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Old 12-06-2019, 02:51 PM
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Two Restaurant Pet Peeves of Mine


1) My wife and I go to a nice restaurant once in a while and after we have perused the menu the waitperson often walks over to the table to tell us about the specials, assuming there are any. I don't normally select one, but the waitperson is required to tell me about them and I listen attentively, sometimes asking a question or two just to engage them in conversation. Invariably there is then an awkward silence since the waitperson usually neglects to mention the price. If I am interested in one of the specials I am forced to ask them the price which makes it sound like I only care about the cost. (I look for value in everything I purchase so I want to know if the specials are a good value for my money, assuming I feel like eating one of them.) Wouldn't it be easier to just stick a card in the menu listing the specials and their cost instead of putting both myself and the waitperson in this awkward situation?

2) Sometimes when I go to a nice restaurant I am with friends or acquaintances. Having been a self-sufficient adult for quite a while I am comfortable deciding what kind of food I want to eat, but a few of my friends always put the waitperson on the spot by asking them "What's best?" or "What do you like?". Asking them "What do you like?" seems like a complete waste of time since who bases their choice on what other people like, and asking them "What's best?" puts them in the awkward position of having to recommend something which is a no-win situation for them. Why do people like to put other people on the spot like that, and why does it matter how they respond? If something was that bad I doubt it would be on the menu in the first place.

Do either of these two ring true for you or is it just me?
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:00 PM
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Personally, I have no problem asking how much the special is if the waiter doesn't mention it. Usually they do, but often kind of mumbled at the very end.

As for asking what's best, I'll do that when I'm torn between two dishes that both appeal to me. In that situation the waiter will almost always tell me why A is better than B.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:05 PM
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I dislike your first one as well - price isn't the only deciding factor if I'm going to order something, but it's certainly in the top 3. I like crab legs, but I'm just never going to order the $115 Alaskan King Crab legs, okay? But if it's a particular type of fish that I don't ever really get the chance to order, and it's ~$20 or so more than an entree I was going to consider, I might pull the trigger.

But as for your second, I'm guilty of that. I want to know if there's something unique on the menu that I may have missed, or if I can't decide between 2 things, ask the waitstaff for their preference between them. If they mention something about it that strikes a chord with me, I'll defer to them.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:09 PM
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1) Usually they give me the price. Yes, they definitely should.
2) I have asked the server "what would you pick" between a couple of choices... I've got good informative responses. It's best if they explain why "Well, I like Cajun a lot so..."
3) I like to be greeted at reception within 30 seconds with some sort of acknowledgement. And seated with menus within 60 seconds. Server should come by for drink orders within a couple of minutes
4) Don't like "how are you guys"... we are not guys. And "no problem" is like nails on a blackboard, just say "you're welcome".
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:13 PM
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Regarding #2, if I'm at a place with good service, I look at the waiter not just as an order taker, but as someone who can help me plan the best meal. This goes double at a place that serves family style or specializes in small plates to share. "Have I ordered enough/too much? What's new and interesting on the menu? Is there something you're known for that I shouldn't miss? Is one of the specials a real rarity?" Things like that I'd expect a waiter to have an expert, informed opinon on.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:28 PM
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1.) If they don't give you the price, feel free to ask. It does not make you look like you only care about the cost, just that you are budget conscious, which is nothing to feel guilty about. The waitperson is probably as budget conscious as you, if not more so.

2) This is a little silly, but it doesn't affect you and, again, does not affect the waitperson, who usually has a prepared answer. A bartender friend lost his sense of smell in a childhood accident. People ask him for food and wine recommendations and he will rattle them off without hesitation.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:45 PM
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As for #2. Knowing what is on the menu is part of their job. Any restaurant worth its salt will have made sure the wait staff has at least tried most of the items on the menu just so they can give their opinions on the dishes. Sometimes the server will offer insight to an item you had not considered. "You may want to be careful if you choose the curry. Our cook is a little heavy handed with the spices, and it's too hot for me," as had been told at the new Thai place near my house.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by K364 View Post
4) Don't like "how are you guys"... we are not guys. And "no problem" is like nails on a blackboard, just say "you're welcome".
I think this is a generational thing. I help people for a living and I say "no problem" all of the time as a response to "thanks". I say you're welcome sometimes too, but I've never heard anyone of my age or younger (41) have any issue with "no problem".

