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Thread: Rant: Slow service in restaurants

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    A*O
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    Default Rant: Slow service in restaurants

    So where do you draw the line? We just went en famille to our local Vietnamese place and waited over an hour from the time we placed our very basic order for 4 dishes + rice to when it actually arrived. Meanwhile several tables arrived, were served, and in one case paid and left before we even saw our food.

    I am happy to wait for freshly cooked food, and to be fair it was superb, but I think more than 20mins wait between order/food, especially in a non-pretentious local diner is excessive.

    It's happened to us before in more upmarket places and on a couple of occasions I'm sure the slow service was deliberate to make us buy more overpriced pre-dinner drinks, and obviously if you order things that take time to prepare you make allowances, but if it's just incompetance or chaos in the kitchen how much slack are you prepared to give??
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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    The part that would get me would be the part about other people apparently getting fast service, while you were not. It is one thing if they are just slow for whatever reason..but seeing other people getting seated, placing their order, and getting served AFTER you were already there would seriously piss me off. Whenever that has happened to me it has always pissed me off way more than just getting slow service. I always think well if the others are not getting slow service then there really is no excuse(too busy, short staffed, etc) it is just inexcusable then.
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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    When I see other ppl who arrived later get served before me, I ask the wait staff if my food is coming soon esp when they also happened to order the same dish (this happened to me before, the food should have come to me first!!!!!!!!!)... I guess that's where I draw the line. Oh and I sometimes also notice or feel like if you go to an ethnic restaurant, ppl that speak the particular language get better/faster service...

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    I guess it's all about expectation. If you go to an upmarket restaurant with lots of waiters fluttering around then the whole evening becomes 'a dining experience' so you kinda play along. But this was the local Vietnamese diner (walking distance) - really cheap and cheerful no frills basic (but good) food so I don't expect to wait over an hour between placing the order and being served. I could not hear any loud banging or crashing or screaming in the kitchen so I assume everything was under control so I guess we just don't go there again which is a shame because I think it's important to support local businesses. However, next time we want Vietnamese we'll drive 20mins to "Little Saigon" in Melbourne and take our pick of really excellent restaurants.
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    Hit By Ban Bus! ediebrooks's Avatar
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    I don't think there is any excuse for the slow service you described, and I certainly would not go back to that restaurant again.

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    We had laughably horrible service the other night and when we went to pay and used our Black Amex the f*cking waitress immediately began kissing our asses and trying to make up for it...which makes no sense bc what does our credit card have anything to do with hooking her up? It was pretty funny thou bc all evening long she had an attitude, didnt bring the right food, etc etc but then when we went to pay all of a sudden it was "oh PLEASE let me wrap this up for you (which we didnt even want)" and..."oh I added an extra desert and tons of fresh bread" lmao lmao. We wouldve tipped her regardless but then change in attitude was sooooo drastic and the look on her face when she saw the cc, so ridiculous

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    I would have asked at the half-hour point if there was a problem, and mentioned that other people were being served ahead of you. This has happened to me and almost always it was because they "forgot" or misplaced the order. I guess seeing people waiting and waiting and waiting isn't enough to twig their memory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    I guess it's all about expectation. If you go to an upmarket restaurant with lots of waiters fluttering around then the whole evening becomes 'a dining experience' so you kinda play along. But this was the local Vietnamese diner (walking distance) - really cheap and cheerful no frills basic (but good) food so I don't expect to wait over an hour between placing the order and being served. I could not hear any loud banging or crashing or screaming in the kitchen so I assume everything was under control so I guess we just don't go there again which is a shame because I think it's important to support local businesses. However, next time we want Vietnamese we'll drive 20mins to "Little Saigon" in Melbourne and take our pick of really excellent restaurants.
    Hmmm,I had a similiar experience at a mom and pop thai restaurant. Very similiar to what u described: diner style, cheap, no frills also very small and great food. However when u order it takes about 45minutes for the food to come bc the only thing pre-made is the rice u get with it. When they have a lot of customers, Im not even sure how their tiny gally kitchen accomodates multiple orders which may explain why someppl get served faster than others. For example, if 2 diff parties order the same thing they prolly make an extra large batch of it in the kitchen and whoever orders the unique dish waits extra long

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    If the waiter/waitress comes up to me and acknowledges that it's taking an excessive amount of time and apologizes or offers an explaination, I'm much more forgiving than if they just ignore me completely until they bring the dish. If I get no word about the delay after 30 minutes, I'll pay for my drink and leave, at which time they usually act confused as to why you're leaving.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    If the waiter/waitress comes up to me and acknowledges that it's taking an excessive amount of time and apologizes or offers an explaination, I'm much more forgiving than if they just ignore me completely until they bring the dish. If I get no word about the delay after 30 minutes, I'll pay for my drink and leave, at which time they usually act confused as to why you're leaving.
    Same here. If the food is actually worth the wait and the staff shows that they CARE about you, then I don't mind waiting, especially if I have drinks, appetizers, and great company with me to fill the time. If I am being blatently overlooked, ignored, and/or the food and atomsphere isn't that great to warrant me having extra patience, then I'm outta there and never coming back.

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Once on hoilday, we waited about two hours It was about 11pm when we got our food.

    But back home I'd wait about 30 mins TOPS then give up and go elsewhere I think.

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    Elite Member pinkbunnyslippers's Avatar
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    The thing that sucks, is that it all comes back to the waiter/waitress. Tipping. They have no control over the kitchen, but it does interfere with the tip they get.
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    La vie en rose DitaPage*'s Avatar
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    I have very low tolerance for slow service. Especially when theres no reason for it; I've been at restaurants that werent even busy, yet the workers still couldn't get it together.

    At the cafe i go to, for years its been good service but now they have new workers and these girls are SLOOOOOWW. I want my cake with my coffee- the coffee comes first and the cake about 30 minutes later. I hate that.

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    I get really pissed when there's no apparent reason for slow service. And I'm very tolerant if there is a reason like they're extremely busy, under-staffed or I'm told there's a hold-up in the kitchen or elsewhere. Then at least they've let me know and I can decide to go elsewhere if I want.

    Since moving to Europe, though, I've mastered the art of the "staredown" in order to get servers' attention. They won't come to you every 5-10 minutes to check on you or refill your drink like in the U.S. (which I always found annoying and intrusive anyway). You have to stare them down as they go about their business until they feel you staring at them, and as soon as eye contact is made I motion them over and mouth or yell for them to come over if I want something else or for the check. And that's just the way it works here. I feel like it takes FOREVER to get out of a freaking restaurant.

    Why there can't be a happy medium between annoying up-your-ass service and must-hunt-waiter-down service, I don't know.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    You know wha pisses me off, is going to a restaurant on Toronto's main (and busiest) street, and I have to repeat my order 3 frigging times to a waitress that doesn't seem to speak english.

    Honey, you might be FOB and everything and you're probably a cousin to one of the million people who work in here but for fucks sake, LEARN THE LANGUAGE OF THE COUNTRY YOU IMMIGRATE TO, especially if you're supposed to be in the bloody 'service' industry.

    having to get the order taken down 3 times, and then bringing us the wrong food, never refilling our water and forgetting about coming to pick up the pay is pretty sad.

    Maybe you had an off day, but the whole language barrier thing is unacceptable. Get yourself an ESL class please.
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