Author Topic: What do you expect when dining out?  (Read 7012 times)

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Thipu1

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2013, 09:13:05 AM »
"NO SUSHI FOR YOU!"

:D

We did have something like that happen at a Dim Sum place.  The dishes we liked weren't coming out and the manager came over to tell us that we weren't ordering enough and had to leave.  That was the first and only time that happened. 

Hmmmmm

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2013, 09:30:50 AM »
On Sushi Nazi, we used to go to a Thai restaurant for lunch.  Very good and very popular.  The owner would fret about the lines of people waiting because he felt he was a bad host making his guests wait.  And to him, someone taking up a table once they were finished eating while others waited to eat was rude.  So he would also tell people they needed to leave once their tab was paid.  Once you understood why he did it you weren't offended anymore.  And if you didn't like the feel of being rushed after you finished, then you were free to dine there at dinner or somewhere else.

I also expect completely different service styles based on the ethnicity of a restaurant and the price point.  The OPs description of the Chinese restaurant would have been what I expected.  In many Chinese restaurants, dishes are to be shared, so the concept of everything hitting the table at the same time is not as important.  And my DH and I are always suprised when our tea glass ever gets below half full when eating Chinese nor would I be suprised that a gin and tonic wasnt common. 

Now when I encountered the bar tender at a high end US steakhouse who hadn't heard of a sidecar, I was suprised.


sunnygirl

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2013, 09:56:17 AM »
That level of service and attentiveness is very much the norm in many parts of China; it's considered rude not to pay that much attention to guests. I've worked in China and it made me uncomfortable too.

Lynn2000

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2013, 11:13:26 AM »
There's a little hole-in-the-wall sushi place my friend and I like to go to sometimes. We used to order two rolls each, plus a couple of starters, but once it was too much food and we each left one piece of the rolls on our plates. The waitress was very concerned that we hadn't liked our meals! She didn't chastise us, but she definitely commented on it worriedly. So from now on, unless we're starving, we get three rolls between the two of us, just so we can be sure to eat it all. Otherwise the service is great there and they tend to give us free stuff like bowls of soup or fruit for dessert.

On another topic, I have often thought about what makes a server intrusive or not... I eat at the same places a lot, and sometimes you get an intrusive server and sometimes you don't. I think maybe one thing is if they ask if they can refill my glass, rather than just doing so quietly and moving on. It's funny, you would think asking is more polite, but it can definitely interrupt the flow of conversation. But, there's more to it than just that; some people are quite subtle and others, though doing nothing that I can pinpoint, just aren't.
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VltGrantham

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2013, 11:54:06 AM »
Quote
But it has got me wondering what is it people expect when they eat out. One of the things I like is to be left alone to enjoy my meal and the company of my FH.

Maybe I should have read this thread before posting my own.  Here's what we like--but rarely see.

Friendly host/hostesses who take you to a table and help you get seated, remove coats, etc.

Attentive, but not intrusive, wait-staff.  They show up promptly to take your drink order and meals.  Deliver food, ask for feedback, and silently deliver refills, etc., but don't hover.

A manager who walks the dining floor and will assist in the prompt clean-up of tables, seating guests, and resolving problems.

Things the restaurant staff can't control--parents who allow poorly behaved children to disrupt the restaurant and will neither remove them nor calm them down.  Diners who behave in a raucous manner and disrupt others.  Cell phones constantly going off.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2013, 02:42:54 PM »
Personally, I find drink refills to be intrusive but that might be because its common practise here to leave the jug on the table and let us fill our own glasses after the first one. At the Chinese restaurant they were constantly refilling our teacups and teapot, tongue point where I had to tell him to stop when he was getting the third pot of tea.

Somehow it does always seem to be Asian restaurants. However, it hasn't been as bad going to yum cha for some reason. But that maybe bscause of the different atmosphere for it and its specific 'rules'. But it is fast without it ever being rushed and the places I've been to never give you the impression you're occupying a table.

Hmmmmm

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2013, 03:07:37 PM »
I'll tell you what I don't like in the form of our dinner out as a family recently.

We were told the bar area was 21 and up* (we had an 18 and 16 yr old with us) so we could not wait for our table there and was no other place but right in front of the door was suggested.  *While this is within their right, I've never encountered this policy in our city. 

Once seated the waiter came to take our drink order, I said  I hadn't decided on a wine yet so to just bring me water.  He left without asking DH or kid's their drink order.

Waiter asked if we were ready to order.  DH said he thought we'd start with an appetizer. Waiter asked if we'd like to hear the specials and DH said sure.  We expected to hear the appetizer specials, not the mains and desserts in such incredible detail that we forgot what the appetizer specials were.  Special we had just been told about was no longer available and they did not let us know that until they brought the other appetizer we had ordered. 

Two of us ordered the same main.  One was perfect the other practically inedible.  I split mine with my son.  We tell to the waiter the problem when he finally comes back to check on us when we are done eating.  He comes back and tells us the chef said they were having a problem with one of their grills and that must be why the second one was "off".  So why were they using the grill if they knew it was having problems?  But no worries, they are going to comp us a $7 dessert for a back $25 entree.

