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Nobody likes a server with attitude. But newsflash: That “attitude” might be in response to something you didn’t even realize you did—hey, we can all be oblivious sometimes. Since good service can make or break a dining experience, we asked New York City servers about the little things you can do to ensure a great meal. 

RELATED: 10 Things Your Bartender Would Love You to Stop Doing

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Don’t pester the host
Yes, you’ve been waiting 12 minutes for a table, and the host told you it would be 10. It sucks. But they can’t do anything about the other diners taking their sweet time with dessert. (You wouldn’t want someone rushing you through your tiramisu, would you?)

Be ready to order at the same time
If someone at your table needs an extra minute or two to decide, that’s totally OK. Just tell your server so she doesn’t waste precious time idling around while she could be turning over another table.

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Read the menu before you order
See above. If you’re still flipping through the menu deciding between the steak frites and the branzino, ask the server for more time.

And look at the ingredients
Allergic to shellfish? Don’t order the paella. And if something’s unclear on the menu, ask your server before the kitchen fires it.

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Move your belongings to make room for the food
Your server is holding two trays filled with all 16 tapas you ordered; he doesn't have an extra hand to gingerly move your iPhone.

Don’t ask what they “really do”
Unless you’re dying for an invite to a midnight improv comedy show, avoid asking your server about her life story for three reasons: one, she’s busy; two, it’s rude (this is what she really does); and three, it’s none of your business.


Friends at a restaurant

Split the check yourselves
It doesn’t seem like much, but depending on the computer system, splitting the bill can be a huge time suck for servers.


Holding a restaurant menu

Say “please” and “thank you”
You’d be surprised how often customers forget to say this. A little politeness goes a long way, people.

RELATED: 5 Things You’re Doing That Are (Probably) Annoying Your Waiter

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