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Old 02-12-2008, 07:04 PM   #21
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What's your opinion on this?

You (as part of a dinner party of two or more) are having dinner at a restaurant and you are between courses. Do you leave all the empty dishes where they are or do you collect and/or stack them to make the bus boy's or server's cleanup easier?

We ate out numerous times while on vacation the past two weeks and I observed this behavior and it has become a matter of curiosity.

What do you do?
Which behavior did you observe, leaving them as is or stacking them... or both?
I've always let them do their job if they are doing it in a timely manner. If they aren't I will move the plates out of my way, but I wouldn't say I've stacked everyone's dishes up or made their job easier....
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:28 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
What's your opinion on this?

You (as part of a dinner party of two or more) are having dinner at a restaurant and you are between courses. Do you leave all the empty dishes where they are or do you collect and/or stack them to make the bus boy's or server's cleanup easier?

We ate out numerous times while on vacation the past two weeks and I observed this behavior and it has become a matter of curiosity.

What do you do?

Forgive me, but I was raised by Emily Post's Etiquette book.

When you are finished with your meal, you lay your knife and fork side by side on your plate, which signals the waiter that you are done.
It is not proper to stack plates or move them around. That is his job.

You are also not supposed to say, "Thank you," when he/she brings you something. You thank him by leaving him a good tip.

Neither should you or he strike up a conversation. His job is to give you the best possible service while remaining as invisible as possible.

So, La ti da.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:02 PM   #23
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When you are finished with your meal, you lay your knife and fork side by side on your plate, which signals the waiter that you are done.
I was taught to place my fork and knife at 5 o'clock on the plate for the same reason.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:10 PM   #24
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We sometimes stack up the same-size plates and add the silverware on top. We then put near the edge of the table or, if our siblings & their kids are together, we put the dishes in the middle of table and put the silverware on top. We also put our napkins on top, if we're done with them. We like to make it a little easier for the waiters/waitresses. I used to waitress a little at our small-town cafe...one of a few jobs I did there besides being a cook. I didn't mind when people stacked their dishes together for me. It just made it a little easier for me to pick up. I'm short and can't reach around or over people too well sometimes. I appreciated any sort of help. The regular customers were great and knew which waiters/waitresses could do whatever.

Darlene
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:24 PM   #25
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Don't do any stacking here. Just push the plates to the outside edge of the table so we can converse. I, too, place my silverware at the 5 o'clock position to indicate that I'm done with that plate/dish.

I was also taught that, to signal that I'm done with the whole meal, I should lightly fold my napkin and place it at the left edge of my plate.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:25 PM   #26
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Which behavior did you observe, leaving them as is or stacking them... or both?...

Left to my own devices, I would not move any dishes around. First of all, I don't care to. Also, I see that some servers have a very specific process for laying out the dishes up their arm so they can clear an entire table. Any stacking would interfere with that process.

Connie, the era of 'invisible' help/servants is past. I think times have changed to become more relaxed and less formal. Typically, restaurant servers try to be friendly through conversation with their guests to encourage tipping.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:09 PM   #27
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...You are also not supposed to say, "Thank you," when he/she brings you something. You thank him by leaving him a good tip...
LOL There is no way I'm not going to say "Thank you" when anyone brings me something. For me, to not thank someone is to ignore the fact that they are a human being, doing me a service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
...Neither should you or he strike up a conversation. His job is to give you the best possible service while remaining as invisible as possible...
We are usually seated at the "hide them so no one has to see them" seats (we're both fat) near the kitchen, at some of the places we go (of course they don't say that), but it works out since we are pretty friendly people. James almost always starts up a conversation with our server (if they are really busy he holds back a little), and they will stay and talk as long as they can get away with it. They usually love chatting with us, and we always get great service because we are so friendly (and they, in turn, always get a great tip).

Barbara
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:12 PM   #28
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Left to my own devices, I would not move any dishes around.
Really the only reason we move ours sometimes is because they are just in the way.

Barbara
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:14 PM   #29
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You are also not supposed to say, "Thank you," when he/she brings you something.
Wow, really? Holey moley, I've been using poor etiquette all these years!!

This is one of my mother's favorite rants: she goes out for informal breakfasts or lunches with a group of former colleagues (all teachers, BTW) and she is the only one out of 8 people who says "thank you" to the servers. Makes mom crazy!

I guess I can see not saying thank you in fancy restaurants where there is a different server for every piece of cutlery and glass. But I never go to those places.

It doesn't feel right to me NOT to say "thank you". I'm a good tipper, too.

What do other wait people, past and present, say about this? Would you rather we DON'T say "thank you"????

Lee
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:21 PM   #30
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Maybe we're talking about different types of restaurants? I always say Thanks when my server brings me something and I talk with them, too, if they are chatty. Since I usually have kids with me, I make it a point to "police" my table so that they don't groan when they see me the next time. (I always leave a generous tip too unless the service is just terrible.) It seems to work because we are always treated like valued customers in my neighborhood restaurants. But these are not expensive or exclusive restaurants - just neighborhood, family-style places.
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