This is explains it better than me:

https://didyouknowfacts.com/why-youn...eople-hate-it/

“Actually, the “you’re welcome/no problem” issue is simply a linguistics misunderstanding. Older ppl tend to say “you’re welcome,” younger ppl tend to say “no problem.” This is because for older people the act of helping or assisting someone is seen as a task that is not expected of them, but is them doing extra, so it’s them saying, ‘I accept your thanks because I know I deserve it.”

“No problem, however, is used because younger people feel not only that helping or assisting someone is a given and expected but also that it should be stressed that your need for help was no burden to them (even if it was).”

“Basically, older people think help is a gift you give, younger people think help is a requirement.”
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:10 PM
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Airbeck, I think that link you quoted has got it backwards. I see the service as definitely expected.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:12 PM
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Airbeck, I think that link you quoted has got it backwards. I see the service as definitely expected.
I think it's spot on. Like I said it's a generational thing. Nobody means any disrespect at all by saying "no problem". Intent matters.
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Last edited by Airbeck; 12-06-2019 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:16 PM
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My biggest pet peeve is walking into an empty restaurant and get offered the booth closest to the doors to the kitchen and bathroom, the cashier stand is there too.
Thanks but no.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:20 PM
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I don't like the lack of price in #1 either. But as for the card on the table with the specials, often the specials are only in limited quantities. By having the waiter tell you them verbally, the kitchen can just tell the staff that they're out of whatever rather than having to scratch the item off the table cards.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:24 PM
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#1 - I don't expect prices with specials unless the price is the feature ("we have a special price today for our fish surprise, only 24.95!"). I'm an experienced enough diner to know the dishes to ask the price question about (e.g. lobster, salmon, whole crabs, etc.) and the other dishes ("tonight we have fresh halibut in addition to the cod") I expect to be priced comparably with the other dishes of its ilk on the menu (so if all the broiled fish is between $25 and $30, then I expect the broiled halibut special to be in that range).

#2 - In the groups I go out with, I pretty much expect this question to be put to our server. Generally it is by someone who either has no real preference or is trying to decide among several equally tempting dishes (so, many times the question is "which would you recommend, the duck or the orange roughy?"). I seldom ask the question, but I find the server's response a good gauge on how engaged they are in our dining experience.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:32 PM
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Just ask the price. They want you to choose the dish before you consider the price. Not every place does that.

It is generally pointless to ask the wait staff about the food. They're going to push something that there's a lot of in the back, or is a high profit item, or just what they think is easiest to serve without any complaints. Not every time, but you won't really know why they've made a recommendation.

OTOH, I think some people just like to order that way because they don't have any particular preference for food, or because some people avoid even the simplest decisions.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:53 PM
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I think it's spot on. Like I said it's a generational thing. Nobody means any disrespect at all by saying "no problem". Intent matters.
Intent matters? Apparently not on this board.

There are multiple threads in ATMB, and possibly other forums, where posters are stating that certain words themselves are a problem.
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:40 PM
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Good answers everyone. I'll let #2 go since there are good reasons for asking it, and try not to worry as much about asking the price of a special. What about special orders? Do you ever ask if they can give you a half portion of prime rib instead of half the cow for $40?
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:52 PM
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Do you ever ask if they can give you a half portion of prime rib instead of half the cow for $40?
No. Did you ever buy half of a car? How about half TV? Why do you expect they would reduce the price on a special order of any kind? If you don't want all that meat on your plate then you should offer to pay extra to have them remove half of it.

ETA: Besides the extra labor involved the value of the meat will be less than a third of the price of the dish, so the only cost saving for them is about $6. That might cover the additional cost of preparing a special order for you.

