1. You don't respect reservations
Not only does the business lose money but it's unfair on others who could have made a reservation in your place.
If you can't make your booking, ensure you cancel it. The more notice you give to an establishment the better. If it's unavoidable even a cancellation at short-notice can give the restaurant the opportunity to use the table for another guest.
2. You seat yourself
There is a system in place at most cafes and restaurants that is upset when you choose to seat yourself. Factors include ensuring an even spread of wait staff and reservations that have been made in advance.
Just because you walk into a restaurant that is half-empty doesn't mean that will be the case in 15 minutes time.
3. Saying your ready to order when your not
Asking your waiter questions about the menu? Absolutely. Give the waiter the heads-up and they'll be happy to help.
What annoys staff is when you don't ask your questions beforehand and the task of ordering your meal takes 10 minutes longer than it should. In the mean time the table next to you is waiting for the jug of water they have been waiting on since they arrived.
4. You rewrite the menu
Requesting the vegetarian option or asking for the dressing on the side are reasonable requests. However when you request an item not on the menu or substitute ingredients and seasonings, that's when kitchen staff get annoyed.
If something can't be done the way you want it then consider another menu item. If there's nothing on the menu that you like the look of perhaps it's not the restaurant or cafe you were looking for.
Understanding that the task of running a restaurant is not easy will go a long way to improving your dining experience.
Here are some examples of what not to do:
- Smelling the dish of another diner whose meal you like the look of
- "Same-siding" being a loved up couple seated next to one another makes other guests feel uncomfortable
- Talking loudly so everyone can hear
- Taking calls on your mobile phone at the table
- Being drunk
- Constantly coughing
- Dressing inappropriately for the occasion
7. Your mean
8. Being the last table
In addition, if you come in at the last minute it's likely that the full menu won't be available. Staff will have gone home and food will have been put away. If you come in at the last minute you'll most likely receive last minute options.