Your Waiter Can't Wait to Get Rid of You

eating outYou've saved and you've waited, and finally it's here: Your big night out at your favorite fancy restaurant. You want to relax and let the evening last, right? Ha! Not if the staff can help it. Gobble it all up, Little Hoover! It's the restaurant bum-rush, and it's a real bummer.

British restaurant critic Jay Rayner live-tweeted his dinner at a London restaurant the other night. It's all hilarous, but his biggest complaint is that he was rushed. Apparently the waiter was trying to turn the table. That's when a waiter rushes the diners so he can collect the tip and seat new diners quickly. You make more money that way. But for diners that can mean you don't fully enjoy the meal you're paying for! Does anyone else hate being rushed like that?


Jay liked the view from his table, "But everything hugely rushed. Cocktails delivered, followed immediately by starters with wines by glass shoved on table at same time." Usually I'll order a cocktail first while I'm still perusing the menu. That way, dinner drinks and apps have to arrive later. But hey, sometimes there's a little confusion there in the beginning. Maybe it was an oversight?

Jay tells his waiter twice that he feels rushed and that his cocktail and dinner wine shouldn't have shown up at the same time. Then he just asks his waiter point-blank if he's "trying to turn our table." And the waiter admits to it! Wow, well points for honesty, anyway.

It was smart of Jay to speak up early in the meal with a specific example. I should say something the next time it happens to me, too. Just the other night I was at a restaurant where the waiter delivered a big dish of pasta shortly after he'd served us our apps. "The pasta should stay warm in this dish!" the waiter said. It didn't. By the time we got to it the cheese had congealed on top and the oil from the pork had separated. So the rush bugged me and made the food less appetizing.

Have you ever been served dessert before you even finished your freakin' entree? Or been presented with the bill five seconds after the dessert? "When you're ready," they always say. But do they mean it? Getting the bill kind of feels like "goodbye," you know? I mean, give me five minutes with the tiramisu.

If I wanted fast, FAST! service I'd go to a fast food restaurant. But when I shell out for a really great, EXPENSIVE meal I want to relax into it. Otherwise, why bother eating out? I could just get takeout and eat at home -- where there's no one presenting me with the bill and the gelato at the same time.

Which do you hate more, being rushed or waiting forever at restaurants?


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