bellefior (bellefior) wrote in bad_service,
bellefior
bellefior
bad_service

How Long Is Too Long?

Question: How long is too long to wait for a waiter/waitress to come over to your table after being seated?

We went to one of our favorite places last night for dinner.  Food is always good, service is always good, and for this reason, it has always been one of our go to places.  Unfortunately, it was a huge disappointment this time around.  

We walk in and are seated at one of the tables with the view of the water. That's where the good service ended.  We were given menus by the host,  discussed how our respective workdays had gone, looked at the menu, had a discussion about what we thought we wanted for dinner, made our decision, put our menus down.  We continued to sit there for for approximately 10 minutes waiting for our waiter/waitress to come by. Several members of the waitstaff walked by our table on multiple occassions, saw us sitting there, yet none of them came to our table to greet us, take our order, tell us they would be right with us, nothing. 

Every time one approached our table, we assumed that it was finally our waitperson but each time we were mistaken.  We would have completely understood if the restaurant was packed, but it was virtually empty on a Monday night.  In fact we could see the waitstaff standing by the bar/kitchen area, from which our table was fully visible, shooting the breeze.  It sort of became a joke for us to see how many times a waitperson would walk by our table before our server actually greeted us.  I supposed we could have flagged one of them down to see why our server was MIA, but honestly, I don't expect to have to do that in a restaurant that is nowhere near full and where the staff has time to shoot the breeze  but not come over to a table of new customers that have been seated.   Not to mention that I would have been really annoyed to have to do that.

After about 10 minutes, we decided we had enough of the waiting to be acknowledged, put on our coats and decided to leave, all the while the waitstaff near the bar/kitchen watched us do this and STILL didn't come over.  As we were leaving, we told the host exactly why we were leaving (that we had been sitting for 10+ minutes and no server had ever come to our table though each and everyone one of them had walked past it), to which he responded with a feeble "gee, I'm sorry".  And as we were leaving, we could see who we presumed was to be our waitress approach the host as we were talking with him.  Sorry, but too little, too late, your food is good, but not so good that we are willing to sit a table while you completely ignore us as you chit-chat with your fellow servers near the kitchen on a slow night.  We ended up down the street at another favorite place, where  we were seated, immediately greeted by our waitress, and had our soup and salad all in the space of 10 minutes.  

So question:  how long would you expect for your waitperson to come over to your table to greet you on a night where a restaurant is not busy?

ETA: For those who asked, no drink order taken, no water put on our table, no bread basket.  Probably because no one came over to us from the time our host sat us until the time we left.
 


Tags: you gotta speak up
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