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Do you like it when your server recognizes you?

john333 Jul 1, 2010 06:56 AM

Definitely when I'm eating out alone I like it when he/she says they remember me from last time...it makes me feel more welcome and perhaps reduces the loneliness factor. There's a couple places I go to where that happens sometimes.

But I realized recently that if I am with dining companions I'd sometimes feel funny if the server said they remembered me from before. I went for lunch recently with a former coworker and I noticed that the guy who brought our soup had waited on me once before. I don't know if he remembered me or not but oddly I found myself silently praying he wouldn't say anything about my previous visit. (He didn't--either he didn't remember me or he decided not to "intrude" because I was with someone else--see my question at the end).

This might be because I know what my dining companion is like and if the waiter had acted like he remembered me I was worried my friend would have thought, "WTF? Why does John know this waiter? How often does he come here?" My former coworker doesn't eat out much.

Are my feelings about this normal? Also, I'm curious, is there some sort of unwritten rule among servers that says they shouldn't personally greet a familiar customer if the customer is not alone?

Just wondering...

  1. t
    thursday Aug 2, 2012 09:39 PM

    I don't mind being recognized with a friendly greeting or a polite nod of acknowledgment, but I don't like it when servers get really chummy unless they're taking the lead from me - it makes me very self-conscious. I'm a pretty introverted, private person and I don't like people assuming they know all sorts of things about me or giving me hugs just because I happen to like their salad dressing... Bars and similar places are a little bit of a different story because you're sitting in front of them the whole time - unless it's ridiculously-packed, it seems rude NOT to get a little chummy, so I don't mind it as much in those situations.

    1. c
      Christina D Aug 2, 2012 07:48 PM

      In a place where I am a regular, yes, I like to be recognized and treated as such.

      A similar, but awkward situation presented itself when I was "outed" as a CH at a new restaurant. I went to a newly opened sushi place for lunch, was very impressed, and posted a review that evening on our local board. When I went back the next day, they asked if I was "Christina D" and thanked me for the review. The whole thing made me so uncomfortable I didn't return for quite some time, and then only sparingly.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Christina D
        Bill Hunt Aug 2, 2012 08:51 PM

        I can agree and also feel the pain, of that recognition. That is usually NOT what most of us are thinking about, when we do reviews.

        Hunt

      2. c
        cabojenn Aug 2, 2012 10:26 AM

        Back in the day when I was in the industry, I made that mistake once upon a time ... I commented to a female regular without thinking that it was nice to see her again or something like that. Her male companion became very upset - "you said you had never been here before" ... while every other regular we ever had welcomed the brief recognition. It's a fine line and knowing when it is appropriate.

        1. w
          wyogal Aug 2, 2012 09:07 AM

          Yes, it's nice. But the other day, it was kind of embarrassing. I went to the Asian buffet at the mall, I enjoy eating there. I always start with a bowl of hot and sour soup, and egg roll, and 3 cheese wonton, with a side of sweet and sour sauce and hot mustard.
          Then, I go back, put a combo of the fried rice and white rice in the middle of the plate, then put little bits of the various entree's in a circle around the rice.
          At the end, my dessert is always 2 of the sesame balls with red bean paste in the middle.
          Well, this time, I went at 3, kind of to combine lunch and dinner (yes, husband is out of town and I'm eating weird).
          I simply could not finish my entree, I was full, and decided not to force myself to finish my plate. Yes, I felt guilty. As I went to pay, the gal at the check out was really concerned. She says, "I know you!" and proceeded to ask if it was O.K. because I didn't eat everything on my plate (as per usual). I felt really bad now But, I smiled, and assured them (there was another gal there, too) that everything was just fine. I pointed to the Buddha's belly and then mine and smiled.

          1. tommy Aug 2, 2012 08:59 AM

            Much better than being forgettable.

            I visited Rosso Pizzeria and Wine Bar in Santa Rosa a few years ago while on vacation. Sat at the bar and engaged who I believe was one of the owners a bit. A full year later I returned and sat at the bar, and the guy recognized as the guy from NJ who is really into pizza. H remembered which seats were were sitting in as well. I have no problem with that.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tommy
              Bill Hunt Aug 2, 2012 06:56 PM

              Now, that is a nice touch.

              We have dined at a certain starred restaurant in London, several times. Often, it is just my wife and me, on our night of arrival, but we have hosted several board dinners there, as well. We are only there in April, or October, so but twice per year.

              Last visit, it was just the two of us, and the sommelier stopped by, to recount the table that we had occupied, plus the full wine list that I had ordered for a party of 11, for the board dinner.

              Nice touch!

              Hunt

            2. WhatsEatingYou Aug 1, 2012 07:17 AM

              At restaurants that I frequent with my family or alone (deli, coffee shop, etc) it is nice to be recognized. Other times I agree it can be awkward. For example at a few formal restaurants and our favorite diner, my bf gets recognized and politely greeted while I just get a smile. I find this strange since we've only been to these places together. Is he just more recognizable? Do they greet him because he is paying? Is he going there with other people and I don't know about it?? Ha, lets hope not!

              16 Replies
              1. re: WhatsEatingYou
                kattyeyes Aug 1, 2012 08:24 AM

                "Is he going there with other people and I don't know about it?? Ha, lets hope not!" OMG, I would think the same. So funny. I hope not, too! :)

                1. re: WhatsEatingYou
                  m
                  MonMauler Aug 1, 2012 08:40 AM

                  As a fairly well known regular at many of the restaurants around where I live and work, I am always recognized by the management/staff and treated warmly. I enjoy being recognized as such and find that there are many benefits:
                  1.) My drink is often prepared before I even order.
                  2.) I often receive special prices and comped drinks/food.
                  3.) It is never impossible to make a reservation.
                  4.) My needs are attended to more quickly.
                  5.) I gain friends on the staff, and we hang out outside of work.
                  6.) The staff is discreet about my liasons.

                  However, there are drawbacks:
                  1.) Sometimes I receive beverages/food I don't really want or need.
                  2.) It is often difficult to get some peace and quiet when desired.
                  3.) If I get too friendly with a staff member, it is possible to pollute the well.
                  4.) Sometimes they can inadvertently reveal a little too much.

                  Overall, being recognized by management/staff is definitely a benefit as far as I'm concerned. That doesn't mean there aren't pitfalls that must be navigated, though.

                  1. re: MonMauler
                    Bill Hunt Aug 1, 2012 07:58 PM

                    I can agree on several of the pluses, but have never encountered any of the minuses, beyond # 1. However, much of that might be because the restaurant staff recognizes my wife, and I am "second fiddle?"

                    Hunt

                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                      m
                      MonMauler Aug 2, 2012 07:41 AM

                      Bill, in reading many of your posts on this board, I would not expect you to experience any of the minuses I list beyond #1. In fact, I would expect many on this board would never have cause to experience several of the minuses I list. These are simply my experiences and concerns, which are heavily predicated on my lifestyle.

                      Also, in reading what you have written about your life and your relationship with your wife, it hardly seems as if you could be considered second fiddle. You hold your own. If ever you are second fiddle, it is because you give your wife the deference she rightly deserves.

                      1. re: MonMauler
                        Bill Hunt Aug 2, 2012 06:50 PM

                        I think that we have just some differences in experiences.

