It’s easy to spot service workers on their night off. They’re the ones bussing their own dishes, bringing their glasses back to the bar, and even grabbing a rag from the service station to wipe down their table.
But are they helping or annoying?
A viral TikTok raises the question, should you clean up your table at a restaurant before you leave? Or does that just make the staff mad?
The video shows Fuchs and another customer in a restaurant at the end of their meal, methodically stacking their plates and utensils and moving them to the side of the table to be picked up in one trip by their servers.
The screen text reads, “Two girls who work in food service cleaning up our mess,” followed by a statement in parentheses reading, “They hate when we do this.”
Their statement had a lot of viewers questioning the etiquette of bussing tables and drew a lot of comments from fellow food service workers.
“We in fact do not hate it,” Kenn (@tayllorswan) wrote.
“I serve and I appreciate it,” another server added.
“Just make sure the silverware isn’t gonna fall off the plate that’s all I care about lol,” another advised.
However, the video has led to some confusion in others.
“Wait whatttt??? I always do this should i not?” Addi (@addistephens) wrote.
Another customer wrote, “One time a lady got mad at me for doing this while I was doing it bc the bottom of the plate gets dirty ;-; but it feels wrong leaving them!!”
So what should people do when they finish their meal? To stack or not to stack is the question.
A good rule of thumb is that the fancier the establishment the less you should do. Fine dining experiences are intended for you to not have to do anything but enjoy your meal while you are waited on hand and foot.
On the other hand, leaving a tray full of used wrappers and condiment containers at a fast food place is not exactly the nicest way to behave.
According to Sarah Davey Cahill, manager of Davey’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, “You’ve come out to dinner; you don’t have to help with the dishes.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Fuchs via TikTok for further comment.