An expert discusses restaurant etiquette.

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For nine years, Steven Dublanica was a waiter who experienced his share of difficult customers like Jeni. He recounts those experiences and more in the hugely popular blog Waiter Rant, which he's turned into the best-selling book Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip—Confessions of a Cynical Waiter.

Steven says customers certainly have a right to expect good service at a restaurant, but it's not their right to be rude. "When you get to the point where you're picking on everything, that becomes a control issue," he says.

Steven says he thinks some people think they can be rude to waiters because of the nature of the interaction. "It's a servant job. We're bringing food to a table and we're getting tips in return. That's fine. I don't have a problem with that," he says. "But when people start thinking that we're not human, that we're slaves, that we don't have feelings? Sometimes when people treat us that way it hurts."

When you hurt your waiter's feelings, Steven says you might find yourself on the receiving end of a bit of revenge...but it may not be as bad as you think. "I think the one everyone is scared of is spitting in the food. I think very few waiters do that in actuality," Steven says. "I had a rule when I was waiting. My rule was, 'If I couldn't give it to my mother, I didn't give it to my customer.'"
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FROM: Are You Rude? Take the Test!
Published on October 15, 2008

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