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Top 5 Things Waiters Want to Say When Someone Orders Water

This is a follow-up post. Click here to learn why ordering water at a restaurant is so taboo.

As a waiter, there were many times I had to bite my tongue when a customer was annoying me. Like when someone wants to taste a sample of the Bolognese sauce before ordering. Or when someone yells a request to you from the other side of the restaurant.  Or when you ask someone what they’d like to drink and they say, “water”. I shudder.

Here are the Top 5 things waiters want to say when someone orders water:

5. Sure- just put your head under the sink in the washroom.
4. Sorry, we’re all out.
3. The #1 ingredient in all of our fountain drinks is water…. Shall I get you one of those?
2. Our taps are laced with arsenic. Would you prefer something else?
1. Sure- just bite your cheeks and swallow some saliva!


Help me to make this a Top 10 list! Leave a comment below!

What Happens When You Order Water to Drink at a Restaurant

Susie and I went out for dinner on a date night last week. The waiter asked us what we wanted to drink. All I wanted was water… but I couldn’t bring myself to order it. I didn’t want the waiter thinking I was cheap. You see, I’ve been a waiter, and I know what’s really going on when a customer orders water:

Waiter: Can I start you off with a drink?
Interpretation: Can I start racking up your bill?

Customer: I think I’ll just start with water.
Interpretation: I am not going to order anything else but I don’t want to look cheap so I’ll keep musing over the wine menu.

Waiter: Perrier or Evian?
Interpretation: “Hey-Big-Spender!”

Customer: Oh… just tap water.
Interpretation: Jerk.

Waiter: Very well.
Interpretation: I’ll go see if I can get you transferred out of my section.

If you want to add insult to injury, wait until your waiter turns around and then add the line, “with lemon please”. If you really want to mess with him, wait until he brings you the water and then ask for the lemon! But I warn you, in the fight between waiters and customers, this is a low blow! If you look closely, you will see your waiter wince in pain.

I almost want to wink when I order water and whisper, “don’t worry, I am one of you!” Somehow I don’t think it would help.

Am I the only one who feels guilty ordering water at a restaurant?

Click here to read the Top 5 things waiters want to say when someone orders water…

I miss being a waiter…

I thought I would never miss being a waiter. I just quit my serving job 2 weeks ago and I figured I’d never look back. But there are a few things about being a waiter that are really nice…

1. Cash. I never have it anymore. When I was serving I always had cash. Now I go to Tim Horton’s, reach in my wallet and wince. Then I play the dumbfounded “Oh you don’t take plastic?” card. It is quite the performance.
2.  People. Serving is a social experience. I worked with some great people and I always had fun entertaining guests.
3.  Adrenaline. There is something about being in the Saturday night rush that is exhilarating. Its like the anticipation before a big game. The opportunity for big cash, the hustle, the buzz… I actually miss it.
4.  Free Soup. My restaurant made some wicked homemade soups and as a waiter I could have free soup anytime of day. Nice perk.

But there are also things I do NOT miss…

1. People. It is hard to be a waiter for any length of time and not to develop a deep resentment for humanity. I am partly kidding, of course… partly.
2. Soup. When I first started serving I would eat two bowls a shift. After a few months you just want some solid food. I got so sick of tomato basil soup that if someone ordered it I would start twitching.
3. Eating meals in between mealtimes. Lunch should be somewhere between 12-2. When you are a waiter lunch is somewhere between 3-5. And eating dinner at 11pm is not good for you.
4. Running Food. This one might not sound that bad. And on a slow day it really isn’t bad. But on Friday night when you need to punch in a large food order for table 12 and bring the bill to 53 and coffee and tea to 61 and you just got sat on table 14… and then expo calls for hot food runners and expects you to drop everything else- it is so frustrating!

All in all serving is a good gig. If times get tough and I need to return to a day job, I will put on my apron with a smile and dig into some good homemade soup… just not the tomato basil.

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