Author Topic: Restaurant etiquette  (Read 44495 times)

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MrsJWine

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #45 on: June 01, 2009, 08:37:15 PM »
Something a lot of otherwise courteous and wonderful people don't think of:  Don't let your child play with the sugar packets on the table unless you plan to use every single one that he touches.  Your server (if he is doing his job correctly) will have to throw those out, unless he knows for a fact that your child has very clean hands and didn't put any to his mouth.  If you do let your kid play with them, don't attempt to put them back in the caddy, especially if some have fallen on the floor.  If your server doesn't have to throw them away, he does have to put them back in a particular way, and stuffing them in willy-nilly isn't helpful.


I never considered this!  Thank you for posting it, and I will never allow my toddler to play with the packets, again!

Thanks!  It's something I always wanted to say to people but couldn't.  And I know the nice, polite people would have felt really bad.  It wasn't ever anything I held against people (unless they were jerks anyway), but it was irritating.


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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #46 on: June 01, 2009, 09:08:07 PM »
I never considered this!  Thank you for posting it, and I will never allow my toddler to play with the packets, again!

Thanks!  It's something I always wanted to say to people but couldn't.  And I know the nice, polite people would have felt really bad.  It wasn't ever anything I held against people (unless they were jerks anyway), but it was irritating.
[/quote]

Thanks to you, I can now imagine how sorting through packets of sweetener can be so frustrating, especially during peak times!  Truly, this was the etiquette tip of the month for me.

dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #47 on: September 13, 2011, 04:30:41 AM »
Bumping because I have a few to add from a server POV:

- Don't ignore your server or act annoyed when they come by to get your order/check on you/clear plates. You wouldn't believe how many people act like it's an inconvenience that I'm providing them service. This happens a lot with business people, but it's also common when 2 women are dining together.  If you don't want to be served, I suggest a fast food restaurant.

- If a phone call is really that important, take it outside.

- If you're dining in during Happy Hour and getting $100 worth of food for $50, tip accordingly. 18-20% on the $100 is not expected, but people tend to order more during HH and it's more work for the server overall. Getting half the usual tip for that much work sucks.

- If you're going to take up a booth for numerous hours during a rush, don't leave a few dollars because that table could have been turned a few times, giving the server more money. I had a couple sit in one of my booths for 6 1/2 hours the other night and stiff me on a $200 bill.

- Tell your server what extra condiments you'll need in advance, that way when your food comes, you're not waiting for anything while your food gets cold (ranch, extra plates, extra dressing, bread, hot sauce, etc). And please, if you need more than 1 item, tell your server all at once.

- Don’t interrupt a server who is attending to customers at another table. (You would think this would be common sense etiquette, but it gets broken a lot)

- Never put your hands on the staff. I've been grabbed once pretty hard, luckily it wasn't in anger or it would have freaked me out.

- If you're under 35 and order alcohol, have your ID ready. I find it odd when 22 year olds order alcohol, act shocked when I ask for ID, then have to dig through their purse while I stand there awkwardly silent.

- Ask in advance for separate checks and allow more time for dropping off of bills and payment tendering.

- Even if you see open tables, don't assume the hostess doesn't know what they're doing when they put you on a waiting list.

- If you would like to sit somewhere other than where the hostess takes you, don't demand a certain booth immediately. Understand that people are sat in rotation and your demand might take away from your service and the service of others.

- If you're in a hurry, let your server know in advance so they can drop off the bill and tender your payment fast. If you wait until a minute before you have to leave, the server might be swamped and not able to fulfill your request immediately.


I hope these didn't come across as rants, I meant them to be educational from the other side of the fence so the dining experience for everyone is easier and more enjoyable.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 04:38:17 AM by dks64 »

dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #48 on: September 13, 2011, 04:36:13 AM »
To all of those out there who like to have "lunch meetings" - it is NOT OK to go to a casual restaurant 45 minutes prior to your meeting, sit down in my big 6 person booth (which in America seems to be the preferable seating accomodation) while waiting for your guest and then proceed to take up my money making table for three hours and then tip me $3 on your $21 check.  I could have turned that table at least 4 times in that amount of time and in my opinion you just took that money out of my pocket.