Last edited by TriPolar; 12-06-2019 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:16 PM
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Regarding #2, the waiter could provide valuable advice as to whether a particular food is fresh, particularly when it comes to seafood.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:23 PM
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No. Did you ever buy half of a car? How about half TV? Why do you expect they would reduce the price on a special order of any kind? If you don't want all that meat on your plate then you should offer to pay extra to have them remove half of it.
Surely you can tell the difference between half a car and a half portion of a meal.

It's certainly not rude to ask politely. Just be prepared for the answer to be "no."
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:07 PM
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Surely you can tell the difference between half a car and a half portion of a meal.

It's certainly not rude to ask politely. Just be prepared for the answer to be "no."
The point is not what half a portion is, the point is that you can't assume you can buy half of anything for half price. In most cases when half of something is for sale that will be made clear.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:22 PM
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Do restaurants typically have stuff like prime rib already portioned out, or do they slice it after you order? If it's the latter I guess maybe they could slice it thinner, but if it's the former they'd probably just end up throwing out the other half away (unless someone else just happens to coincidentally order a half portion) and end up costing the restaurant just as much as if you'd ordered a full portion. It would be like trying to order half a steak or half a burger.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 12-06-2019 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:29 PM
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When the hostess asks, "Would you like a booth or a table?" I hate it when someone in my party replies, "Whatever." It puts the hostess in the unenviable situation of guessing what we might prefer. Just pick one or the other.

Inane questions from patrons. Asking the poor young woman working the drive-thru at Dairy Queen why the Hawaiian Blizzard was discontinued just isn't fair. It's not like she makes those kinds of decisions.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:48 PM
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I don't mind the server mentioning that something on the menu is especially good or fresh. It's mildly off-putting when they tout something as "my favorite!" or assure me after I've ordered that I made a good selection. Wow, now I feel validated.
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When the hostess asks, "Would you like a booth or a table?" I hate it when someone in my party replies, "Whatever."
Yeah, the correct answer is "booth'.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:52 PM
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The point is not what half a portion is, the point is that you can't assume you can buy half of anything for half price. In most cases when half of something is for sale that will be made clear.
No car lot, anywhere in America or the entire world, sells half cars. Nor would anyone want to buy one. Many restaurants can make half portions of dishes and many do. Many people want a smaller portion. There is no harm in asking, and often restaurants can work something out, though sometimes they won't.

I feel kind of silly for pointing out something so obvious, but here we are.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:18 PM
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No car lot, anywhere in America or the entire world, sells half cars. Nor would anyone want to buy one. Many restaurants can make half portions of dishes and many do. Many people want a smaller portion. There is no harm in asking, and often restaurants can work something out, though sometimes they won't.

I feel kind of silly for pointing out something so obvious, but here we are.
So you expect a restaurant to charge you $20 for a $40 meal because you don't want to eat all of it? What are they supposed to do with half a piece of prime rib? Lots of restaurants list smaller portions on their menus, and they'll have no problem not giving you all the food you order if you request that, but I want to see this place you imagine will take a loss on a meal because you aren't hungry enough to eat all of it.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:18 PM
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When I was learning Spanish in school, my mom once asked me if there was another way to say "you're welcome" in Spanish besides "de nada," which literally translates to "of nothing" and is therefore somewhat similar to "no problem." A business associate, whose native language was Spanish but who was also fluent in English, had thanked her in an email with "gracias," and she wanted to respond in kind. But she didn't want to say "it was nothing," because it wasn't; it was a huge favor. I asked my teacher to be sure, but she thought it was a stupid question and informed me that "de nada" was the expected response, similar to how you're expected to say you're fine when asked how you're doing. I understand French uses a similar construction. I think people who get hung up on "you're welcome" vs. "no problem" are both over- and under-thinking it. I'm tempted to feign offense when they say goodbye, because that comes from "God be with you" and I'm an atheist, damnit.

