Stuff restaurants do that bother you

I think the point is… what kind of ‘education’ is required to order food at a restaurant?

It’s not rocket surgery, yet some waitstaff make it sound like the chef/owner/manager just reinvented the wheel.


“rocket surgery”<<

Love it!!!

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One of my favorite places has loud music and streams movies at the same time. There is nothing to absorb any of the sound. Oh, and they have two rooms and the music is different in each. The food is amazing, but I now try to only go during the week when it is, at least, not as crowded so less people noise!

Might want to check your definition of condescension.

While you are looking up the definition of condescension, take a look at how wise it is to make assumptions.

It’s a very American thing. Part of a very different way that American restaurants have of practicing “hospitality”. I accept that style of service when I visit the country - don’t like it at all, but accept it as a fact of how different America is to the continent where I live.

I do that sorta thing as well. It started years ago, when, after a twelve hour day making decisions and counseling others regarding their own, I’d give in to the fatigue and attempt to get others to make one for me. Fundamentally, it’s a game, a bit of fun - assuming that the restaurant was worth going to in the first place.

I like to think that over the years, I’ve gotten better at figuring out how to phrase the inquiry, and, as a result, had some great meals and met some interesting servers and chefs - not to mention two managers and an owner. Something along the lines of, “What would you order if you were sitting here?” is the baseline. Maybe add in a “and we were paying” or “with a date”, if it seems like it might further the thought process. Too much hemming and hawing on the server’s part might be stemmed with more of an explanation/direction from me, “Sorry, I’ve had a long, stressful day and can’t fathom another decision. I eat everything and only care that it tastes good, so tell the chef I’ll eat whatever he sends back out with you.” It helps to be smiling when engaged in all such conversations.

On one memorable occasion, the chef came out of his not too busy kitchen to see the idiot who caused the confusion. We chatted. Laughed. I think he looked at it like a worthy challenge and approached it like a dare. I wound up with 7 different plates over two hours. All wonderful. In fact, we returned to the restaurant some time later for my birthday and doubled down - literally - our new chef friend had over a dozen dishes for me.

For the most part, I’ve managed to eat quite well on these goofs - not to mention shared some chuckles. That’s not to say that there haven’t been some fails. One server replied to my inquiry that she never eats there. “Why?” I followed up.

“The food’s not very good.”

I left twenty bucks to cover our drinks and a tip, and hightailed it out.

(Actually, upon reflection, there’s quite a few entertaining anecdotes that have come out of this practice. But, I’ll shut up . . . .)


Yes, Harters, I totally agree. I have been fortunate to travel and agree this is entirely an American style, but none-the-less it bugs me. I have grown accustom to them coming by at the end of the meal and dropping off the bill and asking if you want anything else, but when they bring the meal at the same time they bring the ticket, it really ruffles my feathers. :slight_smile: Enough I have stopped patronizing a place.

“One server replied to my inquiry that she never eats there. “Why?” I followed up.”<<

I work in a small wine shop/artisan food store and am sometimes asked about a wine “Is this any good?”. I always answer beginning with the 45 year experience of the owner/buyer and add a caveat that wine preference can be very personal, but… I would often rather say “No. We just like buying crappy wine and getting people to buy it.” But that’s the way I am sometimes.


Someone up-thread self-described as middle-aged and said high noise levels bother them. I’m just agreeing with the many people who said loud restaurants bother them, and adding that my perspective is that younger people can also be turned off by noisy dining experiences. There is nothing condescending about referring to a generation as Boomers. Some of my favorite people including my parents are Boomers. This is completely unrelated to my pet peeve about servers asking if I’ve dined with them before, which sometimes feels condescending to me, and it’s unclear to me why you decided to combine the two topics and take issue.

I’ve seen the bill brought with the meal but was under the impression that it was always where that bill could be added to if there was additional service. It was usually in a casual restaurant and I assumed it was a way of a) making sure another server could take over my table easily or b) making it easier for me to leave without having to wait for a busy server to come back. I’ve never felt it was a ‘rush’ tactic.

You implied that others that take issue with noise in restaurants can not hear well and that they are old.

