Ever wonder if you're annoying the waitstaff at a restaurant? If that thought crosses your mind, it's probably safe to assume that the answer is yes.
Well, not always. And sometimes, you don't even do it intentionally. Every once in a while, however, you're guilty of making your servers' jobs a little bit harder.
Most of the time, they're too polite to say anything. But when asked point-blank in a Reddit forum, they're more than happy to spill some of their biggest pet peeves.
Here are 10 things to know before the next time you dine out:
#1. Don't Stack Plates
From Reddit user mouthbabies: "Please don't stack your plates into a monolithic pile thinking that it helps us. It doesn't, it actually makes things harder. I might want to stack three entree plates on my arm and then put other small plates and silverware on top of that. If everyone stacks things I can only bus two people's plates, if I stack I can get many more."
From Reddit user lanadeathrey: "A lot of people do this, thinking it's helpful, it generally isn't. Even if you think you know the best way to stack them, just leave it. But pass your plates to the waiter/ress if you're in a hard to reach seat, Very very helpful.
#2. Don't Bring Unruly Kids
From Reddit user roterghost: "Letting your kids whine and shriek while you tune them out. I hate it. Everyone in the room hates it more."
From Reddit user wendylauren: "There have been numerous occasions where families will come in and sit their their children at another table and expect me to, a) keep track of which children's orders belong to what parent's bill as they run around the place and, b) babysit their kids as they have a great chat at another table."
From Reddit user Lucavious: "Parents who let their children handle all their food and then leave all of it all over the floor for me to have to vacuum and sweep up. Watching your freakin' kid."
#3. Don't Play With Your Trash
From Reddit user Captain_Kuhl: "As a former dishwasher: please don't put your straw wrappers in your cups. It only makes a bigger mess."
From Reddit user alexkria: "I've had to pull pennies, crayons/crayon wrappers, straw wrappers, napkins, you name it out of cups. It's frustrating! Do they think that we dump the left over drink/ice in the garbage or something? No! It goes down the sink!"
From Reddit user jimtorious: "Tearing up coasters into little bits and making little nests of mess. This is not grown up behavior and you CAN help it."
#4. Put Away Your Cell Phones
From Reddit user synnnd: "As a hostess or server, I hate it when you come in, and expect me to decipher your gestures to where you rather sit or if you're ready to order. It's difficult for me to interrupt your important phone call."
From Reddit user Sunny_: "Leaving your cellphone on the table makes me on edge, I might spill something on it."
From Reddit user dracoamator: "I was raised to never interrupt a conversation either between adults or while they are on the phone. This has stuck with me. If you sit down and you are on the phone, I will come up to the table, leave some napkins, wait a moment and if you do not get off the phone I will walk away."
#5. Don't Ask for a Different Table
From Reddit user datass630: "When we bring you to your table, please try not to point allllll the way across the restaurant for a seat over there and then say no to a couple tables over there until you find one you like. WTH? this isn't burger king. you can't always have it your way. We will try to be as accommodating as possible but it messes up rotation and seating charts and quite frankly is exceedingly annoying."
From Reddit user indecentXpo5ure: When a host sits you at a particular table, it's usually because that server is up next. That server is, presumably, going to give you the best service because he or she is (again, presumably) the least busy at the moment."
#6. Don't Come In Right Before Closing
From Reddit user Sasuya: "DO NOT go to a restaurant if they are about to close in 5-10 minutes. We've already getting ready to close around that time. Everyone will be forced to stay in the restaurant until YOU leave. If you come in right before closing time AND sit and chat with your friends after you're done eating, we hate you and everyone hates you. We want to go home too."
From Reddit user crumb_buckets: "If you are going to the THAT guy that comes in at closing time, at least throw an extra 5 onto the tip for the person who has to sit and wait to leave work."
#7. Don't Tip Based on a Discounted Bill
From Reddit user fishballin: "If for some reason your bill is discounted with a stupid coupon, please tip accordingly. i still did the same amount of work even though you're getting free apps."
From Reddit user DrunkenZombie: "When using a Groupon, on anything similar (discounts included), please, please, please tip on the original price. I cannot stress enough how much servers hate Groupon these days due to this."
From Reddit user RJ1989T: "Ttip off the original total when you receive a promotion/discount. It's so frustrating for your bill to go from $30 to say $10 and you leave us $2 or $3, especially when the experience and customer to server relationship was actually pretty good."
#8. … And Use Actual Money to Tip
From Reddit user zerocoke: "Do not leave me religious literature, leave money. You can leave the religious stuff as long as you leave money with it. I've read the Bible. Paraphrasing, Jesus said, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, give to God what is God's". I take that to mean give everyone what is due to to them. Your literature doesn't pay my bills."
From Reddit user GamerKitsune: "If you happen to be a religious person, that's awesome. Good for you, I respect your decisions to believe in anything you want. But please, please do not leave us those little booklets about how we are going straight to hell unless we find Jesus."
From Reddit user HDATZ: "If you leave a religious tract instead of a tip, you deserve to have your tires slashed and your windows keyed. I dare any brave Christian to come tell me why it's acceptable to do this."
#9. Don't Lie About or Neglect Allergies
From Reddit user ***mcfly: "If you have a serious dislike of some particular food, that's fine — tell us, and we'll recommend something that doesn't contain that ingredient, or we may even be able to alter a menu item for you. But if you lie and say it's an allergy, it's a HUGE deal for the kitchen."
From Reddit user Nonyabiness: "If you are trying to eat healthy or just don't like a certain ingredient, don't tell me you are allergic to it. I know you are lying and you'll make the Chef waste his time making sure your meal is totally gluten free."
From Reddit user ***mcfly: "We take allergies very seriously and we will bend over backwards to accommodate allergies. If you don't bother to mention your deathly allergy until you've already ordered and taken your first bite, I panic."
#10. Don't Make a Mess in the Bathroom
From Reddit user Jackadope: "Please don't treat the bathrooms like you don't have to clean them, because I do."