Belatedly asking for separate bills
Don’t get the bill and then say, “Actually, could you split this five ways?” Yes, sometimes waiters will plop the check on your table without asking you if you’re ready for it (or having you ask for it). But if you’re planning on asking for a fairly complicated split, the polite thing to do is to bring it to the waitstaff’s attention before they bring over the bill.
Telling lots of corny jokes
Okay, so to be fair, this is not a ‘rude’ behaviour (unless, of course, the jokes are rude in nature). But it’s one that many restaurant staff do say gets on their nerves, according to Restaurant Insider’s Ryan McSweeney. Of course, it’s not that they lack a sense of humour or can’t ‘have a little fun’. But they do this all day, every day, and there’s only so many times a person can take hearing some variation on “as you can see, we hated it” while you gesture to a table of empty plates, or middle-aged to older folk pretending to be offended that they’re not getting carded. Again – saying things like this isn’t ‘rude’. But don’t act like they’ve ruined your day if they don’t burst into hysterics.
Leaving a giant mess
Yes, having your waiter clean up your dishes is one of the nicest perks of eating out. But that really shouldn’t mean that all cleanliness bets are off and you devolve into slovenliness. “Yes, you are paying for your meal and for someone to clean up your table – but that doesn’t mean you can’t consider their work and do a tiny bit extra to wipe up that sauce spill with a napkin,” says Rudolph. Keep in mind, though, that if there’s a big spill, it’s perfectly okay to ask your waiter to bring some extra napkins and accept their help. But try not to leave a table littered with stickiness or food scraps.