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DavidB May 30th, 2004 01:46 PM

Can I have my meal in peace?
Okay, service when carried out properly is great. But sometimes I feel we can nearly get to overkill.

Scenario: Eating my dining room meal, the waiter / waitress suddenly creeps over my shoulder and asks "Is everything okay". Yeah its great is the usual reply. That care and attention I do not mind, its good.

BUT,,, within the same main course I have also had the the waiters assistant, the wine waiter and his assistant, the head waiter for this group of tables, the assistant Maitre'D and when it suits him the Maitre'D himself all asking me if everything is all right.

I feel like screaming,,,No it's not,,, you are giving me indigestion and spoiling my meal with these constant creeping over my shoulder questions and interuptions.


pg May 30th, 2004 02:18 PM

Re: Can I have my meal in peace?
I can see your point, it's really the waiters job( and possibly the maitre'd s ) job to enquire after you meal. I think the wine steward and bus boy are just " tip fishing". Some people like all the attention though, it makes them feel cared for, it just makes me feel annoyed.

Codfish May 30th, 2004 11:04 PM

Re: Can I have my meal in peace?
I guess I wouldn't have hesitated to tactfully tell the maitre D' I didn't like everyone stopping by during my meal just to ask if everything was ok. It is his job to make sure I'm comfortable durring dinner. I'm sure it would have stopped. If they can remember my name, my drink, and how I like my steak cooked, I don't see why they wouldn't remember I didn't have to be checked on. But like pg said, some people like all the attention. Some even complain when every tom, dick, and harry from the captain down to the bottle washer dosen't stop by.

Just my 2 cents

Thomas May 30th, 2004 11:24 PM

Re: Can I have my meal in peace?
Being a restaurant owner and formerly a gourmet waiter I can say that this is a valid complaint. When I was working as a waiter in a private dinner club we went to classes occasionally on how to serve. I distinctly remember an instructor who once worked in the White House who taught that a good server will only be noticed 3 times during the patron's dinner. Once when he is seated and you introduce yourself and explain the menu items. Two, when you take his order. And three, five minutes after you've delivered the dinner to make sure everything is satisfactory.

0ther than those times a good server will be available but will never interfere with the conversation going on. The server should work the table refilling tea, picking up cracker wrappers, removing used plates, bringing fresh butter, etc, but should do so invisibly.


CruisinOkie May 31st, 2004 07:44 AM

Re: Can I have my meal in peace?
Why do they always wait until you've got a mouth full of food to ask?

JeanS May 31st, 2004 08:14 AM

Re: Can I have my meal in peace?
Haha, good point, CruisinOkie! Because they are waiting in the wings for you to put that big spoonful of potatoes in your mouth before they ask you and then wait to hear your reply if everything is okay or not!! BAH HAH HAH!

Pea May 31st, 2004 06:01 PM

Re: Can I have my meal in peace?
While I enjoy good service, just having the server constantly ask "is everything ok?" doesn't constitute good service. One meal I was having, we had at least 20 visits to our table. If you are having a conversation, it is really annoying to be interupted incessantly.

I think a server should come back 5 minutes after the meal is served and ask if you need anything and if everything is ok. The server should let the customer know they will be available if the customer needs anything, and then keep an eye on the table. Coming back every 5 minutes is not needed unless they notice an empty drink glass, empty plates, etc. Coming back constantly just to ask is everything ok is redundant and intrusive.

I do realize this may be the policy of the restaurant and not under the server's control. Some of these establishments need to get a clue. If I wanted to be interupted constant, I could stay at home and wait for the telemarketing calls.


DisneyJag May 31st, 2004 08:26 PM

Re: Can I have my meal in peace?

Is everything ok?

DisneyJag May 31st, 2004 08:27 PM

Re: Can I have my meal in peace?
Is everything ok, Davy?

(Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Heh! Heh! heh!

JoeMo June 1st, 2004 05:30 PM

Re: Re: Can I have my meal in peace?
The only time I have ever noticed all this attention was the last night,
and dismissed it as "tip fishing" as noted above.


Heidict June 1st, 2004 05:48 PM

Re: Can I have my meal in peace?
Yeah, I agree. Check on my a few minutes after you serve the meal and maybe towards the end. But not constantly. You see this in regular restaurants also. It drives me crazy!!!!

On the other hand. Nothing is more annoying when you can't find your waiter so that you can get something fixed or just to ask for something extra. You sit there for 15 mintues waiting for them. And then when you try to get the attention of another waiter they ignore you. UGH!

LisaK June 2nd, 2004 01:00 PM

Re: Can I have my meal in peace?
A good waiter will learn how to "read" the people at his table and attend to them as needed. I agree check with me 5 minutes after you serve me, then wait in the wings and read the table. If you see something isn't looking quite right, then approach the table. I don't mind if the head waiter comes around after the main course has been served, asking what did you order, how did you like it things like that.

