Hint: that order of ranch you forgot to ask for until after your order came out is sitting in it." Rudeness and cultural differences are very different things "Europeans can come off as very rude sometimes, but they’re just used to grabbing servers by the belt when they need a Splenda." Your frugality is not appreciated "If you've ever ordered just a water with lemon, you have been hated by at least one person." Your clever cheap-skating is not clever "No, you can’t substitute a T-bone for your fries." You are feeding the staff "There's a reason we keep asking if you're done after each bite. For your leftovers." Asking what the server likes, or for the bartender to go wild is an invitation for sarcasm "Hope you enjoy bread and butter. We smoke inside after hours." Your forgetfulness does not transfer to your server "Certain people in that group will think that not remembering eating the surf 'n turf is a perfectly acceptable excuse to not pay for it. Also, pay for your drinks." Your birthday is irrelevant "No, we do not sing for birthdays. There is Rainforest Cafe for that, and we don't work there." Your fancy tea is Earl Grey "Ordering hot tea will piss off every server in the world, especially when they're busy.Or a glass full of bar swill." Looking shady might get you special treatment "People who look like drug dealers tend to tip the best, and we will go out of our way to make you happy because of it." After-hours are a bed of sin "The faint smell of nicotine on your linen napkin? That's why we write everything down." If you're a friend, you're still paying for drinks "Our friends, or friends of our friends, honestly think they’re getting all those free drinks because we like them. Nobody remembers all the stupid teas that are stocked.at least at first "The main reason most people start working in restaurants is so they can stay out late and party every single night. Like it or not, waiters and waitresses wield tremendous power over your life, from determining your seating position on a hot date to making you wait extra-long for a check on a terrible Tinder date. Period." It's very, very obvious that you're on a first date "Ordering for that girl with the shifty eyes, who keeps looking at her phone, was your first misstep, but rest assured you've given most of the staff a giggle." Your wandering eye is not subtle "We know you’re looking over the menu at our racks, and we will exploit your perviness by flirting for tips." If you don't like your drink, you might be a hero "Sorry you mistook a Manhattan for a Cosmo, but don't be surprised if your order is messed up again after you send it back… They don't reflect the opinions of Thrillist or the author... Your order wasn't screwed up because of a clerical error "We've all been drinking.Melted ice reveals a time frame for which they've been in waiting." Money can't buy you love or a seat "Just because you paid a host to be seated sooner doesn't mean it will happen.They were just happy to pocket some cash." Restaurant work is based on partying… And unless you've spent time serving food and drinks to the unknowing, you'll never be in on the wealth of knowledge floating around the restaurant... We consulted servers from across the nation to spill their dirty secrets about your favorite restaurants.
Editor's note: The anecdotes below are are direct quotes taken from servers throughout the United States and representing a wide range of restaurants. Next time you're lambasting your waiter about your order, remember that they know more than you think.