Aug 01 2011
Greetings, Cool Peeps:
Do you eat out a lot? For both personal and professional reasons, my crazy life gives me lots of reasons to dine in straunts. For the most part, I love them. But naturally, yours truly has just a few picky pet peeves. Yeah, I know, big surprise.
In this week’s blog, I’m going to present peeves from both sides: the customer side and the straunt side.
First, let me share what tweaks me. Recently, I was out for lunch with my BFF Claudia. I ordered a club sandwich that was presented to me in four quarters, as is traditionally the case. After eating the first two quarters, I stopped to take a breather and listen to what my friend was saying.
Within seconds, a server came rushing to the table and with his hand on my plate said, “Finished here?” No, I was not finished. I was pausing to digest my food in a healthy manner and listen to my friend. I am not a human vacuum cleaner. I neither inhale nor suck up the contents of my plate. I was really angry. Maybe if this had been the first time that such a thing had happened, I would have been more understanding. Who hasn’t been out to eat when a server hasn’t prematurely asked, “Still working on this?” as he hovers in a vulture-like stance near the table?
Another peeve of mine is when dishes are cleared while one person is still eating. However, I can’t blame this on most straunts. It’s considered rude to clear someone’s plate if another person is still eating. However, a lot of peeps don’t know this and if the server leaves doesn’t collect their plates immediately, customers will often get angry that their plates aren’t being cleared in a timely manner. So that’s a tough one for both sides.
Before I present the other side, here’s another peeve. Is it just me, or do you also go freakin’ bonkers when you pay the check and the server says, “Do you need change?” Why not just say, “Is this all for me? Do I get to keep all the money? Do I? Do I? Huh? Huh?” The classy thing to say is “I’ll be right back with your change.” If the customer intends for you to keep it, he or she will let you know.
The manager of one of my favorite straunts, Jen, told me that while her place is happy to accommodate special orders, it makes her staff crazy when people aren’t satisfied with what is served. “Why not stay home and cook it yourself?” she says. “And at home, no one will mind that you’re screaming into your cell phone.”
Another biggie on her list is those customers who extend their hands and snap their fingers rapidly to get someone’s attention. We’re all human beings and that’s just plain freakin’ rude. Really, peeps, who responds well to being snapped at? Especially by a dude who looks like this?
My manager friend particularly delights in peeps who call and ask her how long the wait will be on Saturday night at seven-thirty. As she tells it, “Don’t we all wish we could predict business ahead of time?”
One of my fave servers gets crazed when she asks a customer what she’ll have to drink and is given the response: “Nothing for me. I’ll just have water.”
Well, isn’t water something to drink? Is it a solid? What peeps are really saying is, “No, I’m not going to buy a drink. I’ll just have water.”
Back to what irks me. As my regular readers know, I’m very calorie conscious and watch what I eat. I’ve had to train myself well to keep my girlish figure. Filling up with a big salad for dinner works well for me. It’s not gone in minutes, and I feel satisfied but not stuffed when I’m done. I get twisted big time when I order a meal salad only to have the server say, “Oh, our salads are big. Do you want the full-size one?” Why not just freakin’ say, “Are you really gonna eat all that?” Listen, if I order the salad, bring it to me. Unless I ask, or I’m at a family-style restaurant where salads serve eight people, just take my order.
Tell me your restaurant peeves. Whether you work in a straunt or eat in one, what gets your goat?
See you next week.
Yours in pickiness,