Be kinder to service workers with these five suggestions

Constant standing, low wages, rude customers: these are just some of the things service workers in restaurants and hospitality worldwide expect when they enter the workplace each day. Despite these common challenges, the smallest things can make your server’s day. With that, here are five things you can do to make your server feel appreciated next time you’re out to eat.

  1. Address them by their name. If your server is wearing a name tag, addressing them by their first name can make them feel appreciated and noticed, especially in a workplace with a lot of employees where they might not be recognized often.
  2. Make eye contact and speak clearly. Even though it can be uncomfortable, eye contact can make someone feel as though you’ve really made a connection with them, even if it’s only brief, and clear speech helps them avoid mistakes in your order for the best possible service.
  3. Change the way you phrase your request. For example, when you’re ordering food, try saying “Can I have …” or “I would like …” rather than “Give me …” or “I want …” Although this may sound insignificant, it can drastically change the way your speech is interpreted. Using phrases such as “I would like …” makes it seem as though you’re grateful for your server’s assistance in getting your meal, while phrases such as “Give me …” makes it seem as though your server is just another barrier between you and your meal.
  4. Be polite and patient. Although this might seem obvious, servers encounter impatient or impolite customers every day. When business is busier than usual, mistakes are occasionally made in orders and they can take longer to be delivered, so if you want your meal as fast as possible, arrive at the restaurant a few minutes before breakfast, lunch or dinner—the busiest times of the day.
  5. Finally, ask them how their day is going. Although this might seem unimportant, taking the time to ask your server how they’re doing or a little bit about themself can make them feel truly appreciated and make a positive impact on them for the rest of their shift.

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