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Old 02-12-2008, 08:27 PM   #31
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I have always stacked my plates, dishes, trash and what not for easy removal. Partly for me, partly for the person clearing the table. I like making things easier for the next person, no matter who they are.

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Old 02-12-2008, 08:31 PM   #32
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If it's nice place I don't stack at a casual place I stack just because it's my nature to organize.

"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it." - Julia Child
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:33 PM   #33
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I waited tables for a number of years. I automatically stack plates according to size with napkins on top and silverware in a glass.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:25 PM   #34
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I will stack them as it reduces their interference with my meal. The longer they are there, the more the interruption..
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:30 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Constance View Post
Forgive me, but I was raised by Emily Post's Etiquette book.

....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.
Obviously, Emily Post never visited a small diner, or the South, where good manners means that you say "Thank You" for everything. Good service means treating your server as a person. He or she is not "invisible."
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:21 AM   #36
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I asked my daughter her thoughts on this. She was a server for years (managed part of that time). She said she didn't mind if they stacked them, as long as they were easy to carry away from the table. Even though etiquette says to put your silverware on the plate when you are done, Nancy said there is nothing grosser than having to pick silverware up out of half-eaten food! She said it was often easier if the plates were at the edge of the table, so she could take them without interrupting their conversation. Nancy also added that you should not ask 5 other people for something right after you have asked your server. She said give it a couple minutes. She has brought things to people's tables, only to find out they had already gotten a few of them! Finally, she said she loved talking to her customers. She had a lot of return customers, and I know that when she quit when she was pregnant with her second baby, they were really sad to see her go.

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Old 02-13-2008, 03:23 AM   #37
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My cutlery at 5 o'clock, napkin on bread plate (often where it originated from), no stacking (except possibly for incidental little plates/bowls like for a sauce or olives), leave in front of me but pushed towards the centre a bit, with share plates pushed towards the edge of the table to signify its empty and needs removing. I thank everyone for everything and always try to make pleasantries with the staff, and smile a lot, unless they have already proved really incompetent or rude. Annoys me (although only slightly) when patrons try stacking at my table unless we are trying to make more room for something, although I do understand it with little kids. I will pass waitstaff empty plates to help them though but they should work out the best method for them and at some restaurants, it would be considered extremely poor taste for either the waitstaff or the patron to stack the plates, and not just silver service establishments.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:38 AM   #38
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I don't scrape and stack. I do say thank you, and I do not put my napkin on top of the plate.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:41 AM   #39
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Last night we ate out to celebrate my daughter's birthday/Valentines. The only thing we stacked were some small B&B plates. We were seated at a 4-Top and the server had plenty of room to bus the table after each course. We did move the bowl/plate etc. to the (each person's) corner of table to make it easier for the waiter.

Last time out were seated in a two sided cubicle of sorts. (I hated it) In this situation the server/busser could not reach two people at the table. They had to hand the waiter everything, and the waiter had to hand them their courses. The only other recourse would have been the waiter laying his body across the table while reaching across/in front of the rest of us. (I'll never go back)

So my answer is, it depends on the situation as to how much help I give a server. In general I don't like "stacking" for the server. I prefer to just move the dish to side or corner of the table and let them do their job the way they were trained (?) to do.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:56 AM   #40
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Whether I'm eating at a cloth napkin or a paper napkin restaurant, I always leave the napkin on my lap until I stand up to leave. I figure if it gets taken away with the plates, that's when I'll probably need it most....

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