We decide to order 3 desserts for the four of us (since we had split 1 appetizer and 3 mains we were hoping to get at least 2 edible desserts  ;)).  Our waiter brings all 3 at once and while setting them down, spills cream sauce down my shoulder, arm, into my lap and the table in front of me (I also found some in my hair when we got home).  I use my napkin that has some cream sauce on it to clean up my arm shoulder.  Waiter uses a paper napkin to clean up the table.  I hand him my dirty napkin thinking he is going to bring me a new one and come back with a wet cloth to get the sticky mess off the table.  Nope, the next time we see him is to bring the check, but again, no worries because now they are comping 2 of our desserts. 

I go to the restroom and try to sponge out as much of the sauce as possible and end up with a pretty wet sleave and still smelling of sour milk.  We scrap the rest of our evening.  So for our $160 dinner we ended up with 1 very good appetizer, 2 very good and 1 ok entree , 1 good 1 ok and 1 bad dessert, a great story and the ability to tell a friend who recommended the place that she is nuts.  Not a bad deal all in all. 

VltGrantham

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2013, 10:35:15 AM »
Quote
So for our $160 dinner we ended up with 1 very good appetizer, 2 very good and 1 ok entree , 1 good 1 ok and 1 bad dessert, a great story and the ability to tell a friend who recommended the place that she is nuts.  Not a bad deal all in all.

Wow--there is no way I'd have paid for an entree or dessert that was bad or "off".  After all the mistakes, your entire meal (or most of it, excluding any alcohol you may have had) should have been comped and there should have been an abject apology made by the manager plus a gift certificate asking you to give them one more chance to get it right.  Wow.

Venus193

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2013, 10:54:50 AM »
When I dine out (as in a sit-down restaurant) I expect the waitstaff to be knowledgeable about the menu, willing to answer a reasonable number of questions (no more than three), and for the food to be served in a reasonable amount of time.  If I am with others I expect the food to be served more or less at the same time. 

I expect the place to be kept at a reasonable temperature so that if my companions' meals are served three minutes later than mine they are all still at edible temperatures.

Waitstaff should be available but not hovering over us.

If there are disruptive customers I expect this to be addressed.

What I find consistently irritating is when they insist on refilling half-empty coffee cups.  I use Splenda packets and hate it when the sweetness level is thrown off.  So many people use artificial sweeteners so I wish they'd stop this.

Auntie Mame

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2013, 03:09:37 PM »
Wow, servers really can't win, can they?
Auntie needs fuel, black coffee and a side car.

DottyG

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2013, 03:21:55 PM »
Quote
What I find consistently irritating is when they insist on refilling half-empty coffee cups.  I use Splenda packets and hate it when the sweetness level is thrown off.  So many people use artificial sweeteners so I wish they'd stop this.

YES!  Thank you!

And it's so easy to remedy on their part - just ask before automatically refilling the glass or cup.  Or at least give us a moment to notice you before you refill it if you don't say something.  I don't want a hand reaching around me out of the blue regardless of whether I have my tea sweetened or not.  It's eerie.


Lynn2000

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2013, 04:43:15 PM »
Wow, servers really can't win, can they?

This is what I think sometimes. Apparently a lot of people don't like to get the check right away, because they feel like they're being rushed out. As I mentioned, my dad is just the opposite--he wants the check available not long after he takes his last bite, and the whole transaction finished quickly. He doesn't like to sit around and linger. I would guess he's not in the majority, but I doubt it's as rare as 1% of diners or something like that. So someone who thinks they're doing a good job of leaving us alone towards the end of the meal--what many people want--is actually just irritating him.
~Lynn2000

CakeEater

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2013, 05:01:06 PM »
Wow, servers really can't win, can they?

This is what I think sometimes. Apparently a lot of people don't like to get the check right away, because they feel like they're being rushed out. As I mentioned, my dad is just the opposite--he wants the check available not long after he takes his last bite, and the whole transaction finished quickly. He doesn't like to sit around and linger. I would guess he's not in the majority, but I doubt it's as rare as 1% of diners or something like that. So someone who thinks they're doing a good job of leaving us alone towards the end of the meal--what many people want--is actually just irritating him.

In that case, I think Dad needs to indicate to the server that he would like their attention, and ask for the check. Server needs to be aware enough of what's going on that it's easy to catch their eye.

DottyG

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2013, 05:07:23 PM »
I think this just indicates that a server's job isn't just something anyone can do well.

To be a good server, you do have to do more than just take orders and carry food; it requires paying attention to your table to read what the people there require.  Are they wanting someone chatty?  Are they wanting someone more curt and to the point?  Does it look like they want a lot of attention paid to them and someone's coming around every few minutes asking how they're doing?  Are they indicating that, by doing that, you're being annoying?

Reading people is a huge part of being a good server.  And no one is saying that talent comes easily.  I don't think I'd have the knack for being a good one.  But the ones who know how to do it tend to be excellent and make people want to return to the restaurant.

Yes, it may seem like you can't win.  But many do.  And it's because they've read their tables well that they do.


LilacRosey

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Re: What do you expect when dining out?
« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2013, 05:38:26 PM »
Me too on waitpersons who hover over me when I'm trying to eat but I also like to have my water refilled frequently and sometimes they never come back much.  I also don't like to give my name if they ask because I'm very private and they don't need to know my name but it's hard to say no without seeming rude. Luckily it doesn't happen often., LilacRosey