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US waiters' worst conduct - Page 12

post #166 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethpollock
Under attack from all sides, battered and bruised, I turned to my friend, the [banned] E*****t in the old Europe, for advice...

Well, I think that just about says it all. I think we can now all consider our chains collectively yanked.
post #167 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethpollock
Who is being the snob here and who believes in equal treatment for everyone? I submit that those of you who are saying that neither of the two types of service are wrong are snobs.
You are saying that the type of service that Jean-Georges and Le Bernardin provide to their customers is right for them, while the very different type of service that the patrons of the Olive Garden in Times Square, only a few blocks away, have to submit to, is also right. How can this be? There is only one type of restaurant service, the right kind, IMO, in both grand and more modest places in London, Paris and Rome, although you may get a few more waiters and somewhat more attentive service in the former.
So why is it in America, alone, that two types of service are both right? I submit that what you are saying is that the rich and priviledged Park Avenue types that frequent Jean-Georges, etc., are entitled to one style of behavior and the hick tourists from Des Moines and Atlanta that go to the Olive Garden deserve the other type of service.
I think that this is snobbism. I think that everyone who dines out deserves the same treatment, regardless of their wealth and social class. Therefore, one type of service is right for everyone. The other type must be wrong, even for the peons.

here is what I don't understand, Mr. P - when I lived in Israel (and believe me, if you think that getting service in the states is hard, try israel) I would eat out in 2 or 3 specific places that had the type of service and food that I liked. I was lucky enough to spend enough time on the road that I got to nicer places out side of the country - but it seems to me you do that, as well. Wouldn't the easiest thing be to find 5 really nice Atlanta places that have the type of food and service you expect, train a few of the servers to treat you like you want, and compensate them well, and then stick to those places?
post #168 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethpollock
Who is being the snob here and who believes in equal treatment for everyone? I submit that those of you who are saying that neither of the two types of service are wrong are snobs.
You are saying that the type of service that Jean-Georges and Le Bernardin provide to their customers is right for them, while the very different type of service that the patrons of the Olive Garden in Times Square, only a few blocks away, have to submit to, is also right. How can this be? There is only one type of restaurant service, the right kind, IMO, in both grand and more modest places in London, Paris and Rome, although you may get a few more waiters and somewhat more attentive service in the former.
So why is it in America, alone, that two types of service are both right? I submit that what you are saying is that the rich and priviledged Park Avenue types that frequent Jean-Georges, etc., are entitled to one style of behavior and the hick tourists from Des Moines and Atlanta that go to the Olive Garden deserve the other type of service.
I think that this is snobbism. I think that everyone who dines out deserves the same treatment, regardless of their wealth and social class. Therefore, one type of service is right for everyone. The other type must be wrong, even for the peons.

Okay. I've been sitting on my hands for awhile, but I just can't take it anymore.

I hear that in places like Paris and Rome (places that, frankly, fill my dreams with sweet smelling rose petals and slightly warm milk and honey), people pee champagne and poop light and fluffy chocolate tort. I sure does hope ta get ta one of them there places sometimes. I's only hopes that with my moddesst (sp?) upbringin' that I will fit in at them there high falutin' locations. I's been to London, but I's guess ever'one was hidin' the champagne and chocolate tort from me there, cause I didn't see none.

As an aside, everyone knows that any culinary innovation that comes from the United States is, by default, wrong and subject to justified ridicule. People who dip their bread in olive oil prior to consumption. Imagine! The peasants.

You've convinced me Ken - the next time a waiter has the audacity to tell me his name or attempt to recite the specials (imagine the nerve!) I will promptly strike him about the face with my soup spoon and have the rascally peon fired, to be returned to the streets from which no doubt he orginally came. There he will be free to contemplate the life he once had, firm in the knowledge that he'll never rise so far again.

I truly hope at this point that you are kidding. If not, I pity the poor employees of the restaurants whose doors you will someday darken.
post #169 of 538
This is getting very entertaining!
post #170 of 538
I don't understand this need to imbue ugly personality traits on people. Getting back to the basics, don't others find the "Hi, my name is Alajandro, I will be taking care of you guys tonight." in that artificially peppy voice with a fake plastic smile to be annoying? I sure do.

