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US waiters' worst conduct - Page 33

post #481 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJman
Okay, I'm going to throw this one out:

The smiley face on the bill, often from young female servers at hip or attemptedly hip bars and restaurants, apparently since it supposedly leads to bigger tips. Wow, I guess it means you liked me.
Stop being modest. They leave their phone number on your bill.
post #482 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATM
Stop being modest. They leave their phone number on your bill.
Wait, so you mean I wasn't being billed $555-7732 for a mojito?
post #483 of 538
Thread Starter 
Complaints of a Boston restaurant critic:
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/mag...critic/?page=3

What's changed in Boston's dining scene over the years?

Sometimes I find it disheartening that service doesn't seem to get better in Boston. Styles change; there's not so much "Hi, my name is Bob, and I'll be your server" anymore.... Expect to have conversations interrupted, to be asked too early, "Are you still working on that?" - a phrase I hate....
post #484 of 538
Thread Starter 
North Carolina newspaper, nearly 4 years ago (maybe Pollock is not as lonely as was thought):
http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Con...id=oid%3A18671

NOVEMBER 27, 2002
EatBeat
Hi, My Name's Sharon And These Are Your Dining Rights

BY SHARON KEBSCHULL BARRETT

I admit that when it comes to eating out, I can be hard to please. Not when we go to a diner, where I don't expect too much, but when we spend more than $10 for an entree, my expectations go up with the price. And when a restaurant has been anointed--or is clearly trying to be--one of the best in the area, well... I want things right.
And I have pretty specific ideas of how "right" is done. There are the basics we could all agree on, though not all restaurants (even a few of the otherwise top-notch ones) deliver on these. Such as hot food should be hot, and cold food should not be frozen.

Beyond that, I have a list of issues I consider basic--but many restaurants clearly don't see it my way. Thus, I offer here my Diner's Bill of Rights, with commentary (and since I'm a baker, you get a baker's dozen of rights).

I. The right not to know your waiter's name, or to have to become friendly with him or her, shall not be abridged, by restaurants cheap or pricey.

I don't care that you're Jill and you'll be my server tonight (which is obvious). This chatty, can't-we-pretend-we're-friends attitude detracts from the professionalism of waiting.

II. The right to make a reservation shall exist at all levels of restaurant, popular or unpopular, or customers shall not bother to eat there. Additionally, the restaurant shall reserve the right to make you guarantee that reservation, within reason.

If you don't take reservations, don't expect me to try your food. I just don't have the time, and I lost the desire to sit at a bar for 45 minutes about a decade ago.

III. The right to be seated at the time of your reservation shall not be infringed upon except in dire circumstances, to be accompanied by profuse apologies and more.

Sure, things go wrong: That couple that should've left an hour ago keeps asking for their coffee to be refilled, and that family's kid takes one bite every 10 minutes. But we've had to cool our heels too many times for the privilege (?) of eating at some popular spots, and with little or no compensation. I am not, as you may have gathered, patient enough for this.

IV. The right to eat alone without shame shall not be violated, especially by hosts.

Is it really that hard to say, "One for dinner?" instead of "Just one?"

V. The right to know the price of specials without having to ask shall not be infringed, to keep customers from feeling stingy.

And to keep customers from getting angry. We once ordered a lamb chop special without being told the price at a restaurant whose entrees didn't top $12. Then the bill came for $22 chops.

VI. The right to get a clean fork after an appetizer shall be preserved except in times of extreme drought.

No, I do not want to lick my fork clean and place it on the table in anticipation of the rest of my meal, but thanks for asking.

VII. The right to grind one's own pepper, rather than going through the show of a waiter doing it for you, shall not be abridged.

I know this helps restaurants avoid having diners take the pepper mills home with them, and I know I'm supposed to feel pampered by it. But all I end up feeling is that I have no idea how much pepper is actually on there, because I didn't do it myself.

VIII. The right not to be asked "you still working on that?" shall never, ever, be violated.

We are not cows still working on our cud. Rather, would I like you to take that plate? Well, no, actually, because it's not polite to remove plates until everyone is finished. But at least you asked nicely.

IX. The right to hear your dining companion's conversation without a hearing aid shall be respected.

X. The right to expect a restaurant to make it right when things go wrong shall not be violated by any restaurants, but especially by those considered among the best.

A tale of two restaurants: We went for brunch a few months ago at restaurant one, a favorite of ours. The food took ages to arrive, and when it did, my husband's order wasn't quite right, and it didn't taste too great. Then, the waitress spilled juice all over me. Did she apologize? Yes, a bit, for the juice, but not for getting the order wrong. Did she or the restaurant make any other attempts to make up for the mistake, such as taking off the price of the juice, or offering to pay for my dry cleaning? No. My husband wrote an e-mail to the owner to complain, with no response.

At restaurant two a few nights ago, a waitress got butter on a friend's jacket. First she made an attempt to clean it up. Then she returned with a stamped envelope addressed to the restaurant, with a letter inside explaining what happened. All the friend needed to do was attach his dry-cleaning receipt and drop it in the mail.

I have great sympathy for waiters when they make mistakes. I poured sauce down a diner's back during my one and only waitressing attempt, required while in cooking school (this came as no surprise to me, as I have terrible balance and had warned my teachers they'd regret it). But good manners, not to mention good business sense, led me to make up for it as much as possible.

XI. The right not to feel like a fool when one can't pronounce the food shall extend to all customers at snooty and non-snooty restaurants alike.

