I read a lot of reviews. Not before I write mine, but after the fact, to see what kind of experience other diners had at the same place. There’s an awful lot of whiners out there, that I think, nitpick about the smallest things, but most complaints I read are about service. Some of them are undoubtedly accurate, but most, I feel, reflect the attitude of the diner, more than the wait staff.
Sometimes, the food is goofed up, cooked wrong, or not sent out in the right order. Trust me, the server is just as unhappy about it as you are, because s/he has to deal with that, it’s going to affect their tip, and it’s not their fault.
So you know what I’ve decided recently? YOU have control over your service, to a certain extent. Engage your waitperson, exhibit standard manners and politeness, and it will come back to you in spades.
Don’t understand? Well, a nice night out can/should be a reciprocal arrangement; you’re going out to distract yourself from the problems at work, home, to have a nice pleasant, relaxing meal. Your server is there to make sure you have that pleasant evening, and is being paid to do that, but they also have the same stresses away from work that you do, and sometimes try as they might, they bring those pressures into work with them – it’s human nature.
So smile, engage, help them have a pleasant experience waiting on you, and you’ll both end up with a nice evening.