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.

Rosie

Restaurant/Bar Annoyances

Recommended Posts

Along the line of Katie's post, I hate when the waiters/runners assume I'm the one who ordered the chicken or salad because I'm a woman.  Why is it that if I order beef and my husband orders the chicken, when the food arrives the chicken is set in front of me?  Is there some rule that says chicks can't eat beef?

That drives me nuts!

It's the same here in Japan, especially at 'family restaurants'- I always end up with the meal that requires a fork and knife, while my husband gets the one that goes with chopsticks. Never mind that I almost always order Japanese food and my husband almost always orders western food!

My husband also loves desserts but rarely drinks, while I love alcohol and often skip dessert. Needless to say, he always ends up with the beer I ordered and his dessert gets served to me.

Also hate having the bill automatically handed to him. And servers asking HIM if I'm done or if I need another drink...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Where is it they make you create your own doggie bag (box)? I'd remember if I'd ever seen this. This would be high on my list.

It happens a lot in middle-of-the-road restaurants.

My guess is that the average patrons like it. They want to decide what to take home and what to leave--the entree, the vegetables, the bread, a few salt packets--and they want to do it themselves.

I, too, would much prefer the kitchen to pack up my food, but I think I'm fighting against the tide.

Bruce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"fine dining" with crappy coffee

Amen to that. They could at least french press the cup considering how much you have paid for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1) Fingerprints on glass doors

2) Filthy restrooms

3) Any employee with BO

4) Agressive up-selling

5) Bottled water gouging

6) Inattentiveness

7) Bum's rush towards the end of the evening

8) Un-seasoned food

9) Weak coffee

10) Hostesses talking on the phone with their boyfriends

Geeze, this could go on all day.....

Good list.

Add:

11) The food auction (who ordered the lamb?)

12) Waiters who need to tell you their name

13) Waiters who need to ask if everything is okay

14) Dirty menus

15) Dirty tables

16) Food that is allowed to cool before its served.

This is fun.

Bruce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. GIGANTIC menus. I don't mean a menu with a lot of items, I mean in terms of square footage. I've sat at a two top holding a 2 foot high menu unable to even see my dining companion, and then once I've decided on what I'll have, wondered where I should put the damn thing.

What gives?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I HATE it when the wait staff interrupt a conversation. You could be right in the middle of telling an anecdote or a joke and they'll come over to ask if you're ready to order. They should watch discreetly from a distance and when there's a pause, that's when they should approach the table. I can forgive it once, but not when it happens several times during one meal.

My favorite is when they ask you how everything is, just as I am putting a large akward bite of food in my mouth - and then stand there and look at me waiting for an answer.

I generally nod and think to myself - there goes a little bit of your tip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My favorite is when they ask you how everything is, just as I am putting a large akward bite of food in my mouth - and then stand there and look at me waiting for an answer.

I thought that they taught you to do this in "server school"? :wink:

No complaints when your mouth is full.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No salt and pepper on the table. I understand that the chef believes the food is perfectly seasoned. As the diner, I may beg to differ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My favorite is when they ask you how everything is, just as I am putting a large akward bite of food in my mouth - and then stand there and look at me waiting for an answer.

I generally nod and think to myself - there goes a little bit of your tip.

In cases like that (especially when dining alone) I've perfected giving a "thumbs up" without missing a beat, and indicate no intention of replying verbally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My favorite is when they ask you how everything is, just as I am putting a large akward bite of food in my mouth - and then stand there and look at me waiting for an answer.

I generally nod and think to myself - there goes a little bit of your tip.

In cases like that (especially when dining alone) I've perfected giving a "thumbs up" without missing a beat, and indicate no intention of replying verbally.

I'm evil. I'll sit there with my finger in the air (indicating that I have something to say) then purposefully chew slowly then find some miniscule thing to complain about or ask the server to do (ask for a straw for my water, more ice, freshly ground pepper, something). Serves them right for being so stupid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate when the first course comes out before the wine. It just feels wrong and I'll sit there, stewing (while the first course "unstews") until the wine arrives.

I also hate touchy-feely servers, which was something of a problem when I lived in in Denver. I'm disappointed that you just served the last order of the special, but I don't need you to put your arm over my shoulders and feel my pain, OK?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My friend and I were lunching recently at a brewery type resturant. The wait person greeted us and went straight into a sales pitch about all the beers. We kindly cut her off since neither of us wanted beer at 11:30 in the morning, and ordered other beverages. While were were eating our entrees, she came by with a tray of beer samples and left two "chocolate" beers at our table ("because it's my favorite"), which we ignored. She obviously ignored our desire not to have beer and wasted it on us. Later she came by and said, "Are you gonna drink the beer or should I just take it away"? Just take it away.


Edited by tirgoddess (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've said it before, but I'll say it again. GIGANTIC menus. I don't mean a menu with a lot of items, I mean in terms of square footage. I've sat at a two top holding a 2 foot high menu unable to even see my dining companion, and then once I've decided on what I'll have, wondered where I should put the damn thing.

What gives?

Ah, for the good old days!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: to-go boxes:

Down here in Arkansas, it's actually illegal for servers to put leftovers in to-go boxes because of people's fears of illnesses, contagion, what-have-you. Even so, in the good restaurants, the servers do take your plates back to the kitchen and box up the leftovers for you. (And no one has called the Health Department yet, as far as I know).

