1.) If you’re really unhappy with the table you’re being seated at that’s one thing. If you simply feel like choosing whichever table you’d like the most that’s quite another. There’s a fair amount of planning that goes into making the night run smoothly and by demanding a certain table (thereby potentially sticking a server with more than he/she can handle at that time) you’re slowing it all down.
2.) When I come over to offer you bottled or tap water please don’t blurt out “Vodka Tonic” or whatever it is you’d like to drink. I asked you a question, please answer it and then we’ll move on to cocktails.
3.) The eye contact thing goes both ways. If you’re looking into your menu and muttering your order a.) I can’t hear you and b) I’m a human being.
4.) If you’re in a party greater than two and you’re ready to order, the other people at your table may not be. It reeeaaally hurts to have to stand there waiting for everyone to read the menu while I can see the rest of my station going down in flames behind me.
5.) Please read the wine list. We have certain beers and certain wines. Neglecting to read the list under the assumption that we have Amstel Light or Pinot Grigio just puts me in the same situation as #4
6.) Again, eye contact is an amazing thing. I am constantly surveying the room so if you simply make eye contact with me, I’ll know that you want something. However, if you’re deeply engrossed in a conversation for 20 minutes I’m not going to come over and interrupt you so don’t wave wildly at me when you finally surface for air and want to order. I wish that I could always be there at the exact moment that you want something but it’s not always possible. I do not, however, leave the floor for more than 30 seconds during service so, I can assure you that I will be with you as soon as physically possible.
7.) Please bring something along to occupy your kids. And if they can’t sit relatively quietly in their seat at a table for more than the amount of time it takes you to eat a meal then they’re not ready to be at a restaurant.
8.) If I’ve given you a check presenter (those little black books) and you’ve put either cash or a credit card inside, make sure it’s sticking out a little bit so that I can be sure it’s there. It’s really uncomfortable for everyone if I pick it up with nothing inside...I feel like I’m rushing you/you feel rushed.
9.) I have never understood what compels people to do this but if I’m at another table I am clearly occupied which means you cannot tap me on the shoulder or say “excuse me” or use any other means of getting my attention at that particular moment.
10.) If there is no one left in the restaurant it is time for you to leave as well. I have actually been asked the question, “Am I holding you up?”. Do you know how much strength it takes for me to lie in that situation? Common courtesy goes a looooong way.
So I suppose that's my top ten. Most of them would actually increase the efficiency of service and some are just gripes.