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Restaurant Staff

 
 
On 5 May 2012 at 9:17am Evreka wrote:
Am I just being a Grumpy Old Git, or do any of you, like me, get really annoyed by the bahaviour of staff - mainly in restaurant chains?
1) Your meal arrives, and they bark at you the one word order "Enjoy" (I'm tempted to say "I'll try to!")
2) They wait until all of you have a mouthful, then rush up to ask if everything is all right. (If it wasn't, they would have already heard from us).
3) While you are all in the midst of animated conversation/commiseration/
romantic moment or whatever, they suddenly materialise from nowhere and without so much as an "excuse me for interrupting" they bark out questions or information.
4) When you order your coffee, they remark "Not a problem!" (Well, it shouldn't be. They are a restaurant. It's what they DO, for Heaven's sake) I understand a great deal of this is part of their training. Why?
Rant over, but does anyone agree?
 
 
On 5 May 2012 at 11:30am Norman Norbert wrote:
You've forgotten the most irritating of all. When you do need them ie for a drink refill, you can't attract their attention for love nor money.
 
 
On 5 May 2012 at 11:49am Pope wrote:
Evreka! you are a grumpy old git. Enjoy!
 
 
On 5 May 2012 at 11:57am Evreka wrote:
Thank you, Pope - I did fear the worst. Not a problem! Norman, you are so right.
 
 
On 5 May 2012 at 12:03pm Rookie wrote:
We were in Brighton last night and had a meal at Coast to Coast in the Marina. It was very full but was one of the most enjoyable places I've eaten in recent times. Excellent service from the staff, nice surroundings, and a paging system to let you know when your table is ready. The very nice food was very quick too considering how busy the place was. We will go again.
 
 
On 5 May 2012 at 3:01pm Shameus wrote:
That's because nice people attract good service (n stuff)
 
 
On 6 May 2012 at 2:06pm carl jung wrote:
this is really pedantry at it's best.
 
 
On 6 May 2012 at 4:33pm Evreka wrote:
No Carl Jung, it's wanting to enjoy a meal with friends without unnecessary intrusion from staff, and without what are obviously American-style waitressing methods. If you like that sort of thing, good luck to you. You seem to have misunderstood what is meant by "pedantic".
 
 
On 6 May 2012 at 5:41pm bastian wrote:
give them a break, they are paid peanuts but are expected to do courtesy in the American way to show they are on side to keep their jobs
Enjoy your meal and smile at them in an undrstanding way,
 
 
On 6 May 2012 at 6:46pm Evreka wrote:
You are right, Bastian. As I said before, rant over. Anyway, I don't blame the staff, I blame the training. Nuff said!
 
 
On 6 May 2012 at 9:22pm annie wrote:
I have also been to Coast to Coast and agree that it is a great place. Staff do enjoy their job.
 
 
On 7 May 2012 at 9:27am moongpig wrote:
1) Your meal arrives, and they bark at you the one word order "Enjoy" (I'm tempted to say "I'll try to!")
As you pointed out is more to do with training styles, they are just regurgitating what that have been taught and is no way a reflection of their own characteristics
2) They wait until all of you have a mouthful, then rush up to ask if everything is all right. (If it wasn't, they would have already heard from us).
They do this for one reason only, if they ask how is your food in the early stages of your meal and you reply everything is good, you no longer have any grounds to stage a complaint about later on. This is done because, and i have witnessed this many time, people just consuming half of their meal - then complaining, and due to big company policy like Pizza Express they will have to comp the whole meal. So essentially staff do this so they can stop people claiming a free meal when there is nothing wrong.
3) While you are all in the midst of animated conversation/commiseration/
romantic moment or whatever, they suddenly materialise from nowhere and without so much as an "excuse me for interrupting" they bark out questions or information.
I don't know what type of information they would be barking at you. But you are quite right - most staff should think about the times they come and suggest another bottle of wine or perhaps a show a dessert menu. However if its a Saturday night and the restaurant full, its completely understandable if their judgment is slightly off as they have another 15 tables to accommodate
4) When you order your coffee, they remark "Not a problem!" (Well, it shouldn't be. They are a restaurant. It's what they DO, for Heaven's sake) I understand a great deal of this is part of their training. Why?
This last point is just a clear rant, its blatantly just good manners, after all standing there absolutely silent while you state your order then just walking off would be slightly less re-assuring don't you think? Also its probably just another gateway for staff to increase their tips with about of customer interaction, and as pointed out before they don't get paid much so i don't blame them!
So in essence stay at home and get a takeaway or alternatively travel up to the Ritz where im sure they will treat you how you feel you should be treated.
 