                        Even in restaurants, where I had great service, when dining solo, I have to admit that the entire staff fawns over my wife, when I am fortunate enough to bring her along. Hey! I am the regular, and to watch this display of affection is hurtful. [Grin]

                        Once, in Washington DC, I had dined maybe six times solo. The food and service were great. Finally, my wife did not have a dinner meeting, and could join me. Heck, the entire staff lined the hallway to the dining room, just to welcome her! Actually, a nice touch, as they also knew that I would not bore them with stories, since she was there to absorb me.

                        Hunt

                  2. re: WhatsEatingYou
                    IndyGirl Aug 1, 2012 08:09 PM

                    Oh, I've felt that before. Awkward!

                    1. re: WhatsEatingYou
                      huiray Aug 1, 2012 09:47 PM

                      Is he not allowed to have a life (and friends) outside of his life with you? Or does he need to keep you apprised of every move and everything he does with no life beyond just you? Do you have so little trust in him that you automatically assume he is cheating on you if he is meeting other people for meals at this place?

                      1. re: huiray
                        WhatsEatingYou Aug 2, 2012 01:15 PM

                        That was more of a joke and I think kattyeyes above got that! Bf has a favorite sandwich shop that he frequents and when we occasionally go together everyone in there knows him, as expected. My comment was more that its just strange he would get greeted and I would not if we usually go somewhere together and my suspicion is that it is because he is a man (and I am merely seen as his date).

                        1. re: WhatsEatingYou
                          huiray Aug 2, 2012 01:29 PM

                          I'd like to see your reaction when a man made the equivalent "joke".

                          1. re: huiray
                            kattyeyes Aug 2, 2012 01:34 PM

                            Hey, what's eating YOU?! C'mon now...this isn't a gender-specific discussion. It was lighthearted and funny.

                            1. re: kattyeyes
                              tommy Aug 2, 2012 01:40 PM

                              This is a great site to get unsolicited relationship advice and life lessons from strangers. :D

                              1. re: tommy
                                kattyeyes Aug 2, 2012 01:41 PM

                                LOLOL, yes, so true, especially this week. ;)

                                1. re: tommy
                                  Bill Hunt Aug 2, 2012 06:53 PM

                                  Not sure how many are seeking such advice?

                                  Most are here to talk about food, service, wine, etc., and I'm not sure that relationship advice is sought after, but could be wrong.

                                  Hunt

                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                    kattyeyes Aug 2, 2012 07:03 PM

                                    No, you nailed it--I'm fairly certain that was tommy's point. :) Regardless, it sure does seem to flow here, however unsolicited.

                            2. re: WhatsEatingYou
                              kattyeyes Aug 2, 2012 01:33 PM

                              Smiling and joking right along with you--we're on the same page.

                              1. re: WhatsEatingYou
                                w
                                wyogal Aug 2, 2012 01:33 PM

                                I had the same thought as you when I first read your comment above! And yes, I would think the same thing if it was a man that made a joke.

                          2. f
                            FrankJBN Jul 20, 2012 11:39 AM

                            Better than the server merely recognizing you is when the server says: "I'll tell Chef you're here."

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: FrankJBN
                              Bill Hunt Jul 24, 2012 10:01 PM

                              Yes, that IS "better!"

                              For me, it is also appreciated.

                              Hunt

                            2. r
                              Redstickchef May 30, 2012 02:25 PM

                              I enjoy being recognized by the waiters, bartenders, etc. at the establishments I frequent, and unless your trying to hide something as others hav already suggested, I think that most people would enjoy being greeted as a regular customer. Usually as a "regular" you are afforded many priviliges that other guests are not. For example, when I go to one of my late-night hangouts within two minutes of being seated, my usual alcoholic beverage of choice is at my table and throughout the evening a few of those beverages might be comped.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Redstickchef
                                Bill Hunt May 30, 2012 07:09 PM

                                I agree. Think about it - how would Cliff have felt, if Carla did not recognize him?

                                Hunt

                                1. re: Bill Hunt
                                  gaffk May 30, 2012 07:14 PM

                                  That made me LOL. Really.

                              2. carlee134 Apr 10, 2012 08:35 AM

                                I love love love my regulars at my serving job, and I hope that they like me too. When I was working for years at *famous coffee chain* it was my regulars who would loan me their umbrellas in the rain, help jumpstart my car, offer me THEIR OWN CAR to use to get to school when the jump didn't work, offer to buy me drinks when they see me out, and just be exceedingly kind when I run into them on the street. To this day (many years later) my friends are amazed that I know "everyone" in town!
                                In turn, I have also become an unexpected regular at some nearby places. I know servers are always wary of solo young girls, thinking they won't tip. Now that they know me, I get great service, a freebie occasionally, and even better, a ton of juicy insider gossip. Sometimes life is good.

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: carlee134
                                  Bill Hunt Apr 10, 2012 06:46 PM

                                  Now, I might hold back on "juicy, insider gossip," I would have offered you my towncar, to get you, where you needed to be.

                                  While I cannot recall being called upon to do so, I would, and gladly.

                                  Getting to "know" my servers is a big plus for me. We frequent a particular resort, tucked away in the Smoky Mountains. I just e-mailed my concierge, to make sure that I had the correct, and exact name of a particular server. It means a lot to me, to be able to return the greeting from all, with whom, we have had the pleasure to interact with. I knew that he had two boys, knew where he lived, where he was from, and could count the times that he had served us there. I was just "off" on his name. Luckily, I checked, but have to admit that my wife was correct, as she so often is, and especially with regard to names. She manages 3 major hospitals, and ~ 50 clinics, and seems to be able to recall the names of each, of her 10,000 employees, plus their spouse's names, and usually their children's, and even grand-children's, names. She never ceases to amaze me.

                                  No, I appreciate being recognized, and love to return, what I see as a "favor."

                                  I have been blessed, by having a very few servers recognize me, though we were last together, maybe 2000 miles away, in another city, and at another restaurant. Usually, my wife can recall their name, but then I can recount the menu, plus the wines that night.

                                  No, I would gladly have my driver take you across town, but for the "gossip," well, you are on your own there... [Grin]

                                  Hunt

                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                    hill food Apr 11, 2012 12:58 AM

                                    I had a boss like your wife - had a rolodex for a brain, knew the name and personal details of every small town administrator and school board member up and down ALL the West coast, we'd be on a conference call and she'd start off asking about spouses, children, how the house addition went etc while I sat there dumbfounded wondering "how HOW do you remember all this?" she was good. scary good..

                                    1. re: hill food
                                      Bill Hunt Apr 17, 2012 07:43 PM

                                      I am totally with you. I have no clue, how she does it, but I appreciate that she can, because she'.ll say something like, "Oh, you remember Mr. and Mrs. X, who sat ate our table for Y, back in 1998?"

                                      I am always amazed. She cannot walk the halls of her major hospital (about 6,000 employees), without stopping for nearly everyone, and recounting their entire family history. I envy her, and your boss. It IS a blessing, and I hope that the employees recognize that.

                                      Hunt

                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                        linengirl Apr 18, 2012 07:24 AM

                                        Wait until you get sick and need an overnight at her hospital, Bill. Then you'll be REALLY grateful. All that caring and interest she has tried to give to them... Your nurses and caregivers will probably try to return the favour. You are VERY lucky. I know. Off topic. ON topic, I find it embarrassing. Which is quite ridiculous of me. Particularly because in the small places I love the most, I try to overtip a bit on a regular basis. Just to say, in another way, "thank you, I value your help".

                                        1. re: linengirl
                                          Bill Hunt Apr 18, 2012 07:58 PM

                                          Yes, OT, but once, I did end up in a hospital. Wife was with me, and they had some "special rules." She called in the CEO, plus the Dr., and read them the "riot act." There are perks to being the # 5 Most Respected Woman in Healthcare in the World," and she pulled out all of the stops!

