50 Things Restaurant Servers Should Never Do
The New York Times has a blog post up now (part 1 of "100 Things") that outlines the best etiquette for restaurant employees. And no, this is not a 'remember to wash your hands' or 'don't spit in the food' kind of list -- it's a bit above that. Having worked only briefly in food service at one of my first jobs, I have to say that being a great server is really hard and I definitely notice and appreciate immensely when it is done well.
I agree with just about everything on the list except for number 6: "Do not lead the witness with, 'Bottled water or just tap?' Both are fine. Remain neutral." Actually, unless you are some place where the tap water is not drinkable, then I'd say, ditch the bottled water, like so many high-end (and other) restaurants are starting to do. It's better for the environment and often is actually better quality water, too.
Here's one of my favorites from the list: "If someone likes a wine, steam the label off the bottle and give it to the guest with the bill. It has the year, the vintner, the importer, etc." I've never seen that done before, but I'd be super impressed!
Here's a couple more good ones: