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servers commenting on how much we ate - rude?

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Here's another "I'm not sure if I'm too sensitive or not" post!
My husband and I can be big eaters. Sometimes in restaurants we even (*gasp*) clean our plates, or nearly so. Now, I know restaurant portions are often large, and eating the portion we're served means we've eaten a lot. But it really bothers me when the server comes to take our plates away, offer dessert, ask if we're ready for the check, etc., and comments on the empty plate.
"Wow, you guys did great!" "Save any room for dessert - I guess not!" etc.
Of course, we DID eat a lot. But, on the other hand, that's the portion they gave us. It doesn't seem to me as though it should be remarkable to eat one's food. If that's the portion they give you, that's what they consider the appropriate size of a meal.
Maybe it's just "gosh, I'm a glutton" embarrassment, but ... when this happens, it always causes us a moment of self-conscious discomfort.
Do you guys get these comments? Do they affect you? Maybe we're just sensitive about eating like pigs - but still, I don't feel that the people who give you the food should make you feel bad about eating it!

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  1. Of course it's rude. I think there was another thread here on just how rude it is.

    The rudeness should be reflected in their tip.

    Of course, if it's a dear old moll who is on her feet 14 hours a day in your local diner and calls you 'hon', then she's allowed.

    Oh, and consider yourself fortunate that you were given a large portion, and didn't eat in a 'small plates' joint.

    2 Replies
    1. re: anonymouse1935

      The dear old "hon"-caller gets a pass on most every conversational quirk, as far as I'm concerned!

      Well, you know, if I wanted a small plate, I'd have ordered that, and not expected the server to comment "Boy, you didn't eat very much!" :)

      1. re: occula

        True, and true, occula.

    2. I vote too sensitive. I've had servers say stuff like that to me and I say "yeah, it was good" and leave it at that. People care about what you do a lot less than you think, I've found. ;)

      1 Reply
      1. re: MandalayVA

        I second this, and being in Europe for years now I found it weird when the server/owner thinks I didn't like the food because I didn't clean my plate and I spend 5 mins reassuring them that it was great and I just got too full to eat it all! Especially after sharing an app and having a side salad with the main. It seems that its the fact that you feel guilty that is making you uncomfortable not the server's "rudeness", she's just making friendly small talk. A clean plate is a compliment to the food, so don't feel guilty! I cringe when I think about going back to the states and having to deal with all of the weight and what you eat judgement. Eat and be happy, all with moderation of course ;)

      2. I think it's more likely that the servers just aren't USED to seeing people clean their plates. Whenever I go out to eat, the only person at the table who finishes his plate (and some of ours) is my brother in law who is a logger and is unsatiable! When you serve people all day and are used to taking away half-eaten meals, a clean plate is different.

        Don't take offense, unless the server is being snide, and that shouldn't be hard to notice. :)

        1. jfood thinks the word rude gets tossed around way too often. This strikes me as more untrained and clueless. Say thank you and go back to enjoying the company

          4 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            Well said (or barked)

            1. re: jfood

              I'm with you, Jfood. People are too sensitive. The server is just trying to be friendly. I've got other things to worry about--like what's for dessert?

              1. re: jfood

                When I leave a clean plate I often comment to the server that I didn't really care for the dish. It's a joke, a friendly joke.

                1. re: phantomdoc

                  Totally!
                  Server: How was everything?
                  I had a boyfriend who would say "I have one complaint...it's all gone". LOL

              2. i have always treated this as "light banter" and always respond back in the same vein. It's never bothered me.

                1. I wouldn't be offended... some people just don't know how to make small talk. I think servers sometimes comment on how much you ate just because they can't think of anything else to say. I mean, coming up to take your plate and asking if you're done with it is kind of silly imho. :)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jujuthomas

                    Yes jjt, some servers seem to not know what to say when clearing a table. It seems to me that a well trained and astute server will probably ask "may I take your plate?" when it is sitting empty and not ask if you're "done" (which is kinda obvious), or make comments on how much you ate.

