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is everthing OK??

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
here is something that really bugs me when going to a restaurant ...

the waitstaff approaches the table and in passing, asks "is everything OK??"

a couple of things able this that bothers me ...

1) at least stop long enough in case i have an answer so it doesn't seem
like i am bothering you on your way to somewhere else, and

2) everything SHOULD be OK ... they should be asking "is their anything
i can do for you?"

i once stopped the waitperson and clearly mentioned this to her, and
said to her she should do the above. i went back to the restaurant a couple
of months later and she said her tips went up 30%!!
post #2 of 20
I read your post a couple of days ago and agreed that "is everything okay" sounds a little negative. Yesterday, I served a guy in my cafe and heard myself asking him the same thing. Force of habit, I guess. :crazy: I've got to come up with something better!

I have a customer that we call "crabby man". What a grump he was at first! He got me flustered all the time, and that's really strange for me. I usually don't let customers bother me. He came in one day and got the soup. The next day he came and got the same soup. I (brilliantly) said, "Oh, did you like it?" duh! He gave me a 'what are you, stupid?' look, and said, "Would I have ordered it again if I didn't?" Now I chat about the weather....
post #3 of 20
We went out yesterday and had a server who was obviously new. Very personable and enthusiastic, but making all the newbie mistakes. No big deal, cuz nice is better than smug any day.

But somebody had taught her (or maybe she'd taught herself) to ask, "is everything to your liking." Which she did by making a trip specifically to our table, after an appropriate length of time.

And there's no doubt in my mind that that alone will get her far. A server who at least seems to truly care is one who'll get the big tips.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 20
This thread struck a cord for me, too. (Sorry for the baaaad pun!). It's especially dismaying when they ask while breezing past on their way somewhere else.

The only thing more annoying is when a server approaches the table, looks at your plate, and asks, "Are you still working on that?" As if the meal were a chore to eat.... :(
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post #5 of 20
[QUOTE=Mezzaluna;209216

The only thing more annoying is when a server approaches the table, looks at your plate, and asks, "Are you still working on that?" As if the meal were a chore to eat.... :([/QUOTE]

What I can't stand is when I put my fork down in the middle of my meal and the server swoops down and asks, "Finished?" I always feel like a glutton if I say no. Isn't the universal signal for a diner being finished placing the silverware together on the plate? Them must have missed that lesson....
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

something nice!

yeah .... i can't STAND waitstaff asking if "you are still working on that?"
cuz it makes me wanna say something like "i wouldn't have to if the meat was more tender than it is!"

but ..... i just remembered a dining experience i enjoyed. the waitress very calmly looked at each of us and pronounced the specials for the night ...
with nary a stumble of ingredients, sides, prices. then, when we gave her our orders, she looked at each of us as we gave the orders and never wrote anything down! she also presented each of us with our orders without saying anything like "who had the medium-rare steak??"

impressive.

she got a 25% tip from me!
post #7 of 20
The sad part, Crimsonmist, is that her performance stands out.

When I was a waiter (we didn't say server back then) a thousand years ago, that was normal. I don't remember anyone, even the newbies, ever having to write anything down. Nor did we get orders confused.

Now such service is thought of as exceptional.

Something else they do nowadays that bugs me. Do they actually train 'em to wait until you have a mouthful of food before asking you a question?
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 20
Oh yeah! I just love that, LOL take a big mouthful of food and they ask "is everything ok?" and you try and answer withouth dribbling or spitting food all over them before they swan off somewhere else. :lol:
post #9 of 20

I severything ok?

Everything is ok for me now! I have been chuckling away reading this!
pgr
post #10 of 20
Mr. Rich Melman (Lettuce Entertain You) has or used to have a theory behind the "Okay" thing. I can't say for a fact since it's been quite a long time since I walked into a Lettuce Entertain You concept. Anyhow, He would, and also required of all the staff to, ask how everything was in varied and sincere fashion at the table, bar, door etc. When the guest responded, if it was a simple "okay".... what followed could make the "Spanish Inquisition" look like a tea social in some cases.:smiles: The guest was basically grilled until they actually gave their honest opinion. Well not really that bad yet it was a unique thing to see in action. Plus you can see the effects of it in how successful the company is.

"Okay" is and always will be mediocrity at best.
post #11 of 20
I agree totally that its a sad thing. We went for lunch recently, and our waitress was bright and bubbly without being OTT, didn't have to scribble down on an order pad what we wanted, and was helpful and unobtrusive throughout the meal, not pushy on the drink refills. This was just a local cafe, good food, good place - a pleasant surprise. She got a good tip - we'll be back.

