The letter said that this was done at restaurants where the writer could "order dessert at the same time as the meal." My understanding of this is that the LW receives their dessert and entree simultaneously and at the same time that everyone else receives their entrees.
In this thread, it seems that one of the major objections from posters who disapprove is that the LW is ordering an "extra course" and will either delay the group or simply eat more courses than everyone else at the table. For those that feel this way, would you consider it wrong to order an entree and a separate side item to eat at the same time? I.e. assume the LW ordered a regular entree and also ordered, e.g., a side salad or a baked potato or an order of fries that was not part of the standard entree "package." If such an item was ordered separately and served alongside the LW's main course, would you consider it an "extra course"? Does it matter if it's listed in the menu as an "appetizer" instead of a "side" (assuming it's ordered to come alongside the entree regardless)?
To me, a small extra item ordered a la carte and served alongside the entree would not be an extra course, but a side. Where that item happened to be listed on the menu is pretty irrelevant to me. I've ordered appetizers as entrees before (and dined with others who did so), and I'd think nothing of someone ordering an appetizer as a side item to their meal. I see the dessert thing basically the same way. Someone having a slice of cake or pie as a side is definitely unusual, and doing so in a business setting could be unwise. But is there any practical difference for the other diners between the person having a side of cake and having a very typical side of baked potato or salad?
My thinking is ....if I order fries as a side I wont also eat whatever side came with the meal. It takes about the same time to eat a steak and baked potato as it does to eat a steak and fries, if I had fries and potato I'd still eat the same amount total amount of starch. It would take me longer to eat a slice of cake then a steak and potato because cake would be totally separate. I'll eat the same amount of steak and potato as I would have in the previous plus cake, so it will take me longer to eat the meal with cake first.
I'm also thinking about the times I've tried to order 2 apps as a meal and the confusion that always caused, about 30% of the time one would be severed as an app course and the 2nd would come out with the entrees, 30% of the time both came out before any of the other entrees.
IF LW is correct and she's not eating longer then everyone else or its not effecting the timing of the rest of the tables entrees , then I would just privately think it was bit different but not say anything.
Now had a co worker announced "I always
eat dessert first because my mother wouldn't let me do it that way."*and did so several times during a business conference* I would think she was bizarre (as a general rule didn't most of us have to have dinner before dessert the vast majority of the time) attention seeking, and would likely have a daydream about all the things my mother made me do all the time and wonder if she rebelled over any of those...does she not look both ways before crossing the street , does she never leave the house in clean underwear, only wears white after labor day;p
IF her announcement came at because someone said "we'll all get dessert why don't you eat yours with us?" or something like it that would make me doubt if she was capable of putting her personal preferences (I would seriously consider whether it was a compulsion at this point) aside to be professional.