Servers slam customers who get this restaurant habit very wrong

Restaurant servers slam patrons who stack their OWN plates to help clear a table – revealing it often makes things WORSE because they ‘don’t know what they’re doing’

  • A Redditor posted to r/ServerLife to ask about stacking plates after eating
  • Waitstaff poured into the comments with their opinions on the matter
  • Most preferred that restaurant patrons don’t try to ‘help’ unless they know how

Servers have revealed their frustration over customers who stack their plates once they’re done eating.

A Redditor took to the waitstaff-centered forum r/ServerLife to ask for restaurant workers’ feedback about the habit.

‘From someone who has never worked in a restaurant, does it help to stack our plates after eating? Does it make it worse?’ the user queried.

The question addressed the tendency of some well-intentioned patrons to consolidate soiled dishes after they’ve finished eating – seemingly under the impression that they’re helping their server clear the table.

With the post, the user shared a photo of a table at which customers at an unnamed  restaurant had attempted to do just that, resulting in haphazard piles of dirty plates, bowls and cutlery, plus a few crumpled paper napkins, strewn across its surface.

A Redditor took to the waitstaff-centered forum r/ServerLife to ask for restaurant workers’ feedback about customers stacking their plates on their own after they finish eating

Most waitstaff agreed that trying to ‘help’ your server by stacking plates creates more work for them – as most restaurant patrons don’t know how to do it the ‘right’ way (stock image)

Thousands of current and former waiters and waitresses took to the comments to share a range of opinions on the matter.

Most ultimately agreed that the move, while courteous in theory, usually hurts more than it ‘helps’ your server do their job – given that very few customers know how to do it the ‘right’ way.

‘If they’re actually stacked right then it’s a big help, but most of the time bless the customers hearts for trying. Stacked right as in large dishes plates at the bottom, going up to small bowls/plates on top with silverware in a way that it won’t go sliding off the stack,’ one person explained. 

‘No offense but if you stack like this it’s kind of worse,’ someone else wrote of the picture shared in the original post. 

‘It’s helpful if the all trash is separated from everything. Most people tend to stick the trash between bowls, dishes, cups, etc.,’ another pointed out. 

‘When I pick up the plates stop trying to add more on top,’ a fourth person said. 

‘This. Stop trying to hand me s*** when you can clearly see that I have a system. “Oh, we’ll put four plates of half-eaten potatoes on top of mussels shells. Remember, linen napkins go in the sauce,”‘ one Redditor mocked.

‘It’s not even a matter of a system… the plates are heavy to begin with, and now you’re throwing every plate and utensil at me all at once, making me wait while you do, and watching my arms begin to shake from the weight of it all, as you NOW ask what I recommend for dessert. Are you f***ing kidding me?!?’ one server fumed.

Some servers expressed exasperation with the tendency of well-meaning customers to try and ‘help’ by consolidating their soiled dishes and silverware on their table after eating

A separate comment thread began with this simple guideline: ‘If you know what you are doing, great. If you stack like this picture, no, please don’t.’ 

Expressing their agreement, someone else chimed in with an anecdote from the job.

‘I was working once and an adult said to one of the children “oh we stack them for the waiter, it makes it easier for him”, putting plates on bowls with cutlery and [ramekins] in them,’ they wrote.

‘I looked at her, unstacked what she’d done and then picked it up all properly explaining how there’s a system. It’s a nice gesture but please just don’t if you don’t know what you’re doing.’

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