Someone has chosen their wait staff well there and spent time training them in how to make it a good experience - HOO-BLOODY-RAY!!!
At last :bounce:
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #12 of 20
I always trained servers to ask specific questions when doing there "first bite check", i.e "Is your steak cooked properly", "are you enjoying the grouper", etc.
My mentor taught me early on "Ok is not our standard".

Regarding writing down orders. As a guest I want it done, and as a manager I insist it be done.
As a guest, it makes me worry if they don't write it down.
As a manager, it isnt a fun table visit when your server with the photographic memory has a lapse, and you have a guest asking you that instead of trying to impress with memory skills, why not just write it down and get it right.
just my opinion.
post #13 of 20
My first "cook for money" jobs were as a fill-in at Willie Walker's Barbeque in Emeryville (near Oakland), California. All I can say is, if you were a customer there and Willie asked if everything was "OK," you by God had better have said "yes." And no backtalk or cheap tipping either. Willie aimed to please. If you didn't like one part of his vocabulary, he'd graciously favor you with another.

BDL
post #14 of 20
I have seen this manner of ownership. I have found it only works in Soul food joints in the ghetto.
I used to love to go to a joint called 'Honey Bears" in Macon, Ga. It had a screen door, chalkboard menus, and residental cooking equipment. I loved it...but, thats a one in a million place.

If ole Willie tried that **** today, there's a 99% shot of him failing.
post #15 of 20
Easy there, br'er Grits. It's a story involving barbecue, ending with a punchline. Those two bases are grounds to suspect a tenuous grasp on truth. With a nic such as yours, you'd think good humored skepticism was the default setting. Speaking of "Grits-N-Gravy," whatever happened to the fried baloney?

FWIW, Willie did well as a pit-master, restaurateur, caterer, family man and human being. He was my friend, teacher and mentor. Which makes me lucky. That you may bank.

Is everything OK?
BDL
post #16 of 20
Pardon me if I spoke I out of turn. I thought he was sharing a personal experience, from years ago. I was relating to what he was sharing, and shared my expirience with this type of Restaurant/ ownership. I obviously missed the pointof his "punchline". please educate me.
post #17 of 20
I have always taught my employees the specific question rule, since I actually do care if their dining experience is exemplary. I also agree that I much prefer all of my servers to write things down (from both a manager's perspective and from a customer's perspective). I mean, everyone has a bad day and everyone gets preoccupied once and a while.
"Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use vermouth!" ~Julia Child

"No chaos, no creation. Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime. "
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"Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use vermouth!" ~Julia Child

"No chaos, no creation. Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime. "
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post #18 of 20
If all places were the same, what would be the fun? I enjoy a roadside stand in rural Mexico as much as fine dining in New York City.

As for the "is everything okay" bit, well, I hate being interrupted. I much prefer not to be interrupted while I'm talking, listening or eating. Invariably, the "is everything okay" or the worse new trend of "how does everything taste" shows up while I'm trying to chew, trying to hear what my friend is saying (background music/noise interfering already) or in mid-sentence of my own. I like the server to be available, but not on top of me. It's usually obvious when someone at a table needs the server for something, no snapping of fingers necessary. These days, the server disappears for long periods and then shows up to flit by with a "how does everything taste".
post #19 of 20
I ate at Walker's Barbeque in the early 80s, when I lived in the area. Every time, dinner was excellent in every way, including the serive. I was sorry to hear Willie referred to in the past tense.
post #20 of 20
I started eating at Walkers in the seventies when I was in school at Cal, playing H20Polo, and working as a bouncer at Mandrake's -- and later at the Anchor and Jerry's Stop Sign. Willie loved it when the athletes, bouncers and cops came in late, because we were all big eaters and he'd get rid of all of yesterday's meat. He'd get these crazy overeating contests going at two in the morning, and give away half the food.

Remember those long oval plates he had that would hold a whole slab of spares? Remember his "hot" sauce? Not too mellow, not too zesty. And his ribs had just the right amount of pull. Tender as could be, but not quite "fall off the bone." In the East Bay, back in the day, there was Sam's, there was KC's and then there was Willie's. The best.

FWIW, Willie had a lot to do with my learning to cook for money. Almost as much as the guy who popped a cap at me outside the Anchor and taught me how tough I wasn't.

BDL
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