There’s a lot more to social interactions than we really consider. How would you react if someone told you that you got something wrong?
When Redditor throwawayRequest3’s friend told them they were rude to ask a server something, he didn’t think much of it. But it kept coming back and the original poster (OP) started doubting themselves.
To figure out if he did something wrong, he decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about his interaction.
He didn’t think it was a rude thing to do.
“AITA for Asking the Waitress what She Liked at the Restaurant?”
But OP’s friend was insistent that it was a weird thing to do.
“This past Thursday, my friend David (27M[ale]) and I (26M) met up for the first time in a long time, literal years, and decided to go out to grab a meal together. We went to a diner neither of us had ever been to.”
“At the restaurant, we were having a great time catching up. David asked me what I wanted to order, and I said that I was going to ask the waitress what she recommended.”
“He thought I was joking at first, and then got weirdly serious.”
“Told me that we were at a diner, not a fine dining place, and that I’d just be putting the waitress in a weird situation. That she probably hasn’t eaten most of the food here, and that you don’t do that at a place like this.”
“Knowing that it was perfectly fine, I ignored his advice, and asked the waitress what she recommended. She told me to try this one burger, so I did, and it was pretty good.”
“Even after we had ordered, though, David kept pushing the issue, telling me that it was a jerk move, even though the waitress seemed perfectly fine with it.”
“The rest of the meal went okay, but I can’t help but feel that me doing so turned the situation kind of unpleasant. He just wouldn’t drop it.”
“I’ve been thinking it over these past few days, and just today, David texted me asking if I wanted to hang out again, but included in the text, ‘we better not go to a fast food place, you’ll hold up the line asking the teenager what they recommend’.”
“I feel like I’m engaged in this weird debate with him when all I wanted to do was catch up with an old friend. Was this really some big social taboo that I’ve committed?”
“tl;dr my friend is telling me I was an a**hole for asking a waitress for her recommendation at a diner.”
OP thinks he was fine to ask the server about her opinion on the food and what she would recommend. But OP’s friend is making a big deal out of it, and really driving home how strange it was.
Should OP have not asked?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for asking the server her recommendation despite the restaurant not being fancy by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The whole board agreed with OP that it’s not weird to ask a server of a small diner what she would recommend on the menu. It’s part of the job, since she probably knows more about the food than he does,
OP’s friend acting like it was something only reserved for fine dining was the strange part. Has he never asked or seen someone ask a server about the food?
The commenters voted that OP was NTA.
“I travel for a living. And eat everywhere. I ask this all the time. Your friend is weird and is already picking at you over something trivial.”
“Red flags don’t only exist in romantic relationships. Good luck with this donut of a person.” – Perswayable
“Exactly. Servers know what’s popular and what’s overrated. It’s the best way to get to try something different in a new place.”
“Hell, maybe I’m just weird, but I work at a hospital and was having a bad night shift so I wanted a sweet treat and asked the cafeteria guy what he would recommend.” – minordisaster203
“Maybe don’t go out to eat with him ever again?”
“He picked a really weird hill to die on.”
“Teenagers eat food and like some more than others just like any human.”
“I was a server for years at many places some fancy, some not. It’s always appropriate to ask what’s good, fresh, or a customer favorite.”
“NTA but your friend is kinda nuts over this.” – Lurker_the_Pip
“Yeah it feels kind of insulting that he thinks people who don’t work at fine dining restaurants don’t have opinions on the food. They still eat, or at the very least they see what other people order and hear feedback on the dishes.”
“Last time I went to an Olive Garden (I know, I know) the waitress was amazing with food and drink recommendations and unsold us on a bunch of extras. Sure she was trying to get a better tip but she made the meal a lot more fun for us too.” – Jilltro
“Coming at your from a servers perspective:”
“NTA you’re dining some place you’re unfamiliar with, and even if you were familiar with the restaurant and just wanted to try something new, being asked what I like on the menu is a completely expected part of my job.”
“The only issue Is if you’re picky and find something wrong with every single thing I suggest. And even then it’s not a big deal and no one is an a**hole. Lol” – generate_a_name
Serving is a pretty common job, and a lot of people have experienced this exact situation on every side of it. Whether it was fine dining or fast food, part of a server’s job is answering questions about the food, including what is good to eat, or at least, what’s popular.
A lot of commenters shared their own experiences.
“As a waiter at not a fine dining establishment, david is being a F-ing weirdo. only time i even think about ppl asking for my recommendation is when they don’t eat what i recommend hahah but it’s never ever a big deal.”
“it’s a 10 second interaction as most and does no harm at all. some old friends are meant to stay in the past NTA” – Practical-Ad9690
“this is how it should go! My BF though is unbearable in these situations.”
“He knows he hates pretty much every vegetable but broccoli, isn’t open to trying new things but will spend at least 5 minutes asking the server about different dishes or recommendations ( even if the ingredients is posted on the menu). Then just ignore the servers opinion completely and order a burger, hot wings, or tenders no matter how fancy the place we eat at.”
“It’s so annoying to the point that i have him preview the menu online before arrival, so when he wastes the servers time at least he has decided he is ordering which chicken tenders or burger saving a few minutes.”
“OP NTA, but if David is use to what I am, i see his point of view. However i realize that this behavior only applies to people you see/eat with regularly where a pattern is established and it’s stupid to project on others this.” – dymanatix75
“I used to work as a server. I had tasted exactly one item on the menu, because I know what I like and don’t like.”
“However, if customers asked what I’d recommend I’d always list the top 3 sellers. Figure there’s a reason they sell well.” – FantasticDecisions
“And that’s a perfectly good answer to the question if you haven’t eaten everything. You as a server could say, ‘well I haven’t tried everything, but the brisket is probably the best seller we have.’”
“It’s very common in any kind of restaurant to ask the server what’s good. And it’s also very common for the server to say they haven’t tried things, but what other people like.” – Arisia118
“I worked at a micro-brewery for years. I hate beer, you couldn’t pay me enough to drink a beer (especially after smelling it brewing, hungover in 35C weather. gags), but I could tell any patron our best selling beers and what was popular with the staff. I could even say ‘If you drink X mainstream beer, you’ll like our Y beer.’”
“A good chunk of my job was to recommend food and drinks to patrons!” – canadian_maplesyrup
“This. I worked restaurants for years during college. The best question to ask a server if you are undecided is ‘What is popular?’”
“I also really liked it if they picked a category, ‘What’s the most popular burgers?’ Some menus, looking at you Cheesecake Factory, are ridiculously large; categories gave me a jumping off point for recommendations.” – Lalikat5
OP shouldn’t feel guilty or shamed, but maybe he should ask his friend about it before going so far as to cut off the friendship.
But if his friend is so willing to insult someone like that, OP can’t rule it out.