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"have you been here before? well, we recommend. . . ."

  • d

so, i am sooooo tired of going to a new restaurant and the waiter coming over and saying, "have you been here before?" and then after you say "no", they "suggest" what "normal" people order and this is usually enough food to feed an army and increase the bill and their tip. i want to scream - "HELLO, i've been to a restaurant before."

recently the server recommended to my gf and i that we order a few appetizers, 1-2 pizzas and 2 entrees!!! i was like - ok, i'm not 700 lbs. nor do i want to be. who could eat all that? it's crazy. i ordered one app and a pizza and took 1/2 home.

i always order less food when this happens b/c i'm so annoyed by the flagrant upsell. and i tip less b/c of the rudeness. i mean ok - offer me a drink/wine/etc. but please just let me order what i want. i know what food is and can manage by myself. am i crazy or is this just tacky service?

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  1. I dont know, if its a tapas place.....seems like SOP.
    if it was a red sauce Italian place, seems like a tacky upsale.

    I think if it seemed really over the top quantity wise, I would have initially played along and started ordering multiple dishes, with duplicates and extra everything on stuff......then when he was done writing, told him I was pulling his leg and actually ordered what I wanted. Hopefully the waiter has a sense of humor and realizes what he is doing is silly. But Im a realist, I doubt it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nkeane

      i want to scream - "HELLO, i've been to a restaurant before."
      ___________________________________________________________________________

      I do not find the practice of up-selling annoying, it's just part of the spiel the restaurant use to offer their items. It no more annoying to me than the reciting of the daily/evening specials....what I do find amusing is on food blogs where there are the constant queries for....

      What's good at.....
      What should I order at....
      What should I eat at....
      What cut of steak should I order at.....

      You get the idea......These types don't know what they like and have to ask complete strangers how to eat and spend their money.

      My suggestion is for you to relax and not let it bother you. Whether the server are sincere or not....who cares. Politely thank them and order what you want....enjoy the company before you, whether family or friends. That the only thing that is really important.

    2. I hate when they reach across me to page through the menu and explain to me what is on each page. I know how to read! Get out of my space.

      1. I eat out a lot and I can't say I've ever encountered this - at most I get asked something like, "do you have any questions about the menu?" Maybe it's just the restaurants I choose. Sounds like something I'd expect to encounter at a Cheesecake Factory or its ilk - which I won't set foot in if I can help it. Or maybe it's a suburban thing?

        1. I think it's fairly common at newer places. I just went to a new pizza place in the area and it was helpful to get an idea of what type of pizza we were getting since we get all types. Sometimes restaurants have specialties as well that they like to promote, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

          Your experience does seem more like a flagrant upsell, but even that doesn't bother me. I just smile and say "No thank you" politely if I am not interested.

          1. I think your issue is more about the delivery than with the content. Bad deliver is pushy and predatory. Good delivery is informative and consultative. If it's such a hot issue, why not just say you've dined there before & avoid the whole thing?

            1 Reply
            1. re: oldbaycupcake

              Yes, delivery is very important. In recent memory, I was at a Mexican restaurant and had a waiter who was really pushing the margaritas. I told him no thanks. He apparently ignored what I told him and continued to push the margarita. I just looked at him straight in the eyes and said no. He ceased his efforts.

              A good waiter is not so obvious and aggressive with the upselling. This one really needed some lessons.