Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(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 account.

Touched by a Waiter


Sabrosita
 Share

Recommended Posts

Why do some waiters insist on punctuating their service with touching the customer. A light brush here or a pat on the back their, why does it freak me out? Anyone else?

I just wrote about my recent dinner which prompted this topic (see below) but really I would love to hear how other people feel about this.

http://thegastrognome.wordpress.com/2008/0...-touching-meal/

Gnomey

The GastroGnome

(The adventures of a Gnome who does not sit idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not a touchy person. However since starting to work in the industry as a cook I find myself touching people all of the time. It's a habit borne out of cramped quarters and the need to inform people of where I am in relation to them. A lot of times yelling "behind you" isn't nearly as functional as a lightly placed hand on the back when passing by. So, this creeps into my non-professional life in a variety of ways: walking through crowds in a store (again, cramped space and not wanting to be backed into or bumped by someone who doesn't know I'm there), taking the dog for a walk and passing someone on the sidewalk (though that is more of a "behind you" moment), and most amusing to my wife, saying "open oven" at home when it's just the two of us and she's nowhere near it. I think we become inured to this behavior within ourselves and don't even realize that we're doing it.

It does surprise a lot of strangers though!

Bryan C. Andregg

"Give us an old, black man singing the blues and some beer. I'll provide the BBQ."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read/heard somewhere that servers who touched the patron at some point (hand on shoulder, etc.) were more often than not left larger tips.

Then again, it may have been female servers and male patrons. Either way, I also notice when servers get touchy-feelie. I can assure you, your tip depends on how well I feel taken care of, not whether you initiate physical contact with me.

Flickr: Link

Instagram: Link

Twitter: Link

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read/heard somewhere that servers who touched the patron at some point (hand on shoulder, etc.) were more often than not left larger tips.

Then again, it may have been female servers and male patrons. Either way, I also notice when servers get touchy-feelie. I can assure you, your tip depends on how well I feel taken care of, not whether you initiate physical contact with me.

Hmm. I did leave a large tip, but it definetly didn't have to do with the touching--more to do with the comped bread pudding and the fact that he gave us the olives to go since we hadn't gotten our order and were far too full to eat them at that point.

I can see it with the female servers.

I have no issue with touching, especially as described about in kitchens. I am in the industry and that is necessary touching. I understand. This is different. This was waiter/patron touching for no reason. He had my attention, he was a great server, there was just no reason for him to keep touching me!

Gnomey

The GastroGnome

(The adventures of a Gnome who does not sit idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i wish this study would GO AWAY, or be disproven, because i really dislike it when the waitstaff touches me. and i definitely tip accordingly. please dodescribe the specials intelligently. please do bring my food in a timely manner. please do top up my wine. please don't touch me.

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And I thought they were just hitting on me :rolleyes: In the front I can't see any form of touching unless initiated by the customer, accepted by the employee, and even then because maybe its some sort of personal relationship. In thwe back, I've had guest brought back to "watch"(also known as" in the way") and in addition to constantly announcing "behind", "comming thru", "hot pan", as they get their vicarious thrill, I occasionally give gentle hip checks, elbows, etc. to get them out of the way. This is a small kitchen and even one person extra is two too many.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is unacceptable for someone (a server, salesperson, whatever) to touch me in any way. They do not know me and have no right to put their hands on my body for any reason. I feel this way about most people. I urge servers to assume that they shouldn't touch diners, simply becuase in that case it's better to err on the side of caution. To someone who doens't like to be touched by strangers, it can be extremely offensive and violating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't like it when people I don't know touch me gratuitously. I don't like them calling me by first name either. I am not an old or especially formal person - I just don't like my space invaded.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't like it when people I don't know touch me gratuitously.  I don't like them calling me by first name either. I am not an old or especially formal person - I just don't like my space invaded.

Hmmm. Hopefully, even if you're a really nice person, we'll never meet because I wouldn't want to offend you but if I know your first name and need to speak to you that is what I will call you. You must have informed me of it or I wouldn't know it so I'd feel weird not using it. I find it infinitely less rude than "hey you". If you require mr/ms/mrs so-and-so that's how you should introduce yourself to me, with no first name given. Even then I'm likely to just avoid talking to you, I don't do the formal mr/ms/mrs thing too well. I think it comes from a friend's dad when I was a kid requiring all the kids to call him "master so-and-so". Master my ass, I just stopped going to that friends house. :raz:

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many years ago, I was alone, in Paris, dining on some of the most incredible grilled sardines and missing my SO, because he would have loved the sardines as well.

