Anthony Bourdain's Important Advice On Interacting With Your Waiter

The late Anthony Bourdain was more than a visionary chef, author, and television personality. He was also someone who was willing to expose the less-than-pleasant aspects of restaurant and dining culture in order to enhance our experience and understanding of food. For example, in his New York Times bestselling book, "Kitchen Confidential," Bourdain relays plenty of advice, including how being polite to your waiter can help you avoid a disastrous meal.

In "Kitchen Confidential," Bourdain writes that one reason to be polite to your waiter is that "he could save your life with a raised eyebrow or a sigh. If he likes you, maybe he'll stop you from ordering a piece of fish he knows is going to hurt you." It's part of the waiter's job to sell you on certain menu items, so it's hard to tell if what they recommend is actually any good. However, extending them a little kindness and paying attention to them may ensure that you actually get the best thing on the menu, and not just whatever dish the chef wants the staff to push for on that day.

Waiters can offer other direction as well

Of course, we don't need a reason to be polite to people, especially those who are working to fulfill a service for us. Still, being nice to the waitstaff does have a unique set of benefits. Along with knowing what food isn't as good as it sounds on the menu, waiters will have the inside scoop on how well the kitchen runs. That means they'll know what foods are frozen or actually made to order, what customizations or modifications are available for a dish, and if those changes will actually be honored. Whether or not a waiter shares any of this information is up to their discretion, but being extra polite can only help you get access to some of those exclusive secrets.

Heeding Bourdain's advice will not only help you avoid any disappointing menu items, but it should also guarantee that nothing unsavory ends up in your dish from the staff themselves. After all, kindness begets kindness, especially if it's shown to people as hardworking as waiters. So, the next time you go out to try some of Bourdain's favorite foods, honor his memory by being polite to the people who make sure your experience is a positive one.