Servers interrupting diners’ conversations: Thoughts??
By - Milan514
What are we supposed to do then? We’re busy, so when we find a moment to check on our guests we’re going to do so.
You can interrupt a conversation or come up when they have food in their mouth. Either way you can’t win.
You sit down and your server greets you. You place an order for meal and drinks straight away and TELL your server to leave you and don’t ask any questions , just bring drinks, food , and check . Give him 20$ to ensure he understands. And enjoy your meal.
I’m from Europe. I served there, and we , generally , stay in dining room and wait. You’ll raise your hand and we will assist you. You’re always in sight, so any questions - just raise your hand. You’d love that;)
I’ll just let you know few rules servers generally follow:
1 min greeting, 2 min drinks , 8-10 for apps, 15-20 for mains, ask for desert/coffee, check. And I need to check on each thing you order: -How is your cocktail? -How do you like those mozzarella stick? -How is your steak? It it cooked to your liking? -How do you enjoy you brownie? . Listen carefully, and you’ll see all of those patterns ;)
If the server doesn't stop by your table when they have a moment, then it's "we haven't seen our server all night!" People talk all through dinner. They can't stand behind you and wait for a lull in the conversation. It's not a big deal. Just say "we're good, thanks!" And continue your conversation.
I suppose you’re right; there’s no ideal moment to check on diners. It’s a catch 22. You ask how they are, and you’re interrupting. You never ask because you don’t want to interrupt, and it’s “my waiter never checked on us.” And I agree that servers are normally very busy, I don’t doubt that for a second. I thought maybe some waiters had different approaches: perhaps approaching the table, waiting a second to get a diner’s attention, then asking. I’ve had experiences where waiters won’t wait until you’ve noticed them, and then yell if all’s well (almost as if they’re doing their best to talk over whoever’s speaking).
Probably because people just completely ignore waiters regardless of if they wait or not. You can stand at a table all you want and people.will just keep talking.
Wow what a stupid thing t post in a server subreddit. Literally every trainer in every restaurant will tell us that we need to check back shortly after dropping off the food. Otherwise how do we know you are happy with it? We would end up with a bunch of people saying "My meal was wrong but my waiter never checked."
If you are going to eat out you should get over yourself first.
I am not, nor have I ever been, a server. I'm really not intending this to be a rude question, and I apologize if it comes across that way. If you don't want them stopping by to check up as they are able, when do you want to have them stop by? Seems like it's a catch 22... either they briefly interrupt a convo, or don't come by at all. I'd rather be interrupted but can appreciate that's not everyone's stance. I just honestly don't see an alternative that wouldn't likely negatively impact a tip
Yes I agree it’s a catch 22. I guess standing by the table for a second to get our attention would help. I’ve had servers fast-walk past our table while going to the kitchen, and ask if all’s well while whizzing by. It’s almost an obligation that they just want to get out of the way than anything else, rather than genuinely checking if all is well. At the same time, I recognize that they’re busy and probably understaffed. I guess there’s no perfect answer.
>standing by the table for a second to get our attention would help
That does not work with 95% of guests and we end up just wasting time standing there like an idiot when we have 100 other things to do.
The restaurant/pub chain for whom I manage has a policy where we have to check each customer within 5 minutes of them receiving their meal to ensure that everything is good and nip any problems in the bud there and then.
I absolutely hate when people try to get my attention by waving at me, raising a hand like it's a classroom or worst of all, snapping their fingers to summon me. All of these things tell me this customer isn't going to have a clue how to do anything in terms of ordering, and once I explain it to them, they're probably going to ignore everything I just told them and demand that I serve them at their table.
This is normally made infinitely more fun by the matter of that they stop me when I'm running to fix a problem of some kind.
Do you have a preferred way for diners to get your attention? Perhaps the ordering system at your pub is particular, but normally I’ll try to make eye contact and the waiter will come by. I agree that some methods are more rude (snapping fingers? Very tacky and rude) but my intent is never to be rude, and I always talk to the wait staff with courtesy (I’ve worked in the service industry before). I’ll always follow up (or almost) with a very good tip.
I’ve had waiters ask if all’s well while fast-walking by our table in a rush to return to the back of house/kitchen area; they won’t have the courtesy to stop and properly engage; it’s almost more of a “box that needs checking” (as you’ve said, you’re obligated to check on diners within five minutes) than anything else.
We're basically a fast food joint, but as a pub, so everything is order at the bar or via your smartphone here. I like people that do that. I assume that it's basically just a case of knowing what kind of establishment you're in as to whether it's waiter service or bar service. If I were working in a place that was waiter service, I'd probably hate people that come to the bar to try and place a order.
You're right though, the "checkback" system is just a box we have to tick for mystery shoppers. When I was first starting out I dropped food off for a lady then got position switched so I had to complete her checkback and didn't want to interrupt her as she was in the middle of a phone call. I ended up waiting about 20 minutes before she hung up so I could ask her how her meal was and I feel like it goes without needing to be said that her meal was cold by then.
>I’ve had waiters ask if all’s well while fast-walking by our table in a rush to return to the back of house/kitchen area
You are not a server and have never been so why did you come here to bash servers? If they are in a hurry they are in a hurry. Restaurants are massively shorthanded right now. You and many other customers seem to have no concept of that.
I’m not a server and have actually been one briefly, but regardless, the rules of this sub don’t prevent me from posting.
I didn’t come here to bash servers. Sorry if thats the impression you got. If you read my original post, I heap praise on servers, and my question was meant to be respectful.
If they are in a hurry, I can appreciate it, but I was wondering if servers had thoughts about the manner in which servers check up on diners. Even if they’re in a hurry, there must be some servers who have thoughts on how to ask how everything is, with some kind of discretion or without coming across as rude.
What a bunch of BS on here. Yes I have been a server. When a customer wants something from you, they’re typically looking up (because they’re sitting) and looking around for their server.
When you walk up to a table and are already talking, it’s rude. When you walk into a room talking, it’s rude. When you interrupt, it’s rude. What exactly is wrong with making eye contact? giving a thumbs up with a questioning look? Walking up to the table and looking at the table to see if there are any issues (drinks are full, food is being eaten, etc)? And if they seem to engrossed in conversation check back in a few? Or say “sorry to interrupt just making sure everything is ok?”
Basic manners, because the problem is not a waiter that comes over, and then asks a question. The problem is when they already have half the sentence out before you even realized they are there.