Regarding asking your server questions about what to eat, I think it's fine to just ask what's good. A lot of places have a signature dish they're known for and then a dozen or more other things they put on the menu to accommodate the picky dining companions of the people who come in for that one great thing. If you go to Langer's Deli in Los Angeles, for example, and ask that question, they'll tell you to get the number 19. Some places don't have a thing like that, but your server will still give you good suggestions. It's especially wise to ask for the server's opinion if you're torn between two choices; that's usually an easy question to answer. What you shouldn't ask is "is the prime rib any good?" Because you'll rarely get an honest answer to that; even if it's terrible, servers usually aren't allowed to say so. Asking for recommendations or help choosing from a short list allows them to steer you toward the better option without trashing the alternative.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:25 PM
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For 1) I've never really thought about it. I've always just assumed the specials are in the general price range of main dishes, and never have gotten a big surprise.

2) It depends on why you are at a certain restaurant. There are a few restaurants I like that I go for a specific dish, so I generally know what I want before I even sit down, but when exploring new restaurants, I don't know. I don't like eating the same ol' shit all the time, and whenever I find myself at a new place, I like to try something different. I eat everything and anything, so I will sometimes ask what a particular place is known for, maybe if there's a particular dish the chef likes, etc. Usually I try to peruse the menu first and get a sense of what may be interesting and ask the server to narrow it down for me, but sometimes, I just want to get a sense of what the kitchen is proud of.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:55 PM
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For 1) I've never really thought about it. I've always just assumed the specials are in the general price range of main dishes, and never have gotten a big surprise.
This appears to be a scam at certain New York City restaurants:
Quote:
To his utter shock, the bill for their very simple dinner was $400.

When he asked how the bill could be so high, the waiters explained that the pasta dish his friend ordered was $275. When he confronted the waiter, the stunned letter writer explained,

"I was told that Nello never discloses the prices of specials and that it is the customer’s duty to pipe up with questions. "
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:15 PM
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Luckily, I don't go to restaurants fancy enough to try to demand those kinds of prices. I mean, the headline says that Nello is "one of the most expensive restaurants in the world."
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
Intent matters? Apparently not on this board.

There are multiple threads in ATMB, and possibly other forums, where posters are stating that certain words themselves are a problem.
If that's true, then the appropriate place to take it up is either ATMB (if it's moderators you're referring to), or the Pit (if it's anyone else). Regardless of whether it's true or not, it's off-topic in Cafe Society, and this thread in particular.
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:59 PM
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1. Here (Australia) any specials would either be chalked on a wallboard in a bistro or cafe or on a printed sheet that's handed to you with the menu. They would usually have the same info as the main menu and the price clearly displayed. That would apply across the range of restaurants.

I'm frankly amazed that you don't. Surely you could sue someone, or break their bottoms.

2. Wait-staff aren't just droids; it's perfectly reasonable to ask them for their suggestion. The only question is whether their recommending the turnip Surprise because that's their own opinion or the manager wants to push that. In either case its a recommendation, not prescribed.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:07 PM
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1. I’ve never been totally shocked by the price of a special. Obviously I know that steak and lobster is going to be expensive regardless. I appreciate servers being honest just as I was in worked in restaurants. ‘Our grilled salmon is tonight’s special, we are showcasing our seafood this week and it’s available at 15.’

2. Even at a TGI Friday’s I’m fine with asking a server’s opinions. Last week, I was with family in South Carolina and went out for Mexican food. There were 3 appealing shrimp dishes on the menu, I asked which one was the spiciest and ordered it. It was excellent! As long as I give the wait staff something to go on, I think that helps. At one restaurant I worked at, the rice was amazing and a baked potato is just a baked potato, I always suggested the rice as the starch side.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:16 PM
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There’s nothing wrong with asking the price of the special. I was recently in a really nice “special occasion” restaurant that is known for having a lot of specials, and the waiter recites the price as part of the description.....”we have rice penne with rare tuna and a spicy sauce for $19.00”. I wish more fine dining restaurants would do that.

As for making special requests like half portions, there’s nothing wrong with asking. You might get turned down but maybe not. Restaurants can be weird and inconsistent like that.

