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Cooked Sushi? Dumb Things People Do at Restaurants

06/22/2014 01:48 pm ET | Updated Aug 22, 2014

It's nice to think that when people head to a restaurant for dinner, they do so with the best of intentions. But sometimes, without even realizing it, they do dumb things that really annoy the wait staff. In the interest of keeping yourself on your server's good side, we've rounded up 10 of the most common customer slip-ups in restaurants.

There's a big difference between being rude in a restaurant and being dumb. Last month, for example, a student walked into Sukiyabashi Jiro, one of the world's best sushi restaurants, and proceeded to ask for some sushi to go -- only she asked for it cooked (this was after trying the raw sushi and deciding she didn't like it). The fact that her party arrived 40 minutes late? Rude. But the fact that she asked for her sushi to be cooked? Dumb.

  • You Ask to Sit Somewhere Quiet
    If the restaurant you’re in is loud, the restaurant will be loud no matter where you’re sitting. Want quiet? Go to a quieter restaurant. Click Here to see More Dumb Things People Do at RestaurantsPhoto Credit: Stockbyte/Thinkstock
  • You Order from the Hostess When You’re Seated, or from the Busboy
    It’s the host or hostess’s job to bring you to your table, not take your order. It’s the busboy’s job to bring you your food and clear your plates, not take your order. You may be desperate for that dirty martini, but just be patient and let your server do his or her job. Photo Credit: iStockPhoto/Thinkstock
  • You Move to Another Table Without Asking
    If you’re unhappy with your table for whatever reason, just tell your server or the hostess and one of them will take you to a different one (the earlier in the meal the better, so fewer items need to be transferred). Don’t just up and move without telling anyone; it can throw the whole dining room out of whack, and that table could be reserved for another party. Photo Credit: Photodisc/ThinkstockClick Here to see More Dumb Things People Do at Restaurants
  • You Ask to Talk to the Chef to Complain
    If you have an issue with your food, take it up with your server, or with the manager if there’s a larger issue. Pulling the chef away from his or her busy kitchen to properly instruct them on the definition of medium-well isn’t just dumb, it’s mean. Photo Credit: iStockPhoto/Thinkstock
  • You Wait Until You’re Done Eating to Complain
    Dovetailing with the previous slide, if you have an issue with your food, bring it up as soon as you realize it, which usually happens at around the time you take your first bite. The only possible reason to wait until you’ve polished off the whole plate of food to complain about it is to get a free ride, and everyone knows it. Click Here to see More Dumb Things People Do at RestaurantsPhoto Credit: iStockPhoto/Thinkstock

The good thing about doing a dumb thing, however, is that it doesn't automatically mean that you're dumb. We can learn from our mistakes, and even the aforementioned student later returned to the restaurant to apologize. Nobody's perfect.

A lot of dumb things we do at restaurants aren't obvious. For example, a lot of folks don't know that most restaurants stick to a strict seating system to make sure that all the servers have an equal amount of customers at one time. So while seating yourself might seem like the obvious thing to do if there's an open table that you want, you really should just let the hostess do her job.

So consider reading this roundup of dumb things people do in restaurants to be an educational experience. If you're guilty of any of these, your ignorance can be forgiven. Just don't keep doing them after you know you shouldn't, because you know what that is? Dumb.

-- Dan Myers, The Daily Meal

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