04/23/2014 11:27 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

26 Restaurant Secrets Only Servers Know


Like it or not, waiters and waitresses wield tremendous power over your life, from determining your seating position on a hot date to making you wait extra-long for a check on a terrible Tinder date. They also know secrets. Lots of secrets. About your food. About your style. About your libido. And unless you've spent time serving food and drinks to the unknowing, you'll never be in on the wealth of knowledge floating around the restaurant... until now. We consulted servers from across the nation to spill their dirty secrets about your favorite restaurants.

Next time you're lambasting your waiter about your order, remember that they know more than you think.

Editor's note: The anecdotes below are are direct quotes taken from servers throughout the United States and representing a wide range of restaurants. They don't reflect the opinions of Thrillist or the author... although we only just learned what a ramekin is.


Your order wasn't screwed up because of a clerical error

"We've all been drinking. Period."

It's very, very obvious that you're on a first date

"Ordering for that girl with the shifty eyes, who keeps looking at her phone, was your first misstep, but rest assured you've given most of the staff a giggle."

Your wandering eye is not subtle

"We know you're looking over the menu at our racks, and we will exploit your perviness by flirting for tips."

If you don't like your drink, you might be a hero

"Sorry you mistook a Manhattan for a Cosmo, but don't be surprised if your order is messed up again after you send it back... mainly because we just quaffed the drink you rejected, and we're still thirsty."

More: 16 ways you're making your waiter/waitress hate you


Your service animal is a big, furry lie

"We know your service animal is just a pet. You're not fooling anyone. We're just paid to be nice and are hoping you'll tip more if it poops on the floor."

You can totally score with the bartender

"If you've been giving him eyes, he's probably already asked us about you."

Complaining won't cause someone to spit in your food

"Nobody does that. They just make fun of you. And maybe burn your steak a little."

Your server knows whether you're going to get laid

"Your date isn't wearing underwear. That's why we keep dropping stuff on the floor."

Your problems are just a waiting game

"The manager doesn't really care about your problem. She's just waiting to see how little she has to comp you."

Learn why you should never order a water with lemon, what the servers do with your leftovers, why bribery might not be the best way to get a seat, and way, way more -- all on!

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