Word. The worst is when that entire party finally arrives and is ready to order, but the server might have recently been sat with another large party who requires their attention too. Server rotations happen for a reason and when a personal sits alone for a while waiting for the rest of their party, the timing might be thrown off for excellent service.

dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #49 on: September 13, 2011, 04:41:38 AM »
Note: - never been a waitress - so this is from a customer viewpoint. 

Decide on your meal in a timely basis.
It annoys me no end ( and it has to goof up the waitstaff ) to go out with my parents and my father is too busy holding court and talking to look at menu. My mother on the other NEVER can decide what to order. I mean - it's food - it's a meal - we are not buying a new house here folks.

The poor server will come back several times before they will order .THEN they complain because the food takes too long and the table who sat down after us has there food and of course my Dad will stiff the wait staff on the tip. ( DH or I make it up )

Now - we do not need to rush - but seriously - pick something out!  With my picky 11 year old - I try to look at a menu with him online before we go - I also set some limits - he can order the petite steak but not the lobster. he can get an appetizer - but must share it with brother. he can change his mind at the restaurant and often will - but he is not starting "cold".

I love you for this one :) Definitely. One of my coworkers had a table the other day that gave her trouble like this. She got their drinks, went by the table twice to get their order, they weren't ready. She started taking care of her other tables and a few minutes later, the guy storms up to me and rudely asks "Can you find someone to take my order?!" The server overheard and came by 15 seconds later. He then chewed her out with "I was just about to walk out and tell your manager about how bad the service was!" Then when his food came out (hot out of the oven), he later claimed that it was cold after finishing it and saying it was fine to the server. Some people  :-\ :o

Dindrane

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #50 on: September 13, 2011, 10:57:48 AM »
- If you're under 35 and order alcohol, have your ID ready. I find it odd when 22 year olds order alcohol, act shocked when I ask for ID, then have to dig through their purse while I stand there awkwardly silent.

I'll be honest -- I don't think this is entirely fair.

I'm 26, and I don't look any older than my age.  I don't think there's any restaurant I frequent that cards me consistently every time I order alcohol.  I think the only place that cards me consistently is the grocery store.

And since I've been legally able to purchase alcohol for 5 years, ordering an alcoholic drink with dinner is about as noteworthy for me as ordering Diet Coke.  Honestly, I do sometimes forget that I sometimes get asked for ID if I order a glass of wine.  Even though I know precisely where my ID is and have a small enough purse that I don't have to dig for it, it still takes me a minute to pull it out.

With someone who is younger or looks younger, I can understand being less than impressed with having to stand around while they spend a long time digging through their purse.  But there are plenty of people under the age of 35 (or even 30) who only get carded sporadically, and I don't think it's fair to be annoyed that they didn't have their ID ready to hand to you when you asked for it.


dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #51 on: September 13, 2011, 01:44:26 PM »
- If you're under 35 and order alcohol, have your ID ready. I find it odd when 22 year olds order alcohol, act shocked when I ask for ID, then have to dig through their purse while I stand there awkwardly silent.

I'll be honest -- I don't think this is entirely fair.

I'm 26, and I don't look any older than my age.  I don't think there's any restaurant I frequent that cards me consistently every time I order alcohol.  I think the only place that cards me consistently is the grocery store.

And since I've been legally able to purchase alcohol for 5 years, ordering an alcoholic drink with dinner is about as noteworthy for me as ordering Diet Coke.  Honestly, I do sometimes forget that I sometimes get asked for ID if I order a glass of wine.  Even though I know precisely where my ID is and have a small enough purse that I don't have to dig for it, it still takes me a minute to pull it out.

