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Being Seated at Restaurants

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    Posted: 10 Aug 2009 at 2:37pm
I know that some of you here have or still do work as "servers" at restaurants.
 
Why do they insist on seating all of their customers on top of each other even in a mostly empty room?  Of course, I already sort of know the answer to that.  Because it's easier for them.  However they might want to consider that customers might appreciate a little seperation from other dinner parties.
 
People go out to dinner for all sorts of reasons.  Most people like to go out to have a conversation over dinner and it would be nice, considering it's possible, to have a little distance from overhearing other people at the table right next to you.
 
In a busy restaurant the overhearing isn't as much of an issue because when everyone is talking at once there is a loud rumble in the room which disguises individual conversations.
When the restaurant is mostly empty, this is not the case.  You can practically hear a pin drop.
 
Am I being picky?  Does anyone else agree?
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PaWolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2009 at 2:46pm
Not only YES, but we RARELY sit where we "are to be placed".
We do not want to be next to anyone's 'family reunion', nor 'Bubba and Bertha from Boinkmeville'.
If we are eating in public, we like it as private as possible - and in low-light. The server learns this right away.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hootman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2009 at 2:47pm
I agree.  If that happens to us, we always ask to be moved. 
 
Of course, sometimes it takes a while to be served, as I think the rationale for seating people together is due to the waitstaff coverage.
 
We are also good "complainers" and very good complimenters depending on the service. 
 
For what you pay, you should get great service.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2009 at 5:16pm
Real estate in SF being what it is, I've been to many SF restaurants where you have no choice but to be seated practically on top of the next party.  In some places (and I'm not talking cheap places), you might have to actually share your table with another party.
 
I got to realize that, if there was going to be more than a half-hour wait to get seated, it was most likely going to be one of those hellish experiences.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PaWolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2009 at 6:27pm
If a restaurant (and I don't mean Taco Bell) has a 'waiting line', we aren't there - unless we are FIRST in line and the hostess is seating someone else. Period.
 
Hooty is 100% correct about 'complaining and complimenting'; I'll send the food back in a split second - don't need anyone's less-than-their-best effort, much less another patron's leftovers (having worked in a high-priced restaurant kitchen, I've actually seen that happen).
 
In regard to compliments, some 'old ways' appear to have 'gone the way of the wind', also - one that disturbs me is when you tip, tip appropriately in cash - and great service used to include that 20% tip *with* a shiny penny on top of the tip.
 
 
  
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote msmadz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2009 at 6:28pm
Originally posted by PaWolf PaWolf wrote:

Not only YES, but we RARELY sit where we "are to be placed".
We do not want to be next to anyone's 'family reunion', nor 'Bubba and Bertha from Boinkmeville'.
If we are eating in public, we like it as private as possible - and in low-light. The server learns this right away.
 
Pa, you owe me a bottle of water, because I just sprayed 1/2 mine across my screen after reading that.
 
Freaking priceless! LOLLOLLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimmy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2009 at 7:38pm
The tables are assigned/designated to the servers and the maitre' d' must not over-load the amount of assignments to each server. So if you see an open table elsewhere in the restaurant, they may be reserved, or the server for that area may already be assigned to their maximum amount of tables.

In the restaurant where I work, we try to make sure that our guests are given preference to seating choices.

Whenever I am notified that a guest is unhappy with their seating (perhaps they're near the kitchen....no one likes that), I usually make an appearance to their table. That usually cheers them, and I enjoy making our guests feel very comfortable and welcome. My chef de' cuisine loves when I do this, (my accent usually warms our guests, and I can pour on the charm a bit...lol).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote msmadz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2009 at 8:00pm
Originally posted by Jimmy Jimmy wrote:

The tables are assigned/designated to the servers and the maitre' d' must not over-load the amount of assignments to each server. So if you see an open table elsewhere in the restaurant, they may be reserved, or the server for that area may already be assigned to their maximum amount of tables.

In the restaurant where I work, we try to make sure that our guests are given preference to seating choices.

Whenever I am notified that a guest is unhappy with their seating (perhaps they're near the kitchen....no one likes that), I usually make an appearance to their table. That usually cheers them, and I enjoy making our guests feel very comfortable and welcome. My chef de' cuisine loves when I do this, (my accent usually warms our guests, and I can pour on the charm a bit...lol).
 
One of these days, Jimmy, when you least expdect it, I'm going to dine in your restaurant! And I'll say "GOSH DERN IT - LEMME SEE THE CHEF!" Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Momma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2009 at 8:06pm
Heck, let's ALL show up at Jimmy's restaurant!!!! Group hug anyone???Big%20smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jeroboam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2009 at 8:38pm
Sometimes, they will try to place you where a server will be able to offer you a more attentive and efficient level of service.
Often people will want to be moved to another table which in turn will be another server's "station" and that server is loaded with multiple parties, or they are about to go on a break, or cash out.

