First let me just say that I've never actually spat upon the food of a customer, nor have I ever seen it done in the 8 years I've been in the industry (which is a term we in the industry like to use so we don't feel like we are pissing our lives away.) I'm sure it has happened, but I've never seen it. Secondly, before I go on you should know that I don't work in a Chili's or a Bennigan's. I work in a fairly upscale, high-priced establishment. I don't say that to brag, but merely to say that we've got some game. That being said:
1. Do not say things like "You know, you really do not do yourself a service by trying to sell this (fill in the blank)" and then look at your waiter as though he his mere presence insults you."
2. When ordering a drink, Do not attempt to make your waiter feel stupid because he asks "Up or On the Rocks." In other words: NOT EVERYONE ORDERS A FUCKING OLD FASHIONED ON THE ROCKS YOU UNBELIEVABLE JACKASS.
3. While we are on the subject of drinks. You knew you were going out to eat for at least an hour. It shouldn't take you an hour to figure out what you want to drink.
4. After you have ordered your food, do not suddenly decide to change tables, especially without telling your waiter, so that the then spends five minutes looking for you only to find you've moved to another waiter's station, wasted his time, and caused him to lose his tip.
5. When a waiter asks "Would you like some fresh ground pepper/parmesan on that?", do not say "No, but I'll take some spoiled pepper." and then laugh as though you are the first person who has told this joke.
6. When a waiter asks if you would like ground pepper on your pepper steak, do not look at him and say "No, I think I have enough already. I mean, its a pepper steak!" and then laugh as though you are the first person who has told this joke.
7. When the waiter picks up the plate that you have licked clean and asks "How was everything?", do not say "I hated it, tell the chef to make me another," and then laugh as though you are the first person who has told this joke.
8. When a waiter drops of your check and says "I'll take care of this whenever you are ready," do not say "Well, that's quite generous of you," and then laugh as though you are the first person who has told this joke.
9. I don't care if you heard Oprah say it, or you read it in GQ or Maxim or Details or in the freaking Holy Bible, you always, always, ALWAYS tip on wine!!!!! Always. Got it? Always.
10. And just for grins, 15 percent is not a good tip. It makes you look like a cheap bastard. 20 percent means we've done our job. 15 percent means you were merely adequate. I know your parents told you that 15 percent was the rule, but that was when you were a kid, and you were a kid in the 80's, and the 80's was 20 YEARS AGO!!!!!
Ask any waiter and they'll tell you the same things. Or maybe I just had a bad night at work.