Five Simple Rules for Dating a Waiter


Published: December 13, 2007

Multitasking is always a good thing. When my friend Shailyn suggested that we integrate shameless flirtation into our meal at Outback (classy, I know), I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to wink and smile at our dashing waiter. If you want to leave your next visit to a family-friendly restaurant with more than just a doggy bag, here are some of the tips that I picked up during my attempt at dating a waiter.

1. Let him (or her) know you’re interested.

Flirt shamelessly if you think your server is attractive. This is one of those situations where no matter how creepy he thinks you are, he is still forced to treat you cordially—so don’t be shy, and get your flirt on!  I took this approach with Eric, an adorable 20-year-old server at an Outback in Secaucus, NJ. With every Golden Margarita that came my way, it became easier to smile and tell him how cute I thought he was.

2. Recognize the signs that he’s interested.

A waiter lets you know in very specific ways that he’s looking for more than just a generous tip out of his exchanges with you.  As soon as Eric refilled my drink without my request and visited my table numerous times to “check in,” I knew he was smitten—we had become connected on a level unknown to other diners. Basically, if your waiter brings you your Bloomin’ Onion with a wink and a come-hither smile, he wants more than just an “Excellent service!” on the comment card.

3. Take advantage of the perks of your newfound relationship.

In the six sweet days that Eric and I dated, Shailyn and I received three free Bloomin’ Onions, four Wallaby Darneds and countless bread refills. When dating someone in the food service industry, choose someone who can keep you well-fed; the meal ticket is key.

4. Know when things are going south.

The smell of Aussie Fries is heavenly when I’m out with my friends, dressed in my pink velour tracksuit and ready for some pigging out. This smell is not so alluring when you’re out on a first date. I quickly discovered that Eric would always be “Outback Eric.”  When Eric met up with me to go to the movies still smelling like the Bloomin’ Onion he brought to my table, he began to lose some of his appeal.

I noticed my incompatibility with Eric when he told me his life goal was to go into business …as a manager at Outback. I’m all for following dreams, but … Outback?  Our conversation consisted mainly of stories about annoying patrons he had dealt with and discussion of the specials of the week. Now, I love affordable pseudo-Australian cuisine as much as the next girl, but a soliloquy on A1 Steak Sauce is not my idea of romance. It was after a 15-minute conversation about flank steak that I sadly realized Eric and I were over.

5. Find a new favorite restaurant.

I decided that rather than face Eric and risk getting my food spit on, I would have to find a new place to purchase cheese fries. After my first (and last) date with Eric, I sent him a text letting him know we couldn’t date anymore, because…I was moving to Angola. Immediately after, I whipped out my trusty Zagat to find my new dinner spot. Now an Applebee’s regular, I prefer to keep my visits strictly food-related. Though there aren’t any young waiters to flirt with at my new home away from home, there is hardly ever a wait for a table…and potato skins are on the menu. If loving potato skins is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.