The owner of the restaurant came over, and lightly touched the inside of my wrist, asking me if I was sad. It was an incredibly intimate touch, almost a caress, and it cured my spot of loneliness and is a cherished memory of when a simple touch made me feel better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, whether or not I feel good about a stranger touching me has a lot to do with some completely inexplicable moment in time and is specific to that person. I know that most of us do have a personal space that's comfortable most of the time. I feel like I have a threshold into that space, and some people can cross it happily, and others can't. When I'm talking to someone--and this doesn't only apply to strangers--I don't like their face two inches from mine; partly it's because I can't see them well enough if they are too close! However, some strangers can touch me and it feels nice, depending on who they are and how they touch. I might perceive a touch by one waiter as very sweet , and feel weirded out from the touch of another. I don't bother to try to figure this out, that's just how it is. Chemistry and connection among strangers has a mystery about it, doesn't it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't like it when people I don't know touch me gratuitously.  I don't like them calling me by first name either. I am not an old or especially formal person - I just don't like my space invaded.

Hmmm. Hopefully, even if you're a really nice person, we'll never meet because I wouldn't want to offend you but if I know your first name and need to speak to you that is what I will call you. You must have informed me of it or I wouldn't know it so I'd feel weird not using it. I find it infinitely less rude than "hey you". If you require mr/ms/mrs so-and-so that's how you should introduce yourself to me, with no first name given. Even then I'm likely to just avoid talking to you, I don't do the formal mr/ms/mrs thing too well. I think it comes from a friend's dad when I was a kid requiring all the kids to call him "master so-and-so". Master my ass, I just stopped going to that friends house. :raz:

I am not talking about people I know. I am talking about people whose knowledge of me comes only from having my credit card in their hand.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I enjoy being touched by people I know and like or love; I enjoy being touched by people I would like to get to know; and I enjoy casual touching (the handshake, the touch on the shoulder, the kiss on the cheek or cheeks) in places where it is considered appropriate.

As much as I can appreciate and even admire the services and attitude of waiters these are not people who are about to enter my social circle (unless it happens in another circumstance) and the only appropriate touch in my opinion is if we offer our hand after the meal as a way of saying "thank you, you added to the pleasure of our dining experience".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if I am very famliar and visit often..yes touch me, hold my hand, hug me make me feel at home

if I just met you ...don't please..it creeps me out too and let's not pretend on this one it is not going to improve anything I am likely to leave if you do...

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want my wait person to take my order and bring food

I disagree. the main reason i go to nice restaurants is for the experience- If I want the above I go to a diner or get carry-out. I think many servers take pride in their profession and put forth their best effort to provide hospitality rather than simply being order-takers. I also find meals to be far more enjoyable when the diner (me) and the server can let our guard down a bit and communicate in a non-superficial way, and certainly more than the 'master/servant' type dynamic. this often leads to personal recommendations on the best menu items, how to get the restaurant's most coveted table, and often extra courses or wine tastes. simply stated it's nice to connect with people

Sandy Levine
The Oakland Art Novelty Company

sandy@TheOaklandFerndale.com www.TheOaklandFerndale.com

www.facebook.com/ArtNoveltyCompany twitter: @theoakland

Link to comment
Share on other sites

having said that a light pat on the back is one thing, caressing a woman's wrist is not appropriate in any situation i can think of.....

Sandy Levine
The Oakland Art Novelty Company

sandy@TheOaklandFerndale.com www.TheOaklandFerndale.com

www.facebook.com/ArtNoveltyCompany twitter: @theoakland

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will answer a question with another question or two: Do those of you who don't like being touched tell the offender that it bothers you? What is their reaction?

Having been on both sides of the table, I have touched a customer or a waiter when I felt particularly pleased with something AND sensed via body language that it would be well received. Without both of these factors, it's a no-go for me.

Often regular customers touch and hug their regular servers at a diner, but it would seem more gauche to do it at Citronelle. Unless you're a multi-millionaire and eat there often... :biggrin:

Eat-Drink-Write-Repeat

The Food Scribe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...