Restaurant dining can be a great way to escape the kitchen, socialize with friends, discuss business transactions, or bond with your significant other on date night. But sometimes it is downright difficult to get good service.

Whether it’s waiting for thirty minutes to get a table, a rushed server who barely has time to talk to you, or a waiter who is completely inattentive – bad service can ruin your meal. Below are a few tips on how to get the best service at a restaurant.

Tip #1: Call In Advance
In order to ensure that you get great service at a restaurant, call them and make your lunch or dinner reservation well in advance. This way, you won’t need to wait in the restaurant lobby, hungry and anxious to get seated. It is also a good idea to call a day before your reservation to confirm the details are still in place.

Tip #2: Give a Generous Tip Beforehand
Remember that if you take care of your server, your server will take care of you. With this in mind, it may be a good idea to give the server a tip (usually between 15% to 25% of the lunch/dinner price) beforehand. This way, your server will be motivated to help out and make sure your dining experience goes well.

Tip #3: Be a Regular
One of the best ways to ensure that you get great service at a restaurant is to eat there on a regular basis, especially when its not packed and you can get to know the waitstaff. Even if you pop in for a dessert now and again, this personal interaction can do wonders with the servers and restaurant staff as they recognize you as a regular customer. Just don’t forget to tip them whenever you visit.

Tip #4: Make Friends with Your Server
One of the golden rules to getting the best possible service at a restaurant is to be friendly with your server. Introduce yourself, ask a little bit about them, and ask the server what he would recommend. This way, your server will feel involved and he’ll want to make sure the dish lives up to your expectations.

Tip #5: Be Polite
As much as you want a good experience with your server, he or she would also like to wait on a pleasant table. By being polite, putting down your cell phone to order, and staying calm – your waiter will appreciate working with you.

In the end, make sure you treat the restaurant staff with the same respect you wish to be treated with. Be patient and always remember to thank the server, and those who have helped you get your seat and your meal, with a tip.