We must stop our unruly restaurant behaviours and give the waiting staff of Britain a break. It’s time for a revolution, and here are the rules…
1. If at all possible, avoid asking the waiter to take your £14.86 in cash and split the remaining balance equally between five credit cards. While you sit there, mobile phone (complete with calculator function) in hand, watching the resulting beads of arithmetic-related sweat run down your server’s forehead.
2. When asking for substitutions in our meals, we need to be reasonable. Swapping peas for salad is reasonable – this is not:
Guest: I’d like to swap the grilled half tomato for a portion of potato wedges please.
Waiter: Erm, no.
Guest: How about skinny fries?
3. When the waiter brings Margaret’s moussaka to your table of five, try to remember that said waiter doesn’t actually know who Margaret is. So, when he or she announces the arrival of the moussaka, don’t just shout the name of the person who ordered it and go back to discussing your recycling collection day. Similarly, don’t claim a meal and then turn away as the waiter struggles to find space for the plate among your phone, sunglasses, wallet, water and wine. Two words: Burning. Hands.
4. There is a whole restaurant of clean tables, all laid out and ready for us to take up a seat and enjoy their spotless surfaces. However, some will decide to sit on the only dirty table in the whole place. And then ask the waiter to clean it. No more.
5. If we discover a problem with our food, this is the precise moment at which we should let our waiter know – as opposed to the popular alternative which involves waiting until the end of the meal and then having this conversation:
Waiter: How was your meal?
Guest: Rather awful, actually. Cold and chewy and altogether unacceptable.
Waiter: Really? That’s funny, because your spotless plate seems to be gleaming with the distinctive shine that is only achieved by meticulous licking.
6. Likewise, remember there is no waiter who has not heard this, ahem, ‘joke’:
Waiter: How was your meal?
You: Absolutely awful. Ha, ha, only joking!
Waiter: HAHAHAHAHAHA. (They are not laughing on the inside, let me assure you).
7. No longer shall anyone take their mint from the top of the bill and empty out their shrapnel in its place, deeming this a tip. It is merely the spring-cleaning of your wallet, benefiting you far more than your waiter. That 62p’s worth of bronze coins will (in the unlikely event that they are scooped up by the peeved waiter) simply jingle annoyingly in their pocket all evening, reminding them of the tight couple who clearly can’t work out 10 percent of 40…