5 Of The Weirdest Things People Do At Florida Restaurants, As Told By An Ex-Server

This Essay article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

The Florida restaurant industry is a bustling business to be in because there are always mouths to feed. When I moved back down to the Sunshine State, I was out of a job and needed to make some fast cash, so I became a server at a beach restaurant.

A day-to-day workload that I thought would be a temporary memory will now last me a lifetime of laughs. The place I worked at was a waterfront location near hotels and boutique rentals, which meant snowbirds flocked there, and it was always busy.

With international customers as well as local regulars, I didn’t realize I was bound to see some things I’d never be able to unsee. So, I decided to not gatekeep such stories so you don’t have to be that patron.

Shoes Should Always Remain On Your Feet.

This sounds like common sense…or so you’d think. I’m not sure if it’s because of the establishment’s location by the sand, but I constantly saw people taking off their shoes while they sat at a public table…and I’m not talking flip-flops, but full-on sneakers .

It was super unsanitary and, as a server, you’re not really sure what to do. It’s up to your tip at the end of the day. My motto: stay away from the smelly feet and only go there when absolutely necessary.

Hostess stands are there for a reason.

Far too often people walk straight by the hostess stand and find the busiest person walking around to ask for a table. There is a streamlined process that dining venues have in place so you get to your seat quicker. Skipping the line and asking a random employee will only set you back a few steps.

Plus, the nice hostesses are thoroughly trained and seat customers strategically so all servers can get a piece of the pie, no intended pun.

Wait until there’s a clean table.

According to my short stint in the biz, people frequently left their tables mid-meal and would move to a table closest to the beachside.

It makes sense as to why they want a nice window or a gorgeous view of the turquoise waves, but it always felt odd that they chose to do it in the middle of eating dinner. Many times, they would even move to an extremely dirty table to secure the spot.

This not only messed up the system but also adds stress to the service employee.

Ask for things that are on the menu.

I understand that people have peculiar tastes, and being that I worked in Florida, a lot of people wanted seafood, which comes at a cost. So, restaurants have a set menu based on what the cooks can efficiently make in a timely manner, as well as afford for the restaurant.

It blew my mind when patrons would ask for things that were sometimes even a totally different cuisine than what was offered at the eatery.

I specifically worked at a seafood restaurant and some of the people who would dine at my tables would tell me that they don’t even like fish or shellfish and asked what else they could have instead. Pro tip: Search the restaurant’s menu before you go.

Order from the right menu.

Aside from asking for things that are actually on the menu, I’ve personally had people order from a completely different restaurant. A woman at a rather large party was ordering a “to-go” item. Bigger groups are always more complicated for orders, so you always must double-check what everyone wants.

This woman was asking for things that weren’t on our menu, and when I saw where she was ordering from, it wasn’t even the same place.

While all of these things are extremely weird and super unique to Florida, they are as much hilarious as they are warning signs when you go out to eat!

This article’s right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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