except for the customers!
I probably should add here that you will be prejudged as a bad tipper if you tell the server any of the following: "I'm a friend of the owner.", "I own a restaurant.", "Take good care of us and we'll take good care of you.", "I use to be a waiter." By all means tell the server if you are currently a server and/or bartender but also be ready to leave a big tip if you do!
Customers often treat the waiter or waitress with contempt, yet at the same time they expect to be fawned over. (Restaurant managers/owners with the attitude that "Servers are a dime a dozen" doesn't help matters.)
Customers come into restaurants for many reasons: atmosphere, good food, inexpensive prices, celebrations, a speciality. A server works in a restaurant to earn a living. He/she has no reason to alienate a patron.
Servers are well aware with the major complaints from customers. They can range from service is too slow (or too fast), they had to wait for the check (or it was given too soon), the food was/is cold, waiter too attentive (or too distant), server too friendly (or too robotic.)
The solution to these complaints is communication. One of the biggest cause of discontent involves the check. Many restaurants train their servers to put the check on the table when they serve the dessert and/or coffee. Some customers see this as being rushed and take offense. Good servers tell the customers they'll be back to see if they want more coffee or anything else. They also advise them to pay the check when they are ready. Good customers advise servers to bring the check when they have ordered their last item or when they ask for it or tell them to keep the check open because they may order something else.
In most restaurants the server doesn't have the authority to correct mistakes. They must tell the manager who in turn will decide what course of action to take. All the server can do is apologize. He cannot comp the check or take the item off the check or, in most circumstances, take the plate off the table.
A customer who wants to pay the check right away can signal by taking a credit card or cash from their wallet. If a customer examines the check (which he/she should) the server may take a minute to bring out another customer's food or serve coffee. In many restaurants customers come in and leave at the same time. Keep in mind that imprints must be made of credit cards. Card verification takes time. At the height of dinner hour card approval lines could be jammed, causing delay.
(Part 3 next--then you can start throwing the daggers! :O)