This one reflects my inferiority complex when it comes to languages. As a former copy editor, I'm a whiz at English, but I have no memory for other languages. I've taken Latin, Spanish and Japanese, and about all I can say now in any of them is "I don't understand." Post-college attempts to pick up French fall by the wayside of the other demands in my life. So I feel particularly self-conscious as a food writer unable to pronounce more than the most basic words on a French menu--and it just gets worse with other cuisines. The worst, for me, is when friends ask me to order the wine, and although I know what I want, I can't begin to pronounce the name. So yes, I should just find the time and learn the language. Meanwhile, though, I expect waiters not to smirk when I screw it up.

XII. The cruel and unusual punishment of tipping shall not be inflicted on diners and waiters alike.

I know some waiters really like the tip system. But I find it wearying and dreary, and insulting to waiters' professionalism. I don't expect this country to get rid of tips, but I would gladly become a faithful and frequent customer at any restaurant that set such a policy and simply paid their employees a fair wage.

XIII. A special parents' right shall be noted at all restaurants that include a children's menu: To have an interesting, at least vaguely nutritious children's menu that includes more than grilled cheese and chicken nuggets, and doesn't consider french fries one of the basic food groups.

And of course, everyone has a right to a fabulous dessert. As the days get cool and I serve heartier entrees, I like a lighter dessert for balance. This torte comes from my mother, who served it at the dinner after my baptism. Since I was a month old, I didn't get any that night--but I've loved it as long as I can recall.
post #485 of 538
KP,

Not sure if you are posting these articles to justify your personal "diners bill of rights" against some of the flack it has gotten

I don't think that anyone disagrees with the comment that in the arena of fine dining; standards and service levels have been deteriorating and that many of your claims are valid. The issue that I (and I believe many others) had is the somewhat condescending and pretentious tone in which you portrayed them.

K
post #486 of 538
I also find it interesting that some of the articles that you are now posting have a tone somewhat conflicting to your own and refer to a different class of restaurant in some cases.

This thread has been dead for 3 weeks... It must have been bothering you if you are going to so much trouble to resurrect it.

K
post #487 of 538
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VKK3450
KP,

Not sure if you are posting these articles to justify your personal “diners bill of rights” against some of the flack it has gotten

I don’t think that anyone disagrees with the comment that in the arena of fine dining; standards and service levels have been deteriorating and that many of your claims are valid. The issue that I (and I believe many others) had is the somewhat condescending and pretentious tone in which you portrayed them.

K

This subject never goes away for me, as I eat out four nights a week and the battle continues. My BOR is over 10 years old.
Actually, with close to 500 replies, my comments have drawn virtually every possible type of reply, from I am dead right, to dead wrong, to complaints about my tone, experience, background, etc. A lot of waiters and ex-waiters seem to have been really offended by the criticism. Some have even said that the type of service I dislike does not even exist. They must not eat out much in the USA.
However, I think the main argument is whether or not the type of "giant chain hick service" of which I complain is right or wrong. The argument of some is that it is just another "type" of service, just as homosexual behavior is just another "type" of behavior and is not "wrong."
I think it is interesting to note that some restaurant critics, whose writings I have just found and who must have some knowledge about the subject, agree with me and think that much of it is just wrong and improper.
post #488 of 538
Critics, of almost any genre, are generally the LEAST in-touch and most deluded people out there, and are generally among the least qualified to actually criticise anything. Many of whom, have never actually produced or created anything in their lives, and therefore having no actual respect or educated praise to give other than a carefully cultivated, and probably ignorant opinion. The members of any profession where you are expected to "pick apart" and find flaws with other people or their jobs, while not yourself being held accountable are filling up serious real estate in hell.
post #489 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJman
Okay, I'm going to throw this one out:

The smiley face on the bill, often from young female servers at hip or attemptedly hip bars and restaurants, apparently since it supposedly leads to bigger tips. Wow, I guess it means you liked me.
Shit, they do that for everyone? I thought it meant she was diggin' me!
post #490 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethpollock
XII. The cruel and unusual punishment of tipping shall not be inflicted on diners and waiters alike.

I know some waiters really like the tip system. But I find it wearying and dreary, and insulting to waiters' professionalism. I don't expect this country to get rid of tips, but I would gladly become a faithful and frequent customer at any restaurant that set such a policy and simply paid their employees a fair wage.

In Japan, tipping is simply never practiced. Tipping would be looked upon as an insult, as it suggests that the person providing the service requires some sort of bribe in order to perform their duties properly.
post #491 of 538
I'm fond of the European system, where tips are sometimes given but at the discretion of the diner, usually for exceptional service. In some areas they have adopted american tipping customs though
post #492 of 538
I'm pretty fond of the system that ensures that I get the the most of the best possible food for the least possible money. I don't care if I'm served by a conveyor belt. As long as the food is good, and the conveyor belt doesn't introduce itself by name. Someone let me know when they find it.
post #493 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
I'm pretty fond of the system that ensures that I get the the most of the best possible food for the least possible money. I don't care if I'm served by a conveyor belt. As long as the food is good, and the conveyor belt doesn't introduce itself by name.

Someone let me know when they find it.

buffet ftw?
post #494 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by drizzt3117
buffet ftw?

I've been generally unimpressed with the quality of most "buffet" foods. I have yet to visit the international mecca of buffet, Las Vegas NV, however.

I hear the buffet at the Bellagio is the penultimate.
post #495 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
I've been generally unimpressed with the quality of most "buffet" foods. I have yet to visit the international mecca of buffet, Las Vegas NV, however.

I hear the buffet at the Bellagio is the penultimate.

What's the ultimate? I am a buffet fan, although yes, there's always the problem of oversalting and bad quality control.
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