Or the barista. Or the checkout person. Or the bartender. Or the pharmacist.
See that cute person behind the counter who smiles at you every day as you buy your (lottery ticket/breakfast/liquor/condoms/razors/newspaper/coffee)?
That person HAS to be there and HAS to be nice to you. It doesn’t mean anything. You don’t have a deeper connection. Your daily transactions are not meaningful.
Fortunately, there is a way to show your appreciation for the person who brings you your meal or fixes your drink. It’s called tipping. And there is a word for entitled customers who try to use the inherent power imbalance to bully customer service people into unwanted personal interactions, and that word is “creep.”
Yes, servers are humans and statistically they do date people sometimes. But if something is meant to happen between the two of you, the other person will do the awkward thing, cross the weird service/power imbalance/transactional lines, and let you know. Or you’ll run into them at a place that is not their job because you naturally have similar interests and lives that intersect. Don’t take advantage of their professionally mandated niceness and the fact that they are trapped behind a counter in order to chitchat, okay? Do not ask them what time their shift ends. Do not wait for them by their cars (!). Do not lurk, skulk, or Firth. Do not hand them your phone number along with your money.
Just be cool, like Fonzie, eat your food, drink your drink, scratch your scratch ticket, pay for your weird wart medicine, and get the hell out of there.