DavidBgood December 22nd, 2006 05:43 PM

Ahh,,,the good old days,,,before they took my stripes.... :D :D and this one still stands as a GRIPE. I was ready to write it again when my memory kicked in 8)

Go away and let me eat in peace :roll:....honest I was a little timid cat back then :roll:

hombre December 23rd, 2006 03:04 PM

it does seem to run from one extreme to another. i usually sail on HAL ships. in the usually semi-empty pinnacle grille the 'service' can be overbearing with several staff standing nearby and gazing at your every move and just waiting to top off that water glass; in the main restaurant just try getting a second glass of wine -- you will wait forever and never get it. sometimes i just get a bit fed up and eat in the lido where i can go and serve myself. hombre

rescuedad December 23rd, 2006 06:07 PM

What I feel is worse than at the dinner table is by the pool ! I was sunning while a friend was trying to read his book. The women took the kids for a couple of hours so we decided to lounge around. My friend doesn't drink and I was trying to crash. The waiters came by 100 times. sometimes one would leave and another would be right behind him asking us. Needless to say I couldn't sleep and he couldn't read. At least at the dinner table I am awake!

Fieldmouse December 23rd, 2006 08:15 PM

Perhaps some of the wait-staff do get a little over zealous, but so far we've found it easy just to smile and say, "We're fine thank-you" and continue talking with hardly a break in the conversations pace. Maybe it's just from practice! LOL

k88 December 28th, 2006 11:33 AM

Being a waitress my self( not on a cruiseship)
I'm figuring that none of you that posted replies have ever waited before!
1)All servers have time tables, you are suppose to meet and greet the table with in 30 seconds, which dosent happen as much when you get double or triple sat at the same time, when your very busy and people are on the wait list. So if you are in a restaurant and you waited 40 minutes and notice that is is very busy, give the server a little extra time to get over to you!
2) Drinks are supposed to be delievered with in 3 minutes, which also dosent happen when the restaurant is busy.
3)Then appetizers and salads/soups are supposed to hit the table within 10-12 minutes of ordering.
4) The main course should hit the table 18-23 minutes after the apps hit the table.We are supposed to ask if you need anything else, and ask for you to cut into your steak to make sure its the correct temp.( which is not our fault by the way!!)
5) Then theres the three-bite rule, we check back within three bites,(usually about a minute after the food has been dropped) because most people decided here wether somethigns cold, or they just don't like it. We also ask if you need anything else at this time.
6)Then we go back to the table about 4-5 minutes after the three bite rule, because majority of customers now remeber they forget to ask for something, and they need it to continue eating, because you all know if you forgot to ask for something and we dont check back till the end of the meal, your going to be mad.
7)Then after the meals are done we ask for dessert or coffee, then thats supposed to go out within 5-6 minutes.
8) Then were suppose to check back again with the three bites rule.
These RULES are pretty much the same for any restaurant and are enforced by our managers.

SOME ADVICE: 1)Don't yell across the dining room for your waiter of yell miss with your finger up in the air, while their waiting on another table, that is so rude!! Believe me they will notice that your impaitent.
2) One reason that other waiters may inyour eyes ignore you, is because they probaly cant do anything for you anyway, if you need another alcoholic drink, YOUR server has to put it in, not anybody else, or if you need another salad dressing or sour cream or something like that, YOUR server has to put it in, since there is a limit to how many you can have, and you get charged if your above that limit( this isn't our fault, we dont make the prices, we just have to follow them, so dont get mad at your server for an upcharge becuase you got broccoli instead of fries, we have to upcharge, theres no way to put it into the computers without it upcharging, the computers are made this way!)Also, YOUR server is the only one that can get you your bill, or to pay the bill,(where I work we have cards that we need to swipe in order to access our tables information on the computers). Or finally they may be busy with their own tables! I understand if your waiter stinks and their not around at all, thats understandable.
3) If you just got done with your meal, give a couple of minutes for your server to be back, dont get up and go find them in the kitchen or ask another server We are probaly just in the kitchen running other tables food or doing our "Duties" in the kitchen, thats right we dont just wait on our tables, we have to restock everything in the kitchen, and do our silverware, and rechange dressings, and theres alot more duities!! So even though we are not busy in front of you dosent mean that were not in the kitchen, we cant read minds, we dont know when your done at that exact second.
****I think if most customers knew some of this advice, then it would lead to better understanding customers, and therefore happier servers, and therefor better service! :D

Fruitcake December 28th, 2006 04:57 PM

I don't think you're comparing apples to apples for the most part.

Serving on a cruise ship is not like waiting tables at a land-based restaurant.

The point the OP was making is that sometimes on a cruise ship you want to be left alone once you assure the server that your meal is fine. You don't need every other person assigned to the table to make the same inquiry about the entree.

k88 December 28th, 2006 10:35 PM

Yeah , your probaly right, but I just wanted to offer some advice to people at land restaurants!!! :D :D

Fruitcake December 29th, 2006 12:06 PM


Originally Posted by k88
Yeah , your probaly right, but I just wanted to offer some advice to people at land restaurants!!! :D :D

It's good advice for land restaurants!
Both my daughters have done their share of waitressing, and it was sad to hear how awful people were to them at times.
My husband and I are always generous tippers when we have good service, knowing what the servers have to put up with!

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