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larry_stewart 10-22-2018 11:25 PM

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.

CraigC 10-23-2018 05:09 AM

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?

larry_stewart 10-23-2018 07:24 AM

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).

medtran49 10-23-2018 09:56 AM

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.

Just Cooking 10-23-2018 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by medtran49 (Post 1568671)
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.. :smile:
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?" :lol:


Ross

Mad Cook 10-23-2018 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by larry_stewart (Post 1568632)
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!

roadfix 10-23-2018 01:16 PM

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.

taxlady 10-23-2018 01:49 PM

It spreads the work out more evenly.

Andy M. 10-23-2018 01:55 PM

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.

Kayelle 10-23-2018 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy M. (Post 1568723)
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. :wink:

Kayelle 10-23-2018 04:24 PM

Quote:

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.

The lady in red was probably the owner. The last couple of times something like that has happened, I've asked and it is. It's odd they don't want to offer that information.

Rascal 10-23-2018 05:46 PM

I'm in a dinner club here, we meet every month so we get around a bit. We have turns at picking restaurants. Almost every one has a greeter who also handles your order as well. They also tend to be the one to bring the food as well. In some cases the owner will come and say hello. Our group is from 10 to 14 so a good group to have.
We used to go to a flash place occasionally, the owner recently drowned, so it's been closed for a while. That place treated us like we were royalty. I miss that place.

Russ

RPCookin 10-27-2018 11:20 AM

Thinking about this.... I've seen most often it where there is a host/hostess who greets and seats and sometimes takes the initial drink order (which is then served by someone else), and a server assigned to a certain block of tables. Sometimes the drinks are handled throughout the meal by a different person from the one who takes care of our food order. There may be some slight variations but this is what I see in the average mid range local or chain eatery. On to variations on the theme....

Sometimes the food is delivered by whatever server happens to pass through the kitchen when the order is ready, even though that is the only time that person ever comes by our table. Some places have a person whose only responsibility is to deliver food to the tables, and in those places the order taker never handles the food. Every now and then we will start with one server, then get handed off to another because one of them is overloaded while the other has fewer than what will keep them busy.

In higher end restaurants, there is often a wine steward whose only job is to handle all of the guests' wine needs throughout the meal.


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