The Server’s Rant


To every patron who has ever asked “Are you still open?” received a hesitant reply, and then proceeded to stay an hour past close: You are the reason I smoke.

To every guest who has ordered coffee past close, when we have dumped the coffee already…and then requested refills: You are the reason I drink.

To every customer who has dared stay so long that all the lights are on in the restaurant: You are the reason my cursing is worse than a Katt Williams skit.

Servers do not equal servants. You know, the funny thing is, most of us got into the service industry because we genuinely like people. Yet after you come in with your Sasha Fierce attitude and endless demands, we hate the human race. All it takes is a little smile, people. The longer you camp at my table, the better tip I expect. Which is sad, because typically, the campers tip between 10%-15%. So, not only have you not tipped me well, but you have kept me from having a table that might have actually done so. Thank you, kind sir, I truly appreciate your $8 tip on that $90 ticket. You are oh-so-generous! That $8 will probably buy me a beer as soon as I escape and prey upon a restaurant open later than my own.

Take note:

  • If a server is lingering near your table with a broom and dustpan, it might be time for you to leave.
  • If your server takes the ticket off of your table, it might be time for you to leave.
  • If you feel as though someone may have crop-dusted near your table and all the lights are on…it’s definitely time for you to leave.
  • If you camp, tip me enough to cover your table rent.

Most of the people in the service industry drink, smoke, and cuss like sailors. Not because the only people that wait tables are society’s degenerates, but because you make us this way.

I was sweet and innocent when I began waiting tables. Now I smoke one pack a day, drink bourbon like a 75-year-old man, and my momma wants to wash my mouth out with soap all-too-frequently.

Thanks, Baton Rouge.

Through all this we gain the best sense of humor and most cynical outlook on people. It’s our coping mechanism and our only outlet of entertainment. We know just the cutting remark to entertain our fellow servers at your expense! If a stream of servers passes your table all of a sudden, you may be Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump, the Swedish Chef from SNL or any other comical pop culture reference we can think of while you’re dining. Most of the time it isn’t in malice, it’s only mean when you’re a bitch.

Case in point, a kindly looking couple stopped me outside my restaurant tonight and asked how long we served food. Cringing inwardly (if you have to ask, get your food to-go), I told them we closed at 11pm. It was 10:30pm at the time. Delighted, they thanked me and went inside. I thought nothing of it until a ticket came up at the bar at 11:20pm for two glasses of wine. This couple also forced us to brew a pot of coffee and had the audacity to be rude to their server. They didn’t leave until 12:15. We close, as I politely informed them, at 11.

Do not be discouraged, dear reader, for underneath the cynicism we love nice people. We love, love, love a table that will throw a dirty joke or a “that’s what she said” our way—it’s like we’ve found one of our own. Servers are like cops, if you can make us laugh—and not the fake server laugh but the real laugh—you can get just about whatever you want. We love good tippers, funny people, people that used to be/are servers, or simply someone who acknowledges that we’re busting our asses to make their dinner enjoyable. Those people keep us in the business. And the money of course.

I had a man harass me tonight about how to make his drink correctly and then tell me at the end of the night that I made it perfectly and “that’s why I fuck with you, cause then you got it.” I love this couple. I told them my name, I hope they request me next time they come. If you’re real, I love you. Don’t give me an attitude, it’s not fair. I HAVE to be nice to you—it isn’t a level playing field.

What’s a good tip you ask?

  • 18% if you got your food and had no needs throughout the meal.
  • 20% if the aforementioned happened and your server was kinda cool.
  • Anything below 18% means you shouldn’t come out to eat, your server spit in your food, or your server forgot you entirely.
  • 25%+ if you loved your server.
  • 30%+ if you camp out at the table. Seriously.