Thursday is the day in the United States where everyone is grateful for about thirty seconds before cramming buckets and buckets of carbs into their faces. It’s Thanksgiving, y’all! For most folks, this is the day to spend with the family and watch the dysfunction make its presence known somewhere between the second and third courses. Some people are going to spend their Thanksgiving in a restaurant. Some of those people are doing it by choice and some are doing it because they lost the scheduling lottery at their job. It is more and more common to leave the cooking to someone else, but here are some things to remember for those folks who are going to be in a restaurant on Thanksgiving:
- Show up on time for your reservation. Chances are, you aren’t the only people planning on dining there that day and being timely is only going to make it better for everyone. Also realize that someone else is waiting for that table when you are done with it, so when you’re finished eating, please wait until your ass is home to unbutton your pants, stick your hand down your underwear and fall asleep while watching a football game.
- Accept that what is on the menu is what you are eating today. If you had your heart set on some giblet gravy and an English Pea salad and the restaurant doesn’t have it, then maybe you should have stayed at home. Today is not the day to ask for substitutions just because you “don’t like green beans.” Look at the menu and order from it.
- Don’t fight with your family. You’re in public, for crying out loud. Save that shit for the privacy of your car on the way home. No one wants to see you turn into a tornado of anger when your Mom asks you for the 1000th time if you have a boyfriend yet or if you have figured out what you’re doing with your life. If you can feel the resentment building, just remember that you don’t have to wash dishes when you’re done and that should put you in a better mood.
- It’s going to be crowded and loud. If you wanted a nice private dinner without screaming kids, drunk people and elbows jabbing you in the ribs, then maybe you should just skip Thanksgiving altogether. Whether you are having it at home or in public, it is what it is.
- Be nice to your server. Remember that he or she is doing all the work so you don’t have to. You know how your job gave you Thanksgiving day off and you probably don’t have to go on Friday either and then your weekend is here? Your server doesn’t have any of that. He is working on Thanksgiving and will probably have to be back at work the next day and then work the weekend just like he always does.
- Tip extra. Yes, maybe the gratuity is already included, but is it going to kill you if you throw in five extra dollars? The server is working on a holiday and I doubt he is getting paid time and half. If you’re in Texas, the server is getting $2.13 an hour which is the exact same thing he was making when he worked on Thanksgiving in 1991.
- Use your manners. When you are rolling your butter-coated ass out of the restaurant, make sure you let everyone who is working know how much you appreciate them being there. In between your pumpkin pie belches, say thank you to the hostess, the bus boy, the food runner, the manager, the coffee girl, the kitchen crew and whomever else you see who is giving up Thanksgiving with their family so they can spend it with yours instead.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you will share this so everyone will know how to act when they show up in your section tomorrow.
edit: This post has stirred up some unhappiness for a few people and I really did not expect any backlash from this particular post. If you don’t like what I wrote, you can simply delete it from your email, newsfeed or Twitter. Or you can print it out, shred it into some cornbread and shove it up a turkey’s ass.