Weekend before last I had my 26th birthday & my mom decided to treat me and my younger (24 yr old) brother to lunch. I was craving sushi, and since I know she likes sushi too I suggest a place downtown. My brother doesn't like sushi but we check the menu on-line and there are some "real food" options he could have instead. Well we go to the restaurant, we're seated, we're asked about drinks (we all just have water) and we start on the menu.
Second suck, I ordered for everyone because I'd been in before and my mother and brother are kinda shy around service people. I order the sashimi lunch platter for myself, a California roll and a Philidephia roll for my mother and a beef grill pan for my brother. I remember saying our order, "I'll have..., she'll have... and he'll have." So the waitress would know who got what.
The waitress brings myself and my brother our miso soup (it came with the meal), he doesn't like miso so he gives it to my mother. We eat our soup and talk. After a little bit and my mother's order comes out. A minute or two later my brother's order comes out. They start eating, and I finish my soup. They're bothe about half way through when my order is finally delivered.
I think what happened is the waitress thought my mother and I would be splitting the sushi orders between us but if that were true why would she set the platter directly in front of my mother instead of between us? (We were on one side of the table my brother on the other.)
Third suck (again this is a pretty minor one), either the platter are to big or the tables are too small. In either case the table got pretty crowded, my serving platter hitting hers and our tasting plates almost to the edge of the table.
Forth suck (this is the real suck), the waitress broth over the bill and it was about $45.00, perfectly resonable for a nice tablecloth lunch. My mother wrote a check, put it in the little folder and we finished eating. The waitress came, picked it up and did the "hope you enjoyed your mean"-spiel. Then we left.
We got home and I went to my room to play computer before I went to bed (I work night shift). About 20 minutes later I hear my mother stomping down the stairs, it seems the restaurant has called to say that they don't take personal checks.
ETA: To clarify, when the waitress picked up the little folder she opened it (I guess to check if it was a credit card), then she did the HYEYM-spiel. So she, the waitress, knew it was a check but didn't ask for another form of payment; didn't say I'm sorry we don't take checks; she let us leave thinking that we had paid.
Well she goes back to the restaurant, they gave her her check back, she asked why it wasn't posted anywhere that they don't take checks (she checked the door and menu to be sure) and they told her that the waitress should have informed her. The waitress didn't.
She had written the check for over the amount as a tip but she was pretty made about this so she gives them the cash and requests her exact change back. While she's leaving she again checks for anything saying "no check". There's nothing, no sign. There's a "we accept VISA/AE/etc" sign but nothing about checks.
While she's out I've been checking the website - nothing about checks.
I know a lot have places have stopped taking checks, but shouldn't there have been some notification about that and it's not like we skipped out without paying. She feels, and I agree, that instead of calling to say she needed to come back with another method of payment that they should have called, explained that they do not regularly accept checks but that they would do so this one time. They got her phone number off the check and it had her licence number on it.
ETA TL;DR - Menu was akward, my order came well after the other's, we ran out of room for plates & they let us use a check but called us back because they don't take checks.
Also ETA I didn't mean to start some kind of check-wank. Maybe I'm used to my hometown but here people still use checks fairly often. My town's "foodie" website lists 235 restaurants; 116 accept local checks, 69 accept non-local checks. So here it's more common to take checks than to not. Even most delivery places will accept checks.
ETA again because I fail at math 116 of 235 = it's about equally likely for a restaurant to take checks as to not.