My biggest pet peeve is servers who don't refill your water glass -- I guess that they figure that if I'm having wine, that's all the liquid I need. No, I want water too! I often ask the server to put a whole pitcher of water on the table so I don't have to keep chasing the server down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13) Waiters who need to ask if everything is okay

What? Should they ignore you and not ask if you are finding your food to your liking?

I've been in restaurants where I've heard the server's cell phone rings. Grrrr. Turn it off and leave it off! I understand why that is a fireable offense where I work.

As for general filth observations (tables, chairs, floors, restrooms, menus, etc.), I'll leave and not order food after a quickie cocktail. Why bother? After all it is my hard earned money that is paying for the experience?

Food auctioning annoys me only in correlation to the amount of I'm spending on the dinner. It raises exponentially when it is my server that is doing the auctioning. If it is a food runner, well, they just don't care or mangement doesn't either nor do I if its a cheap eats meal.

Sort of from the food and beverage management perspective, I guess I don't care much for seeing servers walking around in their duties while chewing! This is at work or while dining out! :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

any front of house staff who wears too much perfume/cologne/aftershave

worse offense if it is kitchen staff who do this

often, you'll be eating a meal and some staff member walks by leaving a trail of drakkar (sp?) wafting behind them to intertwine with the aroma of your dinner! disgusting.


Edited by alanamoana (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13) Waiters who need to ask if everything is okay

What? Should they ignore you and not ask if you are finding your food to your liking?

Yes. Exactly.

If there's a problem, I'll signal them to come over. Otherwise, don't bother me while I'm eating.

Bruce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yea, that's true.  don't understand why they can't either wait, or finish chewing before stepping onto the floor.

yea, but there's ways of making yourself available without intruding. the thing about checking once, soon after stuff being brought to the table is accurate.

afterwards, just constantly be walking around, observant of people trying to flag you down. not hard to stay in a diner's peripheral vision, and to keep them in yours.

I've been in restaurants where I've heard the server's cell phone rings. 

never had that happen, but that would be annoying.

sort of from the food and beverage management perspective, I guess I don't care much for seeing servers walking around in their duties while chewing!  This is at work or while dining out! :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13) Waiters who need to ask if everything is okay

What? Should they ignore you and not ask if you are finding your food to your liking?

Yes. Exactly.

If there's a problem, I'll signal them to come over. Otherwise, don't bother me while I'm eating.

Bruce

:blink:

Oh, I see. Perhaps it would work better if you advised them, while ordering, that you do not wish to be disturbed during your meal but will signal should you require their attention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, I see.  Perhaps it would work better if you advised them, while ordering, that you do not wish to be disturbed during your meal but will signal should you require their attention.

:blink: Shouldn't this be obvious?

Are there people out there who actually enjoy being asked every 5 minutes if everything is "OK"?

A good server will stop by shortly after delivering the food (allowing customer enough time to taste everything), and ask if everything is to his liking and if he needs anything. Then the server should simply remain visible to the customer (stopping by periodically if drinks are empty to refill them without interrupting), so if the customer needs anything, he can easily find and alert the server.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yea, that's true.  don't understand why they can't either wait, or finish chewing before stepping onto the floor.

I guess part of my annoyance is that they shouldn't be chewing in the first place. A whole batch of issues -- food cost/sanitation. I'm not terribly impressed by one who is eating food with their fingers then touching my plate that is going to be presented to me, or my guests, to eat just after their little fingers were in their mouths. Also, the server that just helps themself to a french fry from that fresh batch dropped into the stainless serving tray in the under the heat lamp of the window shows little or no respect for the heart of the house management.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, I see.  Perhaps it would work better if you advised them, while ordering, that you do not wish to be disturbed during your meal but will signal should you require their attention.

:blink: Shouldn't this be obvious?

Are there people out there who actually enjoy being asked every 5 minutes if everything is "OK"?

A good server will stop by shortly after delivering the food (allowing customer enough time to taste everything), and ask if everything is to his liking and if he needs anything. Then the server should simply remain visible to the customer (stopping by periodically if drinks are empty to refill them without interrupting), so if the customer needs anything, he can easily find and alert the server.

sherrib-

My read was Schneier directly stated he wanted to be ignored and not asked as you point out of what a good, polite and checking for okayness server should do as evidenced by this response:

Yes. Exactly.

If there's a problem, I'll signal them to come over. Otherwise, don't bother me while I'm eating.

Bruce

Was it meant as one who is that foolish to pester their guest every five minutes? Oh, well that's just simple, common sense. Duh! Some poor management schmuck needs to pull that server aside for a discussion on allowing a guest to dine in peace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, I see.  Perhaps it would work better if you advised them, while ordering, that you do not wish to be disturbed during your meal but will signal should you require their attention.

I don't think that would work. Figure there are about a hundred things that I want or don't want waiters to do. It doesn't make sense to run down the list, or even to have a list. The waiters are going to do what they're trained to do. In Europe waiters don't ask you how your food is; they assume that it's fine and that you'll tell them that it isn't.

Like all the peeves in this thread, we just endure them.

Bruce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Like all the peeves in this thread, we just endure them.

So true! :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×