16 April 2017

Waiting

I don't know if the following dining scenarios are unique to me. Please consider and advise.

1) You sit at a restaurant table and soon afterwards a smiling member of the waiting staff arrives with a menu. You choose what you want to eat and then you wait... and wait. Finally someone arrives to take your food order but you just lost half an hour of your life.

2) The food order has been placed. And then  you wait... and wait. How long can it really take to plate up the dish of the day? There was time to visit the supermarket to purchase the raw ingredients and then to cook the dish of the day from scratch.

3) The meal has been eaten and you want to pay the bill but no matter how hard you try to catch the eye of the waiter or waitress, nobody spots you. It does not seem to cross their minds that having finished you want to pay your bill and leave. You wait...and wait and then when in exasperation you get up to visit the person on the till they say "Oh we'll bring your bill over in a minute"...but they take a further ten minutes.

Waiting around in restaurants can be like a form of torture. I hate it.

In a Turkish restaurant in London two years ago we waited one hour and forty minutes for our food order to arrive and last week in a country pub-restaurant on Anglesey we waited a full hour for our main course to appear. This is what I wrote about the Turkish restaurant on TripAdvisor:-

When I was living in Thailand, the restaurant experience was always very different. Your custom was appreciated. The menu appeared quickly. The order was taken quickly. The food order appeared quickly and payment was quick and efficient. Another thing about dining in Thailand was that it was not their national custom to leave tips. You just paid up and left. All this expectation that we should leave a 10% tip is baloney to me. I only leave tips when I think that the service has been better than average.

25 comments:

  1. I recall waiting ages in a restaurant for my food and when it did finally arrive and I was asked "were you what it was" and I replied "don't know, it's so long since I ordered that I've forgotten".

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    1. As I know you have a temper on you Derek, I am surprised that you didn't blow a fuse and storm out of the place.

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  2. They got the message, plus I was bloody hungry by then.

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  3. Perhaps you are going to the wrong restaurants. Maybe if that is the kind of service you're receiving when dining out you should consider eating at home as being your better option.

    As you're aware, over the years I worked within the hospitality industry in various sections of said industry. If when cooking or waiting on tables, or when in a management role my diners waited for the lengths of time you're describing I would've fired myself! I would have downed tools, packed up my knives and gone in search of a different job in a completely different field.

    I would have been too embarrassed to show my face; to put my name on what was coming out of the kitchen if such delays occurred. They shouldn't occur.

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    1. Please don't misunderstand me, I have often visited restaurants where the service was excellent. With good food one should expect some delay but in my view anything more that fifteen minutes is too long.

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  4. I had a very similar experience a couple of weeks ago in one of our favourite pubs round here - they were short staffed and although the table was booked for seven we didn't get our meal until nine. I shall not go again.

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    1. Was the pub called "The Tortoise and Snail"?

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  5. This happens too often and like you I won't be eating at the restaurant that does it.

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    1. A good thing about TripAdvisor is that customers can tell it like it was. It helps to put pressure on restaurants to do better.

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  6. In this country many consider a 10% tip pretty chintzy, a relic of days gone by. I have witnessed average tipping grow to 15%, then 20%, and even 25% in certain "finer" restaurants. Food servers here earn only a couple of dollars per hour (not a living wage) plus whatever tips they receive. It certainly behooves them not to disappoint or anger their customers.

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    1. "Oh, it's Lord Brague and Lady Brague. How kind of you to return to our humble establishment. May I take your coat sir? My you are looking more handsome than when you last visited us and kindly left the impoverished waiting staff a generous ten dollar tip. So kind sir. Now let me lead you to your special table by the window, overlooking the fountain. Shall I massage your feet as you peruse the menu?"

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  7. At a local place considered to be a fine dining experience, our large group had a reservation but were an hour late being SEATED!! The group ahead of us had arrived late, and stayed late, even taking the time to go around the restaurant singing Christmas carols. We were not impressed! I kept thinking the owner/chef should have been able to do something. He just schmoozed away with them. It seems in the cheaper restaurants we get better service.

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    1. That is disgraceful. Nobody minds a short delay but an hour to get seated! I think that if Justin Trudeau and Celine Dion had been in your party you would have been seated in double-quick time.

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  8. We had a similar experience last week in a tea shop. We waited and waited and waited. Several other people waited a while and then got up and walked out... we waited and waited some more. Another couple got up and walked out.. we waited and waited some more. Then we got up and walked out. They must lose a potential small fortune each day

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    1. One wonder what is wrong with these people. Keeping customers waiting like that is the way to bring a business to its knees.

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  9. I haven't waited that long but I really hate waiting. Now I think I could get you on a rant about incorrect orders and bills!

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    1. If you don't mind, I prefer to pick my own rants Red. I might rant about bloggers who advise me what to rant about!

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  10. We have a three bollock rule
    Let us down three times when having a meal..we walk out

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    1. Sounds like a good philosophy but sometimes they have you trapped with drinks and nibbles. I don't like confrontation.

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  11. I'm a generous tipper, but only because servers here in the States make pitifully small hourly wages and depend on those tips. But waiting that long for food would be unacceptable even to an easygoing customer like me!

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    1. America labour laws should be changed. Waiting staff should not have to rely on tips. They should have proper basic wages with tips as possible extras.

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  12. There is no way I would wait an hour for a meal to be served. Too long to wait people.

    Alphie

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    1. If we had walked out we would have had a long drive to find another eating establishment Alphie. In the end the food we received was excellent.

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  13. There is an Indian restaurant very near my place, they serve excellent food but the service is really bad. It's such a shame because it would otherwise be great to have a good eating place so near my home.
    What I observe nearly every time I eat out (and I must admit I do eat out a lot) is that although they are quick to take your order, and drinks and food appear within a reasonable span of time, it is after they have served the food that nobody comes to our table anymore. Not to ask whether we'd like another drink, or dessert, or coffee etc. If we do want dessert and/or another drink, we have to bend ourselves backwards to get the waiter's attention. And that is rather uncomfortable with a full belly.
    I wonder why they seem to want to avoid business at all cost.

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    1. If I ran a Yorkshire pudding restaurant my customers would be treated like royalty. Ignoring customers or letting them endure frustratingly long waits seems to be the best way to drive people away. Surely you would want them to come back? Most puzzling.

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