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Author Topic: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?  (Read 10971 times)

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lorelai

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #45 on: August 15, 2016, 12:31:01 PM »
An interesting thread; I'm in the U.K. and have never seen, or heard of, anyone requesting a box to take home leftovers.

I have heard that also, and it's someone attributed to American restaurant portion sizes in general being larger than those abroad.  Some restaurants pride themselves on serving huge platefuls  of food as an indication of good value, but in general many restaurant meals are easily enough for 2 of more meals.

That ctually comes across as calling all Americans fat or something, and could be taken as rude. It is also a generalization, which could be badly received.  Perhaps at some restaurants the portions are massive, similarly abroad some restaurants have large portions and some don't.

I've not only heard but also experienced the same thing about American portion sizes compared to those in Europe. I'm American but not sensitive about this.

shortstuff

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #46 on: August 15, 2016, 12:43:38 PM »
An interesting thread; I'm in the U.K. and have never seen, or heard of, anyone requesting a box to take home leftovers.

I have heard that also, and it's someone attributed to American restaurant portion sizes in general being larger than those abroad.  Some restaurants pride themselves on serving huge platefuls  of food as an indication of good value, but in general many restaurant meals are easily enough for 2 of more meals.

That ctually comes across as calling all Americans fat or something, and could be taken as rude. It is also a generalization, which could be badly received.  Perhaps at some restaurants the portions are massive, similarly abroad some restaurants have large portions and some don't.

I've not only heard but also experienced the same thing about American portion sizes compared to those in Europe. I'm American but not sensitive about this.

I didn't read any judgement in that post, just that many restaurants serve large portions, which I agree on.  Even 'lunch' portions are so large sometimes that I end up with an extra full meal.  DH's favorite restaurant serves Italian, and I actually eat for 2-3 days out of my leftovers. 

I eat at chains often, and in my experience the norm is to receive the empty box at the table, so everything is done in front of the customer.  A good server will offer to help, especially since they're used to handling those big, heavy plates! 

1 or 2 higher end places I've been to will box the food up in the kitchen, in nice aluminium containers with a solid paper lid.  But.... then everybody at the table opens them up to make sure everybody received their full plate of leftovers, and to make sure everyone gets their own dish.  Which defeats the purpose, I think.

lowspark

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #47 on: August 15, 2016, 12:49:19 PM »
I've experienced all three methods:
- box your own
- server boxes it for you on a tray next to the table
- server takes it back to the kitchen to be boxed

I actually prefer to box my own because once the food is in front of me, I wish to maintain control over it. So I want to decide how much of what parts of what's left to box up.

Second best is for them to do it tableside so at least I can see what the server is doing.

There is an Italian restaurant that I frequent which boxes it up for you in the kitchen. They do it really well, separating the different components of the meal (for example, fish & pasta) into separate containers. Plus I always ask the server to please throw in a couple of pieces of garlic bread when they box it up. (Bottomless garlic bread is included with every meal.) They are always happy to do it, and they wrap that bread up separately in foil. Very nice service.

In the OP's place, I probably would have just ask for a bigger box and a clean fork or spoon, and then done it myself. If I'd paid $70 for brunch (no alcohol even?) I'd be pretty darn unhappy with the fruit coming late and what appears to be some attitude from the server.

I don't think it was unreasonable to ask for them to box it for you. Like I said, I prefer to do it myself, but I think that any full service restaurant can box leftovers for their customers and should do it if asked. I don't see that as an over-the-top out-of-the-ordinary request.
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Hillia

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #48 on: August 15, 2016, 12:49:31 PM »
An interesting thread; I'm in the U.K. and have never seen, or heard of, anyone requesting a box to take home leftovers.

I have heard that also, and it's someone attributed to American restaurant portion sizes in general being larger than those abroad.  Some restaurants pride themselves on serving huge platefuls  of food as an indication of good value, but in general many restaurant meals are easily enough for 2 of more meals.

That ctually comes across as calling all Americans fat or something, and could be taken as rude. It is also a generalization, which could be badly received.  Perhaps at some restaurants the portions are massive, similarly abroad some restaurants have large portions and some don't.

I've not only heard but also experienced the same thing about American portion sizes compared to those in Europe. I'm American buy not sensitive about this.


Of course it's a generalization, that's why I said "in general" .  Not all  American restaurants serve large portions, but enough do that is a well known phenomenon and also something that's sometimes used as a marketing point.  Nowhere did I say or imply that large restaurant portions mean that Americans are fat; in fact, the point is that many people recognize that the portions are too much for one meal and plan to take for home for another meal.  Interesting assumption on your part.

Yvaine

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #49 on: August 15, 2016, 12:58:36 PM »
An interesting thread; I'm in the U.K. and have never seen, or heard of, anyone requesting a box to take home leftovers.

