During the summer season, many of our restaurants stay busy. So busy that you may sometimes have to wait to be seated. The wait staff is working hard to get you seated, get your order in...the kitchen help is cooking, broiling, frying and prepping. Busy Busy Busy.
Here are some tips that will help you when you eat out...from local servers to me:
If you have little ones, try to get to the restaurant early, before 6 pm. Many places have Early Bird Specials that start as early as 3 pm...so you not only save money but you will get served faster and if the kids get restless it will not be traumatic to take them outside for a while.
If you are bringing a large party in, it is always best to call and give the manager a heads up. Whether they take reservations or not, the staff would appreciate it. I would consider a large party anything of 6 or more people.
Take your seats as quickly as you can. Look around and make sure you are not blocking a server coming to or from the kitchen.
Please don't take chairs from other tables or move tables around unless you talk with the hostess or host or your server.
Stay in your seat at the table since that is how your server will remember what dish goes where.
When you place your order, go ahead and order any special condiments or sides at the same time. If you want extra sour cream or you want that wonderful steak sauce or hot sauce, tell your server while ordering.
If you are in a hurry, maybe on your way to The Lost Colony or to meet friends at the pier, whatever, just let your server know that.
By the same token, if you are going to be ordering a lot of appetizers and drinks and wine, etc....and are going to be having a nice, long dinner with friends, then let you server know that too.
When your server comes to take your order make sure to help get everyone's attention so your server does not have to wait or try to talk over someone.
Get your servers name, most of them will tell you right away, and listen to them while they are telling you about the specials. Look at them while they are talking, and thank them. This is a hard job.
If something is wrong with your meal, yes, let your server know. Quietly, calmly and with respect. They want to know, they kitchen needs to know and most of the time your new meal will be prepared very quickly.
So, your meal was wonderful and your server was wonderful too. Yes, of course, leave an appropriate tip but also take the time to tell the manager just how good your server was. Everyone will appreciate it.
When you go back to the wonderful restaurant, you can ask for the same wonderful server!
Get recommendations from locals about where to eat. Let us know about your group...since we will have different suggestions for a family with a 2 year old and a 5 year old than we would for a party of 4 adults.
Try something different. Go on, you can do it.
Eat dessert first if you want. You are on vacation.