Dining Out - Quality of Service

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2012 11:30 PM GMT
    I'd really appreciate it if you guys could tell me what you like most for the maitre'd and waiters to do for you, in terms of interaction and service, when you're in a fine dining/upscale restaurant.

    It's for school so saying every little detail you can think of would be very helpful! It can be anything, like what you'd like the maitre'd to talk to you about, when you'd like him/her to approach you, how long he should stay at the table to talk before it gets annoying etc.

    Thanks RJ'ers!
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    Mar 12, 2012 12:27 AM GMT
    JPtheBITCH saidI don't want them to stay at the table at all. We should be seated, then someone should quickly and discreetly arrive to take drink orders; after promptly bringing the drinks, they should disappear for a while to allow us to enjoy our cocktails.


    OK but let's say during the meal, would you want them to ask you how the meal is going or anything like that? You don't want them to entertain you a bit with conversation to feel like they still care that you're there?
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    Mar 12, 2012 3:33 AM GMT
    In restaurants I've patronized repeatedly, I appreciate being seated at my favorite tables when I call for the reservation. A great maitre d' has this written in 'the book' and doesn't have to be given table numbers. (In places where I'm not a regular, or where I've never been, I like and appreciate being given a good table - - not near the kitchen door, or back in "Siberia"). A good maitre d' can also pinch hit for the sommelier and should know how to pair wines with what we're ordering. Lastly, I appreciate a maitre d' who will come by a few minutes after the dinners are served, to briefly check with us to make sure we don't need anything else. That's about it - - - until we leave, and then it is nice to say goodbye and chat for a few seconds. A good maitre d' is someone you'll want to generously remember at Christmas - and each time you enter the restaurant.

    As far as the waiter (or waitress) goes, I appreciate them greeting us and taking the first drink and appetizer orders. Then - as Jeff said above, leaving us alone for a bit while we enjoy those things, and look over the wine list and menus. I don't mind hearing about a few specials, but only if they include the price at the end of each description. When the soup or salads arrive, let us eat those, without bringing the dinners out early. I appreciate them clearing dishes and using the little crumb scraper before bringing the dinners. I appreciate them replenishing bread & butter, plus water and drinks without us having empty glasses. I appreciate them remembering who got what - - - - and never, ever sending someone else out with the food who might say, "OK folks, who got the chicken?" Please - never try to remember or memorize, and just write it down in order, and deliver the plates without asking who got what. Check back in a few minutes for anything we might need, and keep an eye out for our glances or signals that we want something else. Never bring the check until we are really ready for it. Don't say "folks" or "you guys" and just be nearby but not hovering over us. A great attitude and a great waiter will get the best tip (at least 20% - 25%).

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    Mar 12, 2012 3:44 AM GMT
    They should be there when I want them and absent when I don't. They should NOT be like the waiter in the New Yorker cartoon telling me about themselves or offering me fresh ground pepper on my salad.
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    Mar 13, 2012 12:18 AM GMT
    I don't want the service staff to engage me in casual conversation. I do appreciate hearing about specials, but if there are more than three, they should simply be on the menu rather than part of a recitation. Prices are useful.

    Any upscale restaurant will have a system for making sure the right diner gets the right food. Once the food is on the table, a quick check in by the server is important, even if it is just as simple as making eye contact to see if anyone needs anything. (A New York Times review a few weeks ago included a mention of how hard the reviewer had to work to get a server's attention to get a missing fork.)

    A new course should not arrive until everyone at the table has finished the previous course.
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    Mar 13, 2012 2:32 AM GMT
    Thanks a lot for the great descriptions on what you guys would want, especially Jockbod!
  • MarcBodybuild...

    Posts: 683

    Mar 13, 2012 3:10 AM GMT
    Just by being polite and smile would be nice ;)

    some of the waiters in SF are pretty chill, but depends on where u eat at. Some are a bit rude

    my solution when that happens , use my cute expression to mellow them out lol
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    Mar 13, 2012 3:24 AM GMT
    If I used any piece of silverwear please replace it with a clean piece by the next course, don't take the used one off the plate you are removing and give it back to me (I'd like to stress this. I went to a restaurant where they replaced all my silverwear in between courses and I WAS MOST, MOST IMPRESSED BYT THAT). I HIGHLY appreciate having the table whisked in between courses, not just at the end. Be attentive if my drink runs low. Personally I don't appreciate the "How's everything?" checkup in the middle (I like to eat with the staff not hovering over me). I will let you know if I need something. Be attentive if I'm looking around for you. If I've asked for the check I will most likely not take too long with it, so please don't disappear, I need to hand it back to you. Don't overdo greetings and goodbyes. Keep it short, sweet and honest.
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    Mar 13, 2012 3:29 AM GMT
    Oh and ditto on keeping the specials short. Also reading Market Price on a menu is annoying. I'll stress again having the table whisked, especially after the bread has been brought. If I'm eating bread there will most likely be crumbs on the table, and I really appreciate having those cleaned off before the courses start arriving.
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    Mar 13, 2012 3:31 AM GMT
    I'm not allowed in fine dining establishments. icon_sad.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 13, 2012 3:32 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA saidI'm not allowed in fine dining establishments. icon_sad.gif


    I'll bring you a doggy bag.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 13, 2012 3:33 AM GMT
    I think the interaction is good when the server is upbeat, friendly and demonstrates diligence and the need to be helpful.

    Failure to respond diligently.... or to go overboard on specials is just
    irritating.
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    Mar 13, 2012 3:36 AM GMT
    Please make sure each person at the table receives their food at the same time. I've noticed a lot of restaurants skipping this crucial rule lately. The chef should know how to schedule cooking times so that everything comes out at once, and if not, keep them warm until the other dishes are ready to serve.

    Oh, and please don't ask me how I'm enjoying my meal while I have a mouthful of food!
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    Mar 13, 2012 3:39 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidI'll bring you a doggy bag.


    Thanks, and could also bring some plastic-ware? I'm also not allowed to have utensils. Something about being a danger to himself and others.