Waiters and waitresses are more than the people who bring you the water and to take your order.
Servers can also be knowledgeable references. I was just reminded of that when I stopped by a Chinese restaurant last evening. I looked over my menu and saw two dishes which got my attention: “pea shoots with supreme broth” and “stir fried noodle with crab meat”.
When the waiter stopped by, I said “I am thinking about getting the pea shoots with supreme broth…[pause]” and then I instinctively added “…how are the pea shoots today?” He indirectly answered “How about water spinach instead?”. I replied “Water spinach? Today’s pea shoots not good?” He nodded. I then asked, “What about the stir fried noodle with crab meat? Is it made of real crab meat or imitation crab meat?” He answered “Real, but there is only very small quantity of it”
Depending on the restaurants, but usually I expect the severs to be able to roughly describe the dishes, and to know the quality of vegetables and seafood, and of course to able to make some recommendations. In short, servers should know a little bit about what is happening in the kitchen without always have to “Let me check with the kitchen”. Now, some of them may not able to tell me, but I do not usually consider these questions “out of bound” or “being difficult”.
What about you? What type of questions do you expect or semi-expect your servers to able to answer for you?