It doesn’t matter whether it is a five-star restaurant or a hip burger joint in your home town, we have all been victims to bad service. From time to time, we undergo a negative experience and we usually think, “Geez, that waiter must be having a bad day!”, or “How did they even get hired?” But the truth is that how we behave has a lot to do with the way we are treated.

If you follow these steps, I can assure you no matter the circumstances you will be treated with the respect and politeness you deserve and get better service anywhere you go.

1) Use your body to communicate


A lot can be conveyed with the way you move and gesture. For example, if you think a waiter is taking too long to take your order or hasn’t come to check if you need another bottle of wine is because the way you are behaving says you’re not ready to order. Once you have made up your mind about what you’ll be having, put the menu down to indicate you’re ready.

2) Be Polite


Now, this shouldn’t be a tip you have to be reminded of but I’m going to do it anyway. I know you’re courteous with your co-workers and you pull out the chair for that lady you are dating but servers and waiters also deserve your respect. Remember to say “please” and “thank you” and ask for the waiter’s or waitress’ name and use it the rest of the evening. No snapping, or yelling, or calling anyone garçon. Although their job is to serve you, they are not your servants.

3) If you need to complain, keep it suave


Sometimes waiters will mess up your order overcooking a steak or bringing you Jack Daniels when you order Chivas Regal. But you need to remember that waiters usually tend to more than one table and shifts can be long so if there’s any mix up politely remind them of your exact order and they will be happy to get you what you originally ordered. One heated complaint can turn a perfectly fine evening into an awkward situation not only between you and your waiter but for your dinner companions as well.

4) Just Tip Well


Keeping score is not a good habit. It doesn’t work in your relationship and it doesn’t work when you’re out dining. Don’t be the guy who, for every little mistake the server seems to make, deducts money from the eventual tip the server is going to get. You need to remember two things when you’re about to tip: 1) If you had a bad experience, it’s not necessarily the waiters fault: there are chefs and bartenders and food runners and difficult tables that get in the way; and 2) These people aren’t making a lot of money and most are trying their best to succeed in life–just as you are.