Going To Eat in a Restaurant For Thanksgiving? Read This.


  1. Be on time for your reservation. If a restaurant is going to go to the trouble of holding a table for you, the least you can do is be on time for it.
  2. Your server is working hard. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days in a restaurant, right up there with Valentine’s Day. Except on Thanksgiving, we’re serving large parties of bickering families instead of two-tops who are deeply in love. It’s not easy.
  3. Your server is not spending Thanksgiving with their family. In a lot of restaurants, working on Thanksgiving day is required, so sometimes we have to strap on an apron whether we want to or not. But hey, if we can’t be with our families on Thanksgiving we can at least make some great money. We hope.
  4. There’s a menu. Use it. Look, the chef, or whoever, already decided on the menu for Thanksgiving. It’s a done deal. We don’t care that Little Tommy Jr. will only eat a grilled cheese sandwich with the crusts cut off. If you don’t see grilled cheese on the menu, don’t fucking ask for one. Besides, maybe it’s time for Little Tommy Jr. to learn how to eat like an adult.
  5. The food is gonna take a while. It’s crowded in a restaurant on Thanksgiving day because every table in the restaurant is seated. And there are about a million other people waiting for those tables so the kitchen might be a little backed up. Have another glass of wine and fucking deal with it.
  6. The tip isn’t just for your server. In practically any restaurant, part of the tip you leave for your server goes to someone else too. It might be the guy who ran the food and cleared the table or maybe some of it goes to the hostess and some of it definitely goes to the bartender. So remember this: if you stiff your server you’re stiffing a lot of people.
  7. When you’re finished eating, get out. As I mentioned earlier, there are literally a million people waiting for you to leave so they can sit at that table and get their turn to stuff their guts. I’m not saying that as soon as you swallow the last bite of pumpkin pie that you need to leave, but within ten minutes or so, you should be re-buckling your belt and heading out.
  8. Say thank you. Say it to every single person you encounter while dining out on Thanksgiving Day. Most of us who work in restaurants are happy to be at work and want to do a great job of serving you. But it makes it 100% better when we know our customers appreciate what we’re doing. So say thank you. After all, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about, right?

I wait tables and bitch about it on my blog, The Bitchy Waiter.

9 thoughts on “Going To Eat in a Restaurant For Thanksgiving? Read This.

  1. I always tip big especially on holidays, and we tend to order from the menu but I also have a special needs child who doesn’t look disabled and I don’t need to be judged for my food choices for him when we go out to eat. What does it matter to you if someone orders off menu? If they’re polite about it and if the chef is willing?

    1. AJ, I agree most of the 8 things are bull! I was not a waitress but customer service and I had to work holidays and black Friday. That is the expectations of the service industry: pilots, flight attendants, nurses, doctors, retail, customer service and waiters and waitresses. I will tell little Johnny to “man up” and don’ t get sick on Thanksgiving as so not to inconvenience the doctors and nurses

      and waiters and waitresses.

      1. Joanie, exactly how does other professions having to work on holidays invalidate the article? You too, AJ. What about it is bullshit?

  2. Also, leave your cell phone in the car. Don’t be taking up everybody’s time because you need to chat on the phone or want to take selfie’s or pictures of your food. Research has found that restaurants are losing lots of money because people want to hang out and take photos, do that shit at home!

      1. Actually it is when your dumb ass starts including others in your idiotic photos of food or whatever. Or when you have your ‘precious’ conversation at megaphone volume.

  3. I will be having my traditional tuna melt and mashed potatoes (with a non-alcoholic beverage) at an excellent diner on the way home on Thanksgiving; I always appreciate the great service at this place and tip usually $20 for my delicious food and to show my gratitude for them being there year-after-year!
    Thanks for all you do at your restaurant!

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