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Hello, my name is...


KateW
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I've heard some very strong opinions from people who hate it when the server comes up and introduces themselves. It's almost like some people don't want to think of servers as people. I happen to like it when I know my server's name, not that I would ever call across the room, "Hey, Amy! Get me some water!" or anything, but I like having a somewhat personal experience when I go to a restaurant, not just some robot giving me my food and asking if I want grated cheese on that.

How do you feel about it, and why?

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It's almost like some people don't want to think of servers as people.

:blink:

Or that person that really emphasizes it by using your name with all of their requests.... Believe me it is something different than when someone is being friendly.

Either way, I think it's funny. I remember one fun afternoon with my vacationing guests that thought bar stools built in as permanent structures in a pool were the best thing since sliced bread. When I was done for the evening, I trekked over to my fav Roundhouse Bar to catch the last set of Killer Flamingos (from Detroit) and grab an after-work beer. I walked in the back door and heard this same group all scream my name while drinking their buckets of beer (and while a few of the guys were wearing their red plastic buckets). :blush:

Guess I did my Hard Rock training proud -- throw a party each and every shift worked!

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In such situations I almost always reply, "Hi Amy, I'm Holly."  It throws many a server off their programmed spiel and pace, which is always fun.

Oh, that is always fun. I usually will approach that guest and use their name when I ask how they are finding their meal! :biggrin: I've even made an outside of work friend or two, too!

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In such situations I almost always reply, "Hi Amy, I'm Holly."  It throws many a server off their programmed spiel and pace, which is always fun.  The cool servers go with it, and it's usually a spirited meal.

Yeah, I've introduced everyone at the table. For me, it shows the server how rediculous the introduction is. I am not in favor of the introduction.

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When I was a young server back in the dark ages, I NEVER told the guests my name.

Why? Because usually the ones who saw it on my name tag used it in a very belittling manner, like a master ordering around a dog. They were the always most obnoxious people I would encounter during my shift and never a good tip to boot.

When I am the guest, I don't care either way. I never use the server's name because I don't want to sound like the people in the paragraph above. However I always smile big and let them know I appreciate their hard work. My father is famous for flirting with the no-nonsense waitress and good natured teasing (they always talk like Flo, the wise cracking waitress on Alice).

OTOH, some of my friends will not tolerate any conversation attempts by the server. This automatically results in no tip. :angry:

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I know very well that the server is a real person without learning his/her name, thank you very much. I'll do my job as the customer, and they can do theirs. This is a purely economic transaction, not a search for a new friend or one-night-stand. :angry:

Some years ago, we took a long weekend in Provincetown (MA) with a couple of friends. At one restaurant, the teenage girl assigned to our table (I cannot call her a waiter, nor was she actually "taking care of us") introduced herself. One of our friends said, "How nice to meet you. I'm Jim, this is my wife Rowena, and these are our friends Seymour and Lucy." The kid later knocked over the icebucket (full of ice and water but thankfully without the wine bottle), and eventually disappeared in the middle of service. I do not believe that our friend's action had anything to do with the two other events.

However, at other similarly jolly times, the four of us still refer to each other by those names. :raz:

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I prefer to be given the option of asking the server's name. I have done this when I felt that the service was exceptional. Then, for my next visit to the restaurant, I can request a table that "xxx" will be serving. I am hoping that the management notices that I value the server enough to ask for that table.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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As a customer I generally don't care what the server's name is. I think some places have them do that so if there's a problem or just a request for more of something, when you can't find them you can at least ask whoever does come by to please get "Amy".

When I used to manage a restaurant where there were a lot of regular customers, who had really built a lot of rapport with the long time staff, I would always introduce a new server to the regular customers, though. They appreciated it. (Those regular customers helped do a lot of the training of new staff.) They would definitely let us know how "Amy" was doing. Likewise, I could enable Amy to do a better job by filling her in on the regulars likes/dislikes or quirks/idiosincracies. :rolleyes:

My son, who worked as a waiter in college always likes to know the servers name and establish some personal give and take with them. Not sure if it's 'cause he appreciates how hard they work (especially when they're doing a god job) or if it's a sort of ploy to get on their good side, thereby ensuring good service. I'll have to ask him.

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This topic reminds me of a good line in the movie Dinner Rush, where the waitress Marti comes to the table with the obnoxious art guy Fitgerald, and she says, "Hi my name is Marti and I'll be your server tonight." And then Fizgerald Responsds "Hi I'm Marti and I'll be your customer"

Mike

The Dairy Show

Special Edition 3-In The Kitchen at Momofuku Milk Bar

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I've heard some very strong opinions from people who hate it when the server comes up and introduces themselves.  It's almost like some people don't want to think of servers as people.  I happen to like it when I know my server's name, not that I would ever call across the room, "Hey, Amy!  Get me some water!" or anything, but I like having a somewhat personal experience when I go to a restaurant, not just some robot giving me my food and asking if I want grated cheese on that.

How do you feel about it, and why?

