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Old 02-13-2008, 10:39 AM   #41
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My brother and I have always stacked our dishes to make it easier for our server when he/she came around. They always appreciated it, just like our saying Thank You to our server when he/she brought something or did something (like refilling your tea or water glass), it made them feel like you really appreciated the work/effort to go the extra little mile (even knowing that was part of the service/job). And I always leave a good tip for good service. My parents are the same way. They consider it common courtesy to be nice to your wait staff.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:22 AM   #42
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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."
Obviously not. I was telling you what SHE said. I usually do say "Thank You".

However, once the order is taken, a good server SHOULD be invisible. I do not go to a restaurant to visit with the employees, and I find an overly talkative server quite annoying, no matter where I am. A friendly, "Hello, and how are you today," is quite sufficient.

That doesn't mean that servers aren't people...it just means that they are there to serve, and not gab.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:53 AM   #43
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i like to snap my fingers and shout c'mere boy" when i need the dishes bussed, and a bucket brought to the table with a wafer thin mint.

j/k.

it depends on what type of restaurant i'm in, and the "expected" level of service. if there's one waiter who's also bussing his own tables in a family type restaurant, we stack dishes to help out.

if we're in a higher end joint with (what should be) ample service, i will politely sit back a little to allow the dishes to be taken away. no stacking.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:29 PM   #44
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I go along with VeraBlue 100%. When I go out to "dine".....not snack or fast food, I sit back like a lady and let the servers etc. do all the work. That's part of what I'm paying for in a nice restaurant. :-)
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:31 PM   #45
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i like to snap my fingers and shout c'mere boy" when i need the dishes bussed, and a bucket brought to the table with a wafer thin mint.
Hey BT, I thought I saw you the other night. You were the guy with the bucket on his head, right?
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:11 PM   #46
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I'm afraid I won't solve the issue, but I will chime in. My best friend and I have been in the service industry for over a decade each. It doesn't phase me one way or the other if someone stacks. As long as there is no "buried" cutlery that I have to dig out of mashed potatoes, as mentioned earlier.

My friend, though, hates it BIG time. She thinks it is super offensive. Like saying that she's not getting to it quick enough. It's the server's job (in her opinion) to notice when people are done and take stuff away without them having time to think of stacking.

I will admit: Everywhere I've worked has taught the proper service ettiquette of waiting for the last person at the table to finish eating before we are allowed to clear the table. So that the last diner doesn't feel pressured. So when people start stacking, it DOES interrupt the natural flow of service. Servers should never stack ON the table, so you shouldn't either, I guess. We really do have a system, I promise... well maybe not ALL of us, but if your server was trained well, he/she should follow proper "Steps of Service."
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:24 PM   #47
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I will admit: Everywhere I've worked has taught the proper service ettiquette of waiting for the last person at the table to finish eating before we are allowed to clear the table. So that the last diner doesn't feel pressured. So when people start stacking, it DOES interrupt the natural flow of service. Servers should never stack ON the table, so you shouldn't either, I guess. We really do have a system, I promise... well maybe not ALL of us, but if your server was trained well, he/she should follow proper "Steps of Service."
That's interesting! Thanks. I think that, in a way, we have changed as a society though, and rather than feel rushed by having dishes removed, we (and I am just speaking generally, not about everyone) kind of like things to move along. A little off topic, but about being rushed--I have noticed a difference in different areas of the country when it comes to how long a group stays at the table. Here, in South Carolina, many people seem to sit, eat, and get out. I am from California, as are a few of my friends here, and James is from Iowa. We are used to sitting and talking while we eat, and then talking (and sipping a drink) for awhile when we are finished (unless the restaurant is extremely busy and needs the table, but we still don't let ourselves be rushed through the meal). I guess it is kind of a hold-over from sitting around the table at home, sharing about our day. I guess some people view the dinner table as a place just to nourish their bodies and others see it as a place to nourish their bodies and their minds and souls.

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Old 02-13-2008, 02:33 PM   #48
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Obviously not. I was telling you what SHE said. I usually do say "Thank You".

However, once the order is taken, a good server SHOULD be invisible. I do not go to a restaurant to visit with the employees, and I find an overly talkative server quite annoying, no matter where I am. A friendly, "Hello, and how are you today," is quite sufficient.

That doesn't mean that servers aren't people...it just means that they are there to serve, and not gab.
I agree completely. A dining out experience is a special time, regardless if you are at a $ restaurant or a $$$$ place. I'm there to speak with my company, not the staff. Regardless of the environment, staff will earn a bigger tip if my food is good and the service is great. To me, great service doesn't mean being my buddy, it means fading away so I can enjoy the reason I'm out.

Conversely, the reason I don't stack plates is similar to the reason I don't bag my order at the supermarket. I've yet to see waitstaff or cashiers show up at my job to help me... If I want to be helpful, I'll give my leftovers to one of the people I encounter sleeping in the subway.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:40 PM   #49
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This is really interesting, Barbara. I don't think there is a right or wrong in anyone's approach - just illustrates how different we all are. Maybe it extends to lots of areas of service. Do you return your basket to the front of the store or the designated area in the parking lot? Do you return items you decide not to purchase to the area where you got them?
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:58 PM   #50
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Maybe it extends to lots of areas of service. Do you return your basket to the front of the store or the designated area in the parking lot? Do you return items you decide not to purchase to the area where you got them?
LOL If they have a place for the carts I do put it there, unless the front of the store is closer. The only time I will leave my cart sitting in the parking lot is if there are already carts there (and then I usually put them together). Yeah, I'm one of the ones who will go all the way back to the remotest corner of the store to put something back where it belongs, unless I am in line when I make that decision, and then I will let the cashier know that I don't want it and give it to her/him. I hate it when people just shove things any old place--especially when it is something that needs to be refrigerated or frozen. That is just so inconsiderate. This reminded me of a movie I saw years ago. A teenaged newlywed was shopping and didn't want anyone to see how poor they were. She filled her cart with all kinds of expensive foods, to surround the few meager items she was going to buy. When she was done, she took out what she was buying, hid the cart behind a display, and hurried to the checkout counter!

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