving tip, you still feel treated poorly, there’s nothing wrong with shooting a message to the head honcho. Most restaurants have websites with names and contact information of the ownership for these specific reasons. This is the last step, and is certainly to be avoided at all costs (you may have had a bad experience, but leaping to ownership could very possibly cost someone their job; you may or may not want that, but just something to keep in mind.) However, it’s certainly available if or when necessary.

That does it.

Hopefully you feel better equipped to deal with a stinky situation. Throughout all of it, try to remember that most people aren’t bad at heart and all people have days. Especially people in the service industry who wait on all types of people day in and day out. Maybe a little bit of sympathy (or empathy if you’ve been a waiter or waitress (server) yourself) could be in order. No pun intended. At least for this time.

Now everybody, go play nice.

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