With someone who is younger or looks younger, I can understand being less than impressed with having to stand around while they spend a long time digging through their purse.  But there are plenty of people under the age of 35 (or even 30) who only get carded sporadically, and I don't think it's fair to be annoyed that they didn't have their ID ready to hand to you when you asked for it.

Most restaurants are supposed to card if you look 35 and under. Some (like TGI Friday's) say 40. If you're closer to 30, maybe have it easily accessible just in case (that's what I meant by have it ready, not necessarily in their hand, but ready to show). The restaurant I work at, if I don't card someone who's even 33 and they're a secret shopper, I can lose my job. I'm 25 and I always get carded at every restaurant I go to. Maybe it's a state thing because California is EXTREMELY strict with carding. The weird part is just their reaction "Oh, you don't know exactly how old I am to the date? But I turned 21 last week!" :p I just find it odd that it's state law to show ID and people don't expect it. I don't think it's unfair to expect to be carded when you're in your mid-20's. It just makes things go faster if you're ready.

Dindrane

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #52 on: September 13, 2011, 10:43:41 PM »
It's not that I don't expect to be carded.  In an abstract way, I do, because I know there are lots of locales and businesses that have laws/policy to card everyone who looks like they could be under a certain age.

What I think is unfair is getting annoyed that someone isn't able to hand you their ID within 5 seconds.  Even knowing I sometimes get carded, it is not the first thing I think about when I order an alcoholic drink, because I don't always have to show ID (and I'm not going to bother getting it out if nobody asks me for it).  Even knowing exactly where my ID is, it might take me a minute or two to get it out.

Even if I know I'm going to need to show ID, I still might not have it in my hand when I order an alcoholic beverage.  If it's not in my hand, it's going to take me a short amount of time to get it out of my wallet inside my purse -- that's just the way it goes.

The only point I am trying to make is that you ought to give people the benefit of the doubt when you can.  Not everyone who doesn't have it ready to show you as soon as you ask for it is internally thinking you ought to know how old they are or that they shouldn't have to show it at all.  Some people just didn't think about needing it until you asked for it.


dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #53 on: September 13, 2011, 11:32:22 PM »
I just wish people would do it more automatically when deciding what to drink. If I'm thinking about ordering alcohol, I always reach for my wallet and have my ID on the table (I have it in my hand at the grocery store). It's like when grocery shopping, it doesn't make sense to wait until after they tell you your total to reach for your purse and try to track down your money. You know you're going to have to pay, it's about being prepared.  A minute or two is a long time for a server to stand there, especially if they have other tables who are waiting for ranch before their food gets cold, need to be greeted before the 30 second mark (often restaurant rules), need to refill other drinks, etc. If you might be carded, maybe have your wallet lying on top of your purse so you can grab it. It might not seem like a big deal, but if every table does it and each table has 4+ people, it's time consuming. To speed things up, I usually say "I'll need to see everyone's ID who is ordering alcohol," otherwise they'll have me stand for 2-3 minutes just waiting to ID people. Parties of 20+? Forget it, my other tables are going to be waiting a while. Tables get the best service when they're organized. The people who do it the worst actually aren't the 25+ over crowd, they tend to grab their IDs fast, it's the 21-24 crowd. It's surprising too, because isn't part of the excitement of being that age being able to show people that you are legal? What happened to those days?  :P These are people who get carded every single time, they should know by now. I don't know why the light bulb doesn't come on.

We might just have to agree to disagree here. I work in a restaurant where we sell an equal amount of alcohol and food, most tables order alcohol and ID-ing is time consuming without people taking a while to track down their ID. Especially on a Friday/Saturday night or during Happy Hour.

dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #54 on: September 13, 2011, 11:39:27 PM »
I thought of another:

- Don't give the server attitude if they card someone else at the table and not you. It doesn't necessarily mean you look old and it's nothing personal. It really puts your server on the spot.


