Monday, January 4, 2010

Waiterly Woes

Are the protocols that guide restaurant servers changing or simply breaking down altogether? I've wondered this lately after several unpleasant experiences at restaurants. In one case, for example, the waiter at a restaurant rushed to clear dishes before all diners at our table had finished the same course.

In other cases, waiters removed plates that still had pieces of food remaining without confirming that we were truly finished.

Even some of the most renowned restaurants seem to hire staff who aren't trained to know how not to be intrusive. Here's an example from this 2005 post on the site San Francisco Gourmet:

The first less-than-stellar experience I had at The French Laundry was in January 2003. The food remained at the same magnificent level as on earlier visits, but the graceful service – described as “balletic” by some – was clearly lacking. Waiters were presenting and clearing dishes from random directions, refilling wine glasses by reaching across the front of guests, and thrusting baskets of fresh white truffles uncomfortably close to diners’ faces.
There's also the unwelcome and unrequested check-dropping of which some waiters are guilty.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think many restaurant managers seem to have forgotten to train their waitstaff. Some servers seem to have a hard time finding a happy medium between bothering you and ignoring you. One of the biggest offenses that I have suffered is having servers recruit you into service. I have had servers on two separate occasions hand me a plate or several plates to pass to other people at my table because they didn't want to walk around the table. If I wanted to serve dinner I would have stayed home!