                                          I have never been in any hospital, where the entire staff did not know my wife, and give her (an me, vicariously) the ultimate respect.

                                          I have had similar at many restaurants, and greatly appreciate it. Many keep a "dossier" of their clients, so know who is allergic to X, and that Y prefers French Chards.

                                          Just confirmed a booking at a wonderful resort. I mentioned that we both had an issue with the regular shampoos and conditioners. They knew, and had already made substitutes for our stay - really nice touch.

                                          Most fine-dining restaurants, that we are returning to, know that wife cannot do bi-valves, and make he necessary accommodations for her. Again, nice touch.

                                          Hunt

                                    2. re: Bill Hunt
                                      carlee134 May 1, 2012 08:13 PM

                                      thanks for sharing, I would love a memory like that. people can be just wonderful, can't they?

                                      1. re: carlee134
                                        Bill Hunt May 6, 2012 08:16 PM

                                        Yes, it can be enjoyable.

                                        Just returned from Blackberry Farm, for our 10th visit. We dined for eight days, and often three meals per day, in two locations. For every meal, from breakfast through lunch to dinner, each server recognized us, though we had not been there, since last July. That was very nice. It was also great for us to remember each of our servers and sommeliers, and my wife even was able to inquire about their children!

                                        No, I greatly enjoy it, when my server recognizes me. It is a nice touch.

                                        Just hosted a board dinner in London, and the sommelier came over. Not only did he know the first wine that I would choose, but recounted where we sat six mos. before, and knew the wines that we had ordered. Took about half of the work out of the night.

                                        Maybe it is that I have little, to nothing, to hide, and each server knows me, and most often my lovely wife. If they do not know her, then if they are good, they will likely meet her, on my next visit.

                                        Hunt

                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                          s
                                          staughton May 29, 2012 05:39 PM

                                          Bill? Isn't your name Mike? When you're spending that kind of money, the staff has been briefed. Trust me.

                                          1. re: staughton
                                            Bill Hunt May 29, 2012 06:57 PM

                                            No. Michael is my first-cousin, and was Sheriff in Dothan, AL, but not sure if he is now.

                                            Hunt

                                  2. k
                                    khintx Dec 24, 2011 10:18 AM

                                    I love it when when anyone acknowleges me at a restaurant or even a vege stand or fish monger that I frequent. Especially if they say "We just got the most amazing fresh salmon/black garlic/whatever in yesterday and I put some aside for you!"

                                    kh

                                    1. gaffk Dec 20, 2011 06:56 PM

                                      This thread popped into mind yesterday. I was at the state store yesterday (known to those outside of PA as a liquor store . . . but that's a subject for another thread) with mom. When I walked in I was greeted by an employee. A few seconds later another person greeted me.

                                      Mom: "You're here enough that every employee knows you?"
                                      Me: "Nope, that's the waitress from the pizza place down the block."

                                      I guess if you go to a place often enough that the waitress recognizes you elsewhere, you go too often? (And no, I did not have an issue with that; but I may have an issue if she pretended not to know me when I went to the restaurant.)

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: gaffk
                                        Bill Hunt Dec 22, 2011 07:53 PM

                                        Now, were I your mom (totally impossible, but then I could possibly be your grandfather), I would stand in respect, assuming that you really KNEW your wines.

                                        Hunt

                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                          gaffk Dec 22, 2011 08:13 PM

                                          Alas, I am only a friend of wines. But I know the employees who know their wines.

                                          1. re: gaffk
                                            Bill Hunt Dec 23, 2011 08:10 PM

                                            You know, that can be great too. While I know my wines, I often rely on my sommelier, as they know "their" wines even better.

                                            Hunt

                                      2. Withnail42 Dec 20, 2011 02:58 PM

                                        Like others I just don't see the issue here.

                                        1. tracylee Dec 18, 2011 05:34 PM

                                          I thought of this thread today. I was out shopping with my folks and we stopped for an early dinner at a bar and grill that we'd previously only been to twice for lunch back in August. The only other people in the restaurant left just after we were seated. We perused the menu and quietly discussed our selections. The cook came out of the back and came to our table: "Fish and Chips?" - I pointed at Dad, "Fried Shrimp?" - Mom, and I said: "I'm getting the sliders". Unless he has a microphone at the table that he can hear in the kitchen, there's no way he could have known this!

                                          Then we watched the guy carrying a half-case of beer try to push his way out the window beside the door.

                                          1. p
                                            plaidbowtie Dec 18, 2011 04:51 AM

                                            I used to wait tables in a busy lunch spot. There was a gentleman that would come in at least three times a week, and would always sit at the bar, where I would wait on him. I got to learn his taste preferences so well, that occasionally,, he'd try and order something, and I'd say "Mr J, you're not going to like that." He didn't believe me the first, but he did every time after that!

                                            1. r
                                              redfish62 Jun 13, 2011 08:35 AM

                                              I like it when the server mistakes me for George Clooney.

                                              "Hello Mr. Clooney, glad to see you again!"

                                              That always makes my day.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: redfish62
                                                Veggo Jun 13, 2011 09:11 AM

                                                How do you think Mr. Clooney feels when servers say to him "Hello, Mr. Redfish, glad to see you again!"

                                                1. re: Veggo
                                                  hill food Jun 13, 2011 10:08 PM

                                                  grateful for the brief moment of anonymity?

                                              2. j
                                                joe777cool Jun 13, 2011 08:05 AM

                                                There is a local chinese place that my fiancees family has frequented for some time. The owner know my fiancee, her brother, her parents, cousins, aunts all by name and always greets them when they come in. Her parents split up 2-3 years ago and both have subsuquently gone in with their new SO.

                                                A great lesson I have learned from him - not once has he asked either why they are with someone new or ever mentioned where is "ex?" He probably thinks its non of his business and it is better, for his business, if he stays out. It is a lesson too few in the restuarant industry have learned IMO.

                                                1. j
                                                  joe777cool Jun 11, 2011 07:08 PM

                                                  I just dont understand why this would be an issue. You go into a place with any frequency and the staff will get to know what you eat, drink, even your name and other info. They are in the customer service industy and this is good practice. I would find it odd if not rude if the staff at a place I frrquented continually treated me as if they didnt know me.

                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: joe777cool
                                                    m
                                                    MRS Jun 12, 2011 06:38 PM

                                                    agree!

                                                    1. re: joe777cool
                                                      sunshine842 Jun 12, 2011 10:41 PM

                                                      (sings) Where everybody knows your naaame,
                                                      And they're always glad you caaaame.

                                                      You gotta go where people know
                                                      That people are all the saaame

                                                      You gotta know where everybody knows your naaaame.

                                                      NORM!

                                                      (man, I'm old)

                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                        j
                                                        joe777cool Jun 13, 2011 08:09 AM

                                                        well im only 29, but I grew up watching cheers with my parents

                                                        you got the first 1/2 right, but missed the 2nd:

                                                        "You want to be where you can see,
                                                        the troubles are all the same.
                                                        You want to be where everybody knows your name"

                                                        what a great show that was

                                                        1. re: joe777cool
                                                          sunshine842 Jun 13, 2011 11:39 AM

                                                          really? a nitpick on ONE word from a show that hasn't been filmed in 20 years? Off the top of my head before I'd had any coffee?

                                                          Tough crowd.

