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Mar 29, 2007 04:46 PM

Removing chopsticks from the table?

I went in a sushi restaurant today with a friend and on the table they had two sets of those cheap chopsticks in the paper sleeves. When the food came, we asked for forks at which point the server snatched the chopsticks and said "Let me take these then so that we can save them for another customer." Uh, okay. We had not touched them and I wouldn't have let her take them if we had but, how did she know for sure that we hadn't been messing with them?? I thought that once something like that was set on a table, it was not supposed to be recycled so to speak. Is this standard behavior or was she being a little strange as we both thought?

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  1. Well, I do not think it is strange. I am very used to place settings being removed when less than the set number of folks sit at the table. How would they know we hadn't messed with them? I guess I find the idea that one would mess with a setting, not planning to use them, strange. Way more strange than having unused items removed.

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    1. re: Quine

      I just meant that the chopsticks were supposed to be for us, they were not extra settings on the table. Maybe we were intending to use both chopsticks and the fork. Sometimes people get bored at the table-it has been known to happen. My point is that she didn't really know that we had not taken them out of the sleeve, inspected them, put them back and set them aside intending to use them maybe. I think she should have asked before just grabbing them off the table.

    2. Not strange to take them, but strange to comment on it.

      1. Hi... I've often been at restaurants where we've had reservations (so they knew how many places to set at table in advance). When the wine list arrives/is offered and we indicate that we will not be partaking of the grape, in addition to taking back the wine list, the waitstaff will also clear the table of the 2 wine glasses that we did not use. I assume that the clean/unused wine glasses will just go back to the area where they keep clean glasses. Seems normal. The restaurant has no idea whether we used the glasses to play tiddly-winks or not :-). And it could be argued (via your logic below), that the restaurant might have left the wine crystal on the table for us, should we change our mind mid-meal, or to share our respective iced tea and lemonade with each other. But I wouldn't expect that to ever happen. Point is, the wine glasses were not 'extra' glasses and came with our settings; but when we indicated that we were not drinking wine, it would seem odd for the glasses to remain there, cluttering the table needlessly...

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