I think Parsnipity was replying to two posters upthread who complained about noise and described themselves as middle aged in the same post.[quote=“jammie, post:2, topic:2392”]
One of our family members has hearing loss, so we try to eat out very early, before ‘the party starts.’ I don’t guess we’re the only bunch of middle-aged people who end up a night dining out, exhausted from shouting. These days we choose a venue based on the acoustics.

Was the first one to make mention.

Slow day.Here are a few more:

  1. As others have pointed out, too noisy, tables too close together and the server standing between them writing the order from the next table with his butt on my table
  2. Host(ess) power- George Patten was always afraid of meeting a newly commissioned 1st Lieutenant on the way to the latrine at 1AM. The first taste of power is, sometimes, not pretty. The host(ess) takes you to the table next to the bathroom and when you ask for a different one they tell you those are “reserved.” I tell them yes, I have a reservation and wander there and sit. Possession and 9-10th of the law.
  3. All the recommended dishes are the most expensive dishes.
  4. “Sparkling or flat?” – Tell me the flat is bottled with a fee. This upselling causes me pain.
  5. Clearing each person dish as their last bite is eaten – The food comes together…the plates leave together. Do not grab my plate while the meal is still in process with my companions. (Not universally agreed to by other posts from the past)
  6. Their delay is not on me to vacate quickly – How many times have I waited for a server to take my order, the kitchen gets slammed and the entrées get delayed, and then the rush to turn the table for the next guests. When the kitchen ballet goes well, two hours is more than enough time, but their delay does not make me rush through dessert.
  7. Server change mid-stream –If there is a staff change it should be unnoticeable to the guest. I do not need to know Bob is leaving and “Jane will be serving you for the remainder of the evening.”
  8. Major jump in wine cost because “we are out” – If I order a $50 bottle and you are out, I understand, but please do not point to a $100 and say “this will be extremely similar to what you ordered.”
  9. Not replacing utensils – I do this at home and I expect at a restaurant. The utensils leave with the apps and new ones arrive with the entrées.
  10. No bread plates – Where am I supposed to place the bread? On the tablecloth?
  11. Rock hard butter – Self-explanatory. And in a >$20 entrée restaurant please do not serve me the individual wrapped butter pats
  12. Specials not written – Buy a printer, write the specials and prices and leave a 5X8 card with the specials on the table.
  13. “How is everything?” 10 seconds after the dishes arrive. Give the table a chance to take at least one bite.
  14. Servers who make their first post order visit when they deliver the check and then expect a big tip. Sometimes it feels like they have an on-off switch. If I am ignored during the meal that is what the tip is for.
  15. Do not take a smoke break and then come to my table smelling like an ash tray. Ruins the ambiance.
  16. Do not grab the water glass for a refill with your fingers overlapping into the inside of the glass.

Hi Parsnipity and Gourmanda,

This seems to be a case of misunderstood words versus words that meant harm. Please be understanding that sometimes words and tones don’t carry across written forums as well as intended.

If you’d like to discuss this issue further, please let me know and I will start a private message among the three of us.



An oldie but a goodie :slight_smile:

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Kinda not with you there, except maybe at a high end place where there’s a Maitre D (or Captain - if that’s not too dated). At a ‘regular’ place I’ve made personal contact with a server and would like to know they’re gone. It just seems polite for them to tell me.

We still talk about the “crouching server”

Went to a nice steakhouse, parents love it there. Server took drink orders, brought them out and then crouched down beside the table to take our app orders. Ok. Blew it off.

THEN she crouched down to take our mains…I started to get mad. She isnt our friend. She doesn’t crouch down at our table…

Then all hell broke loose ( in my head) She asked me what I would like and I told her I was deciding between two entrees so ask the rest of the table first. She told me that she has a system and needs me to order first. I told her that my system has always been to order last (not true,but at this point I was pissed)

So, crouching beside the table and telling the table when they should order, to make things easier for them bothers me.

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Thanks, Parsnipity, it makes me feel less grumpy to know thirty-somethings share a sense of frustration about the noise issue. I imagine so many people just want to enjoy their dinner companions.

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I had a server actually park herself on the bench next to me – we were in a booth – I was out of town somewhere (those of you who travel understand when I say “it was a place. somewhere” because they all run together eventually) It was bad enough that it was one of the places back in the early 2000s where servers wrote their names upside down on a paper table cover – with hearts over the i’s. (erk) she never did understand why I just threw her some serious shade and asked her to please not sit with me.