I'm one who prefers all dishes to be cleared at the same time, after everyone has finished eating. However, I realize most people do not feel that way and I've stopped worrying about it. As long as they ask before clearing my plate, I'm ok with it. If they start to clear without asking, and it does happen, then that is reflected in their tip. It's plain rude. I've actually had to say, "I'm not done yet" before.
I've also stopped servers from clearing things like bread & chips/salsa when I'm still eating. It's one thing to clear others' plates away, but the communal food shouldn't be cleared till everyone is done. Now, this doesn't happen all that often but I think it's more common with inexperienced servers.
I want my plate gone as son as I lay my cutlery down on it. I hate being left with dirty plates in front of me.
Just curious about people who prefer to have their plates cleared as soon as they're done, even though others are still eating. How does that work at home? At a dinner party, for example, as hostess, I'm not going to clear plates until everyone's done. Especially if I'm still eating.
I hate having dirty plates sitting in front of me but I do mind my manners. If I came to your house for dinner and was left sat there with a dirty plate for an hour you'd never know I was screaming on the inside. I do know how to behave, for the most part... ;-)
Goodness--it shouldn't be an hour!
Only until the last person eating has finished. If that person is taking too long, then everyone else needs to stop asking them questions, and let them eat!
And if you find that it happens to you a lot, maybe you could slow down a little.
In *most* situations, people ought to finish within, oh, 10 or 15 minutes of one another.
I think in a restaurant, you could set your plate off to the side, and a server might take that as a cue that you'd like to get rid of it.
Likewise at someone's home, you can push the plate to a slightly different position.