Restaurant Annoyances (Part II)

11bWINE PUSHERS…Sometimes, servers will stop by to see if everything is Ok with your meal. Often, they may ask if you want another beer or glass of wine. Sometimes, guests are not even close to finishing their drink but servers may say, “Do you want another glass of wine?” I understand it’s business and there’s a significant markup on alcohol and the more lucrative a server’s tip could be if guests have a number of drinks. However, please don’t ask us until we are finished with our drink (unless we stipulate so). Even if we need to wait a few minutes to locate where you are in the restaurant once we’ve decided to order another, we’ll eventually find you.

DIRTY MENUS…I’ve read the dirtiest item in the restaurant is the menu. It would be comforting to know they are thoroughly cleaned every day if not every 4-6 hours of use. It may not be kosher but I’d love to see these cleaned after other rotation.

ART AND SCIENCE…Wait staff sometimes tries to provide excellent service and ends up disrupting the flow of a conversation. This is art and science. Wait staff needs to quickly take the pulse of their guests to see what kind of mood they are in or what’s their objective behind the visit. Are they in a good mood? Are they chatty? Do they want to order drinks before deciding what to eat? Quickly understanding what they are all about is crucial. If servers use some science and a little art, this can be more lucrative and emotionally rewarding.

restaurantsGRATUITIES INCLUDED WITH LARGE PARTIES…Gratuities of 18% include with a party of 6 or more. Perhaps add 10 to 15% to the bill so the wait staff doesn’t get stiffed and provide the option to the guest to determine an additional tip. When the gratuity of 18% is included with parties of 6 or more, will the server work as hard? With a determined percentage already factored in, will the server still have the incentive to provide the type of service that would warrant a tip of 18%.

LOOK FOR OBVIOUS CUES THAT GUESTS ARE FINISHED…Servers removing your plate or beverage before you finish. Servers should be 100% certain the guest is finished before asking to remove their plate.

IS DIET COKE THE SAME AS DIET PEPSI? At a local restaurant, my daughter was asked about a non-alcoholic beverage and she said “Diet Pepsi” and the server immediately said “Diet Coke” and proceeded to the next guest for the next drink order. There are some restaurant customers who can’t discern between Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke, however, is it not presumptuous to make that determination without first verifying that with the guest?

I’M HERE FOR THE FOOD AND I TRUST THE BILL WILL BE ACCURATE…Inaccurate calculation of check by server. A few weeks ago, we visited Mambo Italiano in Vernon Hills with friends and my wife ordered a glass of chardonnay. The server mistakenly brought out the wrong wine. He politely obliged by bringing out the chardonnay. However, both wines (even though only the second one was consumed) were added to the bill. I certainly think it was an honest mistake. However, when you engage in a service agreement with reputable restaurant, should it be mandatory to always scrutinize the bill before paying? I guess so…

nyc 25623% TIP FOR EXCELLENT SERVICE…At a restaurant in NYC, I saw a message about service has not been added to your check. What freaked me out was the recommended customer service (or tip) percentages. 18% good, 20% very good and 23% excellent. Don’t know about others, I’d knock off 3% percent for each of these numbers. Not only is NYC among the most expensive cities in the world but now you may have some restaurants that recommend 23% tip for excellent service?  why only 2 percent between good and very good and 3 percent between very good and excellent.