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Old 02-12-2008, 03:04 PM   #1
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Helping the Bus Boy/Server in a Restaurant

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?
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:10 PM   #2
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I move them to the end of the table just because I dont like people reaching in next to me, between the person I am sitting next to and myself. I guess I have personal space issues. That and strange armpits in my face.....
I also tend to move them when the kids are with us because I clean up most of thier mess before the poor wait person / bus boy has to do it.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:12 PM   #3
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Being that we have 2 young boys, they produce a huge amount of mess. I usually try and collect it all on to one plate. Usually lots of used napkins and chunks of food.

If I like our service or notice that they are really busy, I'll stack up the plates to help them out.

After waiting tables for a few years, I got a little grossed out by touching people's used napkins and stuff like that. So at the least, I put those on my plate for an easy trash dump.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:22 PM   #4
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No kids in our party, but we usually just add the flotsam & jetsam (paper goods, etc.) to the plates & leave them where they sit, only because we've found wait staff & bussers seem to usually have their own methods as to how they like to stack & carry things.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:25 PM   #5
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I will stack the plates and put the silverware and napkins ontop.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:27 PM   #6
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We usually stack the same size dishes - sometimes there are any number of different size plates. I will also pass things to the server to help them.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:29 PM   #7
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We stack them and clean up any mess on the table, which can be a lot with three kids ;)
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:53 PM   #8
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I usually resist the urge to stack plates, as when I was a waitress I much prefered to do this myself. It's much easier to stack the dishes in my hands one at a time than to try to pick up a heavy stack of dishes that may not be stacked evenly. I will hand whomever the dishes though if it looks like that would help them.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:55 PM   #9
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I always put my dirty napkin on top of my plate but we don't have kids so it's usually just the two of us, only two plates! If we are with a group I do stack the plates on top of each other to make it easier to serve our next course. I also never gave it much thought until now, it's just something I do!
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:55 PM   #10
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It depends what restaurant I'm at. But I typically will stack like dishes together. At the least, I move them closer together so the staff doesn't have to reach so far by leaning their bodies across me. I also have a tendency to clean my area after I've eaten.

I once had a server asked me if I was in the food industry since I stacked up all our plates. I said no, just upbringing. She chuckled and said my mother raised me properly.
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