For some reason I’ve always been very sensitive to external noise and distraction. One place this becomes more evident is your standard sit-down restaurant.
Over the years I have become very annoyed with certain habits and tactics of restaurant staff. Perhaps it’s because when I dine out I want some peace and quiet with the ability to carry on a conversation. It seems like these things always happen to me:
- Trying to seat me (and my party) near the kitchen, a door with a draft/breeze, a busy aisle, or a noisy wait-staff workstation (with phones, dirty dishes clattering, etc). I then usually ask to be seated elsewhere, but it gets annoying having to ask this every time.
- General noises produced by the restaurant staff such as dragging metal chairs around in order to sweep or mop underneath tables. Pick the chair up for crying out loud! Also, I shouldn’t have to witness the staff cleaning the restaurant while I am dining there. It’s just bad presentation. Wiping tables? Fine. Mopping the floor around my feet? Not cool.
- Hovering around my party’s table doing some mundane, useless task in order to look busy.
- Constantly coming back and asking, “Is everything okay?” (Unless she is cute.)
- During slower times, most restaurants will usually close-off certain sections and seat patrons all in the same area, causing a loud bubble of conversation and cramped seating, just so the wait staff doesn’t have to walk a little further between each of their tables.
The best wait staff is those which remain out of sight, yet still always around when patrons need them. In other words, if I am not caused to notice the wait staff, then they are doing their job.
I do not mind the occasional inquiry about how I am doing, and even some light conversation, but know when to get away and leave the patrons to dine in privacy.