But like it was said, usually accommodations can be made when both parties communicate with one another.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote msmadz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2009 at 8:50pm
Originally posted by Big Momma Big Momma wrote:

Heck, let's ALL show up at Jimmy's restaurant!!!! Group hug anyone???Big%20smile
 
Yes, Big Momma, let's! Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote musicman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2009 at 10:46pm
I worked in a restaurant when I "wore a younger man's clothes".
I am aware of the server's station concept.  That each has a group of tables assigned.
 
However unless they only have 4 tables assinged to them, if there are only two dinner groups in the restaurant, they should not be seated side by side.  As far as I remember, each server handled at least about 10 tables.
 
This restaurant (Bugaboo Creek) was a ghost town on Sunday.  Yet 3 groups were crammed together, leaving the rest of the rant completely empty.
 
If this is the policy of the restaurant, they need to change it, simple as that.
Find a way of seating people at a more comfortable distance.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HollyRock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2009 at 1:46am
Perhaps they thought you wanted to be closest to the talking moose.  Or Christmas tree.
Let's try not to be boring, mkay?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote musicman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2009 at 1:50am
Originally posted by HollyRock HollyRock wrote:

Perhaps they thought you wanted to be closest to the talking moose.  Or Christmas tree.
 
 
It was a talking Buffalo.  In my opinion, a big reason for the restaurant being empty.  How annoying that thing was.  Dead
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimmy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2009 at 3:58pm
Originally posted by Madawee Madawee wrote:

Originally posted by Big Momma Big Momma wrote:

Heck, let's ALL show up at Jimmy's restaurant!!!! Group hug anyone???Big%20smile

 

Yes, Big Momma, let's! Hug

Oh, you girls.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimmy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2009 at 4:05pm
Originally posted by musicman musicman wrote:

I worked in a restaurant when I "wore a younger man's clothes".
I am aware of the server's station concept.  That each has a group of tables assigned.

 

However unless they only have 4 tables assinged to them, if there are only two dinner groups in the restaurant, they should not be seated side by side.  As far as I remember, each server handled at least about 10 tables.

 

This restaurant (Bugaboo Creek) was a ghost town on Sunday.  Yet 3 groups were crammed together, leaving the rest of the rant completely empty.

 

If this is the policy of the restaurant, they need to change it, simple as that.

Find a way of seating people at a more comfortable distance.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wow! Musicman, I didn't realize it was being mismanaged that way. Perhaps the maitre' d' had a bug up his arse....or he was just being a lazy twat.

I'd go back and place a complaint, perhaps you'll get a comp from it.


p.s. I love the line "I wore a younger mans clothes". Straight from Billy Joel's lyrics!! very good, mate...very good!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2009 at 6:50pm
We had a family get together a couple years ago. We have to usually call ahead because it'll be room for 9 nine people. Where they seated us was right close to the big screen TV.
Playing on the TV was that Ulitmate Fighting thing, men beating the crap outta each other.
 
Not really something we wanted to see up close while eating dinner. Bro-inlaw asked if we could be moved to another table. The waitress changed the channel instead and got booed by a few. ESPN turned out to be the happy medium.
We tipped her pretty nicely.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote musicman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2009 at 9:12am
My wife and I went to a Chinese restaurant recently after I posted this topic.
My parents had offered to buy us dinner.  So we went to their neighborhood which is about 45 minutes from where we live. 
They invited us at about 3:00pm and I needed to go pick up my wife from work in Rhode Island.  So by the time we got to the restaurant it was about 6:00pm.
 
So I asked the server, if he would bring the appetizers out right away.  He said certainly.
Well, he brought part of the appetizers out immediately, but the other part it took about 20 minutes. Fine, so we had appetizers, then a very long time later the actual meal came.
 
We had extra food left over as usual when you go to a Chinese restaurant.  We told the server that we wanted to take it with us.  He said fine.  So we wait.... we wait......we wait...he brings us the check... we wait...... we wait....So I finally catch him running by us, I say, excuse me, do you have our food, he says sure.....we wait...... we wait........we wait.....finally I walk up front and ask him again, do you have our food, he say, Oh yes here it is.  Neatly packaged in a bag.  We take it back to my parent's house and put it in the fridge. 
My parent's insist that we take it home.  We take it home, put it in the fridge.  The next night, after a long day, we decide to have left overs.  We pull the food out.  It's someone else's leftovers.
 
I had a funny feeling that the guy was lying to us.  I should have checked it before I left the restaurant.  My theory is that he forgot and threw our food out, then panicked when we asked for it, so he simply gave us someone else's food.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2009 at 3:07pm
I've learned not to make actual requests in Chinese restaurants.  At least none that don't cost extra money.  In fact, I've learned not to ask questions at all.
 
Is there pork in that?
     Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Pork.  Very good.
Are there peas in that?
     Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Peas.  Very good.
Are there crayons in that?
     Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Crayons.  Very good.
 
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