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Rosie

Restaurant/Bar Annoyances

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Since I dont get to choose when the waiter chooses to top up my glass, I may well be midsentence, either listening, or speaking, and not want to interrupt to say "no thanks", so, a hand gesture. It seems a reasonable behaviour to me. I could rest my spoon across the top of the glass, I suppose.

(Yes, I've resorted to this with my coffee cup, when the refills were coming so fast that declining them was interfering with actually eating my breakfast).

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Newton's Law of Restaurant Complaints: For every server complaint, there is an equal and opposite patron complaint.

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I once got terribly plastered because my wine glass kept getting refilled and I didn't notice. "I'm only on my second glass " I thought. Lol. By the time I realized it was too late.

Keep my water glass full but leave the wine to me.

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I apologise, of course you're right.

Well played sir :)

The thread is digressing into nitpicking.

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I apologise, of course you're right.

Well played sir :)

The thread is digressing into nitpicking.

Actually, that's how it started. After all, what are annoyances other than nitpicking?

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I don't like it when the waiter/waitress waits at your table after bringing the bill. I normally go halves with whoever I'm with so we have to work out how much that is and I feel all harrassed with someone stood there. Plus you might want to decide amongst you how much tip you want to leave :rolleyes:

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Bartenders that don't know how to strain a drink. Using the two parts of a boston shaker to strain my drink, allowing large chunks of ice to plop into my drink that is supposed to be served up is annoying as shit.

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Sigh. :hmmm: I expect eating out to be a miserable experience in incompetence. That's why I do so only rarely. Occasionally one finds a gem of an occasion but it's a crapshoot at most restaurants.

And I don't like it when people overtip. "...Oh I alway tip 30%+ regardless..."

This just reinforces the incompetence.

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Sigh. :hmmm: I expect eating out to be a miserable experience in incompetence. That's why I do so only rarely. Occasionally one finds a gem of an occasion but it's a crapshoot at most restaurants.

And I don't like it when people overtip. "...Oh I alway tip 30%+ regardless..."

This just reinforces the incompetence.

Have you considered that since you expect to have a miserable experience, you generally do?

When I go out, I expect to have a great experience. And I generally do. (And I'm quite a cynic, so you can't accuse me of being a granola-crunching, "Earth energy" type.) But I have found that in general, attitude really IS everything. My good attitude rubs off on the server, who then asks the cooks to "VIP" my order. When I go out to eat, I usually end up getting freebies that I didn't order, just because I know how to compliment a chef. ("Please tell the chef that the horseradish and dijon cabbage was amazing. I never would have thought of that. I'm going to make that tomorrow at home." Whammo, free dessert, or a "here, try this" appetizer or side for the table to share. But I don't do it to get freebies. I do it because cooks and chefs get a lot of criticism from guests, and precious few compliments. I almost never compliment the execution of the steak or the seafood. After all, it's EASY to make a $100 hunk of beef taste good. I compliment the sauces and the side dishes and the appetizers -- nobody ever seems to do that.)

I have a few places I return to often. The host knows where I like to sit, the servers have the drinks on the table 20 seconds after we sit down. They know what we're drinking, so we don't have to order. They bring out a super-sized amuse to nosh on while reading the menu. And then a sous chef will drop by to tell us what really good stuff came in today. "I test-fired a scallop, and it was the sweetest scallop I've had in months."

Some of the best meals I've ever eaten were at restaurants where I couldn't speak the language. So I google, "Please make whatever you want. I just want to try your food." This international "omakase" works every time. Chefs who are usually sick of tourists either sell me their best dish (best by the chef's standards, not by the price tag), or they'll whip up a regional favorite handed down to them by mom.

And since I don't have any food allergies, or even aversions, this works out great for me. The chefs and cooks don't get annoyed because I'm not really ordering off-menu, although it often works out that way. And, like I said, these have been some of the best meals I have ever eaten. And not once has it resulted in being served the most-expensive thing on the menu. Not once. And even if it did, I wouldn't care, because I wouldn't have "omakase'd" them if that mattered.

PS -- I tip well, because I almost always get great service. Some times I over tip. Some times I've left tips of 100% or more -- they piled so many freebies on us, that it didn't seem right to only tip on what we ordered. Have a great attitude, get treated like a rock star. Works for me.


Edited by ScoopKW (log)

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Very well said, ScoopKW. I agree with everything you just wrote. As a customer, if you have a great attitude, good things will happen and you will almost always have a good time. Restaurants love people with a great attitude, and they will make sure that you come back and tell your friends about your experience!

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Also agree about attitude- this covers the entire spectrum of life's experience.

I have over 20 years of experience in the industry; know what incompetence is and do not go looking for it when dining out or going to bars. My desire is to have a good time and am willing to pay for it. Unfortunately what I see demonstrated time and time again consistently by a portion of staff front and back of the house is the tendency to do the absolute minimum they can get away with while carrying large egos because people hand them extra money (particularly waiters) or are in positions of responsibility. Also, for many employment in bars and restaurants is decent paying part-time entry-level work often gained while in school. So the desire or drive just simply isn't there to achieve excellence because they will be moving on and when it comes down to it they simply don't care. For others this is the only type of work they can find and will ever know. And they still suck at it.

