I'll NOT be your server tonight.

Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 07:22 am
Meself and the lady Diane eat dinner out quite a bit and have noticed a disturbing trend. We tend to eat at the same 6 ot 7 resturants several of which are slightly upscale national chains. You all know the line "Hello, my name is blah blah blah and I'll be your server tonight" your server takes your order, then some schlep from the kitchen actually brings the food not knowing who ordered what (he/she has a table number) then some other schlep may or may not refill your water/tea/coffee whatever and then some other schlep clears the table when you may or may not appear to be finished and finally "your server" appears on the scene to offer dessert and your bill. This is the sticky part because this is the time to add in the tip. Well, who in the hell are you tipping, one or all of the schleps or "your server" whom you'ver rarely seen? Is this the new trend in dinning? We now seek out the familiar dinning spots where you actually deal with "your server" rather than a cadre of schleps.
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 07:39 am
dys- I do believe that in some restaurants, tips are pooled, and then divvied up amongst the servers. I have noticed the same thing. The people who actually serve the food have no idea of what you have ordered, (I said that I wanted a baked potato with that, not the rice pilaf!)and often make mistakes.

I think that this tendency is part of a larger trend of impersonality that I have noticed in other areas of life. What comes to mind is medical services. I could go on about that for days! Rolling Eyes
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 07:48 am
well yeah. anyway my intended point was not so much the tip but the really seriously down-sizing of service. We usually get great service from a local hamburger joint "hey, just get a table you like and we will be right over with your food"
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 07:54 am
dys- I think that "down sizing" of service is really a trend. I am not sure if it has to do with the quality of the young people in service jobs, or the management not demanding that their staff provide good service.

Now I am really going to sound like an old fart. You know that I live in a retirement town. I shop in Publix, which is a big super market chain down here. During the day, the checkout and bagger staff is manned predominantly by part time retirees. Later on in the day, and in the evening, the young people take over. I have perceived an appreciable difference in the quality of service provided by the older workers, than the younger.
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 08:12 am
Well maybe your right Phoenix but I don't really see a correlation of age to "service" at least where I live. What I do see is a management agenda of getting the most peeps served with the least time/enegy spent per peep. I have received as good or even better service from very young as well as older.
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 08:31 am
dys- You are right about, "get 'em in, get 'em out" type of mentality. I think that you find that a lot in the "middle of the road" restaurants. In the few times that I have been to really upscale restaurants, the emphasis WAS on service, you were not rushed, and the servers WERE attentive. You paid a premium for the service.

In your mid-price restaurants, I think that the emphasis is on volume.
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 12:36 pm
I prefer individual restaurants over chains, however
the one-in-all service you'll find in smaller places out here.

We have a little french restaurant here I frequent often,
and there one is brought to the table by the host, the
busboy serves water and clears the table inbetween courses,
the server takes orders and plays "host" of the table, asking if everything is in order and so on, but he won't bring the
food to the table, this is done by the busboy again. The
server will come back and take your order for dessert and
after dinner drinks, but it will be served by someone else
again. The bill is delivered by the server again.

One is pampered and every meal is enjoyable there, every
restaurant employee has its own job and I think that's perfectly all right.

The tips are pooled and everyone gets his fair share.
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 12:55 pm
Pho - I doubt it's the servers' fault. I think that restaurants, like most other buisnesses have learned to become as efficient at making money as they can be. I dunno how, but this trend must have something to do with money - the tables turn over more quickly?
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 01:49 pm
Not necessarily littlek.
In Europe for instance, waiters come to their profession
through an apprenticeship. They learn what wine is
recommended for different meals, which side to serve from,
how to handle difficult clientel and so on. Waiters are
there to take the orders, see that the customers needs
are taken care of and plays host/ess to the restaurant goer.
Clearing tables is not necessarily part of a waiters job,
any good restaurant owner would rather have the waiter
attend to the customers instead of using valuable time
and money (waiters cost more) to have them clear up and
clean tables.

It's just a matter of running a restaurant as cost efficient
as possible. A good restaurant does not care about the
turn-over. In fact, I go to european restaurants here because I can sit as long as I want to.
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Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2005 03:03 pm
Unfortunately, many servers/waitpeople don't see their menial jobs as an opportunity to learn the restaurant business. They consider themselves unappreciated wage slaves, forced to toil for pennies in a hostile world.

I'd bet that the restaurants you're complaining about have a revolving door and massive turnovers in help.
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