Top Mistakes People Make When Ordering at a Restaurant

You should always be polite when speaking to your server. Using simple words like please and thank you will make the conversation feel natural and light.

It is important to learn how to read the dynamics of the table. This will help you understand what the guests are wanting and needing.

Taking Too Long To Order

When you visit a restaurant, you don’t want to waste your time. But you also don’t want to get up and leave because the food is taking too long.

That’s why it’s important to place your order quickly. Doing so will prevent your waiter from thinking you’re a slow customer and rushing you through service. It’s also a good idea to order your drinks first, as they often take longer to make than other menu items.

If you’re unsure about what to order, look at the appetizers or the specials on the menu. These are usually the most popular dishes, and they will likely be fresh. You can also ask your server for suggestions if you’re stuck. Most servers are happy to provide recommendations.

Many restaurants overcrowd their menus with too many options. They assume that having a variety of choices will help customers find something they like, but this can actually backfire. Having too many items can confuse customers and make them more likely to order nothing at all. Plus, if you have too many items on your menu, it will be more difficult to track inventory and stock levels.

Another common menu design mistake is drawing too much attention to prices. This can make customers price-conscious and push them toward making their decisions solely based on cost. Many restaurants do this by placing prices in a prominent location on the menu or using other subtle design techniques such as bolding or italicizing them, using larger font sizes, and/or placing them near the dish descriptions. Avoid these mistakes to create a menu that will boost your restaurant’s sales.

Not Listening To The Waiter

Most guests don’t want to hear about how their waiter is having trouble at work, that their dog died, or anything else personal. This kind of information can be off-putting and could give the impression that a server is not engaged with their customers. It is best to avoid talking about these things and just focus on bringing food, drinks, and desserts.

If a customer has dietary restrictions, it is important to listen to them. A lot of people may be hesitant to disclose their dietary restrictions because they don’t want the restaurant to judge them or think they’ll get served less than what other diners are getting. However, it is important to let the guest know that your restaurant does not discriminate against anyone for their dietary choices as seen on DiningFAQs.

Listening attentively to the specials and other information from the waiter is also important. Interrupting a server during their presentation, even if it is unintentional, sends a message that you do not value them or their input.

Customers can sometimes be hard on their servers, but it’s important to remember that they are just trying their hardest to do their job. It is never okay to say something distasteful about a server’s appearance or body, especially if they are wearing a uniform.

Customers should not move tables around unless they are seated at one that has been designated as their table. This will confuse the wait staff and can result in a poor experience for the guest. It is also important for the waiter to make sure that all orders are completed before giving the check to the guest. Removing a drink from the table in order to refill it is distracting and can derail conversation.

Not Taking Notes

Many restaurants use different systems to keep track of tables and seats. It’s important to know how these work so that you can accurately take customers’ orders and provide them with the right menu items. If you’re not sure how the restaurant uses their system, ask a manager to help you out.

It’s also important to be able to write down each order clearly and quickly. Some restaurants may allow you to use shorthand for certain orders to save time, but make sure the kitchen understands what you mean. You should also keep the original check or ticket that you give to the kitchen so that you can cross off any incorrect items or make corrections if necessary.

Another big mistake that people make when ordering at a restaurant is asking for something that’s not on the menu. “The chef spent a lot of time creating the menu, so trying to create an entirely new dish isn’t always possible,” Parker says. If you want to try a new dish, try calling ahead to see if the restaurant can accommodate your request.

Finally, you should never be rude to the waitstaff. “Being disrespectful to your server is a huge faux pas,” Parker says. “They’re not your boss, but they are working to make you have a pleasant experience.”

It’s also a bad idea to talk on your phone in the restaurant. Not only does it distract other diners, but it can also be annoying for the servers and staff. Check out these other etiquette mistakes to avoid when dining out.

Not Asking Questions

Many customers are not very comfortable providing feedback to a restaurant manager in person, so they prefer to do it via a comment card. This gives them a chance to deliver specific and detailed issues that they have been having, like not receiving the food they ordered within the timeframe they expected or even getting hair in their food.

The way that you word the questions on your guest surveys can make or break the entire experience for the customer. It is important to avoid asking generalized, blah-sounding questions that are unlikely to provide any valuable insight into what type of customer you are dealing with.

Some examples of great questions to ask include:

Do you have a gluten-free menu?

How much does the dish you’re recommending cost?

Is this dish popular with other diners?

Do you serve any other dishes that are similar to this one?

If you are a waiter, it’s your job to try and upsell guests on items that they may not have considered ordering or know about. However, you should be sure to do so in a subtle manner that doesn’t feel imposing or pushy.

For example, if the customer is uncertain about the difference between two menu items, you can offer them a sample of both and explain how each dish is made. This will give them a clear idea of which option is better for them, without them feeling like they are being strong-armed into making a higher-priced purchase just to pad your tips.

Likewise, if someone wants to know the Wi-Fi password so that they can access it on their smartphones, you should kindly tell them what it is rather than pretending that they are not allowed to use the Internet at your establishment. This shows that you care about your customer’s needs and are willing to go the extra mile for them.

Not Being Polite

There are plenty of things that you can do to show your politeness in a restaurant, even if English is not your first language. For instance, you should always use please and thank you, especially when addressing your server and any other members of the wait staff.

You should also be respectful of your fellow diners and keep your noise level low. Yes, restaurants are supposed to be fun and social places, but that doesn’t mean you should be yelling or being loud, which can really disrupt the experience of others. Additionally, you should only begin eating once everyone at your table has their food.

If you are unsure about how to order a dish, you can ask your server for help. They will usually be happy to offer suggestions based on their personal experiences, as well as the menu options. They can also explain what the dish will include and how to eat it.

Another common mistake people make is helping themselves to other dishes on the table. This is considered rude because it can throw off the system that servers have for clearing tables, and it can lead to confusion.

Lastly, you should always excuse yourself before leaving the table. This is true whether you need to go to the bathroom, take a phone call, or touch up your makeup. It is also rude to leave your drink or plate on the edge of the table.

As you can see, there are many things that people do when ordering at a restaurant that can be deemed impolite. Next time you go out to eat, remember these tips so that you can have the best possible dining experience!