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Lectures from the waitstaff

Lectures from the waitstaff

Old Aug 26, 15, 2:47 pm
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Lectures from the waitstaff

Do others have good examples of waitstaff giving you a lecture or being arrogant?

I was just at a 2 star Michelin restaurant in London. Great food and great service, except:

the first incident was when a server came over mid-course and told me I was using the wrong piece of cutlery for the course I was on and suggested I should change. hmm - it was working OK for me!

then I spilled a tiny drop of sauce onto the tablecloth in front of my plate - maybe the size of a pencil eraser. A server came over with a napkin and made a huge show of placing it over the spot. No discretion, and I felt like I was put on display.
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Old Aug 26, 15, 3:01 pm
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The napkin thing I might understand, as it could ostensibly be to protect your clothing from a stain. What the attitude was is a different question.

The utensil lecture shouldn't happen to anyone over the age of twelve. I'd have brought that up with the manager.
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Old Aug 26, 15, 3:35 pm
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Lectures from the waitstaff

If I am paying to eat at your restaurant then leave me alone when you pay me to eat we will talk
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Old Aug 26, 15, 7:10 pm
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I wouldn't have accepted that from the waiter. I know there are "proper" ways to use the number and one utensils but you just pay him to bring the food. NOT be lectured to.

I had a similar encounter with a Sunday sous chef at Park Hyatt Busan, where the fellow came out from the kitchen and told me that today's catch was today's catch, no substitutions and it's a prized Korean trout, blah blah (I dislike trout, A LOT). I just told him plainly that I wouldn't be paying if he didn't change it to something that I liked. We weren't told by his serving staff about what kind of fish was the catch of the day. In the end, he changed it.
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Old Aug 26, 15, 9:57 pm
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Aventine, are you saying you ordered the catch o' the day without asking what it was, then demanded something else after it was served? If so, I'd say you were in the wrong.

Please clarify.
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Old Aug 26, 15, 11:31 pm
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Mr. Fwoomp and I were snarled at by a Parisian waiter for having the audacity to order only soup, because "soup is not a meal!"

I knew you were generally expected to order two courses in Italy, but had never heard that about France (or been condemned for ordering only soup on previous visits).
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Old Aug 26, 15, 11:32 pm
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Originally Posted by milepig View Post
Do others have good examples of waitstaff giving you a lecture or being arrogant?
Your example of spilling a tiny drop of sauce on the tablecloth reminds me of a scene involving a snooty waiter-- and an excellent comeback from a patron-- I learned from when I was a teenager. My parents and I were dining with a handful of highly educated gentlemen at a reception. One began to eat his soup while his napkin was still folded on the table. A waiter swooped over, grabbed the napkin with an exaggerated flourish, and whipped it open with a snap! to place it in the man's lap. The man made an equally exaggerated, whole-body flinch and in loud voice proclaimed, "Oh, dear, no! I never use napkins!" People stared at the waiter as if he'd just brandished a weapon and then snickered at the whole scene. The waiter left the napkin on the table, and the man quietly placed it on his own lap.
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Old Aug 27, 15, 12:39 am
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Lectures from the waitstaff

First time at a fancy restaurant in London I was asked if I'd like water. I said yes. Waiter stood there for 5 seconds staring at me then agitatedly asked "Well?! Sparkling or flat?!" He was quickly replaced by a nicer waitress so I think management noticed.
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Old Aug 27, 15, 2:08 am
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
Aventine, are you saying you ordered the catch o' the day without asking what it was, then demanded something else after it was served? If so, I'd say you were in the wrong.

Please clarify.
It was supposed to be fish but had I been told it was trout then I wouldn't have ordered it in the beginning. I know assumptions make me an *ss but the chef wasn't very tactful for a 5-star hotel staff member. There's better ways than coming out and confronting a valued guest of the hotel. I don't see a problem with asking for something I didn't like to be changed.
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Old Aug 27, 15, 2:13 am
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Lectures from the waitstaff

Curious to know which resto this is.
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Old Aug 27, 15, 2:45 am
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Originally Posted by fwoomp View Post
Mr. Fwoomp and I were snarled at by a Parisian waiter for having the audacity to order only soup, because "soup is not a meal!"

I knew you were generally expected to order two courses in Italy, but had never heard that about France (or been condemned for ordering only soup on previous visits).
Usually soups are served as appetizers (entrée in French), not as main course (plat principal). So it's a bit like sharing a meal here, not the way things are traditionally done here. Unfortunately, there is many waiters that are grumpy and there's no excuse for them.
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Old Aug 27, 15, 7:14 am
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Cool

Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
It was supposed to be fish but had I been told it was trout then I wouldn't have ordered it in the beginning. I know assumptions make me an *ss but the chef wasn't very tactful for a 5-star hotel staff member. There's better ways than coming out and confronting a valued guest of the hotel. I don't see a problem with asking for something I didn't like to be changed.
Trout is fish. It cost money to buy, and money to prepare, and then had to be thrown in the trash. That came out of the chef's budget.

Unless the trout was unwholesome or burnt or otherwise ruined in the cooking process, you should have paid for it, as well as anything else you ordered.

This doesn't fit with the OP's complaint about waitstaff being overbearing.

Cheers,

Doc
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Old Aug 27, 15, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
It was supposed to be fish but had I been told it was trout then I wouldn't have ordered it in the beginning. I know assumptions make me an *ss but the chef wasn't very tactful for a 5-star hotel staff member. There's better ways than coming out and confronting a valued guest of the hotel. I don't see a problem with asking for something I didn't like to be changed.
You should have asked what the "fish of the day" was, but I'm on the side of those who say "fish of the day is the 'fish of the day'" and therefore impossible to substitute. It is what it is. I'm sure there were other things on the menu you could have ordered instead.
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Old Aug 27, 15, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
The napkin thing I might understand, as it could ostensibly be to protect your clothing from a stain. What the attitude was is a different question.

The utensil lecture shouldn't happen to anyone over the age of twelve. I'd have brought that up with the manager.
agree attitude matters

sometimes management focuses on procedure/process not attitude
in other words - service becomes of secondary importance
which is a problem in service/hospitality industry

not sure if the utensil thing could be done well (or not)
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Old Aug 27, 15, 11:24 am
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A view from the other side of the napkin:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/op...ml?ref=opinion

What timing!

A member of our party was once told by a waiter at the Topnotch at Stowe (yeah, I know zero Michelin stars) that the soup du jour was in fact, "soup of the day." What a jerk.

Jim

Last edited by jimquan; Aug 27, 15 at 11:29 am Reason: added anecdote
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