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Old 01-15-2011, 11:05 PM   #21
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If you're getting the bum's rush at a good quality place, never go back. Period. If you've made reservations, show up on time, etc, then they are wrong to make another reservation for that table. I'm assuming we aren't talking about a chain restaurant where turnover is the key. I would also, when I left, make sure I let the owner/maitre d' knew that I wasn't coming back and was telling my friends about it. AND I'd consider writing a letter to the editor of the paper (not kidding here; I live in a very small Midwestern town and I do this sometimes without naming names).

A less fine dining establishment? There are ways of letting the waitress know that her tip is being established based on her attitude. Of course hubby, friends and I are all drinkers, and we tip the guy/gal generously on the first round of drinks. THEN they have the message. People don't want us to leave!

It is funny this came up because we had this happen last night. We went to a local brew-pub, and had made reservations for a large table. It promised to be a very busy night, because of the entertainment, that's why we made reservations. The waitress was just this side of rude, obviously trying, as I said, to give us the bum's rush. Huh? Fine, OK. since we couldn't get separate checks ("it's going to be really busy tonight" with the implication that she wanted us in and out in a hurry), and hubby was furious. I took to waitressing from the bar myself, because I'd tipped the barkeep a buck on my first drink. So every time I got up and walked to the bar, one of the bartenders was waiting for me (the place was packed), filled my order first, and oops! There went one more dollar our "waitress" lost. If she was tipped by our table, it was minimally. She wasn't even busy, she was anticipating that she might be busy. At one point (we had a table for 12), a few of our party left, and I told our waitress that she could pull off a 4-cover. She was even snotty then! No, she didn't want to be any busier than she was. I got up and pulled it off myself, just so we could sit closer together and sing and talk.

Well, her loss. We didn't tip her at all, I don't think anyone else was that snotty (it was, as we were very snottily informed when we arrived, no separate checks, it was going to be too busy).

But the real bottom line is money talks.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:18 PM   #22
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Even when the service is rude, I tip. But, the I leave less than a quarter. I wouldn't want the rude staff to think I forgot or that I never tip.

I have waited tables here in Montreal. Montrealers are generally pretty good tippers. But, when we get folks from other countries, ya never know what they think is generous or if they are going to tip at all. Different customs in different countries.
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:12 AM   #23
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i tend 2 think of others- very rude IMO 2 overstay....... i get cranky when i'm hungry & often people similar 2 me leave & take thier business elsewhere & won't return when the wait is absurd. ettiqutte is etiqutte~
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:12 AM   #24
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i tend 2 think of others- very rude IMO 2 overstay....... i get cranky when i'm hungry & often people similar 2 me leave & take thier business elsewhere & won't return when the wait is absurd. ettiqutte is etiqutte~
So you're saying that it's rude to enjoy your leisurely, expensive meal because you should be thinking about the other people who didn't think ahead to make reservations? That's a different perspective. Also, I'm not really talking about the kind of restaurants that you'd typically just "walk in" to eat. I'm thinking restaurants where if you walk in without a reservation, you're possibly going to be told to leave, anyway (because they don't accept walk-in clientele). That was really the type of restaurant I was thinking of in my original post. And I'm not talking about just sitting at a table chatting after the meal when the check is paid and drinks are gone, but still eating and drinking and finishing your meal. Are you to choke down your food quickly if someone is waiting?

I don't think so. Actually, dining-out etiquette doesn't really dictate the length of time you spend at a table. There are no rules, so it's not a matter of etiquette. Outside of the US, it's typical to spend several hours in a restaurant, with as much as 30 minutes between courses and lingering over coffee to make a meal out even 4 or 5 hours! Dining out is a little more sacred, though. People in Europe and the Middle East (the areas of the world I'm familiar with) don't eat out very often compared to people in the US, so it's more of an experience.

I also think it's a factor of appreciating the food. We try to choose places where the chef is thoughtful and creative. To scarf down the food without contemplation is, IMO, kind of rude to the chef.

It's interesting to see different perspectives. I appreciate the thought-provoking discussion.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:57 AM   #25
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I don't recall anyone saying they should scarf down their food because others might be waiting. I thought luvs was simply saying that the diners should be considerate of others who might be waiting and not dilly dally.