I once had breakfast at a popular B+B, and I ordered a simple platter, specifying no potatoes. Which basically just left eggs and toast. So the chef came out and asked me if I’d like some sliced tomatoes on my plate, which I actually appreciated.

And they next time I was at that restaurant I asked for the same thing, with sliced tomatoes, and they acted like I was crazy and started pointing out the note about “no substitutions”.

And the third time I dined there and made the same request, they whipped up this gorgeous heirloom tomato salad with scallions and a light dressing that was completely off menu, and served it on the side.

I think it’s always OK to ask for a change in portion size ( I will sometimes ask for a dinner sized portion of an appetizer or side salad ) or a side dish that’s off menu. Or for the elimination of an ingredient or two.

But beware, at certain types of restaurants, the chefs may refuse to make a heavily altered version of their creation, especially if they think it would suck. But most restaurants are pretty amenable to customer requests.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 12-06-2019 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:44 PM
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As far as half portions, that’s not too rare because that’s often what the restaurant will serve as their lunch portion. It might make a difference in a place in a central business district on a Friday night for a place that isn’t open on weekends, but that’s about it.
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:31 AM
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#1, yes just ask, and they shoudl say when listing, if they dont say (up front when telling me about them), I wont order.

#2. I usually only ask if i am torn between two dishes.

Waiters do sometimes have leeway, they have a "surf & turf' with fried shrimp- a weakness of mine. I asked and the waited was happy to bring double shrimp.

My own pet peeve is waiting, esp if you have a reservation.

Even worse are the restaurants who make you wait when there's no need to. And yes, the owner of Cheesecake factory was interviewed in a magazine and said his policy is to make everyone wait as it creates a illusion of scarcity. I know that just because there are empty tables it doesnt mean there is staff for them.

Last edited by DrDeth; 12-07-2019 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 12-07-2019, 06:59 AM
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We eat out fairly frequently, usually patronizing our favorite local restaurants.

1) I often order from the specials, but never ask the price because it tends to be in the range of prices for menu items. If I'm watching my $$, I eat at home. I would prefer to read the specials rather than hear them, though, because of my hearing loss. After being told the specials we ask for a minute to consider what we've been told. Then my gf recites the list so I can hear it.

2) I've worked in an upscale seafood place. The waitstaff often were told to "push the Marlin" for example, with whoever sold the most winning a bottle of wine. The Marlin in this case was about to go bad, though. The same few servers always won the bottle, because the majority of servers would actually steer diners away from it.

3) The upside to being a "regular" at a restaurant is when the server gives a very specific recommendation. Every so often a server will say, "Oh, and kayaker, Angela in the kitchen noticed you were here. She asked me to mention the xxxxx. She strongly suggests it". I've never gone wrong with a recommendation like that.

4) I have no problem waiting, but I'd prefer to wait at the bar and then carrying over the check to the dining room. I'll leave a cash tip on the bar, but would rather deal with paying just once.
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Old 12-07-2019, 07:15 AM
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My favorite "specials" experience is at Mallorca, a restaurant specializing in the cuisine of Majorca (Mallorca).

They do not have a dessert menu, rather the tuxedoed waiter stands at attention by your table and recites the evening's 8-10 dessert specials. It is an experience that I've always wanted to record, but always forget.

In a clear, well ennunciated voice with a Spanish accent, he says, "Tonight the chef has prepared xxxx which he simmers in a yyy sauce, which he reduces while adding sherry; which we then flambé table side ". He continues like this, item by item, each dish described in incredible, impeccable detail....

Until the last item. He ends his amazing soliloquy with the final dessert special, "and flan".