                                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                                            j
                                                            joe777cool Jun 13, 2011 01:14 PM

                                                            your pitch and tone were both waaaay off too

                                                            = )

                                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                                              hill food Jun 13, 2011 10:07 PM

                                                              and it was taped not filmed anyway (just couldn't resist, could I?)

                                                              1. re: hill food
                                                                sunshine842 Jun 14, 2011 09:20 AM

                                                                good thing I use a screen name -- I don't think you two are the kind I *want* to know my name.

                                                                1. re: sunshine842
                                                                  j
                                                                  joe777cool Jun 14, 2011 05:47 PM

                                                                  Now you just sound like Dr. Lilith Crane

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                                                    hill food Jun 14, 2011 10:18 PM

                                                                    oh sunshine (which coincidentally was a sarcastically afflicted nickname I bore for a brief period in the 90's) you're just wildly erroneous on pointless TV minutiae, but your food comments are still appreciated.

                                                        2. m
                                                          MRS Jun 11, 2011 01:06 PM

                                                          As an adult, I really like when servers, owners, hosts etc...do recognize me at places we enjoy and frequent. It makes me feel like they are definitely paying attention to the diners and the establishment as a whole. Being acknowledged is sort of like a "thank you for coming back.". However, shortly after college( well before I met my husband), I met an ex at his usual spot for drinks. The bartender and hostess noted I was clearly not his girlfriend and made frequent comments like, " Wait! You're not X!" to me and " Hey, how is X doing?" to him. They continued to go on about what a doll she was etc...it didn't bother me in the least but I always wondered what they said to HER the next time they went in together! lol!

                                                          1. e
                                                            escondido123 Jun 11, 2011 12:14 PM

                                                            Many years ago, I was having drinks after work with an old friend who was an ex Catholic priest. The young waitress came up, looked at him, and said "Hello Father." He said "Hi Josie" and then began to introduce me. The woman turned bright red, didn't know what to say and walked away. Someone else came back to take our order.

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: escondido123
                                                              huiray Dec 18, 2011 05:42 PM

                                                              Uh, I'm missing something here... 'Xplain, please?

                                                              1. re: huiray
                                                                IndyGirl Dec 20, 2011 11:31 AM

                                                                was the ex-priest actually her father?

                                                                1. re: IndyGirl
                                                                  huiray Dec 20, 2011 11:35 AM

                                                                  Ohhh...
                                                                  Guess that's in the same realm as the adage about why the orphanage is always in the valley between the monastery on one mountainside and the nunnery on the other mountainside.

                                                                2. re: huiray
                                                                  s
                                                                  small h Dec 20, 2011 04:53 PM

                                                                  I'll take a shot. The waitress thought the ex-priest was a) still a priest and b) on a date.

                                                                  1. re: small h
                                                                    huiray Dec 20, 2011 05:01 PM

                                                                    Heh. I like that one. :-)

                                                                    1. re: small h
                                                                      gaffk Dec 20, 2011 06:49 PM

                                                                      That's how I read it.

                                                                      1. re: small h
                                                                        IndyGirl Dec 26, 2011 11:57 AM

                                                                        oooh, yeah that could be it!

                                                                  2. s
                                                                    Slowdive Jun 11, 2011 11:43 AM

                                                                    I don't eat out often enough now for this to be an issue, but I've had it happen in coffee shops. Normally I really liked that they remembered my drink order. When I was a senior in high school and I got coffee from my school cafeteria the awesome lady who worked there would even make my order in advance when she saw me, thus allowing me to skip waiting in line with the junior school kids for 15 minutes.
                                                                    But I HATE when the staff makes a big deal if you order something different. That happened to me once when I was about 15. The barista said, "You'll have the usual, right?" and i said no, I'll actually have (whatever it was I ordered) today. He made a big deal out of it- "OOOOHH, getting fancy today, aren't we?" to the point where I kind of felt like he was mocking me.
                                                                    Now I'm sure he probably thought it was just a friendly ribbing, but being an awkwardly shy teen I was incredibly embarrassed and I never went back to that coffee shop again.

                                                                    1. Bill Hunt May 27, 2011 07:21 PM

                                                                      John,

                                                                      It has never bothered me in the least.

                                                                      There was a great FR restaurant in DC, and I had dined there about six times, while my wife was in meetings with dinners. Finally, she was able to join me. When we arrived, most of the staff lined the hallway, leading to the dining room, and personally welcomed her - at last. Nice touch. Each server knew me, and made great small-talk with my wife, telling her "wine stories," and then the sommelier made an appearance and reiterated those stories. I was just pleased that she could finally dine with me, and at that restaurant. No problem.

                                                                      Hunt

                                                                      1. MisterBill2 May 23, 2011 06:59 AM

                                                                        It's nice when the server recognizes you, but I REALLY like it when the owner and/or chef comes out to say hello to me (and not just while visiting all tables), and you get something special (like an amuse) that other tables do not get. We were just at one of the top places in my area on Saturday night. I had spoken to one of the owners when we were there the first time a few months ago during Restaurant Week. I posted a nice review of them online and chatted with the other owner during a chat session run by the local newspaper. Anyway, as soon as we walked in the door, the guy we had spoken to the first time came out of the kitchen to greet me by name, and the chef/co-owner came over to say hello soon after we were seated, and actually told me that he had read my posts. We got a very nice amuse and an extra appetizer on the house. My wife was shocked that they were treating us this well, given that we were far from regulars (it was only our second visit). As I tell her (and others), it's better than walking into McDonalds and having them greet me by name!

                                                                        We are going to another very popular place on Sunday where we have known the chef/owner (who is very well known) for years . We are taking my mother-in-law there for the first time. I figure she will be impressed when the guy comes out and greets us by name, especially since her friends had a conversation about this place at the assisted living facility she's now living at a few weeks ago. She asked my wife if we knew the restaurant -- she told her "yes, mom, it's the place we are taking you to in a few weeks".

                                                                        1. b
                                                                          Breezychow May 19, 2011 03:52 PM

                                                                          When you live in a relatively small town, it's inevitable that at least some of the local dining spots you frequent are going to remember you. For us it's our local favorite Asian place & one of the local pizzarias. I like it, but sometimes it gives my husband a bit of the heebie-jeebies - lol! - due to the ever-present 2nd-guessing of favorite orders.

                                                                          At the Asian place, if I'm not in a beer mood, I have to be super careful to make that known asap, otherwise the Sapporo is poured almost before I've sat down, & more times than not, our waitress has penned "Sashimi Deluxe" & "Mustard Shrimp" before we've even opened the menu. Sort of makes husband feel rushed.

                                                                          1. haggisdragon May 18, 2011 09:03 PM

                                                                            I hate it. So i always where fake mustaches, different hats, wigs and such.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: haggisdragon
                                                                              hill food May 18, 2011 09:50 PM

                                                                              oh they're on to you, just being polite.

                                                                            2. melpy May 18, 2011 06:32 PM

                                                                              I like it.

