I was your waitress tonight

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The Society is a c 3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free. Do you ever feel that you are being put on the spot?

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Do any of the comments in this article sound like something you have thought while dining out? Does your server offer you ground pepper before you have a chance to taste your entree? Does your server check on your meal, but unobtrusively? I also don't object to "How is everything?

But you have to know what the situation is, and your complaints have I was your waitress tonight be reasonable, accordingly. The pepper thing is truly annoying, though. I want to taste the dish before deciding whether it needs pepper. And if it's Pasta Fra Diavolo, it had better not need pepper! I didn't think he sounded too much like a I was your waitress tonight. Calling people "guys" is not what I expect in a medium-to-fancy place. You never know what's going to annoy people, but I think that staying away from too-cutesy speech is a pretty safe bet.

I stopped going to one place with pretty good food because the waiters, who did not seem particularly inexperienced or uncouth in other ways, were very show-offy but dumb in the way they talked. They particularly liked to repeat our name several times loudly when we showed up. It's a long Mediterranean name lots of vowels and I guess they thought it sounded amusing. They would say things to rhyme with it and stuff. It got to be a crashing bore. On the other hand, I was just in a restaurant where the waiter seemed very nervous and kept saying things like "Excellent choice," but I forgave him because he wasn't trying to be cute or anything; he was just inexperienced.

Yeah, I imagine so, Melissa. Still, you have to admit that people have different levels of tolerance for things. I get angry when wait staff repeatedly break into conversations to ask whether I'm "still working on" my food, but I don't give a damn about informality. Then again, it's not like I'm dining at Alain Ducasse every I do appreciate a more pointed question from servers than "How is everything? Offering pepper - or grated cheese -- for my food before I have tasted it is inappropriate.

I then need to either make the server wait while I taste and appraise the dish under their watchful eye maybe it's just me, but I don't go out to eat to actually have people watch me eating or ask them to return in a few minutes. I appreciate it when a server is friendly and observant without intruding on converstions or hovering too much.

A bit of informality is not going to throw me, but a "thanks, guys" at the end of a fine meal is like finding a Hershey bar on your chocolate plate -- unexpected and inapproriate in a formal setting. And the bit about "thank you, thank you, thank you," bowing and scraping is a bit over the top IMO.

One thank you, enjoy your evening, etc. We don't go out often and choose where we do go based on food, service and ambience depending on our mood. North of the 30th parallel. One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store. Is she Army or Navy?

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Crushed pepper and cracked pepper are two different things, and he confuses them in the space of a pretty short article. If you offer crushed pepper flakes, you'd bring them in a little dish on the side with a demitasse spoon, so that the guest can pepper his own food.

If you offer cracked pepper, you use a peppermill, and it is, contrary to many people's opinions, correct to offer the cracked pepper immediately on placing a salad in front of the guest. I do object to this over familiarity by the service staff. A nasty mostly American habit, I fear. I have no wish to enter into a personal relationship with my server, still less a first name one. Even worse is a personal greeting with a cutsy icon scribbled on the check, in the jope of a better tip.

Next will be their phone and an invitation to stay the night, or start an affair I realise these people are, by tradition, not paid properly and need to beg, but if giving service is as much of a pleasure as they state, surely that is its own reward? Telling the truth - the bread is par baked rubbish, the food greasy and cold, the steaks over-cooked, the fries pale and aneamic, the salad dressing commercial and oversweet, is to invite trouble, and in any case most of these things are not in the control of the waitroon, or even the chef.

None the less, evil is done by indifference. We should all tell it how it is, and preferably direct to the manager, owner or someone who has control. Otherwise we will continue to suffer indifferent food, and the establishment management will continue to believe their customer's don't care, and to be smugly self-congatulatory on a a job poorly done.

Alas, I don't often have the energy to protest as I should, nor, I suspect, do you, and thus, following Gresham's law, the bad drives out the good. Frankenstein Gene Wilder to "walk this way" and Wilder imitates Feldman's strange gait as they walk along. Given the fact that this writer I was your waitress tonight with a line from comedian Rodney Dangerfield, I suspect he was trying to be funny. In my opinion, the rules change depending on whether you're a frequent guest at the restaurant a regular or a first time diner.

When you frequent a restaurant, the staff get to know you, and it's natural to become more friendly and "familiar" with their regular customers, depending on how you react to such informality.

