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Old 03-10-2015, 01:21 PM   #1
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Question Etiquette question

I was listening to the radio on the way to work and they were discussing, well just started to discuss, how the host was in a restaurant with a group of people and waiter interjected himself into their conversation, well made some kind of comments about the topic they were discussing. The host was pretty mad about it.

My question is what do you think about it? You are in a restaurant and your waiter starts commenting on conversation you are having, what would you do, how would you react? Just give me your opinion.

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Old 03-10-2015, 02:02 PM   #2
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I think it all depends on the context of the conversation. I may welcome the waiter or even guests from the next table interjecting, with permission.....it all depends on what we're talking about.
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Old 03-10-2015, 02:31 PM   #3
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I wouldn't like that either. The waiter is not an invited guest at my table and he was out of line in my opinion. The conversation at my table should be private. I'm not sure if I would make a scene about it, but I sure wouldn't like it, and the management would hear about how inappropriate his waiter was.
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Old 03-10-2015, 02:45 PM   #4
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Eh, unless it's a very personal topic, so what? I may even have my elbows on the table.
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Old 03-10-2015, 02:47 PM   #5
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Good servers know not to do this. Unless you are a regular and have developed some kind of relationship.

And yes it annoys me when they do it.
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Old 03-10-2015, 03:01 PM   #6
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It also depends on the type of eating establishment. If it's a very casual place and the waiter is very friendly and attentive, I wouldn't mind.
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:13 PM   #7
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If a server commented on what he or she had heard at our table, I'd be uncomfortable with it.
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:20 PM   #8
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With me it could go either way, very quickly!

I have had some great conversations with "chatty" waitstaff, in paper place mat type restaurants, that were very helpful to me.

It really depends on the time and the place. In general I would say that it is not a good idea, unless someone at the table initiates the conversation with the server.
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:30 PM   #9
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I can't say I've ever had that happen, so I don't know how I would respond. I do think I'd be a little peeved to think that they were eavesdropping on a private conversation, and it would be no different if someone at the next table did the same.

That said, I have started up conversations with waiters on a number of occasions and asked for their opinions on various things. So in that context, I would probably be okay with it.
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:55 PM   #10
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I was listening to the radio on the way to work and they were discussing, well just started to discuss, how the host was in a restaurant with a group of people and waiter interjected himself into their conversation, well made some kind of comments about the topic they were discussing. The host was pretty mad about it.

My question is what do you think about it? You are in a restaurant and your waiter starts commenting on conversation you are having, what would you do, how would you react? Just give me your opinion.
The waiter was not invited into the conversation. That's just not acceptable, no matter what kind of a restaurant it was.
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:14 PM   #11
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I was listening to the radio on the way to work and they were discussing, well just started to discuss, how the host was in a restaurant with a group of people and waiter interjected himself into their conversation, well made some kind of comments about the topic they were discussing. The host was pretty mad about it.

My question is what do you think about it? You are in a restaurant and your waiter starts commenting on conversation you are having, what would you do, how would you react? Just give me your opinion.
I'm not American so may have a different take on this to you.

It might depend on where I am. In a very up-market restaurant I would not expect it. Waiters should be seen and not heard, ie they should be discreet and quiet. On the other hand, if it was what I think you call a "mom & pop" establishment where I was well-known and I and my companion knew the waiter well and had tacitly included him in the conversation, it would be ok with me

It's not polite to interrupt a conversation if you are not part of it, but then again, is it polite for the diners to carry on a conversation while the waiter is taking their order and serving the food?
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:45 PM   #12
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I'm not American so may have a different take on this to you.

It might depend on where I am. In a very up-market restaurant I would not expect it. Waiters should be seen and not heard, ie they should be discreet and quiet. On the other hand, if it was what I think you call a "mom & pop" establishment where I was well-known and I and my companion knew the waiter well and had tacitly included him in the conversation, it would be ok with me

It's not polite to interrupt a conversation if you are not part of it, but then again, is it polite for the diners to carry on a conversation while the waiter is taking their order and serving the food?
Obviously, if the waiter was specifically included in the conversation, that would be different.

And usually, when the waiter/server is taking orders and delivering food, general chit chat conversation stops and the guests are more concerned with placing their orders and then making sure the plates are delivered to the right person and their orders are correct.


I'm going out on a limb here, LOL, and assume that the topic refers to the waiter stopping by to refill water glasses, asking if everything is to their liking, etc., during the time most people are most involved in conversation among themselves.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:10 PM   #13
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It was an upscale restaurant. The patrons were not regulars. They were talking about politics.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:58 PM   #14
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That waiter should be flogged 50 times for his action.
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:54 PM   #15
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It was an upscale restaurant. The patrons were not regulars. They were talking about politics.
A smart waiter would have stfu

They work for tips
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:08 PM   #16
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It was an upscale restaurant. The patrons were not regulars. They were talking about politics.

Ah. Then I would resent the waiter's butting in. Otherwise, we make it a point to engage and talk with waitstaff and management, and have made some nice friends that way.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:58 AM   #17
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I have engaged a waitstaff member in conversation if I was inquiring about menu choices or local travel information. In fact, if it was obvious that we were visiting an area and discussing sites to visit, I wouldn't be offended if the server politely asked if we were open to suggestions. But a conversation between parties a the table? That server had better mind their own business and keep their opinions to themselves. In this case, I completely understand the show host being annoyed.

If they were dining at a Dick's Last Resort it would be fine. Just know the kind of restaurant that Dick's is. My FIL did not know that the servers, etc, interacted with the patrons. He came back to our home totally offended that the server would go so far as to sit down next to him and proceed to tell him the menu options that he just HAD to try! Even after we explained to him that was Dick's "theme", he took exception to the fact that they should have had a warning/disclaimer posted when you first walk in.
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:14 AM   #18
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Upscale restaurant? Waiter was way out of line. The only conversation the waiter should ever have with the customers is regarding the food and service.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:52 PM   #19
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I have engaged a waitstaff member in conversation if I was inquiring about menu choices or local travel information. In fact, if it was obvious that we were visiting an area and discussing sites to visit, I wouldn't be offended if the server politely asked if we were open to suggestions. But a conversation between parties a the table? That server had better mind their own business and keep their opinions to themselves. In this case, I completely understand the show host being annoyed.

If they were dining at a Dick's Last Resort it would be fine. Just know the kind of restaurant that Dick's is. My FIL did not know that the servers, etc, interacted with the patrons. He came back to our home totally offended that the server would go so far as to sit down next to him and proceed to tell him the menu options that he just HAD to try! Even after we explained to him that was Dick's "theme", he took exception to the fact that they should have had a warning/disclaimer posted when you first walk in.
I hate the sort of restaurant which is fairly new over here where you have to put up with being told by the waiter what you should choose to eat and how the chef made it. I'm not stupid and if I don't know what something is I have a tongue in my head and can ask so there's no need to patronise me.
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:06 PM   #20
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Etiquette question

We went to Dick's Last Resort in Chicago years ago, it was a hoot! Baby bro brought a girlfriend, and watching the look on her face when they slammed the menus down and threw dinner rolls at us was priceless! The waitress kept mocking the GF's fanny pack, which was pink, and said Princess on it. Waitress also had a paperback in her back pocket that was titled, "All Men Are Pigs and Must Die."

The food was nothing memorable, think we got the bucket 'o shrimp, but the experience was unforgettable.
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