I ask the server what their name is if I want to know, like if I'm a regular in a place and haven't seen them before. Otherwise, I don't care. I think it's fine if they want to tell me their name, but I don't love it if the restaurant's policy is to make them tell their name. I used to know a woman with an unusual name (I forgot the name; she was a casual acquaintance and friend of some other acquaintance) who used to work in such an establishment, and she had so much annoyance from customers asking how her name was spelled and so forth that she just said her name was "Sue."

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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she had so much annoyance from customers asking how her name was spelled and so forth that she just said her name was "Sue."

:laugh:

I worked with a Polish bartender (from Krakow) by the name of Marek. Somehow that name was too difficult for most and was simplified to "Mark." Good natured person he was, he didn't mind.

Now, (and some time ago, I returned to an old employer) name tags are big. If forgotten you get "fined" and a new one must be purchased prior to your shift, or don't work at all.

Most of the barstaff (48 of us) have used a fake name on our name tags because of how many times you'll hear your name shouted. (we get busy)

One day, one of my friends took the label-maker and typed out "Ike". Somehow it was funny. We spent the rest of the day renaming eachother for purely the fun part of it.

Aside, really.

The regulars thing is a tough but good training for a newbie. Oh, they will put you through the hoops.

And I, as a guest, do like knowing the server's name. We too will ask for that section or the nights that tender works to patronize again in the future. I worked one place that it clogged up the hostess stand something fierce with a lovely server who took me under her wing during my short my stint of diningroom/menu training when I accepted a bar position. She turned out to be the most requested server and I understood why.

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I don't like it. I don't even think the servers like it. I think it's some strategy corporate restaurants cooked up to make people feel like they are getting personalized service. Little do they realize, they've only added an element of CHEESE to the service. That's my opinion anyway....

I do, though, as do the other posters here, always get a name when I've been given exceptional service. And will always ask for that server again on return visits. AND will try to tell mgmt what great service I received from so and so. (I think many in this business know, people don't often take the time out to give props, but always find time to complain-)

Practically the entire staff where I work gives fake names- mostly because of what beans said (having your named called out all night stinks,) and the "I'm a friend of Joey's..." factor.... (Since Joey and I go way back, you should give me free food and drink AND I don't have to tip.) They will always give their real name to regulars and good customers and the like.....

Edited by ambra (log)
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Who's that "Barney" ???

Oh, that PBS purple monster that entertained children?

Yep, that goes right along with what our non-corporate management wants or perceives as personalized service! :laugh:

Even in fine dining (yup we have some in Cleveland) I've been told the name of our servers. (BTW, not waiters).

Just my little, brash opinion.

Edited by beans (log)
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I prefer it when the host/hostess/maitre d' mentions the servers name when we're being seated, as in "Your server this evening will be 'x' ". That way, if exceptional (or horrible) service ensues or the server vanishes in the middle of the meal, I know who to give credit to or make sure I don't get again as a server on another visit.

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Of course, I think it is rarely the server's decision to introduce him or herself to diners. They are usually required to do so. Also, I have noted that this usually only takes place in places like the Olive Garden and TGIF etc...... where are you guys eating?

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i always ask my bartender's name.  and i introduce myself as well.  as far as waiters, i don't have any sort of problem with them saying "my name is".  i've got other things to worry about.

And if you know the bartender, shake their hand & ask about the family.

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i don't have any sort of problem with them saying "my name is".  i've got other things to worry about.

Exactly.

The "My name is Brian and I'll be your server tonight" used to grate, but it doesn't anymore. And upon reflection, I think it was always the "I'll be your server thing" that got on my nerves, because I've never liked the word "server." Being a waiter is a noble thing, and I just prefer that word. And I don't think "waiter" is gender specific, anymore than "actor" is.

Server sounds, well, servile, and I'm uncomfortable with that.

Maybe others like the servile thing, and don't want to be reminded that the waiter is a person with a real (or assumed) name. It doesn't grate anymore, though I would prefer something like: "Good evening, my name is Maggie. May I take your drink order? " Or suchlike.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Yeah, I've introduced everyone at the table.  For me, it shows the server how rediculous the introduction is.  I am not in favor of the introduction.

I don't think you are showing the server anything she doesn't already know. She is told to introduce herself by managers/corporate. She probably thinks it's as stupid as you do. She hates having to do it. And your practice of introducing everyone at the table is probably not an eye-opener or funny, or a sly wink you share with the server about how ridiculous the whole thing is, it's just plain annoying. And she still has to do it.

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I always assume it's management decision, not the server's, so don't hold it against them. I don't really care one way or the other. About them giving their name. Getting chatty, on the other hand, sometimes seems inappropriate but it can depend on the context. I always assumed (with no basis in experience) that the whole "I'll be your server" was started as a way of allowing you to tell them apart from the person bringing your water, etc. Because sometimes there are half a dozen people bringing various things to your table and it's awkward to try to ask one for something and be told it's not their role. The peeve I do have is when they compliment me on my choice. Hate that. But I don't ever say so.

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