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As a server, part of the art is to judge your customers and understand how your customers like to be treated. A good server will always follow a customer's lead. If a server tests the waters by greeting a table, with "Hi guys, how are we this evening" and receives " We are not guys, and I am fine thank you", any server with a clue, is going to back off the friendly laid back approach and revert to a more formal mode.

If, on the other hand, the customer's response is a smile and a "hey we're great thanks", it's usually an indication the server can proceed in a more informal manner. Whether to offer pepper at the beginning or wait until the dish has been tasted is a matter of long standing debate.

It's a ritual and nothing more. Usually, unless you specifically ask, all you're going to get is a few twists of the mill, not nearly enough to make a difference to the taste of your meal. I actually enjoy famliarity and informality from waitstaff. Being in good humor helps ease the inherent tension of being served by others, and just makes the experience that much more relaxed and pleasurable. I also don't mind cute things scribbled on checks, it usually makes me smile, and a nice smile after a good meal is always a pleasant way to end things.

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I also hardly ever turn down pepper or cheese when offered up before I have tasted. There are preccious few things that don't taste better with some fresh cracked black pepper on top, and if it is appropriate for a dish to be served with cheese, then sure, I would like some more added right at the table. Never am I able to hear someone in a restaurant say this line without visualizing the exact same scene by the multitalented Feldman! Thanks for the memories and proper attribution, Marlene! Most service is ok. Please don't tell me your first name. I won't remeber it after I read the menu, and no I won't send you flowers the next day.

I don't necessarily mind the informality because it is hard to figure out what they are being forced to say or do. For example I don't think waiters like being forced to clip and pin cute things to their outfit becoming ever more garish and absurd but there are a few national chains that evaluate performance based upon a waiter's spirit, a. Being force to sit through the specials mantra is tedious. A would you like to hear abouts tonights specials would be sufficent. I can read. If you can afford a slip of paper for the table or in the menu describing them or a chalk board I probably don't want to order the special.

After AB's book I don't think I would ever order a special again I was your waitress tonight. What I cannot abide is when the waitron returns to the table for the obligatory how's everything just after I have taken a bite. They then hawk over you while you gag and choke down your food so they can make a mental check mark.

I will tip extra simply to be afforded the courtesy of being asked a question when I don't have food in my mouth. The pepper thing, another check mark, tip grubbing at its finest. I'll ask for pepper if I need it. I hate people telling me what I need before I know I need it. Until I have a guardian appointed for me I'd like the precious few years, before I'm shipped off to a home and back in diapers, when I get to make a choice, to be free of this presumptuous intrusion. Lastly, I don't want to see pictures of their children, swap yarns with waitron or engage in other unnecessary conversation.

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I am with either my wife, the tribe or a business associate, so I have people to talk to. I'm not unfriendly, but a night out with any of my companions is a treat for me, hopefully my companions and I'm not looking to strike up new friendships.

Hi how are you, fine. Good night guys come back soon, that's fine too. But I don't want to know there is trouble in the kitchen, its unsettling. I have to admit it, handmc, that you have actually said this entire thing even more interestingly than I ever could, albeit tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek Are waitstaff you don't know showing you pictures of their children? Or is this at places where you're a regular and they've known you for x- of years? I think that kind of informality is quite alright at a diner or other informal restaurant, under the latter set of circumstances, providing that the customer had broached the subject by saying something like "How are you?

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I haven't seen you for a while. I think from the overall drift of handmc's post that the point was to overstate the case to make a point. IMHO different types and levels of service are appropriate for different types of establishments. At a casual or neighborhood restaurant that has a decidedly informal feel, I'm not at all put out by a server who introduces themselves by name when they first arrive at the table. I expect a higher degree of formality at more formal and more upscale establishments.

They don't need to "beg" and I've never personally seen behavior from a server that lent that impression but perhaps I don't eat out regularly enough to have witnessed that. Some servers seem to genuinely enjoy their work and thrive on the opportunity to interact with customers and meet their needs. Others go through the motions. I tip accordingly. Our local small-town restaurant reviewer is frequently off the mark but she always properly identifies the "youse guys school of serving" when she sees it.

With all due respect to jackal I do regularly enjoy your postsI also must disagree with this statement:. A question like that requires and calls for a direct response. If there's any issue with my food, regardless of what that issue may be excepting my having not understood what I was really orderingthat question is affording me the opportunity to ask for it to be corrected.

I was your waitress tonight

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