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Eight Jokes You Should Never Tell Your Restaurant Server

A writer/filmmaker based in Los Angeles who likes to read books of all kinds, watch and make character-driven films and study philosophy.


A restaurant server dishes some truths from their insider’s point of view

Restaurant servers are known as the people who serve you food and drink, typically at restaurants/events. They’re often treated with little respect and are bossed around regularly from guests to management, not to mention the amount of death stares they endure from the cooks. At the end of the day, when they're not battling it out to keep their tips out of the pockets of their employers, restaurant servers are mostly hardworking individuals trying to make an honest living. So why not give them a break and never tell them one of the following jokes, as they typically have to hear each upwards of ten times a night?

Eight jokes your restaurant server would never like to hear again

1. When presented with your check, it is customary to say thank you to your server. It is not customary nor appreciated to hear a guest say, “We didn’t order that” or “I thought it was free.” But if you do feel compelled to say one of those phrases, please don’t look to your server for a laugh. Those are the oldest "jokes" in the book.

2. When your plate is cleared and there is nothing left on it but your napkin, please don't tell your server how much you didn’t like it. But if you just can't stop yourself, it's best to know that you're one of many tables in the restaurant who have just all said the exact same thing.

3. Toward the end of a meal, a restaurant server will typically ask if he or she may bring you anything else. Asking for a million dollars or the love of your life has ceased to be funny after a person hears it ten times a week. All parties involved know exactly what the server is asking so, for everyone’s benefit, answer without a joke. (Unless it’s original, in which case a server will genuinely laugh but remember, this is not easy to do, even for professional comedians.)

4. It is not uncommon for a restaurant to run out of a menu item.They order the standard but sometimes there will be particular nights were everyone wants a steak or the special of the evening. Though most guests are aware this happens, servers are forced to endure a little play every time - one of the guests will likely pretend to leave while saying, “That’s it, we’re out of here.” Now, unless you actually mean it (there are those that do but they are rare,) please don’t go through with the charade.

5. If you are over the age of forty, please do not ask to be carded when others at your table are by your restaurant server. It’s really just a waste of time for everyone involved and though it may stroke your ego to say something like, “Don’t you want to see mine?”, please know it is far from being original. Keep in mind the server is only trying to do his or her job and not get arrested for serving a minor.

6. When your food is taking a while, such as a piece of fish or steak, asking if the server had to go kill the animal themselves is not only a bad joke but also one in poor taste. Please refrain for all those around you in the restaurant as you likely will not even get phony laughs for this one.

7. If a server asks if you want another drink when an empty glass sits before you, ask yourself if it’s really necessary to say that you don’t know what happened to the first one or that someone else must have drank it. We all know it was you. Relax, the restaurant isn't judging you. They want you to be safe but also partake in the libations.

8. When dining at a restaurant, it is typical for your server to ask you how you'd like your steak, if that is what you ordered. And the majority of the population who order steaks will understand this is a question about temperature. But there is always that guest who likes to say they want it cooked. This is an incredibly overused response so don’t be surprised if you get a roll of the eyes rather than a laugh. Temperature, please, and nothing but!

**But if you really want to make a server laugh, here's the best way: tell them how you think the chef should alter the food preparation or presentation. And to make a server cry from laughing, ask them to pass on your tips to the chef. Now, there's a joke a restaurant server will definitely laugh at!!

Happy dining!

© 2018 Christina Parisi

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