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restaurant service


tillie baker
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Sorry, this is going to be a bit of a rant. Where has service gone???? Why do everytime my husband and I go out to a restaurant do we have to beg for water and sometimes bread? Shouldn't any quality restaurant offer water as soon as you are seated. Even if you don't drink it what does it cost them. I really love when my husband asks for a glass of water and the server only brings one...forcing me to share with him or ask for my own.

And WHY do servers always bring the wine for my husband to taste even if I order it??? I know I'm only a stupid female but I think I can judge my own wine. And what ever happened to the server continueing to pour the wine for me after the first glass. What exactly am I paying $80.00 for a $40.00 bottle of wine if you aren't at least going to pour it for me.

I find all of this nonsense annoying and it irks me even more that I'm not considered a good customer or person if I leave less then 15% for a tip.

We dine out often but I'm beginning to feel like it isn't worth it no matter how good the food is...

any thoughts

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Hi Tillie,

Is this really any different than it ever was? Some restaurants provide excellent service, some mediocre and some poor. So far as I can recall from my almost 30 years of dining in restaurants that has always been so. I will tolerate some restaurants with less than stellar service if the food is that good, however, I generally don't tolerate or return to restaurants with poor service.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Once in a while I find myself thinking, holy ****, what's with all the spotty service lately? That's when I realize I've been eating out too much and/or spending too much money on it. When I'm investing too much into dining out, I notice little problems more. Ditto when for any reason I'm having to eat out a lot just to get a meal. I try to cut back for a while until it seems like fun again.

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Hello tillie!

I don't know what part of the country you are in, but about 7 or 8 years ago we were having a severe drought and rampant wildfires in Florida. Restraurants were asked not to serve water to the table unless requested (I lost some lovely tomato plants that year due to mandatory watering restrictions). After the rains came back (with a vengence) most restaurants continued to skip the water glass step, or serve bottled water that did come on the bill. Not all of them, but most.

The wine service, well that's the way people are trained and "how it's done" and been done for ages. May not be right, especially if you are having a business meal and you are the host, but happens all the time, and is not a slight to you personally. The best servers will take the effort to figure out what is going on at the table and use thier discretion. But they are the best, and deserve 20%+

I hate not being offered more bread, but I would probably fill up on it if I was! :biggrin:

All that being said, I have experienced spotty service all over the place from time to time.

Edited by annecros (log)
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My latest complaint has to do with the appetizer. In my last to restaurant experiences here on the central coast of CA the app came with the main or in one case after the main dish. Dessert?? What's up with that?

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I think wine service has a way of annoying 50% of everybody. Half the people think the waiter pours too much and is trying to push more wine. The other half think that waiters don't pour enough.

Personally, I like pouring my own wine. Heck, if it were up to me, in all but the highest end restaurants, I would open the bottle too...

A

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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I really feel for the 100% mark up on wines that the least they can do is pour the wine during the meal.

Another problem at one of our favorite restaurants is we sit at the bar and the bartender doesn't know how to pour the wine without having it all spill down the side of the bottle. This restaurant actually has a sommelier and offers all kinds of wine classes. I really think they should offer their staff some training but don't want to say anything because the food is awesome and I always feel like if I complain then they would feel I'm one of those pain in the ass customers.

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I'm with those who would prefer that the server not pour the wine and will (politely) stop a server who reaches for my wine bottle. I understand why they do it, since some patrons like to have wine poured for them and since many restaurants try to push the wine sales, but I'd prefer to exercise some control over my wine intake, and I'm not a fan of "hovering" waitstaff. The way I see it, the more things they have to do at my table, the more time they have to spend at my table, and I go out to dinner to spend time with my dinner companions and not so much with the servers, however interesting, polite, etc. they may be. :unsure:

As for the rest of the complaints about service, I tend to be like one of the posters above, who mentioned that sometimes taking a break from eating out serves as a good antidote to consistent disappointment. I, too, find that if I eat out too much, I start to get a little... not exactly cranky (ahem... cough...), but let's say a bit more demanding in my expectations and a little less forgiving when they are not met. :rolleyes:

Just my two cents, for what they're worth...

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