This will be updated as I feel like it. The Waiter has his own rules which have some similar to mine. This is coincidence as I started writing about it before I read his post. More rules from The Waiter here.
It's become painfully obvious that a lot of people don't know how to behave while dining out and that many people have never eaten at a restaurant with a waiter.
If you have a party larger than the size of an average booth (usually about 4 people), call in advance and make a reservation. This gives the hosts time to setup a table and the servers time to mentally prepare for working on your party.
Wait outside or in the lobby for the rest of your party to arrive. Suppose you have a party of 7 and only the first 2 of you show up at first. This means the hostess is going to seat me again. Now imagine the next party does the same thing. They have a party of 5 and only 1 person is there. The next time I come out of the kitchen, the rest of your party, the rest of their party, and a whole new table has arrived. This gives me 3 tables to take at once which makes it impossible for me to greet my tables in under a minute like I'm supposed to.
Order in turn. This should be common sense. You are a number to me. The more I have to skip around the more likely the chance of your bill having somebody else's items.
Do not interrupt. See above.
Listen to your waiter. I should not have to repeat the side items to every single person in your party. This is a waste of my time as well as everybody else I'm serving.
Be decisive. If you don't know what you'd like let your server know. If they ask if you'd like a few more minutes with the menu, say "yes" instead of telling them to "hold on" as you go through each item on the menu. While you're pondering over what you want, my other tables need drinks made and refilled, food brought out, orders taken, dishes picked up, etc. Not only are you wasting my time, but also the time of every other person I'm serving. Is this my fault? No. Do I get blamed for it? Of course.
Order from the menu. We have menus for a reason. They list everything we sell as well as the prices. If it isn't on the menu then we don't have it. You cannot simply make up your own specials Do not try to tell me "they let me do it last time." No, they didn't. And I'm not going to either. If you have a problem take it up with a manager. They're the ones who can make or break the rules.
Do not play 20 questions with every item on the menu. I'm tired of stupid questions. "Where do your shrimp come from?" They come from a box. I don't personally know the fisherman that caught them but I'm pretty sure they don't glow in the dark. "So the fish on this menu are the only fresh ones? What about the other ones?" They've been rotting in a garbage can for weeks. We thought you'd enjoy the extra flavor of maggots.
Put your kids on a leash. Or better yet, don't bring them. Kids have the uncanny ability to make a mess even when they aren't eating. One time I had a table with 4 women and 1 of them had a kid. Mommy was sitting back sucking down drinks while her bratty little girl was running around the aisle almost getting run over. If that wasn't bad enough the little moron started setting her toys down in the middle of the floor. One of the waitresses picked them up and put them back on the table.
Order for your kids. It isn't cute to anybody else but you to have your little brat mumble off an order with their hands or a menu covering their face. I don't have time to decipher your kids gibberish.
Don't demand that your food be brought out "right now." I would gladly comply and bring you half-raw food if I didn't think I would be fired for it.
If I'm 5 feet away from you in plain site taking somebody else's order don't ask me where your extra biscuits are. Obviously I haven't had a chance to go back to the kitchen. You saw me not go into the kitchen. Do you think I keep biscuits in my pockets?
Don't eat biscuits with a knife and fork. Not only do you look like a dick, but you're also getting crumbs all over the table. You have a napkin for a reason.
Pay the waiter. This isn't KFC, there is no cash register for you to pay at. I've had at least 3 customers now that have tried to get up and walk to the lobby to pay. There was no cash register there when you walked in, we didn't move one in there when you got up to leave. If you were literate you would notice that the ticket says to pay your server.