I have heard that also, and it's someone attributed to American restaurant portion sizes in general being larger than those abroad.  Some restaurants pride themselves on serving huge platefuls  of food as an indication of good value, but in general many restaurant meals are easily enough for 2 of more meals.

That ctually comes across as calling all Americans fat or something, and could be taken as rude. It is also a generalization, which could be badly received.  Perhaps at some restaurants the portions are massive, similarly abroad some restaurants have large portions and some don't.

I've not only heard but also experienced the same thing about American portion sizes compared to those in Europe. I'm American but not sensitive about this.

I didn't read any judgement in that post, just that many restaurants serve large portions, which I agree on.  Even 'lunch' portions are so large sometimes that I end up with an extra full meal.  DH's favorite restaurant serves Italian, and I actually eat for 2-3 days out of my leftovers. 

I eat at chains often, and in my experience the norm is to receive the empty box at the table, so everything is done in front of the customer.  A good server will offer to help, especially since they're used to handling those big, heavy plates! 

1 or 2 higher end places I've been to will box the food up in the kitchen, in nice aluminium containers with a solid paper lid.  But.... then everybody at the table opens them up to make sure everybody received their full plate of leftovers, and to make sure everyone gets their own dish.  Which defeats the purpose, I think.

Yeah, I've seen people blame individual American customers for the big portion sizes before, but I didn't really perceive blame or fat-shaming this time. The truth of it is that it's more of an economic decision. Restaurants figured out they could make the meals bigger pretty cheaply, while raising the prices by more than what they'd raised their food costs by, and thus make more money. (So, for example, maybe they raised their costs by $0.50 and their prices by $3.00.) And when customers thought about balking at the bill, they'd think twice because "Well, I got my money's worth, because I got a whole other meal out of it."

And sure, sometimes one is really hungry and finishes the beast, but not necessarily.  ;D

Peppergirl

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #50 on: August 15, 2016, 12:59:07 PM »
Yeah, sorry - jumping from 'portion sizes in America tend to be large' to thinking someone could assume that's calling American's fat is quite a leap. 

Moving on, I think the OP would have been less annoyed had the fruit/eggs thing not just occurred.  NYC or not, $70 is pricey enough that if I'd been given a small box and only had my teaspoon to use to put the fruit in the tiny box, I'd be mildly eye-rolly also. 

And I tend to be a pretty laid-back person in general.

Twik

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #51 on: August 15, 2016, 12:59:46 PM »
It's not a dig at Americans, other than that their restaurants always strike me as figuratively run by grandmothers who worry about guests going away still hungry. It is part of the unspoken social contract that a standard portion in the U.S. should satisfy even the proverbial "hungry man." It would be considered rude by a restaurant to offer an entrée that didn't meet this standard.

On the other hand, you're not required to eat everything at one sitting, which is why the "boxed to go" is common. I usually have waitstaff offer without me even asking for it if there's anything significant left on my plate.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #52 on: August 15, 2016, 01:41:21 PM »
I agree that I've seen it done many ways. Casual spots usually bring you a container for you to decide what you want to take. The very high end will box in kitchen (used to love getting the cute foil swans but don't often see those anymore). I have met a few people who don't want their meal boxed in the kitchen. Others I know will ask for a to go box as soon as their meal is brought out and box up half right then as a method of portion control. But at a place charging $50 a head for brunch (assuming $20 of it was tax and tip) I would have expected much better service. I've never run

I think we get asked at more than 50% of our meals if we'd like anything boxed up to go. My DD has a small appetite and usually leaves half of most of her meal. Servers always seem shocked when we say no thanks in many cases. Then there's other times that I look down at my plate and wonder what they thought I'd want boxed up... the mound of leftover fries? I think it's just become so common with meals here they ask without even looking.

greencat

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #53 on: August 15, 2016, 04:33:22 PM »
I have to admit, I get a little...grossed out...at the thought of someone handling my half-eaten food in the kitchen while transferring it from the plate to the box, and I prefer to have the box brought to me usually.

I've learned that generally, at inexpensive or chain restaurants I'll end up with a meal's worth of leftovers, but at nicer local places I don't have leftovers.

jpcher

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #54 on: August 15, 2016, 05:11:39 PM »
I've experienced all three methods:
- box your own
- server boxes it for you on a tray next to the table
- server takes it back to the kitchen to be boxed

I, too, have experienced all three methods above.

I prefer to box my own because there have been several times where I didn't get everything off my plate (maybe just the meat portion and not the sides). Plus, there's the added benefit of being able to take the leftover staples off the table (like at the Mexican restaurant I'll box the rest of the tortillas (why do they put so many in that clay pot?), chips, and even ask for a small container for the salsa that is served gratis)


In OP's situation, however, I think that for a $70 meal I would expect excellent service. Meaning that the fruit should have been, at the very least, boxed for her at the table by the waitstaff.

