"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-22-2018, 10:25 PM   #1
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,924
Tag teaming food servers

I dont eat out all that often, and when I do, its usually nothing too fancy.
These past few weeks I've been eating out quite a bit, at some more ' upscale' restaurants. I noticed a trend in these restaurants.

First we are greeted by, what else, a greeter.
We are then anded off to a seater to , what else, seat us.
Then, waiter/ waitress takes our order and brings our drinks
Our appetizers are brought to the table from another staff person
The main meal was then brought to the table by yet another person
and in one restaurant, a very nicely dressed woman in the brightest of all bright red dresses ( was stunning) came to our table, said hello ( with no formal introduction), then asked how we were doing ( still no introduction), then asked if we wanted anything for dessert ( which we didnt), so we politely declined.

So, my question is: Is it common to have different servers for each part of the meal in these fancy places ? If it happened once, i would have just thought it was unique to the restaurant, but it happened 3 times in the course of a few weeks at different restaurants. Is this a High End restaurant thing to do?
Was it just coincidence ? If it is typical , whats the purpose ?

I feel its kinda nice to get to know one person, who , if good at what they do, will pick up on your likes, dislikes ... and provide better service.

I bring this up, because this evening my wife ordered salad without the cheese on it ( vegan thing). The waitress taking the order said 'no problem'. Sure enough , the salad came with cheese on it, yet delivered to the table by another person who we didnt know. When my wife mentioned that she ordered without the cheese, the guy said we had to speak to the waitress who took the order ( im not sure how great his English was ). She came back, very apologetic, and brought the right thing over ( herself) relatively quickly and apologized again.

We weren't angry. It was an honest mistake, she fixed it, no harm done. MY feeling is, fi it was one person handling everything, it likely wouldn't have happened. Therefore , I wasn't really impressed by the multiple server system. In addition, my wife mentioned what if it was person with an allergy, and asked for something without nuts, seafood or any other common allergenic foods.

When she brought us the check, she had taken off the price of the salad ( which she shouldn't have). Wasn't a big deal and it was fixed. I felt bad that she took the cost of the salad off ( although it was a nice gesture).

I honestly felt that she , herself, handled it professionally and as i said, was an honest mistake that was fixed ( she made much bigger of a deal of it than we did). I gave her the tip I was planning on giving her anyway plus the amount of the salad. If it was malicious It would have reflected in the tip, but an honest mistake that was fixed , i didnt feel she needed to be penalized. She was very appreciative and almost acted like she got yelled at by her superior.

__________________

larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2018, 04:09 AM   #2
Master Chef
 
CraigC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,110
I'd imagine the tip you left was divided by all the staff you encounterted. There are a few places we go for breakfast that do this, but not to that extent and by no means are they high end. My feeling is that it is more of a "help me out" than an established practice where we go. Did you notice whether or not the places seemed "short staffed"? Might be a practice of making due with fewer staff. Is the minimum wage in that area around $15.00?
__________________

__________________
Emeralds are real Gems! C. caninus and C. batesii.
CraigC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2018, 06:24 AM   #3
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,924
Definitely wasn't understaffed. Actually, it wasn't even that busy. After we had our 3rd server come to the table, I looked around and paid more attention, and it seemed like everyone had their specific role in the dinner service. If it had only happened in one restaurant I wouldn't have thought much about it, other than it was a little bizarre or just something Im not used to. But, this is the 3rd consecutive time, in 3 different states no less, so I cant even say its a city, state or regional thing. Who knows, maybe they all attended some customer service seminar, or have a similar consultant that is pushing this type of service.

And as far as them splitting the tip, back in the day when I worked in a restaurant, we did the same thing. My main purpose of the way I tipped her was more to let her know that I wasn't angry or upset at her. As mentioned above, there was a mistake, it was fixed, no big deal. She seemed to be taking it as more of a problem that we did. No reason to punish the girl ( even though it appeared she got ' talked to' by a superior).
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2018, 08:56 AM   #4
Executive Chef
 
medtran49's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,921
I've noticed that more and more larger/busier places are using "runners" to deliver food when we go out regardless of whether it's high end or low end. Runners being people whose only jobs are to deliver food from the kitchen. At least that seems to get your food to you as soon as possible rather than it waiting under heat lamps or sitting waiting and warming up if it's something cold. It seems to only be the smaller places anymore that you have 1, maybe 2 servers if they are helping each other out.
medtran49 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2018, 11:58 AM   #5
Executive Chef
 
Just Cooking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Springfield, MO
Posts: 2,920
Quote:
Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
I've noticed that more and more larger/busier places are using "runners" to deliver food when we go out regardless of whether it's high end or low end. Runners being people whose only jobs are to deliver food from the kitchen. At least that seems to get your food to you as soon as possible rather than it waiting under heat lamps or sitting waiting and warming up if it's something cold. It seems to only be the smaller places anymore that you have 1, maybe 2 servers if they are helping each other out.
We eat out frequently these days... I have noticed the use of "runners" also..
I'm impressed when they know which dish goes to which person..
I used to laugh when a waiter would say, "You are the chicken fried steak and you (looking to my wife) are the chicken pot pie, right?"


