Why Do Waiters Call You Boss

Have you ever been to a restaurant where waiters call you boss? It isn’t very special, is it?

Some people find it insulting when they are called Boss. They believe it is a sarcastic insult. However, it is mostly used as an endearment term. You probably don’t like the word and you wonder how to react to it.

 When you are addressed with an endearment term, the person wants a nice reaction so you should know it is very alright when waiters call you boss. 

Why Waiters Call You Boss

Why Do Waiters Call You Boss

  • Because you are their Boss
  • Work Ethics
  • Unsure about what name to call a customer
  • A show of respect.
  • A growing fondness between you and the waiter.

Because you are their Boss

You are probably not their Boss or the owner of the restaurant. Well, this point is not wrong. You are still a boss to the waiters, even though you are only there to get food or a drink.

You may consider yourself an ordinary customer and you pay for whatever service they render to you. However, the payment is the important part.

 As long as you come to the restaurant to get food, have a few drinks, and pay for the service rendered, you should be valued as a customer.

While the payment you make is going to the owner of the restaurant, the money is later passed down to waiters and other workers in the restaurant. Indirectly, you are the one paying the waiters.

 As long as they pay enough respect to their Boss, they have to pay enough respect to the customers too. It is part of customer service and without the customers, the business will not run.

Also, while the real owner of the restaurant can fire them at will, you and other customers can do things that can get them fired.

For the sake of the restaurant, the boss wants customers to be pleased. For the sake of their jobs, the waiters must please the boss by pleasing the customers.

Work Ethics

Why Do Waiters Call You Boss

Some waiters view it as a part of their job and that is why every waiter in one restaurant can choose to call you boss.

Don’t think they are trying to flatter you or it’s just you being played with by one waiter. The other waiters can also call you boss and you won’t be the first or only customer being called by that.

 In other restaurants, they don’t call you boss. Some waiters will probably call you Sir or Ma’am. Whether you are called a Boss or not, it is part of the work of a waiter to receive customers with respect.

 Even if you are working outside a restaurant but you have to receive customers, you will have to respect every customer, irrespective of how irresponsible the customer may seem.

Some bosses (the owner of the restaurant) may directly tell the waiters to refer to all customers with that name. That is the most likely reason why all waiters in one restaurant may call you boss.

 Even without the order from the owner of the restaurant, as long as respect is important, waiters must always address you with a respectful name or word. Boss is just right to refer to a customer.

Unsure of what to call a customer

 Have you been to a restaurant where you are attended to by a stuttering waiter? The waiter is probably new and he/she seems nervous while attending to you.

The waiter could also be on probation. This is a likely reason for one waiter to call you boss while other waiters refer to you as Sir or Ma. 

 You should make no mistake. It is no disrespect in any way. A waiter or customer representative can get nervous while dealing with a customer so it is normal for him/her to get nervous and call the wrong names. You can always correct the waiter on how to address you.

You may be surprised if one waiter chooses to call you boss while the same waiter has always called you sir. It could probably mean that he/she wants something from you but don’t always assume that.

The waiter might be trying to address you with a special name since sir and ma is used for all other customers. If that is the case and you don’t like the name, you can simply tell him your name or say a name he/she can address you by.

A show of respect

A waiter can call you Boss as a mere show of respect for you.

Bosses do not get pissed when their workers call them boss. You shouldn’t either. Some people choose to respect a person by saying Sir or Ma. Similarly, some people show respect to a person by saying Boss.

 Some people get angry when they are called Boss because they believe the word is being used sarcastically to insult them. That is quite true in rare cases. However, Sir and Ma can be used sarcastically to insult a person too.

Waiters can call you and other customers Boss. It may also just be you that is called Boss and it’d still be just a show of respect for you.

That is how the waiter knows to show respect to you and maybe other people. However, if you find it unpleasant for any reason, you can simply tell the waiter to stop calling you Boss. You can also tell the waiter what name or nickname to address you with.

 Not only waiters do this but also random people. Whether you find it insulting or not, you can always make people stop by telling them to stop. However, it is important to note that waiters are only respecting you when they call you Boss.

A growing fondness between you and the waiter.

A waiter can call you Boss or other special nicknames when he/she is slowly getting closer to you.