                  2. It is "light banter" that comes from being clueless, but it also is rude to comment on how much you've eaten.

                    1. I HATE this, too. I think it's rude for the server (or anyone) to comment on the amount I eat, except if there is a lot left on my plate the server should inquire as to whether everything was ok. I just shrug it off, but it doesn't make me want to stay and order anything else. I usually frown and go one with whatever I would have done anyway - ask for the check, order coffee, etc. and just don't otherwise acknowledge the rude comment.

                      Could you imagine saying something similar to a dinner guest in your own home? How rude. It would make them feel like they've done something wrong like taken more than their share, or look like gluttons, etc.

                      1. I wouldn't take it personally. I think the trend these days is for the wait staff (hostesses and servers) to be very "chatty" with their customers -they probably see it as being very friendly and customer service oriented and I really doubt they expect you to respond.

                        It also has to do with the type of restaurant you are dining in. Upscale restaurants don't engage in this type of behavior, they simply provide polite professional service and let you enjoy your meal. However, go to a place like Cheesecake factory and the prattle is non-stop: hi, welcome to cheesecake factory. how are you today? have you ever been here before? would you like any appetizers? we have lunch specials on page 8 of your menu. how was your lemonade? would you like artificial sweetener? no, then how about sugar? do you think you have room for dessert? i've personally eaten every dessert listed so I can help you select a dessert if you have trouble deciding....

                        SHEESH! It's like they are actually scared to be quiet for one second and wait to hear what the customer wants, although why that would be I have no idea. But like I said, don't take it personally, I really doubt they are saying these things and expecting you to response. I just consider it verbage (verbal garbage) that they offer as part of their service.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: SeoulQueen

                          And been trained to say. Those places have a pretty rigid idea of what a server should say at a table.

                          1. re: SeoulQueen

                            That isn't chatter, that is upsell. They are supposed to try to sell as much as possible to you.

                            1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                              Especially at corporate dining establishments, there's basically a script you're supposed to memorize and spew at every guest. I haven't served in many years, but I recall that the servers, themselves, weren't fond of the superficial chatter any more than some of the guests. On the other hand, many guests appreciated it. Restaurant patrons are a tough crowd. You never know if something you say or don't say, do or don't do, is going to chip away at your tip. It's hard to please a stranger.

                          2. I've kind of run into that once, but when I was ordering. I was ordering I guess what they think of as a "guy's" plate for breakfast. It was a lot of protein and pretty much all protein, but that was what I wanted, and I had the SO with me to eat the only carbs that came with it. I did get a comment from the waitres, are you sure? And I'm not a fat girl, but I'm not a thin girl either, ..... it kind of hit me wrong, but... I didn't let it lessen the enjoyment of the meal. I think she just honestly thought I didn't realize how much food was in it.

                            and interesting sidelight... I'd ordered this same dish before at same place but weighed 25 more pounds, and never got a question on it. But all different waitresses and no I didn't take offense. And yes I ate all of it but the carbs (and the bacon) my breakfast dining partner has a thing for bacon, but hates sausage... so its not hardship for me to supplement him.

                            1. Im a pretty petite lady and I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten they "I'm impressed!" line. That doesn't bother me nearly as much as when Im ordering and they say "Woah. You are ordering A LOT of food! " Sometimes, yes Im hungry... but sometimes, I just want to order different things on the menu for trying. Once, the guy was such an ass and was like "Thats rediculous.. its just going to go to waste". I was not impressed and left the place soon after.
                              As someone who has been a server, I dont understand why anyone would say things like this. Servers WANT their bill to go up.. so they might as well shut their mouth about the amount of food Im ordering.

                              16 Replies
                              1. re: hungryabbey

                                I think commenting on how much others eat or don't eat is always inappropriate. It's what parents do, and it can make the person on the receiving end feel like a child whose intake is being observed and evaluated. As someone who is not petite, that's certainly how I feel when someone comments on how much I am ordering/eating. I don't like feeling as though I have to explain that "I'm hungry", or "I just couldn't stop myself, hahaha...", or "Hey, I can eat a lot, can't you tell?"

                                New customers in a restaurant may not be aware of portion sizes, and when I am in such a situation, I don't mind if the server communicates about the servings in a considerate and appropriate way. And then lets ME decide.

