How To Get Quick Food Service

All too often, we jam-pack our schedules to take advantage of every moment. Sometimes, though, it's not so easy to plan your evening out -- especially if a meal at a restaurant is on your agenda. If there's something you need to do or somewhere you need to be at a certain time, here's how to have your best shot at getting in and out of a restaurant quickly!

WaitressStep 1: Time it right

Choose a time when a restaurant is not likely to be too busy -- or a restaurant where reservations are accepted. If there's an hour wait or a line out the door, service could be at light speed and you still wouldn't get done in time.

Step 2: Get on the list

If no reservations are accepted, many restaurants instead offer "call ahead" seating, which is essentially a way to put your name on the waiting list before you actually leave home.

Step 3: Tell 'em you're in a hurry

When your server comes to take your drink order, very politely and kindly let him or her know that you're in a rush. (Be rude with your request, and you're likely to get service at a snail's pace.)

Step 4: Know the menu

Know what you want -- check out the menu online in advance, or while you're waiting to be seated. Then you can order early on -- perhaps even when you place your initial drink order.

Step 5: Get the check

When your meal is served (and provided you're not going to rack up any more charges for desserts, sides or drinks), ask for the check. Then it will be ready when you are, and you'll have a chance to look it over before paying.

Step 6: Have cash

Bring cash (in $5 bills on up) so you can pay your tab without the extra steps involved in a credit card transaction.

Step 7: Leave a nice tip

If the server clearly worked to get you out quickly, be sure to tip well.

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