                                                                              1. b
                                                                                BelovedofIsis May 7, 2011 05:11 AM

                                                                                I love being recognized at my local restaurants, I am a creature of habit when it comes to my drinks and apps but I do switch up my mains. I dine alone a lot, my husband being active duty and gone frequently, so its nice to be able to small talk with some one who knows me a bit. There was a sports bar and grill on the base where I would go once or twice a week and I got to know the lunch and evening shift servers well. My iced tea would be waiting for me 9 times out of ten but they always confirmed what it as I was having to eat. Also I was almost never charged the extra charges for "special" sides like onion rings instead of fries extra $1 (their fries sucked). They would even apologize and fix my bill for me if an unknown server gave me bad service. There was also an Italian joint off base I like to go to that the server always remembered that I hated their house dressing and made sure that I got my oil and vinegar instead.
                                                                                I am not ashamed of what my friends may have thought when we went together most thought it was awesome because I could get them dessert at 9am in the morning, because the server I knew would make it for me! (we worked night-shift and got off at 8am)
                                                                                Also I was always excited to bring my spouse to my new favs and have him welcomed instantly due to the repor I established on my own.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: BelovedofIsis
                                                                                  h
                                                                                  HappyMtl May 18, 2011 09:07 PM

                                                                                  I like it too. The servers and managers know your preferences and bring your food exactly as you like it - they know your habits and know what to recommend. That applies to drinks as well - prepared also as you like it, exactly. It's also nice when you know them and they know you to get fast service on those occasions you need to rush through a meal for an appointment or movie. It's generally all good when they know you...

                                                                                2. c
                                                                                  chefathome Jan 22, 2011 06:17 PM

                                                                                  Yes - at my favourite restaurant which is discreet. Sure, we are recognized, but quietly. That restaurant also changes menus frequently so there are no assumptions on what we would like to order. However, it is located 3.5 hours away so it's not like we get there weekly...

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: chefathome
                                                                                    d
                                                                                    DukeFan Jan 23, 2011 12:36 PM

                                                                                    Its nice if i am actually a frequent customer and the server or hostess actually recognize me. My issue is when i am welcomed back fromm someone who i have never seen before. This happens more and more with all of the computers at restaurants now.

                                                                                    1. re: DukeFan
                                                                                      sunshine842 Jan 23, 2011 02:25 PM

                                                                                      yeah, THAT gets a little surreal, and not in a good way.

                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                        p
                                                                                        postemotional1 Jan 23, 2011 04:15 PM

                                                                                        Does anyone on this board work in the industry and get recognized?

                                                                                        Is this a good thing?

                                                                                        1. re: postemotional1
                                                                                          monku Jan 23, 2011 04:57 PM

                                                                                          Could be a bad thing....
                                                                                          I managed restaurants and showed up at some places where servers I fired in the past were waiting on me. They immediately remembered me and I remembered them and had no bad feelings about the past so it seemed.
                                                                                          Hate to think what they may have done to my food if anything.

                                                                                  2. mucho gordo Jan 21, 2011 09:27 AM

                                                                                    I love it but It's weird. Something about me must be memorable because the few places I go to for take-out recognize me even though I don't go there that frequently.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: mucho gordo
                                                                                      512window Jan 21, 2011 01:12 PM

                                                                                      I don't get recognized very often but did decide that I was in a rut once. I went into Una Mas and when the guy at the counter saw me, he turned and yelled to the cook, "Dos Bajas, por favor."

                                                                                      I have a different problem with recognition - when someone "recognizes" you and you haven't been there before.

                                                                                      1. re: 512window
                                                                                        hill food Jan 21, 2011 05:50 PM

                                                                                        512: that's happened to me and even more annoying when they just won't back down. jeez if I had had something to hide I'd be livid. it was just sort of funny as the people I was with that night had been my dinner companions the night before (and this was in a city I'd never been to before)

                                                                                        1. re: hill food
                                                                                          512window Jan 21, 2011 08:52 PM

                                                                                          It happens to me in cities I've never been to before also. Sometimes I tell them it must have been my long lost twin sister.

                                                                                    2. mamachef Jan 21, 2011 08:56 AM

                                                                                      Normal's a pretty subjective word, john333. But that being said, I don't think there's any shame in being recognized as a regular patron (unless it's at a complete dive on skid row complete with winos and crackheads in the doorway, and even then, if they serve superb chili.... ; ) it might be kinda reverse uber-hip.
                                                                                      I enjoy being recognized by servers at places we frequent. More than that, I enjoy being recognized at smaller places where the owner is frequently the host. It generally results in some really nice treats and lagniappe, and it just feels really gracious and nice. Not in a snotty way; I'd never lean on it to get a table before someone else, but it feels good to have the mutual recognition that we enjoy their establishment and they appreciate our business.
                                                                                      And I'd be willing to bet your friend would find it unremarkable.
                                                                                      I once met a young man and his date at the home of a mutual friend. The next night I pulled a waitressing shift, and this same guy showed up with, ah, another woman. Who was actually his girlfriend. But I was so caught up in the recognition factor that I blared out, "hey, did you have fun over at __________ last night?" Cut to: huge fight (in a high-end Italian resto); table overturned; two-top out the door. Needless to say, no bill paid, no tip. And a lesson WELL-LEARNED.

                                                                                      1. w
                                                                                        Whinerdiner Jan 21, 2011 08:10 AM

                                                                                        I like to be recognized as a customer. It makes me feel appreciated. But as a server I admit to having made a few faux pas. One night we were swamped, I mean no time to think busy. The kind of night where you're just in the zone, focused, trying to get the job done. In walks a regular. Great lady - very nice. She and her husband are super tippers, a pleasure to serve, and they always request me. I know he's her husband because they sat with me the night they were married. Without thinking, I give her a hug and a big smile. Out from behind her steps this guy who is not her other half. Yikes.

                                                                                        I still wasn't getting it. I just figured he was a friend, relative, whatever. But then, she was so icy to me during dinner, I finally got the point. She was on a date! I was so embarrassed. I should have known better, but my reaction was just automatic.

                                                                                        Neither of them ever came in again, and at first I felt really bad. But then I got to thinking, there are hundreds of restaurants in the area, why go to one where you are well known, if you don't want to be recognized?

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Whinerdiner
                                                                                          n
                                                                                          NicoleFriedman Jan 22, 2011 06:03 AM

                                                                                          Don't feel bad- I have no sympathy for cheaters or for morons:}

                                                                                          1. re: NicoleFriedman
                                                                                            hill food Jan 22, 2011 06:05 PM

                                                                                            I have sympathy, but I wouldn't feel any guilt either. seriously if one wants to cover one's tracks one either calls ahead and alerts the staff (who will prob. get their amusement of the night) or as pet trainers note on the issue of crate training "given a choice dogs won't foul the place where they sleep"

                                                                                        2. Nicolette S Jan 21, 2011 05:02 AM

                                                                                          I do like it when I'm recognized, but surely the fact that I've nothing to hide helps. ;) I imagine it could be a different story for some.

                                                                                          1. n
                                                                                            NicoleFriedman Jan 21, 2011 04:17 AM

                                                                                            It took me too long to learn that other people do not care about the things you often worry the most about. I feel I wasted many years worrying about what others think. The truth is, even if they say something, they most likely will move on from whatever it is extremely quickly. Unless you're having an affair or are a drug lord and are worried about getting caught or arrested, I wouldn't be concerned at all. Just say the magical words: "So what?"

                                                                                            1. sunshine842 Nov 15, 2010 12:48 AM

                                                                                              I like to think I'd never have to share a meal with someone who would look down at me if the wait staff recognized me.

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                carlee134 Apr 10, 2012 08:30 AM

                                                                                                seriously!!

                                                                                                1. re: carlee134
                                                                                                  Bill Hunt Apr 10, 2012 06:31 PM

                                                                                                  While I cannot speak for Sunshine, I feel the same way. If one were to hold that recognition against me, then I would think less of them.

                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                2. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                  Bill Hunt Apr 10, 2012 06:30 PM

                                                                                                  Actually, I have had guess, who were slightly "impressed," when the server acknowledged me. They should NOT have been, but were.