Like I said going out is a crapshoot because it isn't everybody that exhibits subpar performance. Was in a celebratory mood so went for sushi yesterday. The server demonstrated nearly every undesirable tendency brought forward by other posters in this thread. However, she was friendly, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and got my order correct. Constantly asking me how I was doing didn't bother me much, nor did asking to clear my bento box with two pieces of sushi left when I wasn't finished- but she was short and I was at the bar. So there was an angle of vision issue there. Still left her over 15% because her attitude was correct.

Furthermore, being treated like a "Rockstar" because you are known to tip well is just throwing your money away. Everyone should be treated with the same excellence. I've witnessed this attitude of "what comes around goes around" countless times before and it exactly reinforces my point. If I know the cook or chef and they want to take care of me I'll take care of them. But if it is done with thoughts of reward- like so many bartenders who over-pour and expect a whopping tip what have they accomplished? I'm still paying the same ultimately; they've served overly strong drinks which is dangerous and are stealing from their employer as well. Yeah. That's something to be admired and encouraged.

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Furthermore, being treated like a "Rockstar" because you are known to tip well is just throwing your money away.

I'm not treated like a rock star because I tip well. I'm treated like a rock star, THEN I tip well. See the difference? They have no idea how I'm going to tip when I show up at a new restaurant. But I'm always treated very well. Mainly because I do my best to bring out the best in people. I had a boss once who always said, "It's easier to care about people than it is to pretend that you do." I've found that sincere enthusiasm is the key to every lock in the world.

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LoL I understand- and wholeheartedly agree about radiating a positive confident and generous attitude. Being gracious in the worst of times will carry a person very well.

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ScoopKW said:

" I've found that sincere enthusiasm is the key to every lock in the world."

Words to live by.

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Ditto on ScoopKW's crazy earth-mothery hippy talk as well, lol. When I try a new restaurant I'm never expecting it to be my new favorite place, where in two short years the whole staff is like family and they send treats home with me for my pregnant wife....but I know from experience things like that happen, so I generally give a restaurant a good bit of wiggle room to work with me.

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Have you considered that since you expect to have a miserable experience, you generally do?

I expect to have a good experience. Then I have a good experience.

Then, the next day, my friend from out of town starts vomiting so hard she ruptures some esophogeal blood vessels. Then we go to the ER. Then she gets a bill equal to a month's pay. Then I call the health department.

Apparently, they nearly killed my friends at the next table, too; had they not all received a few bags of saline through IV, they would have passed out from dehydration. I lived on carelessly prepared hippy co-op food for a few months, and am apparently now immune.

Saturday marked the first time I visited a sit-down restaurant since maybe mid-october. I like my $3.65 corned beef from the deli bolted on the local bagel factory just fine, but my default assumption about "Nice" food is that I'm going to get screwed.

Maybe if I was older and had better shoes.

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The last time I had a really bad case of food poisoning, I was living in Egypt. Foodborne illness isn't really an "annoyance."

What sort of places are you going to where you expect to get sick from eating? I'd quit eating out entirely if this was the case.

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Have you considered that since you expect to have a miserable experience, you generally do?

When I go out, I expect to have a great experience. And I generally do.

I agree with this philosophy, and try to follow it 100% of the time.

Look, there's incompetence, there's inexperience and there's surliness.

Recently, friends and I had a meal at a restaurant none of us had been to before. Our waitress explained to us as soon as she came over, that it was her first night and she was just learning the ropes.

She tried hard and did an okay job. Some of the others at the table thought she didn't deserve a 20%+ tip - until I rather angrily convinced them she did. Actually, I told them they could keep their money and that I'd leave the whole tip if they really felt that way.

Sometimes the most annoying thing about a restaurant just happens to be the people you're dining with.

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Sometimes the most annoying thing about a restaurant just happens to be the people you're dining with.

Absolutely.

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Compulsive check splitting drives me nuts. Just split the bill three ways and don't worry about who had the cheesecake, damnit.

edited for punctuation


Edited by gfweb (log)

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I sometimes ask a form of this question so that I don't insult them by guiding them (even broadly) around a menu/wine list they might have seen before.

I still don't get it. Are menus so difficult to navigate that punters need guidance? Really?

Okay, if I'd never been to a restaurant at all before, then I'd understand it. As a consequence, the question "Have you eaten here before?" immediately translates itself in my mind as "Have you ever eaten in a restaurant before?"

One of the last places I was at had half the menu up on the wall. If the waitress hadn't explained it, I wouldn't have realized - there wasn't a lot of detail, and the printed menu was reasonably sized.


Edited by jrshaul (log)

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Here's a new one: when our server brought the check, written on it was "Romans 12:12" with a little smiley face next to it. She was a nice enough kid, but really? On what planet is that appropriate?

(Romans 12:12 - Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Not an unpleasant sentiment, but I don't ordinarily take religious counsel from restaurant servers.)

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Here's a new one: when our server brought the check, written on it was "Romans 12:12" with a little smiley face next to it. She was a nice enough kid, but really? On what planet is that appropriate?

(Romans 12:12 - Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Not an unpleasant sentiment, but I don't ordinarily take religious counsel from restaurant servers.)

Free speech and all that.

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Yes, she's free to write it, and I'm free to roll my eyes. I just thought it was so bizarre because the only thing I've ever seen scrawled on the top of the check before is "Thanks!" or "Have a nice day!" The service was otherwise fine, and I didn't take off anything from her tip, or anything like that, but ... weird.

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