Monday, November 7, 2011

Mind your manners

Have you ever sat in a restaurant and been embarrassed for a dining companion who treated the wait staff poorly? You can learn a lot about someone—both good and bad—when you go out to eat with them. If he or she treats the waiter like hired help, it’s obvious to me that they have never been on that side of the fence.

I had gone on several business meetings with one associate who I thought was sweet… until I realized what kind of person she really was, based on how she behaved in a restaurant. When we went out for breakfast, she would literally scold the waiters. One day she asked the waiter to bring kosher salt for her omelet. The waiter brought table salt (which has smaller granules), and she said, “No, I told you I wanted kosher salt. Do you know what kosher salt is?” And so he brought another kind of salt, to which she scathed, “This is not kosher salt. Would you mind bringing me back to the kitchen so I can show you what kosher salt is?”

I was mortified just to be associated with her. I mean, really? It’s just salt... Eat the eggs without salt or use the salt you have... crazy! I actually leaned toward the waiter and mouthed “I’m sorry.” The next time we scheduled a breakfast meeting, all I wanted to do was call in advance and request kosher salt for our table because I couldn’t bear to watch another scene like that again.

I can certainly relate to the waiter because I worked service jobs when I was younger. I mowed lawns, delivered newspapers, and swept floors at a flower shop. When I was a room service waiter, I remember being barked at for any little thing. If I was a second late, the guests had a fit.

Pay attention to people when you go to restaurants—whether it’s a diner or five-star restaurant. Watch how they treat a waiter… it says everything. And by the way, if you’re the one being nasty to your waiter, I’d be a bit worried about my food if I were you! If you’ve seen Waiting..., you know exactly what I’m talking about.

It’s just like that old saying… you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. A smile, a hello, a please and thank you are such easy things to do and say… and they get you so much in return.



  1. Dear Sweet David,

    You are SO right on with this post.
    Your friend - poor thing - lacks the perceptive ability to "walk in someone else's shoes." BUT, you certainly do not lack that ability.

    THIS IS WHAT HAS ALWAYS IMPRESSED ME ABOUT YOU. You have a truly open, loving heart and it's obvious to anyone who watches your show.
    People in general are very good at spotting a fake - and YOU ARE NOT FAKE. You would not be so successful without being true to your heart and I want to say that it's fantastic to watch. You are considerate, kind and treat everyone with respect and integrity. In your profession, that is so rare. (I'm an ex-event planner and left the biz because it was so superficial.)
    Keep doing what your mom taught you to do. AND, tell her what a great job she did raising you. Preserve your humility. It's truly beautiful to witness. AND you are transforming the inner lives of the women you help by opening your heart to them.
    I'm not a big "fan" person of anyone - but I have to say - the world NEEDS DAVID TUTERA! Good job my friend. As my father - God rest him - used to say, "It's nice to be nice."
    All the best,

  2. You are amazing David. I want you to help me oput with my wedding.
    All the best,
    Jessica S.

  3. This is great advise to remember! I believe that in this industry you need to treat everyone nice and polite, no matter their position. Especially dealing with suppliers and vendors, you need them to make your event great! How a person treats other people tells you a lot about them and I think that this is a great test to see peoples' true colors!
    -Megan Haney

  4. Oh my goodness! That is just awful! If I was in your position I would have to admit, I would probably just get up from the table, go outside and let her have her embarrassing hissy-fit all by herself. Salt is salt and sugar is sugar, your body can't tell the difference and neither can your tongue, but unfortunately, personality wise, it seems your associate was more salty then sweet. I've never had to deal with this thankfully, however, I have had to deal with someone with extremely POOR etiquette, and terrible table manners! I'm talking elbows on the table, literally shoveling food into their mouths, and the worst part... deliberately passing gas at the table and trying to be as loud and noticeable as possible about it! In a 4 star Japanese restaurant at that! I would expect that from a 9 year old, but not a 24 year old man who happens to be my fiance! Now I completely avoid eating with him whatsoever. I think besides just weddings, people could get you just to simply teach them proper table manners. It seems some unclassy folks could really use a bit of david tutera in their lives!

    best wishes,
    Jen C.