                                                                                                  I also enjoy it, when the server, the host/hostess, or the chef, remembers me. It is even better, when the chef remembers that my wife cannot do bi-valves, though I try to make sure that I describe her few culinary issues.

                                                                                                  No, I am honored, when the staff recognizes me, and especially my wife, though locally, she is in the media (print and electronic), far more, than I am. So long as no one bothers her for an autograph, I am cool with it.

                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                3. hill food Nov 14, 2010 11:55 PM

                                                                                                  I don't really like to recognized too much as a regular (I don't order the same thing every time and I don't like to be anticipated), but if I've been absent a few months or a year, I DO get a kick if they still remember me. there was a cheap deli in SF that I frequented 2-3 times a week, but as school demands and a job change altered things, that stopped. I went back a coupla years (years!) later and they recognized me, that was gratifying and flattering, considering how many customers they had filing through every day (Financial District/ Embarcadero Center area) "hey long time no see!" from several of the counter people.

                                                                                                  1. c
                                                                                                    cutipie721 Aug 13, 2010 04:30 PM

                                                                                                    We almsot always get freebies somehow when our servers recognize us. So yes we love being recognized :-)

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: cutipie721
                                                                                                      iL Divo Aug 13, 2010 05:12 PM

                                                                                                      I'd forgotten that part, but yes to it too.
                                                                                                      Alix would try new different sushi on me just to see my reaction.
                                                                                                      Also, he'd make up some strange but wonderful dessert just cause
                                                                                                      I was there, and I never got charged for the extras he added.
                                                                                                      Very kind

                                                                                                      1. re: cutipie721
                                                                                                        john333 Nov 14, 2010 02:08 PM

                                                                                                        Actually that happened to me last week. I had dinner solo at a restaurant I hadn't been to for several months and my waiter said "I haven't seen you here in a while...I can't remember what you like to drink". I remembered him as well, even his name.

                                                                                                        In the end he didn't charge me for the coffee.

                                                                                                      2. monku Aug 12, 2010 07:43 PM

                                                                                                        "I noticed that the guy who brought our soup had waited on me once before. I don't know if he remembered me or not but oddly I found myself silently praying he wouldn't say anything about my previous visit."

                                                                                                        I think it was in your head.
                                                                                                        You said he waited on you "once" before. You may think he remembered you, but most likely he didn't. You remembered him because you know him from that restaurant. There are hundreds of people that may patronize that restaurant....if you saw him on the street you probably wouldn't notice him either.

                                                                                                        There's a Chinese restaurant I frequent with my family. I'm on a first name basis with the waiter, he's the only one that waits on us when we go there (he takes care of me, I take care of him). One day I go there with my cousin (female) and her son. He sees me and doesn't recognize the woman with me and as a joke I take him aside and tell him it's my other family. He then acts like he doesn't know me when I'm ordering. After he delivers the soup I tell him it was a joke and introduce my cousin and nephew to him and he immediately lightens up and it's business as usual.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: monku
                                                                                                          carlee134 Apr 10, 2012 08:30 AM

                                                                                                          this is SO funny. That guy had your back!

                                                                                                          1. re: monku
                                                                                                            Parigi Aug 14, 2012 01:54 PM

                                                                                                            Hahahaha. You horrible person.

                                                                                                          2. iL Divo Aug 12, 2010 04:10 PM

                                                                                                            I do like it when they remember me. especially if it´s a place where we frequent or spend a lot of money. recently at a local mexican joint, the manager in there has had a ´´tude´´ with us and I told my husband we don´t need to go in there anymore simply due to that.

                                                                                                            I had a favorite place in vancouver and the owner always gave me a hug. I think his business was waning but still, he was always so happy to see me and wed talk about how to increase his business as his food was impecable but the location wasn´t the best. he´s gone now, moved back to japan, they closed it.

                                                                                                            there are many places that i go to eat that i´ve been to often enough to be remembered and it´s always such fun when they say <´hi.................................

                                                                                                            1. m
                                                                                                              mjhals Aug 12, 2010 04:04 PM

                                                                                                              When I was stationed in Germany there was an Italian restaurant I'd frequent quite a bit, and the staff knew me almost within a week of my starting to eat there. They were sweet in an over-the-top-SNL-skit kind of way (what?!? you no finish the caprese? here, I get you a prosecco, I get you a sambucca...) It was nice, and charming and a wonderful change from some of the colder receptions I got at the German restaurants I ate at just as much.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: mjhals
                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                BelovedofIsis May 7, 2011 04:44 AM

                                                                                                                Was the restaurant in the KMCC area? I just PCSed from there. There are a couple of Italian places like that, I loved every one of them!

                                                                                                              2. p
                                                                                                                Philly Ray Aug 12, 2010 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                I used to live in an apartment next door to an Italian restaurant. I did take out there very often, so the owner started to recognize me, but he got it in his head that my name was Mark (it isn't). I never bothered to correct him so for the 5 years I lived there, every time I walked in he said, "Hey Mark...how are you!"

                                                                                                                Does that count as being recognized?

                                                                                                                1. KaimukiMan Aug 12, 2010 01:40 PM

                                                                                                                  One has to assume/hope the restaurant employee acts appropriately.

                                                                                                                  Several years ago the boss took me out to lunch on my first day of work. The hostess happened to be someone who was previously the receptionist at the company I had just moved from.

                                                                                                                  I didn't mind being greeted warmly, but when she asked pointedly if I was "still living with the same guy..... "

                                                                                                                  Fortunately my new boss burst out laughing. He also happened to know the restaurant owner, and instead of me, it was the hostess who was looking for another new job before we finished lunch.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                    boyzoma Aug 12, 2010 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                    What a great story and looks like you got a fantastic boss! Good job!

                                                                                                                  2. greygarious Jul 10, 2010 08:01 PM

                                                                                                                    I worked as a mail carrier. Several carriers regularly took their afternoon breaks at Dunkin Donuts after finishing our routes, and followed postal regs to back into parking spaces whenever possible. The DD staff didn't always know our names, but they knew our 7-digit truck ID numbers. Though they couldn't see the carrier until s/he exited the mail truck, they'd have our standard orders ready by the time we got to the counter. Above and beyond!

                                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                                      jeanmarieok Jul 7, 2010 07:47 PM

                                                                                                                      LOL - this has happened to me. And it made me back peddle a bit. But I guess I had a guilty conscience, so that's what I get. My daughter was taking an art class - 90 minutes on a Tuesday from 6 - 7:30. My husband traveled a lot, so I was taking her and waiting for her. Then I found a cute little greek place, where I could get a (single) glass of wine and a salad / appetizer for cheap. So I started going there on Tuesdays, by myself, to kill time. After a couple of months, I took my husband there, and was shocked that like, the whole staff knew me. Even asked me if I was having a glass of wine or a Sierra Nevada tonight. My husband said, how often do you come here? It was a little embarrassing, especially when the server asked me if I was having my usual salad/appy combo.......

                                                                                                                      i guess I would have preferred not to be SO well known.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                                                                        john333 Jul 10, 2010 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                        That's funny, jeanmarieok. I would have been embarrassed too if my waiter (see my original post) had said hi to me, because my lunch companion would have wondered how often I was eating there. Maybe I'm just self conscious.

                                                                                                                        On the other hand, tomorrow I plan to have lunch alone at this place where I'm recognized...and I look forward to chatting with the server(s) I know if they happen to be working tomorrow.