As stated earlier, Boss can be used as an endearment term. Anyone can innocently call you boss for no exact reason and you don’t have to worry about it. You can hear it from a random stranger but it is mostly used by people who are close to you.

When a waiter addresses other customers with Sir and Ma but calls you Boss, it may be because you both are getting closer. If you have once chatted with the waiter, this can happen.

If you have once given the waiter a tip, the waiter can call you Boss as an eternal show of respect. If you are well-known in the restaurant, the waiter can call you Boss. The waiter can also address you with the name if he believes he knows you from somewhere.

Keep in mind that Boss does not have a special meaning and, in this case, he/she doesn’t need to call you Boss.

You can tell that the waiter wants to treat you specially, serve you specially, and probably address you specially. You can tell the waiter to stop calling you boss. Then you can tell him the name to address you with.

What To Do When Waiters Call You Boss

You probably wonder how to react when a waiter calls you Boss. There is no special way to react. Sometimes, the waiter is only trying to get your attention when he/she calls you Boss.

While this is true in most cases, it is not always true so you should not assume the waiter wants something from you.

  • Nothing
  • Smile and await or receive your order
  • Respond Kindly
  • Give him/her a tip if you wish
  • Nice gestures


If a waiter calls you boss, you have the option to do nothing and refuse to respond.

Do you hate when you are called Boss? You don’t have to react angrily. You don’t even have to react at all. You can simply ignore it.

This is always an option and you can simply tell the waiter to stop calling you boss if you don’t like the name.

If you do not mind the name, you don’t have to do anything either. Unless you are specially called for attention, the waiter may not expect you to respond in any way.

Waiter: Good morning, boss.

In this case, the waiter may not even realize it when he/she says boss. You do not need to react specially so you can just greet the waiter back and continue with whatever you were doing…. Unless you need the attention of the waiter.

Smile and await or receive your order

When you are called Boss, it is most likely used as an endearment term by the waiter when you are being attended to.

 You may not even have the chance to react or do anything at the time you are addressed as Boss so you don’t have to worry about anything.

 You are probably sitting in a restaurant and a waiter walks up to you to take your order. The waiters are there for their jobs so when you are called Boss in this situation, you can simply respond or react in the same way you would have reacted if you weren’t called Boss.

Waiter: Alright, sir. You will receive your order in a minute, boss.

 You can simply smile at the waiter and wait for your order to get to you. Speaking of a proper reaction, the waiter may not even wait to get a response or reaction from you.

Waiter: Here is your order, boss.

All you have to do in this case is receive your order. That is what you would have done if boss wasn’t added anyway.

Respond Kindly

As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to react especially. When you call a person boss, it may be seen as a normal word. However, in some cases, it is said as a compliment and a nice response is required.

 It is rare in restaurants since waiters tend to be busy with customers so it is scarce for them to be saying a compliment to you. However, it is not impossible and it happens.

You may have shown up in their free time and the waiter just chooses to call you boss for a reason. You should know it was meant as a compliment and you should be nice with your response.

 If you get in casual chats with a waiter often, you may be getting compliments similar to this so you shouldn’t be surprised. You can also be called Boss if you give the waiter a tip. Then you will know it is a mere compliment to show appreciation.

Waiter: You are the real boss.

You can simply say Thank you and smile. You can also play with it by saying you can say that again.

Give him/her a tip

A waiter can call you Boss for special reasons. It may be because you both are getting closer. If you have once chatted with the waiter, he/she can call you boss.

If you have once given the waiter a tip, the waiter can call you Boss as a show of respect. If you are well-known in the restaurant, the waiter can call you Boss

 A waiter can also call you boss if he/she wants your attention. It is rare for a waiter to ask for a tip but you can always give it.

If you get flattered by the word, you can give a tip. If you hate the word, you can give a tip and tell him/her to call you by a different name.

Nice gestures

Most of the time, a waiter can call you boss or Sir without waiting for a response. Some other times, they say it as a compliment, and a nice reaction is expected back.

 No one likes when compliments are ignored. It is the same with waiters so you should probably extend your hand for a shake or smile and nod. An ordinary acknowledgment will be appreciated.


Unless you have personal issues with a waiter, you shouldn’t think the waiter is being sarcastic when he/she calls you boss. You can smile and do whatever you have to do.

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