Are you a server’s worst nightmare without even knowing it? We’re here to help. The Salty Waitress is The Takeout’s advice column from a real-life waitress that will teach you how not to behave like a garbage person while dining out—and maybe in real life.
Dear Salty Waitress,
I don’t like most food. I eat lunch at basically five places around the office. When I go to a restaurant, I get the same thing every time at that location. Is it annoying that a person orders the same thing without fail every time I come in once a week? One place I go, the waitress seems fine with it, another place, they give me kind of an “again?” look.
You didn’t even bother to come up with a cute little sign-off name, and you don’t like most food? You sound a tad bland, doll, but that’s no crime.
Your question is basically a self-conscious one: Does my server think I’m weird? Despite what you consider to be an eye roll from the staff at one of your go-tos, I’m sure the servers really don’t care that you have a favorite, stand-by dish. In fact, maybe it makes their lives easier: Hey, it’s Michael again, the chow mein guy!
Back in my younger years, Mikey, I worked at a spectacular little deli. Plenty of regulars had standard orders, and I came to know the customers by them: half-a-turkey-sandwich-and-cup-of-soup lady, roast-beef-hold-the-mayo man, cup-of-soup-and-two-cookies dude. They were friendly faces with friendly orders, a nice bit of routine in a server’s often unpredictable job.
As long as you’re a polite regular who tips decently, I don’t think servers care one rat’s patootie whether you’re a picky eater. Our goal, always, is for you to have a good experience and to enjoy what you’ve ordered. So there’s no reason for me to steer you away from your tried-and-true order and toward a dish you might not like.
That said, today’s special is really delicious.
Got a question about dining out etiquette? Or just a general question about life we can help you with? Email us: email@example.com