  5. hello hunny, u are an amazing person, i love ur new new! my name is Erika Ross and i didnt know any other way to get intouch with you, but here it husband and i had 3 kids b4 we got married and we got married Sept 30th 2009 in bahamas at breezes resort it was ok being able to go there was the best part. my most biggest regret is none of my family was there and my father did not walk me down the aisle, and as time goes on it bothers me that i didnt have the family affair i really really wanted so wat should i do? since money is soooo tight, i thought of a renewal of our vows but i want it to be as close to a wedding as possible, please help me i love ur ideas and uniqueness u bring into special times for all these happy couple ok i know i probably sound crazy :) thank u

  6. Holas David,

    Wow how embarrassing for you to have to sit through that. I in all honesty do not know how I would have handled that situation. But mean people suck. I truly believe in treating others the way one wants to be treated. All people should be treated with respect no matter what their station in life. I would have apologized as well to the waiter. I do not understand why people are like that. Do they need to belittle people in order to feel better about themselves. I am so glad you are a sweetheart. I watch your show regularly. I love the way you turn things around. You are truly a people person. I am getting married next year and am so excited. thanks for all the information you provide on your show. I wish you much success with your new season. Keep the great ideas coming.
    Luv ya muchos...

  7. Totally agree. I have waited tables and being in the bridal industry now it is one thing to serve and one thing to be treated as a servant. BTW we carry the David Tutera line from Mon Cheri ;)

  8. Yes!! Yes!! Yes!!

    Hi Daaavid

    My friend totally embarassed me at AppleBees one time, she was asking the waitress is this your only job, I'm sure this is just your part-time job right, you couldnt possibly make a living off waiting on others..

    I was soooo embarassed because of her ignorance.I've never worked in the food industry but I have worked in retail and it has truely taught me how to treat people all the way down to putting things back on the shelf that I decice not to take,and the sad part about this is my friend was unemployed at the time..This incident made me look at her in a different light...

    I Love you and your work David,I can definetely tell you absolutely love what you do and I hope one day we will get to meet.I'm getting married Aug 2013 in Chicago and I'm stealing so many of your ideas..Thanks for you help


  9. Hi David-
    I have heard it said that you can tell a person's true character by how they those in service jobs - so true! Take care and happy holidays to you and Ryan and your families. XO ...Barbara

  10. David,
    This is my mother! I always have to say thank you and please for her, not to mention all the sorry's I have to add. Any advice for when it's your mom?

  11. Hi David! I completely agree with you when it comes to these types of situations. I myself was a server/bartender for many years and I could go on and on about how I was not always treated with kindness and respect that I deserved, but I on the other hand ALWAYS kept a smile on my face and kept my cool because to me that was being the better person in the situation. :) Also, I am not sure who this was you went to breakfast with but all I know is if I were you, I wouldn't be going out to eat with them anymore.

  12. David,
    I have a suggestion for this. Keep and carry a small salt shaker of Kosher salt with you. If and when this ever happens again give it to her. Hopefully whe will get the hint and come prepared. It works for me.

  13. The little ones in the picture are my great grand children. Shane who turned one on 12/16/11. His mommies name is Danielle and she's my youngest grand daughter. Kerri who will be one on 3/7/12. Her mommies name is Elizabeth and she is my oldest grand daughter. She graduates in May. These little ones are my little sweet hearts. Shane is growing like all get out and Kerri is to, but she has to have special care. She was born with a hole in her heart. Scott Jr. is my only grandson.

    ((( xoxoxo)))

  14. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received about dating was from my maternal grandmother who said, "If someone is nice to you but mean to the waiter, they are not a nice person." To this day I still pay attention to it when on a date.

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