Know How Waiters Read You To Get Better Service

The second you walk into a restaurant, the waitstaff starts sizing you up to see what type of service you're expecting and how they should approach you. The Wall Street Journal has put together a list of some of the most notable cues you give off that define your service. If you know what you're doing, you can work the system for a better experience.

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski.

Whether you realise it or not, you send signals when you're at the table, and a good waiter can play off those signals. Here's a few the Wall Street Journal points out that can get you better service:

If you act moody... You may get better service. Several waiters said they are more careful to get every detail right when they believe a table is already in a bad mood (a couple fighting or a tense business meal perhaps).

If you say 'It's OK'... To attentive waiters, saying food is 'OK' is a red flag that you aren't happy with your meal. The waiter or manager might dig for more information to fix the problem.

If you're early and fancy... Diners who are dressed up and have an early dinner reservation may lead waiters to suspect they have another event that night and serve them at a fast clip.

If you're wearing a suit at lunch... Diners who look like they just stepped away from their cubicle, whether in a suit or business casual, are bound to get speedier service. The exception: If the waiter realises the boss or valued client wants to set a slower pace by asking for more time before ordering or pulling out papers for a sales pitch.

You probably rarely notice any of this, but knowing what cues you're giving off can help you understand why you're getting a particular type of service. Hit up the post on the Wall Street Journal for the full list and a few more tips.

How Waiters Read Your Table [Wall Street Journal]


    What a big meh.

    It's all about the restaurant and the waiter. (to be fair, tfa mentioned 'a good waiter')

    Also you can't possibly expect a good service is comparable to another 'good' service when the restarurant is at capacity or when there is a big party beside your table with many people involved.

    This completely missed the ball.
    As a waiter and bartender, the main things I pick up on are social structures and body language.

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