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Whose been served? (1 Viewer)

Mort Corey

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 21, 2003
Messages
981
Wow...two years and two pages and someone finally mentioned waiterrant....great stories.

There's a couple of restaurants my wife and I frequent and largely because of the staff....at least as much as the food. Some places we only go on specific nights and and specific times as we know that is our favorite waiter/waitress's shift. We probably over tip a little, but when we leave, both sides of the transaction are smiling.

I think our favorite dining experience (both food and service) is the dining room at the Ritz Huntington in Pasadena, CA when we travel there for a little R&R. I've never been served like that elsewhere (and return as often as possible)...you have your "main" waiter, the water waiter, the cocktail waiter, the wine waiter, the bread waiter, etc ...all coordinated and flowing smoothly under the direction of the main waiter......50% tip minimum and worth more so I have made it double, especially near a holiday, and always leave smiling.

Mort
 

MarkHastings

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2003
Messages
12,013
I always do too, but when you think about it, it's very odd - It's like you are almost bribing them for good service. It's so bad now-a-days, that the minimum tip almost seems degrading.

It's just so weird to think that I have to over-tip in order to ensure exceptional service.
 

Chris Lockwood

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Joined
Apr 21, 1999
Messages
3,215
Keep the drink refills coming (don't make me have to ask), don't make me wait forever for the check when I am obviously done eating, don't tell me your life story, and don't assume I want the meal to take 2 or 3 hours.

It's not difficult, but so many servers can't seem to grasp those first 2... what's up with waiting 20 min to bring the check after people finish, without even stopping by in the meantime?
 

Malcolm R

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Feb 8, 2002
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Malcolm
Amen to that. My biggest peeve is when I run out of beverage, have to stop eating, and have to wait until the server reappears to take my empty glass, then wait some more for them to bring the refill. Meanwhile, my food is getting cold.

I also hate having to deal with the server to pay the bill. You have to wait for them to approach the table after you're done and ask if you want dessert, after you say no you have to wait for them to total up the bill and bring it over, you then have to wait for them to come back and pick up the money/card, then wait some more for them to bring back your change/credit slip. Sheesh!

Also, servers should not congregate to socialize with other servers while turning their backs to the dining area. Last week we tried for nearly 10 minutes to get the attention of our server, unsuccessfully, so we then had to get up, walk across the restaurant and invade the "herd of servers" to get his attention.
 

Mort Corey

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 21, 2003
Messages
981

IIRC, the original meaning of the word "tip" was to insure promptness.....course that could be an old wives tale too (I'll ask mine ;))

Mort
 

Randy Tennison

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 5, 1999
Messages
1,099
Real Name
Randy
See what you can do to go above and beyond. I always think about the servers on a cruise. On a Disney cruise, they become friends, and you truly appreciate and trust their opinions. Follow their guidelines for professionalism:

1) Never carry anything in your hand except a tray. If you need to bring new fork, place it on a tray on a napkin, and carry it to the table. Bring the water on a tray, then pour it. There is a class to this.
2) keep the table clean. Don't just clear the plates, but if there are bread crumbs in front of the customer, wipe them up.
3) Don't try to impress us with your memory. Write down the order. That way, I know you got it right.
4) Take a second to do a magic trick for the kids. Compliment them on their good manners, or how cute they are, or something else. Parents love it when someone notices their kids.
5) Make a recommendation, and not just based on upselling. If you think the seabass is wonderful tonight, tell them. Don't push the mold wine because you're stuck with it
6) Replace, don't refill.
7) Don't forget anything. If they ask you for catsup, go get it. Don't do anything else until you get it.
 

PhillJones

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
472
This thread is quite an insight. Many of the things that you Americans think of as vitally important in a waiter, like clearing you plate as soon as you've finished, I find annoying, as do all of my English friends. I also find being asked if everything is okay to be an unwanted interuption of my meal. I'd prefer a waiter were available if there was a problem but not to interupt my conversation with my wife, family of freinds.

