Menu Issues

There’s a fine art to serving tables. I know, I remember, – I was once a server myself. The better you are picking up on social cues, the more likely you will be to get a bigger tip.

For instance, never interrupt a really good conversation, give the cheque to the wrong person, or offer more drinks to someone who clearly doesn’t need another. You also have to time everything just right. Don’t take too long taking the table’s drink orders. Make sure people get their food on time.

….And don’t drop an expensive bottle of wine you are trying to unscrew, and then proceed to keep unscrewing it, saying nervously… “umm it still should be ok” (that one is mostly just about coordination – side note: true story. this happened once).

Lastly, the art form of a good server is the ability to put reading people, and timing together.  This last one… it’s the hardest. Trying to judge when the table is ready to place their order is made more difficult by one person in every group.

“Are you ready to order?”

The entire table looks around at each other, silently saying yes by not objecting. But the one frantically scanning the menu pages? She’s not ready.

This person is me.

“I can come back… and give you some more time.”

“Oh nonono, you guys go ahead. I’ll go last.” (As if going last will help me at this point)

I’m told I have “menu issues.”

I can make decisions and take opinions on things that don’t even need to have a point taken upon (for instance, I hate shrubs.)

But with menus, I offer that the problem is situational:

  1. There’s the “It’s My Favorite Restaurant” menu Issue (do I order what I ALWAYS get, which is ALWAYS great, or do I order something new and risk it?!).
  2. There’s the “New Restaurant” menu issue (how adventurous do I want to be; do I go with the special, with something recommended).
  3. There’s the “Restaurant With a Million Things on the Menu” issue (how can I possibly choose, it all looks so good.)
  4. There’s the “Having Dinner With a Bunch of Girls” menu issue (we were talking too much and I haven’t looked at the menu yet, do I get a salad? or can I have what I really want to have)
  5. There’s the I really want fries –and-a-big-fat-burger-but-I-just-had-that-last-night type of restaurant decision.

These are life changing decisions to make in such a short period of time.

So what usually ends up happening? I am the last at the table to order. And God forbid the person I’m with orders the dish which at the last second I have decided to get. We couldn’t possibly order the same thing!

(Repeat cycle. Return to Go. Do not collect $200.)

Insert: Awkward pause.

Umm actually, you are going to have to come back in five minutes whilst I take another quick boo and the menu.”

Insert: Long sigh.

The one thing that’s good about me? I’m not a picky eater.

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9 thoughts on “Menu Issues

  1. Dear Servers:

    Please don’t hold the glass I’m going to drink out of by the rim. Yeah, I know most people use straws, but that’s not the point. I don’t want to put my mouth where your hands were on my glass anymore than I want to put it on silverware you handled by the wrong end. And sometimes I eat alone. Ignore me, forget my usual generous tip.

    • I was at a restaurant this morning sitting next to one having a nice little meal all on their own. She looked like she was having a splendid time! There’s also a really good Friends episode from one of the earlier seasons where Rachael trains herself to eat out alone. It’s really funny – highly recommend!

  2. Too funny! Loved this! I am that person too…always seem to be the last one to order. What was really funny was the part about when the person right before you orders what you are going to order and it makes you not want to order it as if it is “not appropriate” for two people to order the same thing or as if you are a copycat. LOL! Although I might hesitate, I will still order the original thing I wanted, even if someone just ordered it! 🙂 Menu pressure.

    • I will have to work harder at maintaining my ground once a choice is made…. that way I won’t have to look longingly at it while I eat what ever my second last minute choice turned out to be!!
      Congrats to YOU on being Freshly Pressed!! Amazing news!

  3. Pingback: How Do You Make Important Decisions? | Sparrow in the Tree Top

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