Working in any service industry position can be difficult, as customers' expectations can occasionally be high and unattainable. After working as a hostess in a busy restaurant for a summer job, I learned that people will ask just about anything to get the exact table they want, faster. Often, however, these demands are not within the hostess's control, or they’re just plain rude. If you like going to popular restaurants that may have wait times, here are some things you should avoid saying:

 1. "You could move that table over here and then push these three tables together…"

cake
Louis Lu

Stop trying to play Tetris with the restaurant tables. They’re often spaced the way they are for fire safety reasons, server movability and to have the correct number of large and small tables. Additionally, moving them is the hostess’s job, not yours.

2. "We’re actually a party of nine so we’ll just add this table, too."

salad, chicken, salmon
Nicole Shvayetsky

If you told the hostess you’re a party of three, he or she is going to find you a table for three. Your party should not triple after you’ve been seated because this creates problems for both the servers and other people waiting for tables.

3.  "The rest will be here soon."

cheese, sauce, vegetable, meat
Kai Huang

If it’s an hour later and "the rest” of your party has not arrived, you’ve actually taken money and time from the restaurant. Looking at a table for 15 with 4 people seated ordering just drinks and appetizers will make the restaurant staff (and especially customers still waiting) angry. 

4. "Can you move that umbrella/heater/live band/sun/shade closer to our table?"

apple, tea
Judy Holtz

Hostesses often have very little control over what goes where in a restaurant, and moving something to accommodate your table will almost certainly disadvantage another.

5. "It got way too hot in the sun, so we had to move."

cake, beer, wine, pizza
Michelle Ra

At some restaurants during the summertime, people will wait for spots in the shade to avoid the heat. So, if you tell the hostess you’re fine with sitting in the sun and then you move, you’ve quite literally stolen a table.

6. "But there’s, like, no one here."

beer, tea, wine, coffee
Judy Holtz

Sometimes, even though a restaurant does not look busy, there still may be a wait.

7. "Oh, so you’re understaffed?"

beer, tea, coffee
Paige Saunders

Once again, a wait time without noticeable crowding in the restaurant does not mean it’s understaffed. It may mean the kitchen needs a minute, or a server is on break, or the hostess was just told to wait a while to seat.

8.  "Is it about time? We’ve been waiting forever!"

coffee, pizza, beer, cake
Drew Stafford

A hostess actually knows exactly how long you’ve been waiting. It’s their job to keep track, and they cannot usually control the wait time they have to give you. So, saying you’ve been waiting “forever,” when you’ve been waiting 20 minutes and the hostess told you you'd have a 40-minute wait, is unproductive.

9. "They came after me, but you seated them before me! That’s unfair!"

cash, bill, money, pizza, beer, tea, coffee
Anna Arteaga

It would be unfair, if your party were not for 11 people while their's were for three. Be mindful that restaurants have a limited number of tables for large parties and seat what is available first.

10. "We just went to walk around! How could you give up our table?"

wine, gastronomy, coffee
Kirby Barth

Each restaurant has a different rule on this. Some have the hand-held buzzers that notify you exactly when your table is ready. Others use simply the hostess’s voice. If this is the case, it’s important to be within earshot around the given wait time. If you go on a stroll for two hours, it’s often fair that your table was given to another party, and the restaurant will accommodate you as soon as they can.

11. "But we come here all the time!"

champagne, rose, wine
Christy Luong

Regulars are awesome! However, just because you frequent a restaurant does not mean you get preferential seating or can be seated immediately at your table. The characters' booth in "How I Met Your Mother" would, in reality, be impossible to snag every time

12. “But we need to get seated before Happy Hour ends."

beer, cocktail, tea, alcohol
Robert Wehrli

Hostesses will do their best to accommodate this, but happy hour can be a busy time in any restaurant. If getting happy hour prices is the goal, try not to come in 10 minutes before happy hour ends.

13. "But it’s our (insert holiday or life event)."

cupcake, birthday cake, chocolate, cake
Meredith Davin

Well, Happy Anniversary! Happy Birthday! Happy Son-in-Law’s Promotion — or any other life event! Unfortunately, like being a regular, these events do not qualify you for faster seating, but they may get you a free dessert.

The most important thing to remember is that if you’re respectful and understanding, hostesses will want to seat you faster, even though they have little power to do so. Working at the hostess booth in a restaurant all summer showed me that a little kindness can go a long way in making someone feel like they’re doing their job well.