So with that in mind, you probably want to ignore my advice, since I've cleary got funny ideas about what constitutes good service. The one thing that really annoys me is when the service goes out of the window at desert. I see this as part of the bigger trend of giving people such large main courses that they can't fit any more food in their stomachs. Sometimes, however, I actually do want a deseart, especially if it's a celebration meal. This takes many waiters by surprise, they don't know how to handle it, it's like they think they're done with you and can't seem to concentrate on your table anymore. A typical offence, if you order deseart and coffee is to bring the coffee fifteen minutes before the deseart. I know Americans have coffee with their deseart, not after, but I don't want cold coffee and deseart do I? Maybe it's just me.
 

MarkHastings

Senior HTF Member
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Jan 27, 2003
Messages
12,013
Please ignore this if I am being ignorant, but do you have a lot of these "Chain" restaurants? I can see being annoyed with the above when you're at a nice place, but for some of these chains (i.e. TGIF's, Applebees, Chilis, Outback, etc.) that's what is expected. The idea of these places is "Atmosphere" - If you don't want them talking to you, then you should probably find a quieter place to eat.
 

TV555

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 26, 2006
Messages
59
Real Name
Tom Veryal
Best service I have had was in Mexico, restaraunt by the beach.
They had what seems like 3 waiters at our group table.
They brought us all sorts of extras, food was great, clean and we tipped the hell out of them. The guy had everything under the sun already in his apron.

I think the restaraunt lost out in the whole process.

Best salsa and beers I had. To top it off they were pretty much free.
 

Shane Gralaw

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 24, 2001
Messages
298
I had a classic bad table today. This lady shows up in the middle of a rush and says she's in a hurry, so I ask if she wants to order now- she says yes, but is clearly NOT ready. So I offer to give her a couple minutes, but no she insists she'd ready- but spends the next four minutes asking her kids what they want, her friend what she's going to have ect ect. - no menu questions that I can answer, mind you. She just refuses to let me graciously step out while she gets her shit together.

She then wants to one-trip me on every little need. This is where you want A, B and C, but only mention A, and when I bring A, ask for B, then when I bring B, ask for C and on down the alphabet. Had to cut her off after B because I had several other tables that were getting pissed. I do send out someone else to get C and then D and everything else, but now I am being an inattentive waiter for not doing it personally. She of course is getting offended now. I have no control over cooking times, but nevertheless she's also pissed that the food is not out fast enough, and long story short - stiffs me. Fine - at least I didn't ignore the other five tables and made more money than I would have if I had done exactly what she wanted. A person like that will probably be a 8%er anyway.

Hey some of you want to know why those refills are not coming fast enough? Selfish people like this bitch are trying to hog all service for themselves. And if you are one of these people, you will DEFINITELY get worse service, 'cuz a waiter can read you pretty fast and know that they should pay more attention to their other tables, because the other ones won't waste their time and it is better to write off one bad tip than risk a whole section of bad tips for someone who will probably be cheap anyway.

Aaah, the joys of waiting
 

PhillJones

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
472

I actually live in the states.

They do it to a lesser extent in almost all restaurants but the good ones are at least discrete, only ask once and don't interupt me when I'm speaking to do so.

I avoid chain restaraunts like Friday's here partly for this reason; because they're too damn pushy but mostly because the food is terrible. It amazes me how they manage to make the place look and feel so inviting, the menu looks great, like it should all taste wonderful, but when it arrives is always so bland. I can see how it would be a lot of fun to go out with your workmates on a Friday after work and egg each other on to drink those ridculous cocktails but living and Working in Boston, I'd rather go to the Beerworks, as I think most of Boston do since the TGI's round the corner from the Beerworks went out of business.

The only time I've had a good time in a chain restaurant was in the Friday's in Cairo that's on a boat. After a week in the middle east, Fridays seemed quite restful.
 

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