Are you being served? A great English comedy yes, but what I really don’t find comical is when it comes to dining, the serving etiquette has gone out the window. Dining out has become so lacking in correct manners, that I half expect every meal to end in disappointment. Hear me out.
While I expect it at high-end dining establishments – shame on the wait staff when they don’t know, learn or carry out the correct table clearing etiquette – I am always disappointed that all restaurants, no matter the setting, place or price, don’t cultivate the simplest form of correct table (clearing) manners.
So what’s the fuss all about? From a party of two to a party of five, if there is one person who perhaps eats slower, thereby finishing last, most times the other patrons will chat, sip beverages and carry on the pleasant evening. When the server approaches and whips up the empty plates while saying, “Can I take your plate?” They don’t really want a reply from you. They don’t care if the last person eating feels bad now, and is made to eat alone while everyone else had been cleared out. I cannot stand this rude (yes, rude) assumption that it’s ok to take a plate when the whole party is not done eating. It’s bad manners, disrespectful and makes me wonder if social etiquette has taken a back seat to social media.
I don’t want to hear, tables have to be turned over quickly, I don’t want to hear ‘it’s kind of a bar setting’, I don’t want excuses. I want to linger over my dinner and I want my table completely cleared when everyone is done eating. Period. If servers are too naïve, lacking manners, etiquette and the proper training, maybe we should re-introduce Charm Schools. Servers expect a minimum tip of 20%, therefore, I expect 100% correct courtesy. File under: T-minus 20 (percent).