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100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Not Do

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Dining 100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Not Do

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  • #78715

    Elizabeth Lessner
    Participant

    This list was from this past week’s NYT:

    http://bit.ly/72Y5k

    What do you think?

    *wondering if I should put some sort of disclaimer indicating this is a completely random list and I’m simply curious about the perception of dining service in Columbus, Ohio.*

    #312856

    A substantial portion of that list should be applied universally to ALL businesses. It would make life a lot more pleasant.

    Some of the “rules” though don’t apply to long-time customers. Eg, I think it perfectly acceptable to compliment a regular patron about their new hairdo or outfit. The real skill is knowing when and where such things are appropriate so the rules are good default positions.

    #3 is interesting. I don’t recall in the US a higher end restaurant that did that. (In France, they will seat you and essentially ignore the table.) Casual places, I have regularly seen it.

    #5 – I think anyone with experience with testify – tables unlevel themselves spontaneously!

    Thanks for posting that.

    A.

    #312857
    Lauren Wilson
    Lauren Wilson
    Participant

    17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.

    Amen. My dad was always a stickler for that so I grew up assuming it was normal for a server to leave all the plates until everyone finished. I find that servers in Columbus at least very rarely obey this rule and I wish they would.
    Or I guess I could just not eat so damn slowly. :)

    #312858

    misskitty
    Participant

    I hope somewhere on the next part of the list it addresses Staff coming to work when it’s apparent that they are sick. Don’t do it.

    #312859
    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans
    Keymaster

    I also do not like to be asked if I am still working on something. Are you finished is much better. Or, does a turned over fork still convey that message? I thought that was the signal that even if there is food left on your plate you are finished, but no one really seems to notice that, so maybe that doesn’t mean anything?

    #312860

    shmack
    Member

    osulew wrote >>
    17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.
    Amen. My dad was always a stickler for that so I grew up assuming it was normal for a server to leave all the plates until everyone finished. I find that servers in Columbus at least very rarely obey this rule and I wish they would.
    Or I guess I could just not eat so damn slowly. :)

    i took issue with this one… when i’m at a fine dining restaurant, i appreciate it when the server waits until i’m done to take away my companion’s plate. HOWEVER, when i’m working, at a less formal establishment, i will take plates away if a) the plate is empty, b) there is a clear indication that the diner has finished. i find that lots of people like to stack their side plates on top of their discarded leftovers on their entree plates and then shove it to the side on the bar where someone else might be sitting.

    which brings me to an addition for lisa’s 50 things not to do as a diner: don’t stack plates for me to clear. it looks trashy and creates a likelihood of breakage.

    #312861

    somertimeoh
    Participant

    osulew wrote >>
    17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.
    Amen. My dad was always a stickler for that so I grew up assuming it was normal for a server to leave all the plates until everyone finished. I find that servers in Columbus at least very rarely obey this rule and I wish they would.
    Or I guess I could just not eat so damn slowly. :)

    I was just going to requote this!!! I hate feeling like I have to rush through my meal because my dining partner now has an empty tablescape in front of them and my plate is the only thing not pre-bused. It just bums me out and I feel obligated even when they’re all, no take your time. Booo :(

    #312862

    shmack
    Member

    Anne wrote >> Or, does a turned over fork still convey that message? I thought that was the signal that even if there is food left on your plate you are finished, but no one really seems to notice that, so maybe that doesn’t mean anything?

    on the other hand, there might be a decline in dining etiquette so servers are adjusting on a per table basis.

    #312863

    joev
    Participant

    I wish restaurants would ask patrons to categorize themselves as fussy or unfussy (or something more tactful) when they enter. I’m firmly in the unfussy camp, and would rather have a server who is informal, friendly, warm and funny instead of one who melts into the scenery, refills water glasses after each sip and gets upset if I stack empty plates (we’re tyring to be helpful with that, you know.) There’s not much a server can do to get me angry.

    Dining etiquette is overrated to me. If you get the food in your mouth, you’re doing it right- it doesn’t matter which fork you use. I just want to enjoy my meal, I don’t want to pretend I’m going to a cotillion.

    #312864

    HeySquare
    Participant

    I had a woman do a recitation of the specials at a local restaurant that was part airline pre-flight safety instructions, part Hamlet soliloquy. It was honestly creepy, and it actually did impair my enjoyment of the meal… every time she came back to check on us, it was like… “oh noes, please don’t turn into “the specials” lady again…”

    I have to admit, I laughed at the “don’t announce your name” one. My father ALWAYS picks up the name of the server, and calls them by name all night long. The staffers always look somewhat surprised and often frightened that he calls them by name. If you didn’t want him to hail you down with a “Polly Jean, we’ll have our check please!” you probably shouldn’t have started out the evening with a hearty “Hi, I’m Polly Jean, and I’ll be your server tonight!!!” lol

    #312865

    DavidF
    Participant

    lizless wrote >>
    This list was from this past week’s NYT:
    http://bit.ly/72Y5k
    What do you think?
    *wondering if I should put some sort of disclaimer indicating this is a completely random list and I’m simply curious about the perception of dining service in Columbus, Ohio.*

    Lol!!

    #312866

    Tigertree
    Member

    misskitty wrote >>
    I hope somewhere on the next part of the list it addresses Staff coming to work when it’s apparent that they are sick. Don’t do it.

    For real. I have left so many places because you can see the cook sneeze and go back to food prep or even just the hostess coughing up a lung and then grabbing your silverware and menu.

    #312867

    TaraK
    Participant

    Yes, yes, yes to giving the price of specials. And drinks. Let people know how much things cost. I’m willing to that lots of folks would order more, not less, if they could know the price.

    Other than that, a lot of this didn’t seem very important to me. I just kept thinking of old etiquette books.

    I would, however, add “Don’t comment on someone finishing their plate.”

    I have seen several instances where, when clearing an empty dish, a server would make a comment about the diner having eaten the entire portion. (“You guys must have been hungry, huh?”)

    DON’T. No one wants to feel like a fatty. Seriously. Maybe they were hungry. So what? Maybe they ate fast because they had to get out the door quickly. Who cares?

    #312868

    HeySquare
    Participant

    Anne wrote >>
    I also do not like to be asked if I am still working on something. Are you finished is much better. Or, does a turned over fork still convey that message? I thought that was the signal that even if there is food left on your plate you are finished, but no one really seems to notice that, so maybe that doesn’t mean anything?

    I’m wondering if the division of labor in a restaurant hasn’t contributed to this problem. When you have one staff person who brings your drinks, takes your order, brings out your food, etc, they typically have good judgement on when to remove plates. At the restaurants where they have seperate order takers, busers, and food servers (as it seems like many of the chain restaurants do) it seems like there are just people prowling around waiting to snatch each plate out from under you. I suspect there may be some interpretation that this is good service because it is fast service, but it ends up giving quite the opposite impression.

    In fact, I’m making a resolution now that I will keep my plate in front of me, and not allow anyone to take my plate until my companion is finished. One of my friends is quite a deliberate eater, and paces himself in a very measured way when he eats. I, on the other hand, like to eat hot food, so I tend to scarf my meal.

    #312869

    shmack
    Member

    i tend to be pretty particular about everything related to food/dining/drinking. but this thread, the tipping thread, and the trends thread has been valuable in helping me understand that you can’t please everyone all the time. so i’m just gonna do what i do, hope y’all enjoy yourselves with me, and maybe leave on a tipsy full belly with a smile.

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