                                This is obviously not a skill your server had, and I have had similar experiences that made me order less than I otherwise would have.

                                On the other hand, I have had pushy servers try to get me (and my companions) to order more food than we could possibly eat, and this is equally uncomfortable.

                                1. re: Full tummy

                                  I think you're right. You dont' comment on how much or how little others are eating. My nine year old knows that and I never give him a 20% bonus for remembering it when we're out to dinner.

                                  Shame on any server who makes this sort of overly familiar gaffe and still expects a tip.

                                  1. re: Kater

                                    really, you would dock someone a tip because they were trying to be friendly? i assume you shoot people who are actually surly

                                    1. re: thew

                                      If someones behavior hurts your feelings, you don't reward it. I am in the biz, and I would NEVER be so rude.

                                      1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                        as far as i can see this was not rude, it was light banter. to not tip for such a trivial reason is FAR ruder than an offhand comment with little intent behind it other than light conversation.

                                        but then, the main thing i think chowhound has taught me is that some people are apparently itching for a reason not to tip.

                                        1. re: thew

                                          really? I could pretty much have my server driver over me with a truck and I'd still tip. It's just the thing to do.

                                          1. re: thew

                                            Number one, I would tip, but not my usual 20% percent. It would probably be 10-15% depending how it was phrased. If they insulted me in front of a DC, or made more than one comment (which happened a couple times) then it would be even less. WITH a note as to why.

                                            1. re: thew

                                              First, I have never chosen not to tip a server. However it is, in fact, my prerogative and the one thing I've learned on CH is that most of us are far too generous and it is probably our fault that the level of service has declined so notable!

                                          2. re: thew

                                            When I am not fully pleased with the service I tip between ten and fifteen percent and yes, overly familiar banter is poor service. I am the customer, not the server's pal. I don't want to chat, I am not looking for jokes (lame or otherwise) and I am certainly not looking for feedback. Professional service does not include coarse and intrusive remarks.

                                            1. re: Kater

                                              You forget that the customer does not know you, and they couldn't possibly know what serving style you prefer. Some people love the banter and call it excellent service. Those types might be more inclined to leave a better tip with a server who was more chatty and less just-here-to-do-my-job. A very good server (or communicator, in general) will catch on to a guest's personality and try to mimic that, to make their meal as comfortable as possible. But many of these servers are not experts in communication, they're just doing the best they can.

                                              I don't believe that tipping them 10-15% in this case is justified, and shows a complete lack of understanding and compassion for another person. Chalk it up to a faux pas and move on. If the comment really bothered you, feel free to express that politely. That, in itself, should teach them their lesson. But if you tip poorly on top of it, they're only going to think you're the one being rude, as well as stuffy. I honestly can't think of many reasons to ever tip less than 20% for an average meal. If I'm FULLY pleased, they get a lot more.

                                      2. re: hungryabbey

                                        You're right, hungryabbey, of course.

                                        It's the difference between a good server and a bad server.

                                        Then again, some servers just might have the day from hell and snap when it comes to the serving decorum they've learned. Remember the tale here about the server who sat down with the customer?

                                        I can't imagine how horrific it must be to serve the public, so I would tend to overlook most inappropriate comments from servers. I can think up lots more stuff that restaurants do to make me upset!

                                        1. re: anonymouse1935

                                          Good point.

                                        2. re: hungryabbey

                                          I do a lot of tennis and running, and have always been maybe a little underweight, but I purchased 8 pralines to go from a Mexican restaurant about 3 years ago. I just love those things. The guy ringing me up acted like he was a a bit digusted and asked me if i knew how many calories were in those things. I really didn't know what to say, but i was really embarrassed. It's not like i was going to eat them all in one day, or even eat them all myself. The question he asked doesn't sound all that bad, i guess, but coupled with the way he said it, i really did feel like i was being gluttonous or something, lol.

                                          1. re: iluvtennis

                                            great sales strategy! who wouldn't want to come back to THAT kind of commentary.

                                            1. re: iluvtennis

                                              How rude. Next time, just purchase one, and tell him that after what he said last time, you just can't buy in that quantity anymore. Then apologize for the dip in their revenues.

