Who gets the bill and when?<br><br>Good article. Read the comments too.<br><br>I'd personally like a system where you simply pay at the counter when you are done. There are a few places like this in and around Toronto but not many. It would be nice if it was universal.<br><br>If you read some of the comments there are references to single diners being turned away from some establishments. Disgraceful but understandable during the busy dinner hour. <br><br>One of the nice things that made my stay in Costa Rica memorable was meeting locals through "forced" sharing. Hailing a taxi most times meant I shared the cab with others. I got to meet a lovely young Tica this way and we became friends of sorts. I know there are many people in Toronto who would be upset at this idea but it sure works and saved me a ton of money too. <br><br>Same deal with dining alone. On the rare occasions I decided on treating myself by going out for diner I was invariably seated with another single diner or had someone else seated at my table. The experience was always enjoyable even though there was a language barrier. I couldn't help wondering at the time how folks would react back home. I think for many people it would be favourable. <br><br>Back to the intent of the article. When John and I went out to lunch recently I was a bit upset that the waitress slapped the bill on the table, unasked for, before we'd even received our dessert order. I thought it was classless. Perhaps a system of paying at the counter when finished would prevent this type of thing?<br><br>Views?<br><br>
It was classless, and seems to be happening more and more. I suspect the waitress was going off shift and wanted her tip. Lack of class by the waitress, by the way, was more than balanced by the class of the lady across the table from me.<br><br>Laz, OFI[/i][color:green]<br>Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. — Groucho </font color=green>
When with the kids I want the check asap but otherwise I want to give the international sign for check (signing in the air) before I see the bill. Depending on the restaurant I sometimes want the bill when the entree hits the table. I don't see that as classless but as the waitstaff giving me the option of leaving quickly or dawdling as much as I want. A check can always be picked back up and be added to. (This is in non top shelf restaurants.) I've worked in a restaurant kitchen so have some empathy for the waitstaff. The stories they would tell made your hair stand on end. Customers treating waitstaff like indentured servants was not uncommon. I guess the fact that a third of our clientele was worried they would miss the ferry to the Vineyard made everyone edgy.<br><br>But if the restaurant is above formica diner quality being told to move to the bar or to hurry up and leave would be the sign of a dining room manager that will soon be out of a job. But a check arriving before asked I would see as only a waiter who was working too many tables or a shift change. Just a mention of "no rush" or "stay as long as you want but I have to closeout" would be enough but then sometimes busy means the waitstaff has to go back to a kitchen staff prep area in meltdown. That was where I worked and it can get pretty intense on a Friday night. But I tried waiting tables when we were short on staff and I dreaded it. I couldn't go through one shift without wanting to kill a diner. I almost succeeded since our dinner rolls were a lethal weapon.<br><br><br><br><br>
when in Italy, i don't think we ever had the bill brought to us before we asked. here in the USA, it's common to get the bill . . . they'll typically stop by and ask if we'd like dessert or coffee and if we say no then the bill is set down. that didn't happen in Italy. often, my wife and kids would just leave and i'd find myself walking up to the register and asking for the bill and paying it on the spot. in the USA the tip is often determined by the amount so it defeats the purpose if i don't know the amount before heading up to the counter. on the other hand, in France the "service charge" was factored into the bill automatically most of the time. so we left a decent tip the first time and then i learned that it was already included, for the most part -- and we started leaving a Euro or 2 only. but i digress . . . i was a bit uncomfortable going to the counter to request the bill or that i had to request it at all. i'd personally rather get it as we're finishing our meals. i like when the server says something to the effect that we're free to get more and in no hurry to leave, etc. of course, if they're really busy then i don't tend to lallygag. <br><br>--<br>[color:red] Kansas Jayhawks -- 2008 National Champions </font color=red>
OK, I spent years in the biz, so I know this one. It depends. <br><br>If it's a casual place and your server has checked to see if you'd like desert or coffee, and you say no, you'll get the check. Don't have to ask for it, and no need to feel offended. If you say yes, you'll get the check after the desert plates are cleared or you've said no to a refill. If you want to be a camper and sit all afternoon, your server won't mind IF you go ahead and pay and there are other empty tables. But if the place is still busy, camping hurts the servers' ability to make money. <br><br>If it's an upscale place, you absolutely should never get the check before you call for it. In this instance, the server's are making a lot more money/head (assuming the tips are actually in line with the higher bill), so turning the table isn't quite as critical. But really, camping is pretty inconsiderate. If you've been sitting at that expensive table for an hour after desert and coffee, and you think your server's getting pushy ~ give yourself a Brilliant Observation Award and leave.<br><br>A real pro will give you a great experience, regardless of the setting. But they always appreciate it if you consider that they do work hard for the money. <br><br><br><br><br><br><br>[color:white]xx</font color=white>[color:blue]I always deserve it. Really.</font color=blue><br><br>
_________________________ I always deserve it. Really.
If we go to a nice restaraunt (where they have white linen covering the tables) then I would not expect the server to slap the bill on the table.<br><br>But, if we go to a chain place (Applebees, O'Charley's, Smokey Bones, etc), then usually our son is with us, so I don't mind the bill without having to ask for it. Nothing gets on my nerves than having to wait an eternity for the bill even after asking for it. Put it on my table and I'll pay for it when I'm ready.<br><br><br><br>my photos
I think in France there is some international sign for "check please" which I never understood. Everyone there likes to take three hours for a dining experience but sometimes I just wanted the bill and if I got up and approached my waiter he ran away. <br><br>I now think the sign is the way you lay down your silverware. I think a fork at 7 and a knife at 5 o'clock on the plate did it. Eck might be able to confirm this. In the US the sign is all silverware at 5. I think this translates to "don't come near my table or I will gut you" in french.<br><br>
I don't object to getting the bill after being asked if there's anything else, in fact I appreciate it. I don't like it when the bill is plunked on the table without asking, specially when the place is barely half full.<br><br>The pub where John and I went has gone downhill. Service is terrible and it's getting bad reviews. I can see why. I'd be inclined to find somewhere else in the neighbourhood to do business with next time.<br><br>We're accustomed to getting the bill at our table but I wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea to change things? That way there's no guess work who is paying and also serves those in a rush who want to eat and dash out.<br><br>
In the Rio Grande Valley, most of the casual places operate that way. The cashier has your check, though, and that was weird first time around. But they keep track of it ~ you walk up, he/she gives you the check and you pay at the register.<br><br>Good Service ~ I drilled this into my girls: You're like background music. You're there, but you're not intrusive. The guest will know you're there, but you're part of the overall experience. When you start screwing up? You and your bad service become the experience. Oh, and I'll be all over your ass.<br><br>Best analogy regarding wait staff: We're like swans you see on the lake. We gracefully move from table to kitchen, but what you don't see ~ how fast and furious we paddle just below the surface to make our graceful moves from table to kitchen. <br><br><br><br><br><br><br>[color:white]xx</font color=white>[color:blue]I always deserve it. Really.</font color=blue><br><br>
_________________________ I always deserve it. Really.
I'm with Lea on this one, I spent 15 years in the biz. <br>It also depends on the customer, and a good waiter should be able tell if there are the type that wants to go or if they are having a great time and yakking away,<br>I rarely eat in upscale places and so I prefer to have the check appear as soon as the waiter knows if I'm not eating another course... or if he is bringing me my dessert, then please... bring the check at the same time.<br><br>When I'm done I don't want to be looking for the waiter to tell him I ready to go.<br><br>[image][/image]
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