For people that have seen the movie "Office Space," I think what Ken's getting at is that the standardization and movement towards the type of service offered at a place like that restaurant, where people have to wear 20 pieces of flair, and have canned speeches to offer a certain dining "experience" to be quite annoying and not good. I wouldn't be as absolutist as Ken and say that that is wrong, but I sure think it's lame and prefer it were not the case.

I go to these "local family restaurants" a lot. It's because it's the lowest common denominator (meant in the least socially haughty meaning possible), where prices are cheap, and friends of all walks can gather and essentially ignore the silliness of the waitstaff. Maybe all of you will think I'm a scumbag, but I sure enjoy having a laugh with my friends over some of the more sillier aspects of the dining experience at such a place.

The point is, I can't imagine anyone honestly thinking that the kind of service that Ken dislikes is "good" or even superior in the way normal people think of a dining experience. I think it can be comforting, maybe relaxed, and perhaps even great as a way to go out to eat (in lieu of cooking), but it's not really a dining experience, as it were. Personally, I would have been fairly annoyed if a waiter at Bouley introduced himself as, "hello, my name is Alajandro, and I will be taking care of you guys tonight" and fed me the standard repertoire of corporate waitstaff policy.

People are taking this way too seriously; at some point, don't you think that Ken is being denigrated here just to serve as a foil for people who try to convince themselves as not being snooty? Come on dudes (and dudettes, as applicable), chill.
post #171 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthmover
Maybe all of you will think I'm a scumbag, but I sure enjoy having a laugh with my friends over some of the more sillier aspects of the dining experience at such a place.
....
I can't imagine anyone honestly thinking that the kind of service that Ken dislikes is "good" or even superior in the way normal people think of a dining experience.

I don't think that you are a scumbag for joking at the waiters behind their backs, I imagine that they are doing the same behind your back. such is life.


as to not being able to imagine that anyone honestly thinks this is good - the fact is that these chains are gaining huge market share in the US, and around the world. to put it in a perspective that those of us who think about hand made shoes don't really consider every day - they put a meal, cooked to order and served by a human being, while seated in a booth, within reach of a lot of people who might not have had that a generation ago.

I simply don't understand this whole discussion - here's the thing: aside from my socks and my gym clothes, pretty much everything I wear is handmade to my specs. I don't listen to the radio or watch live tv. I read newspapers that are considered by many to be "elitest". and, when I eat out - I try to control the enviroment so that I will have an enjoyable experience. I do not believe that I am anything like unique on this board in that respect.

the vast majority of humanity does not share my tastes, and I wouldn't dream of trying to convince them that my tastes are the right way (if nothing else, it would drive the cost of vass through the sky). if you do not like being introduced to your server, do not go to that place again. but the vast majority of the market appears to like that, and that is what the market is providing.
post #172 of 538
The trouble in my area is the choice for fine dining is extremely limited. You almost have to go to a place with some pretty awful features.
post #173 of 538
I think the man has just lampooned himself.
post #174 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violinist
I think the man has just lampooned himself.
Good, one other sane person here.
post #175 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnapril
Good, one other sane person here.

ha ha.
post #176 of 538
Anyway, at least it provides me with some additional entertainment when I have to take foreign visitors to the office out to lunch or dinner. Imagine a rotund Italian man whose eyes grow bigger and bigger as he watches his plate being taken away, his fork half way between the table and his open mouth, the perplexed look on a Dutchman's face as a waitress arranges the napkin on his lap, or the depressed Polish woman who thought her English was really pretty good, after she listened to the mile a minute list of 10 specials.
post #177 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
as to not being able to imagine that anyone honestly thinks this is good - the fact is that these chains are gaining huge market share in the US, and around the world. to put it in a perspective that those of us who think about hand made shoes don't really consider every day - they put a meal, cooked to order and served by a human being, while seated in a booth, within reach of a lot of people who might not have had that a generation ago.