^^^ Women use this one to fish for compliments and I think that might be a sin in eHell (I'm still pretty new, so I don't know if that breaks a rule, but it seems like it would). It's almost always: (If I card) You're only doing that to be nice. (If I don't card) Do I really look that old?


demarco

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #55 on: September 14, 2011, 05:50:35 PM »


- Never put your hands on the staff. I've been grabbed once pretty hard, luckily it wasn't in anger or it would have freaked me from your service and the service of others.

By the same token, servers, never put your hands on the customers. If this is designed to get you a bigger tip, it could well backfire.  My DH has been instructed to hand me the check if our food server has wrapped  her arm around him at any point during the meal. 



dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #56 on: September 14, 2011, 06:41:19 PM »


- Never put your hands on the staff. I've been grabbed once pretty hard, luckily it wasn't in anger or it would have freaked me from your service and the service of others.

By the same token, servers, never put your hands on the customers. If this is designed to get you a bigger tip, it could well backfire.  My DH has been instructed to hand me the check if our food server has wrapped  her arm around him at any point during the meal.

I'm not a fan of that either, I don't think it's ever okay to touch a stranger without permission.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #57 on: September 14, 2011, 06:49:26 PM »
Bumping because I have a few to add from a server POV:

[snip]
- If a phone call is really that important, take it outside.
[snip]

Is this based on people talking loudly on the phone, or talking on the phone while you're trying to take their order, or what? As long as the person stays at a normal conversational volume, and isn't on the phone while talking to you, I don't see how it affects you really.  ???

RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #58 on: September 14, 2011, 06:52:38 PM »
I'm 28, and rarely ever get IDed anymore.  I don't have any issue if I do get carded, but it definitely surprises me.  It doesn't take me long to get to my ID, because I just use a basic, very organized (the ONLY thing in my life that's very organized ;)) tri-fold wallet, but it wouldn't occur to me to intentionally keep my ID handy at a restaurant, because I don't need it 90% of the time.  I do think that if you're in an area where people card more vigilantly, or if you are (or look) young, it's a good idea to keep it handy.

I'm with you in theory on asking for condiments up front, but it doesn't work so well in practice.  I don't know if I need Tabasco for my chili until I taste it and realize it's bland, and sometimes I just don't know what comes with a dish - last weekend, DH and I both ordered shrimp dishes, but only mine came with cocktail sauce, so he had to ask for it once the food arrived.  I do tend to tip extra if we've sent the server running a lot.

I'm honestly not a fan of the "greet the table in 30 seconds" trend.  If it's just coming over and saying "Hi, I'm Joe, I'll be your server tonight," it's a waste of (the server's) time, and if it's "Hi, I'm Joe, I'll be your server tonight.  Can I get anyone a drink?" it's given me absolutely no time at all to figure out what I want to drink.  Give me a minute or two to actually check out the drink specialties or the wine list or whatever!

On a related note, I don't know that it's etiquette, really, but I wish restaurants would at least offer water now, when taking drink orders.  I can understand why it's not brought out automatically anymore (I'm sure it's a waste of time and water), but I don't like having to remember to ask every time, especially when I order something that's more fun drink than refreshing drink (like a glass of wine or a pina colada or something, instead of a Coke).  It seems like it would be more efficient to make it part of the "Can I get anyone a drink?" speech. 

dks64

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #59 on: September 14, 2011, 07:10:19 PM »
Bumping because I have a few to add from a server POV:

[snip]
- If a phone call is really that important, take it outside.
[snip]

Is this based on people talking loudly on the phone, or talking on the phone while you're trying to take their order, or what? As long as the person stays at a normal conversational volume, and isn't on the phone while talking to you, I don't see how it affects you really.  ???

Usually a bit of both. People talking on their phones tend to speak really loud and 19 times out of 20, they're ignoring the server. The worst is when they raise their hand at you to shush you. Rude rude rude.