My top restaurant peeves from a diner's perspective
1) Clearing plates and offering dessert when one diner hasn't finished their main course (that's usually me). That is my absolute number one peeve.
2) "Did you need change?" Yes, just bring it to me and I will then decide on an appropriate tip (I will tell them if I don't want change).
3) Putting MY dessert that I ordered in the middle of the table with extra forks. essentially offering on my behalf to share. Especially when everyone else specifically declined a dessert.
4) Not being given a glass for my beer, and instead expecting me to drink out of the bottle (yes I do ask for a glass, but it should have been brought automatically; this is a restaurant, not a barn.
Lesser peeves (minor really, but just things I don't particularly like):
5) Being presented with an extensive drinks menu and being approached with "Can I get you a drink?" the SECOND I sit down, before I've had a chance to have a look.
6)That whole squatting down to get to eye level when taking orders. I don't know, seems awfully familiar
From my limited time working at a restaurant, busgirl's perspective:
1) People who come in for a full meal 10 minutes before closing
2) Men who make crude comments to the staff, like a "compliment" on how the uniform fits, etc.
3)Snapping fingers, whistling, etc., to get staff's attention
4) When I attempted to remove appetizer plates trying to make way for the entrees that were arriving (ie if it appeared the person had finished but there was still food on the plate and I always asked first, "May I take your plate?") they'd grab onto it like a dog holding onto a bone and say, "Noooo!!!"
Oh I forgot one thing: drives me nuts when servers don't know that cutlery together in the 4:00 position means "finished" and cutlery apart at 4:00 and 8:00 means "not finished." I can forgive customers for not knowing this but if you work in the food service industry it's something you should know about.