                                                                                                                      2. j
                                                                                                                        janetmweiss Jul 7, 2010 06:46 PM

                                                                                                                        I'll throw in a comment from the opposite side. I HATE when servers recognize me.

                                                                                                                        I have a tendency to go on food kicks, where I'll eat the same thing over and over again for a week or two and then go off it in favour of something else. That means I could eat the same thing at the same restaurant several times a week. When the servers recognize me, I feel like they must be wondering, "Does this girl have no life whatsoever??" It's even worse if the thing I'm eating is something unhealthy, because then I feel like they must be thinking, "With all the junk this girl eats, I wonder why doesn't she weigh 1000 lbs?"

                                                                                                                        I realize this is (for the most part) my own quirky little insanity and that most people enjoy being recognized so I certainly don't fault a server for treating me like a regular. I just really wish I could always eat in anonymity.

                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: janetmweiss
                                                                                                                          r
                                                                                                                          raleighboy Jul 8, 2010 12:21 PM

                                                                                                                          +1. I hadn't thought of that. I'm known to do the same sometimes and, while being recognized has never upset me, I have had the momentary wish that I could go about my eating as if I had never been seen in the place.

                                                                                                                          1. re: janetmweiss
                                                                                                                            p
                                                                                                                            postemotional1 Jan 20, 2011 11:32 PM

                                                                                                                            I am a bartender.

                                                                                                                            I make eye contact and give a head bob and then let the customer dictate the tone.

                                                                                                                            I do not like being served by anyone who assumes that i want to be recognized as a regular.

                                                                                                                            Beverage service has inherent risks.

                                                                                                                            I was held up by a regular 20 years ago!

                                                                                                                            1. re: janetmweiss
                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                              BelovedofIsis May 7, 2011 05:15 AM

                                                                                                                              I do find the one comment about wanting to eat anonymously, paradoxical, because you are going to eat in a public venue. Hiding in a crowd I guess may be the philosophy at work here? I have had a twinge of that (I have an addiction to fried cheese) but in the end I realize that they don't give a flying lick about what your eating, so enjoy your food and don't be so self conscious. I go on food binges such as that also. I like to think there is something in the ingredients my body wants and therefor I crave eating it for a while.

                                                                                                                            2. Sommelier Jul 2, 2010 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                              "Which is your favorite restaurant?"
                                                                                                                              "The one where they know my name."
                                                                                                                              attributed to Alexis Lichine

                                                                                                                              1. bagelman01 Jul 1, 2010 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                I love when my server recognizes me, and love it even more if they remember what I prefer to drink, and ask if I'd like a glass of XXX to start................
                                                                                                                                I love when the server remembers I don't like lemon in my water or Diet Cola, and that I like a glass of ice water as well.
                                                                                                                                Once a week I have lunch at the same restaurant. The servers recognize me, make me feel welcome, ask about my family (who they have met and served). But if I come in with a 'new' lunch guest, they acknowledge me, but ask no personal questions.

                                                                                                                                This is a great server(s).

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                                                                  meatn3 Jul 1, 2010 03:54 PM

                                                                                                                                  You have perfectly described the level of recognition I like! Enough to anticipate what is needed, but professional enough to take the cue from me as to how chatty we will be.

                                                                                                                                  My job is so people oriented that sometimes I just don't want another drop of chit chat at the end of the day. I appreciate when servers at the places I frequent realize this. I also appreciate that they do recognize that I am a regular and often go the extra mile. Recently there was a seasonal menu change at a place we frequent. I was looking over the apps and knew I didn't see something I had been interested in the last time. The server filled in the missing info and offered to see if the kitchen could accommodate. I thanked him, said if it was any trouble we would be equally happy with app xyz........they made the original item and it was great!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                                                                    Firegoat Jul 2, 2010 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                    For a while my SO and I were Sunday morning regulars at a local diner, which actually did a pretty large business. Despite the amount of people going through there, we had a waitress that would not only recognize us, but would bring us our drinks as she came to the table before we even ordered because we always ordered the exact same thing. Diet coke for me, ice tea unsweetened with no lemon for him. It was kind of nice. (Then the highway expanded and they had to move)

                                                                                                                                  2. Pia Jul 1, 2010 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                                    It's nice to be recognized, but unless I'm alone or with the same person as last time, I don't like comments that reference the last time I've been there. I may tell my friend, "This place is great, I was just here yesterday," or I may think it's none of the person's business, but I should get to decide.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pia
                                                                                                                                      IndyGirl Jul 10, 2010 06:35 PM

                                                                                                                                      Mostly, I like to be recognized, but I agree with Pia. We have some friends/family who can be a bit judgmental about how much others eat out or spend on food, and some friends get their feelings hurt if they find out we were recently at a place with other friends. Things just get complicated. As you said, I should get to decide.

                                                                                                                                    2. Veggo Jul 1, 2010 01:12 PM

                                                                                                                                      Not in a strip club or a casino.

                                                                                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Jul 1, 2010 01:17 PM

                                                                                                                                        Well, there's that. ;-)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                          kattyeyes Jul 1, 2010 02:05 PM

                                                                                                                                          HA HA HA, Mr. L! :) Isn't that what gets you extra goodies?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                            Veggo Jul 1, 2010 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                            Preterit tense, please - I have reformed my wayward ways. For now.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                            small h Jul 1, 2010 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                            Hah! I go to the same liquor store...probably more often than I should. So, yep, they sure as heck recognize me, point me toward wines they think I'll like, let me know if Hendrick's is on sale, that sort of thing. But recently I stopped in with the spousal equivalent in tow, and nada - I may as well have been a first time customer. I was interested enough to inquire about that on my subsequent visit, and the owner said he didn't want to "out" me as a regular, just in case. Discretion is the better part of valor (yeah, I'm using this incorrectly, but I don't care).

                                                                                                                                            1. re: small h
                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                              soupkitten Jul 1, 2010 04:48 PM

                                                                                                                                              good post. when i was a bt i'd do the same-- if the regular (solo) drinker came in with a new date, or companions who might be in-laws or business contacts, i'd go completely off of the person's cues: if s/he addressed me by name, i'd go ahead and treat her/him in my normal way as a regular. if s/he turned the social action down a notch or seven, i'd act as if waiting on someone i'd never waited on before. some folks don't want to be identified as barflies (or worse) to prospective mates, business contacts, etc. the alcohol factor does sometimes change the equation.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                m
                                                                                                                                                mandycat Jul 2, 2010 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                When my husband and I lived in Colorado, we frequented a small family-run Mexican restaurant. We always ordered exactly the same thing: a pitcher of their wonderful margaritas and a combination platter for two. At one point we decided we really needed to cut down on our alcohol a bit and just order a beer each. When we walked in the front door, the smiling bartender proudly held up the pitcher of margaritas he whipped up when they saw us walking across the parking lot. So much for good intentions; they were so pleased with themselves we didn't have the heart to say no.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mandycat
                                                                                                                                                  tracylee Jul 3, 2010 03:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Yikes! It took me a year to get the waitresses at the bar where I met my now-ex to switch from automatically bringing me margaritas to vodka-tonics after a particularly hot summer.

                                                                                                                                                  I went there recently for happy hour with some new friends (knowing the ex wouldn't be there on that day of the week) and the waitress had conveniently acquired amnesia! OK, so I knew most of the people in the bar and waved and talked to them, but the staff was discreet.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tracylee
                                                                                                                                                    corneygirl May 7, 2011 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Yep, when I worked in a bar there were regulars I could literally set my watch by. But if they came in with someone I had never seen before I pretended I didn't know them - unless I was introduced!

