I personally hate being part of large groups for a number of reasons....but the biggest cause of my "hate" of large group dining is usually due to the people that I end up going with (usually only one group in my life that goes out in large groups....so its usually "them" that cause the problems.)
Here is usually what ends up happening with large groups i've been a part of....the people I go with NEVER plan far enough in advance and therefore they simply call ahead to a place that does not take reservations and/or is not prepared for "very" large groups (18 or more.) It is usually a popular chain, and they usually want to arrive at the busiest times of the night 7pm.
Next, the people I go with treat the whole experience as if they have NEVER been out to a restaurant before. Being loud is one thing, but yelling to the opposite end of a dining area to share a story that isn't worthwhile is just dumb and rude.
Getting a few subs on the entree usually isn't a problem, but the scattering of appetizers, and salads just seems to throw everything off each and every time. Some (or most) of the group will order appetizers. Then, usually ONE OR TWO of the appetizer-eaters will then also order a salad and want the salad PRIOR to getting their entree. So while this single person is delicately eating their salad, the rest of the table is starving and staring at the person with daggers in their eyes.
This salad eater also, I can only imagine, causes a major back-up under the heat lamps. Logistically, a restaurant who is not prepared for semi-banquet dining will not have the equipment or man-power to fire all 18 dishes at the exact same time. So, of necessity, dishes will be fired ASAP and kept warm. While more and more dishes are completed, the salad eater is just munching away....taking her time.
Now, fast forward to the end of the meal....these large groups want to use the restaurant as their own meeting space. While the plates (including dessert plates) have been cleared for 20 minutes, they are still gabbing away and expecting more water and drinks the whole time.
Add to this, that many times, this particular groups has kids. AND not all of this particular group have not taught their kids appropriate dining manners. So the poor servers are caught trying to manage a banquet, AND baby-sitting these kids and/or doing their best to satisfy the kids' whims.
No joke....I swear by this one.....this group I was with went out to celebrate a family event/bday for one single girl. So the server brought out a special dessert and the whole group of 22 of us sang happy bday. (Thank you server for being a great sport.) But then a weird thing happened....the sibling of the bday girl wanted to be sung happy bday too. So instead of saying no....the mom had the server RE-LIGHT the candle on the bday dessert and had the entire group of 22 of us RE-SING happy bday to a kid whose bday it wasn't!
Oh don't stop there....it gets worse. Now the kid of a friend wanted to be sung happy bday too. So the mom has the server re-light the dessert for a 3rd time and sing again.
I swear this is true! Not wanting to leave the next child out, the mom had the server relight the candle for a 4th time and RE-SING happy bday again!!!!
Oh I swear to god in the heaven's above that this is true.....the candle finally melted away. But there were still TWO MORE KIDS LEFT. AND INSTEAD OF TELLING THE BRATS "NO".....WHAT DID THESE PEOPLE DO????!!!!! THEY HAD THE POOR SERVER BRING OVER HER LIGHTER AND HAVE THE ENTIRE 22 OF US SING HAPPY BDAY TWO MORE TIMES AND HAD THE KIDS BLOW OUT THE POOR SERVER'S CIGARETTE LIGHTER!!!!!
I SWEAR THIS IS A TRUE STORY! I WAS THERE.....AND MY WIFE WAS THERE!!!
I AM SHAKING WHILE I AM WRITING THIS!!! I NEVER FELT SO BAD FOR A SERVER IN MY LIFE! WHAT'S WORSE IS THAT THE PARENTS DIDN'T EVEN SEEM TO GET HOW MUCH TIME THIS POOR SERVER LOST OUT ON JUST FOR THOSE @#$% BDAY SONGS!
Fortunately for the server, the person paying for the meal gave and extra large tip. But the tip is always at the end, right? She doesn't know that she will even get a PENNY more than the bill...so the whole time, she is playing along fully knowing that she may not even get an average tip (much less an extra large tip.) Good karma for her....she should get a medal of honor for that night. But regardless of tip after the abuse, it was still abuse. Kinda like on "Something About Mary." The cops beat the crap out of Ben Stiller, and after leaving him to be cuddled by an inmate in the holding cell, the cops finally release him when they prove his alibi and say "No harm, no foul, right?" Tip or no tip....the abuse was still there.
Whew...I think I blacked out in rage there for a few minutes. sorry all! Continue with your discussions. :confused: