I have worked as a hostess, waitress, cook, bus boy (in my case bus girl) — I’ve probably worked in every position a restaurant has to offer. I know how to flirt with the old men, I know how to get the little kids to smile, I can up-sell like no one’s business, and most importantly, I have excellent people skills. But it took time. It is not something that came overnight; it took years of patience and knowledge of how to deal with the everyday customer who is very hungry and just wants food.

Customers can be very moody. Sometimes they are really nice, but others are very rude. Sometimes I feel like walking out because customers will aggravate me so much that I want to quit. Then there are the other times when a single customer will make my day and I’m happy for the rest of the week. That is when I love my job the most.

Here is a list of five ways to be the best customer when going out to eat. So take notes!

Be nice. It just takes common courtesy for everyone to get along. If you are mean to the staff, just remember that they are the ones cooking and preparing your food.

Understand that mistakes will happen, things will be cooked wrong and your waiter might get the wrong drink. But don’t worry: mistakes can be fixed! So be patient and understanding too.

Please don’t think or act like you are better than the person taking your order just because they work in the food industry.

Don’t assume you know the job of the person cooking or taking your order better than they do. They were hired and trained to be doing what they do. So trust them.

Be awesome. Smile and laugh with the staff. If you have a good attitude, your service, food, and time spent at the restaurant will be 10 times better than the normal rude/unhappy person!

So just remember. The next time you go out to eat or to just grab a shake, remember the other person across the counter or your server is just like you. So be happy and nice, and if they accidentally mess up your order, smile and say, “It’s okay!” And they will be more than happy to fix it for you!