The Dos and Don’ts of Dining This Holiday Season

Posted on November 23, 2016

Family Dining

If you have  ever worked in the service industry, you would know that the holiday season is the strangest time of the year. It seems that the holidays brings out the worst in people.  This year we have no time to indulge in negativity. We need to change our habits while dining this holiday season.  As Jon Oliver put it, 2016 has been a F…up year.  Regardless of where you stand on your political, social and economic views, it is safe to say that we are pretty divided. This has to end!


Every holiday season I see this happen.  Families get together because they feel like they have to.  The result is a horrible experience for them and for the restaurant. Here is a look into a typical American family dinner:

  1. The father is upset he is not watching the game and pissed he has to sit with his mother-in-law

  2. The teenage kids are bored as can be, and embarrassed by the fact that mom can’t eat anything on the menu because it doesn’t fit her gluten-free diet.

  3. Grandma can’t hear a thing, so everyone needs to talk in loud voices, which brings more embarrassment to the teenagers.  Especially when the parents begin to talk about the kids’ personal affairs.

  4. Grandpa is pissed that he has to pick up the bill, and is actively looking to catch the server in a mistake so he can receive a discount.

This scenario is all too common for servers. The server is walking on eggshells, trying not to ignite the volatile tension at the table by making a mistake or saying the wrong thing.

This is not fair.  If you do not enjoy being with your family, please do not take them out.   The restaurant staff could be with their families, but instead are working so others can enjoy the holiday.  And it sucks if you can’t enjoy it because you can’t get along with your mother-in-law, you obviously are taking the day for granted.

This brings me back to 2016.  So much has gone down this year.  All this stuff is outside of our control.  What we can control is how we interact with our loved ones.  Family is all you really have. Yes, they can annoy the hell out of you, but that is because they know you and you know them so well. Stop trying to control who they are and learn to accept them.  When it is all said and done, they will be the ones responsible for your funeral and carrying on your legacy.  This year, go out with your family on the holidays.  But this time, enjoy their company. Put aside your disagreements. It is not a time of giving, but a time of accepting. Accept your family for who they are and be kind to you servers.

 office party


The holidays also bring out the demons we have suppressed all year-long.  The worst part is that they usually come out at the office holiday party. There is always one person whom you thought you knew, and then WHAM! Put a little alcohol in them and they transform into another being. The problem, is that they usually do not remember what they did.  This year, don’t be that guy or girl who has to ruin the party.  So many companies have stopped throwing holiday parties because of the one person who cannot control their alcohol. How can we prevent it this year?

  1. If you normally do not drink alcohol throughout the year, don’t start the night of your office party.

  2. Do not pressure your quite co-worker to drink that night, you never know what you are going to get.

  3. Throughout the year, voice your concerns about your boss and co-workers directly with them. Do not bottle up everything and let it all out the night of the party. Uncool!

  4. Do not bring a date to the party whom you do not know. You never know what you are going to get. It can cost you your job.



Remember that employees of the restaurant have families and friends and have either chosen or been scheduled to work on the holiday.  They could be at their friends’ or family gathering, but instead they are serving you. Be respectful. Don’t ruin their day just because you can’t hold your liquor or get along with your family. Be generous, tip them properly.  Do not be a Scrooge.


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