General Etiquette > general

Getting rid of wait staff who overstay their welcome.

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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.

"We're going to send you off now, so we can chat alone."

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) then Jill said to Jack, blah blah blah..."

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.   >:( >:( >:( >:(

Klein Bottle:
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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