Just speaking for myself, I would be slightly peeved if I had 9:00 dinner reservations and could not be seated until 10:30 because the people at my table decided to dine like they did when they visited Europe. I don't think it's unreasonable for the restaurant or club to have an expected rotation between customers based on business up to that point. It might be more reasonable for the dinner party to inform them that they would be making an evening of it when they made the reservations.
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:40 PM   #26
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I don't recall anyone saying they should scarf down their food because others might be waiting. I thought luvs was simply saying that the diners should be considerate of others who might be waiting and not dilly dally.

Just speaking for myself, I would be slightly peeved if I had 9:00 dinner reservations and could not be seated until 10:30 because the people at my table decided to dine like they did when they visited Europe. I don't think it's unreasonable for the restaurant or club to have an expected rotation between customers based on business up to that point. It might be more reasonable for the dinner party to inform them that they would be making an evening of it when they made the reservations.
I was going off of the "if there is a wait, leave and take your business elsewhere" comment... as in, if you want dessert or drinks/coffee, go elsewhere so others can have your table or finish up quickly. Perhaps I misinterpreted it. I also was responding to the "it's rude" to linger over your meal. Of course there are differences of opinions, and I'm sure it depends on the "type" of restaurant. That's why I thought it would be an interesting discussion.

Abroad, restaurants often have a cover charge. I like that because then you know if you have the table or not. It's not implied. And if waiters in the US were paid a living wage like they are abroad, then the tip would not even come into the equation. The way the restaurant business is set up in the US kind of lends itself to fast turnaround and indigestion.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:55 PM   #27
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Luvs, I hate to disagree with you and seldom do. But I'm a damned good cook as are my friends. If you need to be in and out that fast, then go to Applebees or McDonalds. I have nothing against those places, but I was in and with the military most of my young life, and I don't stand in line for food, and I refuse to let anyone eject me from my seat when I've made reservations, gotten dressed up for a night on the town. Bad service is bad service. Period. I've eaten in chow halls, and refuse to be treated like I'm in a chow hall when I've planned for a nice night out ("date" nights, as some of you have said), am paying through the nose for it. If you want to stand in line, eat, get thrown off your table so another can come in, then you should either stay home or stick to chain restaurants where they need a turnover of 3 or more tables a night, but not a nice place.
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:31 PM   #28
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I have mixed feelings on this subject... I worked in restaurants for many years,foh and boh, and velochic you hit the nail on the head when you stated that if servers (in this country) were paid a living wage it would not be such a big deal... However, that is not the case, so as a server do I want you to sit around, no because more than likely the tip will not compensate the money that could have been made if the table was turned over a few times... Sad but true that most (not everyone) but most people do not tip well... Do I want you to woof done your food and get the hell out, no, I want you to enjoy your meal, but making a reservation at lets say 7pm doesn't give someone the right to close the restaurant... IMO... I believe it's a matter of common sense, and courtesy...
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:56 PM   #29
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Velochic and Mimiz have a good point. I've never known a hotel, for instance, let their guests occupy the room after the 11am checkout time at no extra charge. Turnover is what keeps them in business. It's hard enough for struggling businesses to stay in business in this current economic crisis we're in. I see so many commercial spaces that are empty now. I can't imagine a lawyer saying, "...stick around as long as you like, put your feet up on my desk, party with your friends...let me know when you're finished...no extra charge...my compliments"
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:59 PM   #30
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Velochic and Mimiz have a good point. I've never known a hotel, for instance, let their guests occupy the room after the 11am checkout time at no extra charge. Turnover is what keeps them in business. It's hard enough for struggling businesses to stay in business in this current economic crisis we're in. I see so many commercial spaces that are empty now. I can't imagine a lawyer saying, "...stick around as long as you like, put your feet up on my desk, party with your friends...let me know when you're finished...no extra charge...my compliments"

We have requested, and received, late checkout at many hotels, and never had to pay extra for a couple hours. We did negotiate a small fee for a late afternoon (4PM) checkout once.
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