 
On 7 May 2012 at 9:55am Evreka wrote:
I had thought the subject was closed, but as you have gone on at great length, I'll just say that there are plenty of good, reasonably priced restaurants who train their staff in the art of unobtrusive waiting on tables. And I expect their tips reflect this. As I said before, it's American style pushiness I find objectionable. As for the accusation of Rant, you are a bit late. I said at the beginning that is what it was, and I also acknowledged that maybe I was being a grumpy old git. Are you by any chance a manager of a restaurant?
3
 
On 8 May 2012 at 7:52pm Ed Can Do wrote:
I think you are perhaps being a touch grumpy. The whole "Enjoy" and "No problem" thing is just how people talk I think you'll find. I very much doubt the waiting staff are working from a script. I know we train our staff to avoid using negative phrases like "No problem" but espescially the big chain places don't spend a lot of time training their staff in customer interaction in depth. Likewise, coming and asking if there's a problem early on avoids the situation of someone eating half their food and then complaining so they get it for free which sadly, is all too common. I have to say you seem to be suffering from a touch of double-standards-itis in terms of being annoyed when the waiting staff come to you but being equally annoyed when you can't catch their eye. If it's busy, you can, one would hope, forgive your waiter for not being at your immediate beck and call and coming to present bills etc when they have a free moment, rather than when it suits you. Have you ever been a waiter? Being able to tell the exact right moment to approach a table is a real skill and the busier it is, the harder it is.

What it boils down to is you get what you pay for. If you're visiting one of Lewes's many adequate pizza chains then the amount you're paying for dinner you know you'll be getting one waiter between ten or more tables and a duty manager rather than a dedicated maitre de or sommelier. If you go somewhere like Claridges then you get one waiter for every chair in the restaurant, a maitre de, a sommelier and the best service you could ever ask for but it will cost you over a ton a head.

If you want the kind of unobtrusive service you so obviously crave, I suggest you simply need to be spending a bit more on your evenings out.
 
 
On 8 May 2012 at 10:15pm Evreka wrote:
A good comment, Ed, except that it wasn't me who was complaining about not catching the waiter's eye!
 
 
On 8 May 2012 at 10:26pm Ed Can Do wrote:
Ha ha, so it wasn't, sorry.
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On 9 May 2012 at 6:37am Pope wrote:
There is a restaurant in London where one of the waiters has a glass eye and his idea of a joke is to take it out and throw it into the restaurant. When I asked him why he did it he said it was because some of the customers were complaining about not catching the waiters eye so I thought I would give them all a chance.
 
 
On 10 May 2012 at 5:06pm Clifford wrote:
While we're on it, how about the checkout staff who say, 'Will you enter your PIN for me please.' Why 'for me'?
 
 
On 10 May 2012 at 7:07pm Grunge wrote:
Well said, Clifford, and while we are about it, why do total strangers say "How are you?" after "Hallo". It is especially annoying when you hear it on a news programme. The interviewer's health is nothing to do with the programme. The only possible answer is "Very well thank you", which does not take the programme any further, and the question is intrusive.
In my view, when for example on the Today programme, John Humphrys says "Good morning", it applies to everyone. The illusion should be that everyone who speaks on the programme is in the studio, and they and us have been said Good Morning to.
What actually happens is that someone being interviewed over the phone, when asked a question, instead of answering it, will try to gain the moral high ground and extra thinking time by saying "Good Morning. How are you?" This interrupts the flow of the programme, and I feel it would be much better if people accepted that they had all beein said Good Morning to at the start of the programme and simply got on with answering the question.
Some troll is bound to leap in here and call me a Pedant, but what do Sensible People think?


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