It would be helpful if you provided a little more context. What will you be talking to the waitstaff about?
The specials? The wine list? The weather? The Red Sox? Those damn Yankees? I don't have a regular restaurant. Never had. But if I did, I'd feel comfortable talking to waiter or waitress I'm familiar with.
Never! Okay, almost never. If I ever address waitstaff as sir or mam, it's on the order of a NYC taxie addressing a difficult passenger as "Lady", as in "Look lady,". In other words, it's an insult based on poor service.
Fri 11 Jan, 2013 09:49 am
"Waiter or waitress?"
"I guess you could address him Mr. Waiter (Ms. Waitress), but that would be over the top"
If I address him/her in an overly formal way, is it possible that he'll be a less-tip-demanding-waiter because I'll satisfy him with my overly formal addressing?