I personally agree with all of these. The comments are evil, however. Apparently, servers don’t like being told how annoying they are.
More like they don’t like to be told they are imperfect mind readers and cannot tell at a glance which people might appreciate their spiels and which are hip, with-it foodies that don’t need the training wheels like common riff raff. “We don’t want to hear that. Ok, maybe we do.” So… it’s not the information, but you didn’t like the TIMING? “Please give me nothing but what I want, and I won’t tell you if I wanted something until you’ve already given it to me.”
You know how to stop those spiels? Ask like a person. “So would you like to hear our specials?” “No, thanks. they’re on the board. Give us a few minutes…” is usually all it takes for them to happily abandon their patter (which they would probably rather not give anyway, esp if it’s not needed). And what would that cost you? 3-4 seconds of your attention and a bit of empathy.
Now, the headline makes clear that it’s usually management that imposes these sorts of scripts on their staff, but the article itself seems to fault the servers. If that wasn’t the intent, then it’s sloppy writing on the author’s part.
I always wonder how to politely reject the spiels, or how to answer the question of whether I had been there before. Even when I say “Yes”, sometimes I get the same speech, prefaced by “Then you know that…”
It’s not the end of the world, and I’m not rude to people simply for doing their jobs, but it is intrusive and does get annoying.
Also, I notice this only seems to happen at mid-level “chef-driven” restaurants, or trendy places run by restaurant groups.
The only one of those phrases I’ve heard is “Have you dined with us before?”, which does annoy me. But not as much as “How is everything tasting?” There’s a special place in hell for whoever came up with that one.
Is there a better phrase? What is it about this one that rankles so?
While I admit I find the mid-bite interruption occasionally vexing, I think a check in after the food has been served to make sure all is well is a perfectly fine customer service gesture. “How is everything tasting?” is no worse or better than “So how is everything?” or “Is there anything else I can get you? Beverage refills?”
I think the only thing you need to know is.
Where are the bathrooms ?
Yep.“How is everything?”
It’s excessively twee. Try saying it out loud without simpering. You can’t!
and is there a Toto?
It sounds like something a corporate group would mandate in its laminated training manual because out of 4 possible phrases focus-grouped and cross checked across consumer demographics, that one tested best.
Which, given the sort of restaurant one might hear this at, is not terribly surprising.
If we really want to change a HORRIBLE corporate policy made in the name of ‘customer relations’ which DOES actively repel customers, could we please ask whoever owns Coldstone to let those poor people stop singing? It actively discourages people from tipping. It keeps me from going in the place at all, really.
The restaurants’ opposite view (sorry, Spanish only)
I sort of disagree with this one, unless it is blatant on the menu:
“6. “No worries on tipping, it’s already included in the price.” This is important to know at the end of the meal, when we’re paying.”
Of course, it should be phrased better … but if I’m not familiar with the restaurant’s policy, I won’t have sticker shock when seeing a $15 cocktail in a place where I’d figure the top end to be $12.