When the OP said "I'll take the fruit with me" the waitstaff should have whisked the plate of fruit away and came back with one of those beautifully formed swans or something classy like that, without questioning or having to look for someone to take care of it. (Do they really do that? Or is that just something that I've seen in movies?)

Maria16

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #55 on: August 15, 2016, 05:28:33 PM »
An interesting thread; I'm in the U.K. and have never seen, or heard of, anyone requesting a box to take home leftovers.

I have heard that also, and it's someone attributed to American restaurant portion sizes in general being larger than those abroad.  Some restaurants pride themselves on serving huge platefuls  of food as an indication of good value, but in general many restaurant meals are easily enough for 2 of more meals.

That ctually comes across as calling all Americans fat or something, and could be taken as rude. It is also a generalization, which could be badly received.  Perhaps at some restaurants the portions are massive, similarly abroad some restaurants have large portions and some don't.

I've not only heard but also experienced the same thing about American portion sizes compared to those in Europe. I'm American but not sensitive about this.

I live in NY so I haven't encountered the portions as different as I have been served in restaurants abroad. I have heard this and it may be true in some parts of the country or certain types of restaurants, known for this, I suppose.

Maria16

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #56 on: August 15, 2016, 05:34:08 PM »
An interesting thread; I'm in the U.K. and have never seen, or heard of, anyone requesting a box to take home leftovers.

I have heard that also, and it's someone attributed to American restaurant portion sizes in general being larger than those abroad.  Some restaurants pride themselves on serving huge platefuls  of food as an indication of good value, but in general many restaurant meals are easily enough for 2 of more meals.

That ctually comes across as calling all Americans fat or something, and could be taken as rude. It is also a generalization, which could be badly received.  Perhaps at some restaurants the portions are massive, similarly abroad some restaurants have large portions and some don't.

I've not only heard but also experienced the same thing about American portion sizes compared to those in Europe. I'm American buy not sensitive about this.


Of course it's a generalization, that's why I said "in general" .  Not all  American restaurants serve large portions, but enough do that is a well known phenomenon and also something that's sometimes used as a marketing point.  Nowhere did I say or imply that large restaurant portions mean that Americans are fat; in fact, the point is that many people recognize that the portions are too much for one meal and plan to take for home for another meal.  Interesting assumption on your part.
I took it as a vague reference to Americans as gluttonous (sp?) and the fact that you mentioned restaurants advertising their large portions (never heard of this or encountered it) seems consistent. Either way, I guess we go to different restaurants and have a different frame of reference.

Maria16

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #57 on: August 15, 2016, 05:52:15 PM »
It's not a dig at Americans, other than that their restaurants always strike me as figuratively run by grandmothers who worry about guests going away still hungry. It is part of the unspoken social contract that a standard portion in the U.S. should satisfy even the proverbial "hungry man." It would be considered rude by a restaurant to offer an entrée that didn't meet this standard.

On the other hand, you're not required to eat everything at one sitting, which is why the "boxed to go" is common. I usually have waitstaff offer without me even asking for it if there's anything significant left on my plate.

The restaurants you eat at strike you that way. I encourage you to branch out from this form of dining. I would enjoy such a place as I've never encountered this ever. It sounds like a fun dinner.

Bijou

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #58 on: August 16, 2016, 02:33:00 AM »
We almost always have left over food and ask for it to go.  We prefer to box it up ourselves so are glad when they bring the box to us.  I would imagine some kitchens prefer not to bring 'used' food into the food prep area. ( It's one thing to bring in dirty dishes and put them in the washing area but I don't want my food in that area...nor do I want someone elses used food where mine is being prepared.)   I wonder if some kitchens have rules about keeping that sort of thing out of the kitchen.
We specify the size box we need, or they ask us.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 02:40:58 AM by Bijou »
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Smulkin

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Re: Leftovers at a Restaurant, Rude?
« Reply #59 on: August 16, 2016, 03:26:00 AM »
An interesting thread; I'm in the U.K. and have never seen, or heard of, anyone requesting a box to take home leftovers.

 Do you mean specifically asking for a box, or generally asking for the leftovers to take home?
 I am in the UK, and do it all the time. It's never been refused or reacted to as if it's unusual, and the restaurant always has containers available. Sometimes it'll be at restaurants that do takeaways, so it's just changing one type of meal into another, but by no means always.

 It's not because portion sizes are too big, in my case, I'm just really slow at eating and I'm either full or don't want to delay the people I'm eating with if they've all finished. Plus I hate wasting food.