This has become a meme for us. Anytime we encounter a long, detailed list I add, "and flan".
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:12 AM
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I love the specials at a local "good" restaurants that people come from far and wide to go to, I think the food is ok and stuff there are dishes I can make at home. I figure the chef has finally got a fire under his ass and wanted to create something and it usually is very good. A place we have now picked as our favorite restaurant has started "chefs choice" with no asking what it is and no send backs... the once I was going to do it I decided not to as I was scared it would be lamb (not a fan) so hubby ordered it and my ESP was right as it was 2 huge lamb chops. I did go with the bartenders choice and received a drink with cucumber vodka and cherry pepper something .. hot spicy not bad but I didnt finish it.
Asking the wait staff opinion on meals I think sort of creates a bond with them and they want you to like what they have suggested. I have had genuine interest in if I liked the meal by wait staff and always thank them for the recommendation.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:13 AM
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It is generally pointless to ask the wait staff about the food. They're going to push something that there's a lot of in the back, or is a high profit item, or just what they think is easiest to serve without any complaints. Not every time, but you won't really know why they've made a recommendation.
Yep, at a lot of restaurants you're likely to get a recommendation that is convenient for the kitchen and the management.

In my early twenties, I traveled a bit and worked in hotels and restaurants in a few countries, and it was not unusual, even in the higher-end places, for the chef or manager to instruct us to push particular dishes, based on what they had in the fridge. "We didn't sell much chicken yesterday, so push the chicken dishes today," or "We're almost out of sole, so push the other stuff first." That sort of thing.
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:06 AM
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Yep, at a lot of restaurants you're likely to get a recommendation that is convenient for the kitchen and the management.

In my early twenties, I traveled a bit and worked in hotels and restaurants in a few countries, and it was not unusual, even in the higher-end places, for the chef or manager to instruct us to push particular dishes, based on what they had in the fridge. "We didn't sell much chicken yesterday, so push the chicken dishes today," or "We're almost out of sole, so push the other stuff first." That sort of thing.
That is not to say that there's anything wrong with the food recommended either. It just may not be the best or most popular dish available.
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:39 AM
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That is not to say that there's anything wrong with the food recommended either. It just may not be the best or most popular dish available.
Absolutely. The food we were told to push wasn't bad, it wasn't past its use-by date, and it was nicely prepared. It was perfectly good food.

But we were recommending it largely for economic considerations, rather than based on what the customer might actually prefer.

Last edited by mhendo; 12-07-2019 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:53 AM
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On the other hand, it's nice to know "This is one of our signature dishes" or "This is something we do really well" vs. "This is only on the menu because people expect it at a restaurant like this."
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:24 PM
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Older ppl tend to say “you’re welcome,” younger ppl tend to say “no problem.” This is because for older people the act of helping or assisting someone is seen as a task that is not expected of them, but is them doing extra, so it’s them saying, ‘I accept your thanks because I know I deserve it.”

No problem, however, is used because younger people feel not only that helping or assisting someone is a given and expected but also that it should be stressed that your need for help was no burden to them (even if it was).
I'll happily call BS on this.

Phrases like this go in and out of common use regularly. The notion that such changes reflect internal attitudes rather than current linguistic fashion is quite silly. As is the implication that attitudes are uniform within an age group.

In (at least) Australia and New Zealand, the equivalent phrase is essentially always "No worries." I'd like to hope no one is silly enough to get into a discussion about the deep significance of northern hemisphere problems vs. southern hemisphere worries.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:00 PM
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"No problem" and "you're welcome" are what's known as a "Phatic expression," which are expressions that serve a social function (e.g. politeness, a greeting, etc) without conveying actual meaning beyond that function. So "no problem" and "you're welcome" don't really mean "it wasn't a problem for me to help" or... I just realized I can't even form what "you're welcome" would literally mean ("I give my aid gladly?"). But regardless, these meanings are not used or intended most of the time.

Tom Scott has a great, short video on why phatic expressions can be perceived of vastly different rudeness depending on audience, with "no problem" being the headliner example. To me "you're welcome" seems rude, at least strange, because of my age. Not because I have a different view of doing favors, just because to me my brain is socially hardwired to subconsciously think "the proper response to thank you is 'no problem' and anything else is subverting the proper rules of social interaction" because of the cultural context I was socialized in.

Now, just because expressions are phatic doesn't mean we can't derive social norms from them, or how they come across, or the sentiment behind them. The fact that culture has shifted from "you're welcome" to "no problem" may say something about the changing notions and social dynamics around doing favors, but in and of themselves the phrases don't have meaning.

