My pet peeve when it comes to wait staff in restaurants, the thing that makes my skin prickle with irritation? It's when a staff person comes to the table, glances at the mostly-finished food left on my plate and utters the phrase, "Are you still working on that?"
Working on that? As in constructing a scale model of the Eiffel Tower out of the bones from the rabbit stew?
So it was with some amusement that I read the first installment of "One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do" by Bruce Buschel in today's New York Times. The first five are:
- Do not let anyone enter the restaurant without a warm greeting.
- Do not make a singleton feel bad. Do not say, “Are you waiting for someone?” Ask for a reservation. Ask if he or she would like to sit at the bar.
- Never refuse to seat three guests because a fourth has not yet arrived.
- If a table is not ready within a reasonable length of time, offer a free drink and/or amuse-bouche. The guests may be tired and hungry and thirsty, and they did everything right.
- Tables should be level without anyone asking. Fix it before guests are seated.