The restaurant industry works on the basis of marking a profit of 6 to 10 percent. Needless to say, it has some of the most hardworking and dedicated resources on board. While the staff ensures you every comfort and a wonderful time as part of their job, you might gain some extra appreciation from them by doing certain things. Check out the following to be one of the preferred customers at your favourite restaurant.

1. 10 second Call
You plan your birthday party with ten friends and reserve seats accordingly. Ten more joins in. That’s great news! It is your special day after all! However, if you drop in with a score without even informing the restaurant about the increase in the guest list, both you and the latter may be in a fix. What if you find that there is not enough infrastructure to accommodate all of you? Also, it is embarrassing for the restaurant staff to ask other guests to look for some other options. 
Again, looking at the huge guest list you decide to organise the party at a different restaurant or in your garden. Now, this is a big change of plans! Communicate your decision to the restaurant folks. We can lift the ‘Reserved’ plate to make way for some hungry waiting guests.

2. Hey! Number 32
Kind words such as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are simple, yet a sign of respect. You are reading this and probably wondering who on Earth would ignore the basic niceties of human interaction. But you will be surprised to learn that several people actually address waiters rudely. Since this is not the 19th century and the word ‘server’ is far from the term ‘servant’, be pleasant and polite to waiters. Do this even if you are in a rush.

3. Snake move
Just keep in mind that you are not the only customer and the professional behind the
counter deserves to know how many people are standing behind you. Or, the customers have
been handed over token numbers and are being called one by one. In the event that you and some other guests stand exactly one behind the other, the one serving the order will fail to grasp if the guest with the right token number is next in line. 

4. I am almost there
This is quite a difficult point to discuss as late customs differ from one country to another. While a 10-minute delay to enter may be considered in most countries, it may get extended to five minutes in India. Make sure that just because the restaurant guys are well-mannered, you cannot end up being rude. So, enter on time, and if you have an inkling that you may get late, just make a call and inform. Just do not let us wait for you for a long time. Think of the time when you had to wait for 15-20 minutes and there was no communication from the person who was supposed to meet you. 

5. Smile, please
Yes, you love to pose at the restaurant and take pictures of the dishes to post on your social media profile for everyone to see. Some of you might have asked waiters, who readily obliged with a smiling face, to pose with you and your group as well. But, did you ever wonder if they were interested in smiling for a picture? Perhaps a sweet gesture from you. But the server may be too busy and waiting on other tables, and being professional is too courteous to tell you a big ‘No’ to your face.

6. I am HULK
You might be the strongest and most influential person alive. If this gives you the power to break furniture at the establishment or its washrooms, restaurants will be extra careful before letting you in. Joking apart, damaging restaurant property is really not encouraged. If you are bringing kids, ensure you keep an eye on them! Otherwise, at the end of the day, it will be your loss, and you never know how much you have to dole out. 

7. I will take out every penny
Feeling hungry like crazy is normal and nobody is going to laugh at you for that. Having an idea about your appetite is human. When having a buffet, avoid filling your plate if you are not certain whether you will be able to finish the food or not. You do not want to be called the one who wastes food in a world where people are becoming increasingly sensitive about preservation and wastage. Did you know that some restaurants serve the uneaten food to beggars as a policy? Do your part and feel the satisfaction in your heart.

8. What’s the time?
It is fun to sit and gossip post-lunch. You feel lazy and relaxed, and do not want to drag yourself out of the restaurant after a heavy and filling meal. While you are at it, we are in all likelihood apologising to some guests for not being able to accommodate them or for making them wait for a considerable amount of time. So before the waiter approaches you with a smile, be a gentleman or lady and leave the seat to the incumbent. Some guests may get angry when a staff member comes asking politely if they would order anything more because there is a queue. But be a responsible citizen, and for the greater good, move away if you had been doing the same thing as the rude guests. This is not to say that the restaurant staff are always so heartless. If it is not peak hour, nobody is going to bother you, so you can keep talking for as long as you want.

9. Autograph please
If you are staying at a hotel or country club and just had a sumptuous meal at the restaurant, feel free to mention your room number when you sign the bill. Oh! And, remember to sign the bill in the first place. We may not always recollect your room number simply by looking at you. If you are still feeling lazy like a sloth, simply request the server to note down the room number.

10. Are you joking?
You must have heard some guests giving brutally honest feedback to waiters. They paid for the food and feel they deserve to express their opinion. All understood. Yet, to make an impact, use the constructive feedback theory. 
No matter how bad you found the food’s taste, quality, the atmosphere of the restaurant, the behaviour of the staff or interiors, using all negative words is not going to work. You shouting or giving poor feedback in a room full of people may be insulting to the staff. So, layer your words in a coat of good, then bad and then again good expressions. Sandwiching the several negative points between a few positive points is fruitful. 

11. I am a regular here
Here is a bonus tip. Stay away from bragging about how often you frequent the restaurant. The establishment’s employees know the regular guests and some restaurants even maintain a record for the guests.

12. The border line
We know that you can help yourself by coming behind the bar or taking cutlery for a small task. Some things disappearing can lead to big confusion amongst the staff as well. It will only take one second to ask the waiter for the cutlery or any necessary item if required. Last but not least, did you like the service? Then, show your appreciation with a small tip.  Every country has a different tipping system and we should give the money as per the respective system. If you are not sure, ask the one who knows everything, i.e. Google.

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About Author

Abhi Chauhan

The Restaurant Academy Professor. My studies in hospitality and experience of working in locations such as the USA, Switzerland, India and Iceland has equipped me with extensive knowledge concerning the restaurant industry and provision of the very best customer service. I have over 12 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

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