Last edited by Jragon; 12-07-2019 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:11 PM
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I bartended with a guy who, when asked to recommend a drink, would always answer "bud light bottle" simply because it was the fastest thing to serve.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:34 PM
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So you expect a restaurant to charge you $20 for a $40 meal because you don't want to eat all of it? What are they supposed to do with half a piece of prime rib? Lots of restaurants list smaller portions on their menus, and they'll have no problem not giving you all the food you order if you request that, but I want to see this place you imagine will take a loss on a meal because you aren't hungry enough to eat all of it.
This is absurd. People get half portions of meals all the time. I've seen it happen. I don't get half portions myself, but I do ask for my Thai curry to not have eggplant and my joint is happy to comply. Again, and for the last time, there is nothing wrong with making a polite request as long as you are willing to take no for an answer.

That is the last thing I have to say about this.

But while I'm here, Jragon is right about "Your Welcome" v. "No problem." There is no greater meaning other than a polite sound made to acknowledge someone's thanks.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:50 PM
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Wouldn't it be easier to just stick a card in the menu listing the specials and their cost instead of putting both myself and the waitperson in this awkward situation?
Specials are made of things that restaurants want to get rid of before they have to pitch them. Some restaurants do put them specials on a card. Some do tell you the price without your having to ask. I’m sure each restaurant chooses its method because it produces more sales. Or they think it does.

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Asking them "What do you like?" seems like a complete waste of time since who bases their choice on what other people like,
I often do. It’s one way of discovering new things.

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If something was that bad I doubt it would be on the menu in the first place.
Not true. In a lot of restaurants they do some things well and some things badly. Servers know what’s most popular—that’s often the restaurant’s best fish and biggest earner.

Sometimes this ends up being a bad choice for you. That can happen even if you don’t ask.

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Do either of these two ring true for you or is it just me?
Not true for me.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:54 PM
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Again, and for the last time, there is nothing wrong with making a polite request as long as you are willing to take no for an answer.
Agreed.

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But while I'm here, Jragon is right about "Your Welcome" v. "No problem." There is no greater meaning other than a polite sound made to acknowledge someone's thanks.
Exactly. This is silly cultural bias. What matters is the intent. To that person. this phrase is a polite reply, because that’s what E has learned. Getting annoyed by such differences in etiquette is ridiculous.
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Old 12-07-2019, 02:18 PM
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My pet peeve is when the service gets slow at the end of the meal. You're ready for a check and to box up any leftovers you're taking home, but you can't flag down the waiter to save your life, and even when you do, it takes forever to get the check, get boxes, etc. and get out of there.

I mind slow service at the beginning of the meal a lot less: my companions and I are engaged in conversation, we're looking over the menu, and if it takes several minutes for the waiter to get our drink orders, it's OK, we're occupied. But at the end, when we've eaten our fill and the conversation's slowed down, I really notice the time it takes between the time we first try to get the waiter's attention and the time we can actually pick up and leave.

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Jragon is right about "Your Welcome" v. "No problem." There is no greater meaning other than a polite sound made to acknowledge someone's thanks.
I concur. I'm 65, and I use them interchangeably. "No problem" wasn't even a thing when I was growing up, but it's been part of the standard phraseology for decades now, and it's sufficiently wormed its way into my brain that I'' use it without a thought.
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Old 12-07-2019, 02:19 PM
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I'll happily call BS on this.

Phrases like this go in and out of common use regularly. The notion that such changes reflect internal attitudes rather than current linguistic fashion is quite silly. As is the implication that attitudes are uniform within an age group.

In (at least) Australia and New Zealand, the equivalent phrase is essentially always "No worries." I'd like to hope no one is silly enough to get into a discussion about the deep significance of northern hemisphere problems vs. southern hemisphere worries.
The ones that sound odd to me are “You’re alright, mate” (who asked you to evaluate me?) or “cheers” (what are we celebrating or toasting to?).
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