                                                                                                                                              2. re: small h
                                                                                                                                                hill food Nov 14, 2010 11:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                small h: yes, I was living in a neighborhood of a major city whose particular part can be aptly described as an urban Mayberry RFD. a friend from NYC was visiting so went went to pick up some wine, now the clerks of this place pride themselves on remembering you, your preferences and your name within 2 visits, so after a "Hey HF, how's it going, how's the new job?" very friendly and sweet, but I got a pile of sh*t from my friend afterwards (from NYC remember - different foot traffic etc.) "jeez, do you like go there EVERY day?"

                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                  small h Nov 15, 2010 06:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                  My own little tale takes place on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where I live. Your friend from NYC is probably just not a creature of habit. Or s/he lives in a denser neighborhood with more options.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: small h
                                                                                                                                                    Veggo Nov 15, 2010 06:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                    "denser" neighborhood - sure sounds like one, even if it had fewer people.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                      small h Nov 15, 2010 06:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Now, now.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: small h
                                                                                                                                                        hill food Nov 15, 2010 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                        capitol hill in DC is fairly dense for a small town and there are plenty of options, but they were the coolest and closest. she was visiting from the UWS so I have little idea what the context comparison really is.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food
                                                                                                                                                          y
                                                                                                                                                          yfunk3 Nov 15, 2010 06:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                          All of the DC Metro Area is a small world, imo. ::sigh::

                                                                                                                                            2. LindaWhit Jul 1, 2010 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                              I like being recognized. And as Janet said upthread, why would you care if your coworker thought you came to a restaurant frequently? Isn't that a good thing - that you've gone to a place that you like?

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                boyzoma Jul 1, 2010 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                +1 on this one. We meet my MIL in a mutual location (favorite steak house) since we live over an hour apart quite often. Since they don't take reservations, we usually meet up in the bar. MIL was late one evening and we were getting concerned. The bar waitress had served us drinks and we said we were waiting for the MIL. She remembered that and now when we go in, if we are first, she always asks about the MIL. (FIL started going there while in HS - so it has been a family favorite for many, many years). It's nice to have that recognition.

                                                                                                                                              2. alanbarnes Jul 1, 2010 09:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                The only problem I could see is if you're trying to create an impression on your dining companion that is inconsistent with reality. As others have noted, if you want your spouse to believe you're faithful and the server asks after your girlfriend, you've got a problem. If you're trying to play up your image as a man of the people and the entire staff at Le Bernardin greets you by name, the jig is up. Ditto if you have gourmet pretensions and the server at Applebee's asks if you want "the usual."

                                                                                                                                                But if you're just being yourself, what's wrong with the server recognizing you? There are places I only go to a few times a year, but if you do that for enough years you become acquainted with the people who work there. And it's only normal for acquaintances to acknowledge one another when they meet.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                                                                  Janet from Richmond Jul 1, 2010 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                  That's how I see it as well.

                                                                                                                                                2. j
                                                                                                                                                  jujuthomas Jul 1, 2010 09:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                  to a point.
                                                                                                                                                  in our favorite diner the hostess knows us and we have a favorite waitress. it's nice to see both of them and get a bit of the gossip, and sometimes the server will give us a special deal, or let us know if something is particularly good that day.

                                                                                                                                                  1. brandywiner Jul 1, 2010 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I like getting greeted personally; it adds to the overall welcome. This is especially true at places where I'm a longtime regular, and many servers & managers know me by name. If anything, they're even a bit more solicitous if I'm with someone, while making it a point to not bust in on conversations.

                                                                                                                                                    Like some of the other posters, I can't picture why one would be uncomfortable being recognized in a restaurant, unless, as others have posted, it's with a line like "Hey, that's not the girl/guy you were here with last week!" (Most servers, in my experience, know better.)

                                                                                                                                                    1. thew Jul 1, 2010 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                      unless you were there with one love interest, and then another, i don't see what the problem is.

                                                                                                                                                      what would be the problem with knowing the waiter, or going someplace often?

                                                                                                                                                      i don;t follow the logic at all.

                                                                                                                                                      i like to be recognized, except perhaps in the situation outlined at the start of my post, were it to ever happen

                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                        kattyeyes Jul 1, 2010 07:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                        HA HA HA, I was thinking the same thing! "Hey, we haven't seen so-and-so for awhile. How's he been?" :) OOPS.

                                                                                                                                                        At places where my face is familiar, I am happy to be recognized (or hugged in certain special places--my hometown diner is one). Or appreciate, "We've missed you." It's nice to be missed.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                          c
                                                                                                                                                          Cachetes Jul 1, 2010 08:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                          "Mr. Soprano, months we don't see you. Where you been, Signora Carmela?"

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                            w
                                                                                                                                                            whitneybee Jul 7, 2010 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                            My boyfriend and I frequent a favorite neighborhood sushi place, and we're always recognized by a few of the waitresses when we go. A few months ago, I went to the restaurant with an old friend, who happens to be male, and our usual waitress was giving me strange looks the entire time.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: whitneybee
                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                              soupkitten Jul 7, 2010 07:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                              LMAO!!! an anecdote i remember, as a much younger person: i was very involved with dh, but pre-marriage. i went into my place of employment (bar) with a dashing young male companion. I bought him a drink and we proceeded to catch up in a very amiable and affectionate way. about 20-30 mins into it, i realized i was getting a mild case of cold shoulder/stink-eye glances from the "regular" end of the bar. everything was cleared up when i introduced my kid brother to the lot of them, and dh was amused when he heard the story.

                                                                                                                                                              where everybody knows your NA -a-ame :)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                hyacinthgirl May 19, 2011 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I've had that too at a bar/restaurant near my work. I came in with a date and had the bartender say hi there, how are you, how's that tall guy you're usually here with?
                                                                                                                                                                The "tall guy" was a coworker, but I still don't think that instilled a lot of confidence in my date.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                                                                                                                                                  sunshine842 May 19, 2011 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Okay...maybe we should amend it to Do you like it when your server recognizes you, unless he or she is a complete nitwit with no social graces whatsoever?

                                                                                                                                                                  Sheesh. What a maroon.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                                    KaimukiMan May 24, 2011 01:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    no tip for you!

                                                                                                                                                          2. a
                                                                                                                                                            anonymouse1935 Jul 1, 2010 07:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Absolutely! The owner of one of my favorite places, Spadaro in New Rochelle, NY, gives me a hug when I go in. Happily, the food is as good as Rena is nice, so it makes for a great dining experience.

                                                                                                                                                            Good customer service is almost as important as very good food in a restaurant, imo.

                                                                                                                                                            As to being greeted when with others -- doesn't bother me at all.

                                                                                                                                                            1. h
                                                                                                                                                              Harters Jul 1, 2010 07:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                              It may be that they would want to avoid any possible embarrassment for the customer - who may not now be with someone who, ahem, knows that they frequent this place possibly with someone else (if you get my drift). Dunno though - I've never eaten anywhere often enough that I'm going to get recognised.

                                                                                                                                                              1. j
                                                                                                                                                                Janet from Richmond Jul 1, 2010 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I always prefer to be recognized, especially at one of my regular places.

                                                                                                                                                                I'm not sure why you care what your friend thinks of such a situation.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                                                                  dump123456789 Jul 1, 2010 08:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  That's what I was wondering. Why would the friend's reaction be as severe as you imagine ("WTF?"), and even if it were, why would it bother you ?

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