I was trying to draw the distinction between eating out and dining; I think the reason these places are popular is because they are replacements for cooking at home, but not necessarily because they are dining experiences. I think the real problem is that in America, there's a lot more conflation between the two (some by design, some by pure accident), and as someone else said earlier, as the waiters/tresses gain experience at these "friendly neighborhood restaurants" and move up, they are not adjusting properly and drawing the distinction between eating out and having a dining experience.

I like the chain restaurants because they taste reasonably good and have decent to good prices; I don't really think of it as going dining, however. I think Ken's frustration, in essense, is that because these lines are not well drawn, the actual occasions where people are trying to have dining experiences get cheapened by the experiences of the staff as well as the customers, in the chain restaurants.
post #178 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthmover
I was trying to draw the distinction between eating out and dining; I think the reason these places are popular is because they are replacements for cooking at home, but not necessarily because they are dining experiences. I think the real problem is that in America, there's a lot more conflation between the two (some by design, some by pure accident), and as someone else said earlier, as the waiters/tresses gain experience at these "friendly neighborhood restaurants" and move up, they are not adjusting properly and drawing the distinction between eating out and having a dining experience.

I like the chain restaurants because they taste reasonably good and have decent to good prices; I don't really think of it as going dining, however. I think Ken's frustration, in essense, is that because these lines are not well drawn, the actual occasions where people are trying to have dining experiences get cheapened by the experiences of the staff as well as the customers, in the chain restaurants.

I would suggest that, to some people, this is a dining experience. we often loose track of the fact that most of us are in a nice position of the middle class. many people here hav ehad great meals in italy and france, and if not, in nice resteraunts in the big cities. for many americans, a trip to Olive Garden is the best that they are going to get. for them, that is a dining experience.
post #179 of 538
Good Friends:
I want to make just a few notes about Mr. Pollock for those who do not know him personally. I have myself known him for some 30 years.
l. I can assure you that Mr. Pollock is dead serious about what he says. He has very high standards for service at restaurants and these were set in his formative years when he dined at the famous Friday afternoon lunches at Galatoire's in New Orleans. His standard for service is set by the waiters at Galatoire's.
2. Mr. Pollock and his wife are familiar with every major restaurant in Atlanta, New York and Paris. He travels yearly to Paris and twice yearly to New York to dine at the finer restaurants there. I have no doubt he personally knows every owner and chef at all of them. He is also widely known as one of Atlanta's finest restaurant critics, dining frequently with critics here and in New York.
3. I don't know anyone who sets a higher standard for service at a restaurant. Waiters are your servants and you pay to have them comport themselves civilly.
4. Mr. Pollock carries over his standards in service at restaurants to his standards in dress. He buys clothes all over the world and is known for his impeccable dress. He has always been a great admirer of George Frazier, as have I.
5. His Diner's Bill of Rights is his method of elevating the professionalism of the waiters in our better restaurants.

John M. Comolli, Esq.
post #180 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comolli
Good Friends:
I want to make just a few notes about Mr. Pollock for those who do not know him personally. I have myself known him for some 30 years.
l. I can assure you that Mr. Pollock is dead serious about what he says. He has very high standards for service at restaurants and these were set in his formative years when he dined at the famous Friday afternoon lunches at Galatoire's in New Orleans. His standard for service is set by the waiters at Galatoire's.
2. Mr. Pollock and his wife are familiar with every major restaurant in Atlanta, New York and Paris. He travels yearly to Paris and twice yearly to New York to dine at the finer restaurants there. I have no doubt he personally knows every owner and chef at all of them. He is also widely known as one of Atlanta's finest restaurant critics, dining frequently with critics here and in New York.
3. I don't know anyone who sets a higher standard for service at a restaurant. Waiters are your servants and you pay to have them comport themselves civilly.
4. Mr. Pollock carries over his standards in service at restaurants to his standards in dress. He buys clothes all over the world and is known for his impeccable dress. He has always been a great admirer of George Frazier, as have I.
5. His Diner's Bill of Rights is his method of elevating the professionalism of the waiters in our better restaurants.

John M. Comolli, Esq.

well, then, thank you for clearning that up.
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