When it comes to dining at a nice restaurant, we all expect great service. All to often, however, patrons make it difficult for the servers to provide them that great service. It is important to remember that the servers are people too. There are things that you can do that will make their life easier and enjoyable, leading to a better dining experience overall for you and your guests. Here are 10 tips to help you get the best service and the most out of your next meal:

Be Polite

When the waiter first comes over and asks how everyone is doing, engage with them a little. Striking up a conversation will give the waiter a chance to get to know you and will make him or her more excited to come around to check on your table. Do not just jump right into what you want to drink. But when you do eventually order, always remember to say please and thank you.

Be Patient

Returning a dish or requesting a substitution is fine, but remember that it will take some time before you get a new meal. Furthermore, your server is juggling the needs of many other guests, especially during the dinner rush. As soon as the dish is ready, the server will be ready to bring it out to you.

Read The Menu

It is perfectly normal to ask for the waiter’s opinion between two menu choices. But asking them to detail the entire menu in lieu of actually reading it is a bit inconsiderate. Do your due diligence and find some things that interest you, and then ask the waiter for their expertise on the matter.

Think Ahead

Make the waiter’s job easier, and your dining experience more enjoyable, by thinking ahead. If someone at the table orders a new drink and you are almost done with yours (and know you are going to get another one soon) then go ahead and order yours at the same time. Don’t wait for her to come back with the other patron’s drink just to send her right back to the bar.

Talk To The Right Person

Ask the support staff to send the waiter over if you are in need of something. Do not just ask them for the desired item. Bussers do not usually have access to the electronic POS system that allows them to ring in an order, nor the authority to approach the bar directly. To ensure that your request is properly received, make sure the request is made with the right person.

Refrain From Cellphone Use

You should avoid using a cellphone inside the restaurant at all costs. However, if you do need to speak with someone on the phone, do not do so when the table is placing an order with the waiter.

Don’t Shoot The Messenger

It is important to remember that the waiter did not cook the dish, nor set the menu prices. If you are unhappy with the food, make sure to clearly tell your server so management can remedy the situation.

Don’t Get Personal

Do not make the staff’s job any more awkward by engaging in uncomfortable behaviour. Do not ask inappropriate questions or get flirtatious with the staff. Let them do their job to the best of their ability.

Remember It’s A Person

Somebody is going to have to deal with whatever you leave behind. This includes gum under the table, show dirt on the chairs, or blowing your nose into the linen napkin. Please proceed with grace and leave the restaurant in a way that will have the staff welcoming you back with open arms.

Send A Thank You Note

A simple compliment can really go a long way. Tell the management in writing that you had a wonderful meal or fantastic service. This will guarantee that you will be remembered and welcomed warmly next time you look to make a reservation. Detailed notes are kept in reservation systems, especially for regular patrons.