9 Annoying Things I'd Never Do At A Restaurant After Working As A Hostess

How many are you guilty of?

Associate Editor, Jenna Kelley, eating at a restaurant. Right: A restaurant in New York.
Florida Associate Editor

Associate Editor, Jenna Kelley, eating at a restaurant. Right: A restaurant in New York.

Jenna Kelley | Narcity, 22tomtom | Dreamstime

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

At restaurants, people can act so strange to their servers and bartenders, but you can't forget about the people who begin your entire dining experience: The host and hostesses. When I worked as a hostess in the industry, patrons' erratic behavior seemed standard.

We standing at the entrance stand were the ones to know from the start how difficult customers were going to be just by how impatient they were. Customers had so many commonalities back then, and I still get secondhand stress when I see it in restaurants today.

The truth of the matter is, most people don't even realize they are acting out of turn. So, I compiled a list of the most irritating things customers do to hosts and hostesses and why you really should re-think your behavior.

You point at a dirty table in hopes for a host.ess to sit you there ASAP.

...And this always tends to happen during the busiest times of the day. People will point to a table that a party just got up from and want to sit there, while plates of food, used napkins and watered-down drinks are piled up in front of them.

One of two things can occur:

  1. You wait a really long time to get your table cleaned off because the bussers don't realize you're a new party.
  2. You get your table cleaned off in time, but now you're missing a whole seating setup, like silverware, proper plates, etc. because you couldn't wait long enough.

You tip your host.ess thinking you'll get a table faster.

When there are long wait times, it's not uncommon for people to slip the host.ess a bill to get them higher up on the waitlist.

The highest I've seen is $50, and that definitely helped move the couple up a few spots, but it adds stress because it puts the employee in a position to get in trouble with management.

You "don't mind" where you sit, but you keep re-directing the employee to a different section.

This one is for the "sit me anywhere, I'm fine with it," people.

A host.ess has a rotation method so all servers can make some money, as well as serve their guests in a timely manner.

When you give them the option to sit anywhere, you're giving staff the opportunity to sit you in less desirable sections where those with preferences would be upset...only these people are no different.

During my time in the biz, as well as even an observing customer, the person who says they don't mind usually re-directs the host.ess' route.

The "sit me anywhere," turns to, "actually, can we sit here?" And that messes the whole rotation up!

You ask to move tables and chairs.


just ask us to move the tables so we can put everything where it goes 🤣😭 #customerservice #restaurant #serverlife #ReadySetLift #hootersgirlsoftiktok #server

The restaurant has a floor map for a reason. Sections are cut off per server by floor set-up. If a party asks to move tables in chairs in two different server sections, it throws off the seating chart and now you have two employees figuring out how to split the new seating chart in a fair way.

Also, tables and chairs are arranged in ways that allow enough room for customers and employees to walk through and access every little corner of the room. It can be hazardous to move a chair in the middle of the aisle just so you can squeeze in with your friends, as your server may end up unable to reach a table or tripping over your chair.

We get it. Sometimes people come last minute. However, if you're going to anticipate a larger party, then ask for a larger table.

Fun fact: I know many servers who used to lie and say the tables were bolted to the ground to avoid future problems, and customers in a fancier setting wouldn't move it themselves to find out, anyways.

You get up and move to a different table when a hostess seats you.

If a host.ess seats you somewhere, it's because they are honoring their system with their colleagues and marking off that the table is now taken. In this case, their co-worker won't take a new customer to that same spot.

If you get up and move tables, you might be jumping to a whole other section, and that server could have been "double-sat." So now, you might be waiting even longer for your food and can fall victim to bad service.

In our eyes, that one was your fault.

You point out how many empty tables aren't being seated, so you can sit there.

There are times when restaurants are understaffed or don't expect a rush to come as quickly as it does. When a large section of the restaurant is empty, it's probably because there aren't enough employees to cover the workload for quality service.

This is usually when customers are "side-eyeing" a host.ess and get mad at them when they don't seat them right away.

If a table in the back or a server in a bad mood happens to be free, the host might be holding out to seat you there next. It's important to always be respectful.

You complain about wait times right in front of the host.ess stand, purposefully.



Standing and staring at the people trying to seat you isn't going to make others eat any faster. It's just going to annoy the Front Of House staff.

The hostess wants you out of their face, so they will get you to a table as fast as they can. They know it's not ideal, but they also know you chose to wait.

You call to make a reservation, but you didn't read on the website if the place accepts them or not.

If you're going online to check for the phone number, just make sure you see if the place you want to go to even takes reservations to save you a phone call.

It's really that simple.

You call to make a reservation when you can just do it yourself online.

Nowadays, you can easily book a reservation online without giving the headache of calling with all of your requests. You can put a note in these bookings to inform the restaurant of the occasion, as well.

You can even cancel and reschedule so you're not waiting on hold during a rush and still make it to your scheduled meal without a hitch.

Jenna Kelley
Florida Associate Editor
Jenna Kelley was an Associate Editor for Narcity’s USA Desk focused on trends and celebrities in Florida and is based in Miami-Fort Lauderdale in Florida.