Ross
__________________
Disclaimer: My experiences may not be as someone else might think correct.. Life goes on..
Just Cooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2018, 12:10 PM   #6
Master Chef
 
Mad Cook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: North West England
Posts: 5,127
Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
I dont eat out all that often, and when I do, its usually nothing too fancy.
These past few weeks I've been eating out quite a bit, at some more ' upscale' restaurants. I noticed a trend in these restaurants.

First we are greeted by, what else, a greeter.
We are then anded off to a seater to , what else, seat us.
Then, waiter/ waitress takes our order and brings our drinks
Our appetizers are brought to the table from another staff person
The main meal was then brought to the table by yet another person
and in one restaurant, a very nicely dressed woman in the brightest of all bright red dresses ( was stunning) came to our table, said hello ( with no formal introduction), then asked how we were doing ( still no introduction), then asked if we wanted anything for dessert ( which we didnt), so we politely declined.

So, my question is: Is it common to have different servers for each part of the meal in these fancy places ? If it happened once, i would have just thought it was unique to the restaurant, but it happened 3 times in the course of a few weeks at different restaurants. Is this a High End restaurant thing to do?
Was it just coincidence ? If it is typical , whats the purpose ?

I feel its kinda nice to get to know one person, who , if good at what they do, will pick up on your likes, dislikes ... and provide better service.

I bring this up, because this evening my wife ordered salad without the cheese on it ( vegan thing). The waitress taking the order said 'no problem'. Sure enough , the salad came with cheese on it, yet delivered to the table by another person who we didnt know. When my wife mentioned that she ordered without the cheese, the guy said we had to speak to the waitress who took the order ( im not sure how great his English was ). She came back, very apologetic, and brought the right thing over ( herself) relatively quickly and apologized again.

We weren't angry. It was an honest mistake, she fixed it, no harm done. MY feeling is, fi it was one person handling everything, it likely wouldn't have happened. Therefore , I wasn't really impressed by the multiple server system. In addition, my wife mentioned what if it was person with an allergy, and asked for something without nuts, seafood or any other common allergenic foods.

When she brought us the check, she had taken off the price of the salad ( which she shouldn't have). Wasn't a big deal and it was fixed. I felt bad that she took the cost of the salad off ( although it was a nice gesture).

I honestly felt that she , herself, handled it professionally and as i said, was an honest mistake that was fixed ( she made much bigger of a deal of it than we did). I gave her the tip I was planning on giving her anyway plus the amount of the salad. If it was malicious It would have reflected in the tip, but an honest mistake that was fixed , i didnt feel she needed to be penalized. She was very appreciative and almost acted like she got yelled at by her superior.
Crikey! The restaurant can afford to employ that many table staff? Of course it can - they're paid a pittance!
__________________
Don’t look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Stomp along and switch the bl**dy thing on yourself.
Mad Cook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2018, 12:16 PM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Park Drive Bar/Grill Los Angeles
Posts: 12,977
I think restaurants run more efficiently in this manner rather than assigning each waiter/waitress to service certain tables only. It cuts down on idle time... I've seen this often at ordinary (inexpensive) restaurants.
roadfix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2018, 12:49 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 20,362
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
It spreads the work out more evenly.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2018, 12:55 PM   #9
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 45,069
Theoretically, a waiter/waitress is more skilled than a runner who delivers your food or person who takes your drink order. Having multiple helpers allows the waiter to concentrate on his/her customers while the "others" can do the less skilled work.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2018, 02:59 PM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Kayelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: south central coast/California
Posts: 13,230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Theoretically, a waiter/waitress is more skilled than a runner who delivers your food or person who takes your drink order. Having multiple helpers allows the waiter to concentrate on his/her customers while the "others" can do the less skilled work.

I would agree there Andy and add that it sounds like the busboys are multitasking.
__________________

__________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but rather by the moments that take our breath away.

Kayelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
food

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.