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Context when reviewing restaurants

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#1 phaelon56

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  • Location:Syracuse, NY

Posted 14 February 2005 - 09:44 AM

Allowing for the possibilities that

a) someone recognizes you as a food critic and therefore will give better service than most patrons get

b) you might by chance get one of the more capable wait staff as we all sometimes do yet others in the establishment have not been so lucky

Do you or have you ever made observations of what sort of service experience those around you are having and does it ever factor into your assessments? For example... perhaps the timing of your courses was appropriate and you weren't forced to hunt down the server to get a check yet you may observe other tables, with a different server, who appear to be having any number of service problems.

I value consistency across the board in service and am curious. Thanks!

#2 Eric Asimov

Eric Asimov
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Posted 17 February 2005 - 09:36 PM


You might occasionally notice that other tables are not getting attention, but they have to help, by gesturing or looking angry or demanding a manager. Most of the time it's not so easy. But you can tell when the service you're getting is unusual. There's flattery, obsequious behavior, freebies, etc. It's rare that a restaurant can offer ideal service, the kind where everything arrives about five seconds before you knew you needed something, if the innate skills weren't there. And often if the skills are there, the pride is there, too, that makes it hard for a restaurant to treat one table well and another poorly.