Author Topic: Getting rid of wait staff who overstay their welcome.  (Read 2569 times)

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VltGrantham

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Getting rid of wait staff who overstay their welcome.
« on: January 07, 2013, 11:47:35 AM »
I don't know if this is a new trend or what, but it's happening with such frequency that I can't help thinking it's the new level of customer service and to be frank, we both hate it.

How do you get rid of a waiter or waitress who wants to camp out at your table and talk?  Or one that keeps coming back over and over?

DH and I eat out on a regular basis and I find it annoying to have our conversation interrupted every five minutes.  If we need something, we can signal the person or it should be obvious if the glass is less than half-full a refill might be needed.  And why do servers keep standing at the table and making small talk?  I want to eat and enjoy myself with DH--not make small talk with the server or host.

TootsNYC

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Re: Getting rid of wait staff who overstay their welcome.
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 11:52:01 AM »
"We're going to send you off now, so we can chat alone."

LazyDaisy

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Re: Getting rid of wait staff who overstay their welcome.
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 12:31:53 PM »
I hate this too. I think there are degrees of handling it. At first I make it seem like I'm helping them "I think that table over there is trying to get your attention..." "We'll let you go so you don't get into trouble with your boss..." or give them a task to do "Can I get some extra lemon/butter..." and gradually work up to a more nuclear option of acknowledging them and then continuing the conversation as though they are not still standing there..."Thank you for the refill, I think we have everything we need...(turning away as much as possible)...so then Jill said to Jack, blah blah blah..."
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Bijou

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Re: Getting rid of wait staff who overstay their welcome.
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 12:38:12 PM »
Oh, boy!  I hate that!  My husband once ended up taking his entire meal home because he was too polite (?) to start eating (I wasn't, though) as the waitress answered an innocent question about a place she had just opened up with an hour long dissertation about how clean and hygienic her place was going to be.   >:( >:( >:( >:(
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 12:58:35 PM by Bijou »
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The Wild One, Forever

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Re: Getting rid of wait staff who overstay their welcome.
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 12:56:07 PM »
It's sad when they can't take a hint.  Part of being an excellent server is the ability to intuit how much face time customers want, and even then, it's a fine line.  A direct, firm, but polite approach is perfectly fine, and I like the language TootsNYC suggests.  LazyDaisy's are also good as a first line technique, and if they don't work, then the more direct language would be necessary. 

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heartmug

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Re: Getting rid of wait staff who overstay their welcome.
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 01:16:48 PM »
"We're going to send you off now, so we can chat alone."

This.  Reminds me of the t.v. show "Fraiser" and how he would look at someone and then say  "Off you go."
The trouble is not that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightening isn't distributed right.  - Mark Twain

Marbles

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Re: Getting rid of wait staff who overstay their welcome.
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 07:38:02 PM »
"Don't let us keep you."

poundcake

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Re: Getting rid of wait staff who overstay their welcome.
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 01:45:57 AM »
This is something that is getting to be a problem on the part of the restaurants themselves. Managers encourage their servers to be extra friendly as a starting point, and think that if a server has any free time at all, it should be spent catering to the customers. Unfortunately this now ends up being "overstaying," not just the five minute water refills. A couple times I've had to use a friendly but dismissive "Thanks so much," once with an added "I'm going to get at this while it's still warm" when that wasn't enough. Other variations to the suggestions already given are "I'm going to let you get back to your work now," and "We'll give you a holler if we need anything else."

Is it my imagination, or is almost every interaction anymore, from store clerks to teachers, suppose to be "instant bffs" instead of basic, friendly courtesy??

ETA: If this is happening at a particular restaurant, it might not be a bad idea to contact them and ask them to dial back the super friendly waitstaff.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 01:52:14 AM by poundcake »

Nora

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Re: Getting rid of wait staff who overstay their welcome.
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2013, 07:36:30 AM »
"Walk away, tall. Walk away. Tall."

Ok, no?  ;D
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VltGrantham

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Re: Getting rid of wait staff who overstay their welcome.
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 10:30:14 AM »
Thanks for the advice--it is much appreciated.

I'm beginning to think it's the new trend everywhere now--from restaurants to the optician who wants to know all about my personal life and gush like we're girlfriends.  It's off-putting and annoying.  I feel like if I say anything I'm being a jerk and if I play along, I'm uncomfortable.  I hate trying to eat while someone I barely know is yakking away or trying to tell the 21 year old behind the counter that I'm really not comfortable discussing the pregnancy and birth of my daughter--just please give me the medicine I'm here to pick up!

Raintree

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Re: Getting rid of wait staff who overstay their welcome.
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2013, 03:27:27 AM »
I don't like it either. I can take friendly; I can take a bit of small talk, but keep it to a brief one-liner ("Sure is wet outside!") and move on. Or I've had servers compliment me on a necklace I'm wearing and stay for a sentence or two, but I don't like it when they camp out for a whole conversation.

Even more awkward when the place is empty but for the proprieter. I was once travelling alone in a town I'd never been to, and after a day of walking I wanted to sit in a cafe with a cup of coffee and a snack and rest, preferably with my nose in a newspaper. It was very obvious I was a tourist (my accent), and I was the only person in the place at that time, save for the owner. The owner wanted to talk and talk, ask where I was from, what I was doing in my travels, etc etc etc and it seemed rude to ask him not to talk to me. But I really had just wanted some rest and quiet with a refreshment before going on my merry way.