                                              1. re: Full tummy

                                                Ha great idea Full Tummy.

                                          2. I actually get the opposite: I usually eat about half of what I'm served, then the server acts like I must either hate the food, or require lots of dessert. No, I've just eaten what I cared to, and don't want to have to explain it to anyone.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                              I have the same problem, since my surgery, and either order something that I know will be small or start planning a doggy bag when the food arrives. I have no problem mentioning my "capacity" issue - no details - if they question whether or not I liked the food.

                                              1. re: tracylee

                                                I am in agreement with both of you. After my surgery, the amount I can eat at any one given time is very small. And a lot of places will not make "half" orders (although I have found a few who will). And like tracylee, plan my doggie bag accordingly! But I have had more than one server ask if I didn't like the food.

                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                  Along those same lines, we've been known to 'order big' on purpose to get leftovers and sometimes get one kind of reaction or other. I KNOW the gigantic pizza is too much for two people - but it's great for the four or six meals we're going to get out of it! :)

                                            2. I have probably gotten this comment before. I'm a small person, and the correct weight for my height, but I do have a good appetite. When I go out to lunch with friends, usually all females, I'm often the only person who eats everything on my plate (this happens less often at dinners out). Sometime I make a comment as the server picks up my plate; I'm sure that I've occasionally gotten a comment like "must have liked it." I don't mind the comment; if I cleaned my plate, then I did like it!

                                              The unusual part about a clean plate, if you think about it, is that it means that not only have you finished the main item (let's say, fish or beef), but also the side items with it (broccoli, risotto, or whatever). I find a lot of people finish the main item, but not always the sides. I tend to like the sides - sometimes more than the main dish (except for large portions of dull items like beans and rice).

                                              1. I prefer it if servers don't comment on my eating habits. At all.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Harters

                                                  Maybe another US/Canada difference but I often find it harder to clear my plate when dining at a resto across the border. Portion sizes (in general) seem to be more generous, sometimes to a fault, in the US. I'm a big eater and I've actually been put off occasionally by how much is on the plate -- when I'm travelling I don't often have the logistical wherewithal to take a doggy bag, so it will go to waste. When I'm dining out at home, I often clear my plate and can't recall ever getting such a comment. If I did, as others have answered, I'd only be grumpy about it if my snarkometer went off.

                                                  1. re: grayelf

                                                    My SO calls it "portion distortion", although he always manages to clean his plate, and usually some of mine!

                                                  2. re: Harters

                                                    Precisely my feeling! I'm not up in arms and/or umbrage about it, but I kind of feel like the amount the customer ate is the right amount - barring deliberate waste as a hateful act against the restaurant, or other weirdness.

                                                  3. You're too sensitive. If the server commented on your weight, however..........

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: beevod

                                                      lol! Point taken.

                                                    2. usually it's just a misplayed attempt at jocularity and familiarity. It isn;t an actual comment on your eating habits, its a joke.

                                                      1. As a server, I will occasionally comment something like "You've done well!" when people have finished a huge portion. Always had people laugh and say something like "Thanks, we really enjoyed it."

                                                        I don't think I'd ever say it to anyone who seemed really self consious though.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: upsidedownorchid

                                                          I laugh and say, "Yeah, it was great!" too. No reason to antagonize the server for a lighthearted comment. But secretly, I can't stand it and if it happens again, I won't return to the restaurant.

                                                          1. re: Pia

                                                            I would have the same reaction, a pleasant response back, but secretly I hate hearing it.
                                                            I'm a perfectly healthy weight for my height. For now. But historically I've always struggled with my weight and there is a 1950's bird somewhere in my head that tells me that a lady never clears her plate.
                                                            Having it pointed out to me when I have cleared my plate makes me inwardly cringe.
                                                            That said, I know the server is only trying to be friendly, I wouldn't punish them for it, but in my perfect world, they wouldn't say anything along those lines.

                                                        2. Maybe a little too sensitive, but I do agree with your complaint.

                                                          I really, really hate it when people comment on how much I've eaten or worse, my choice of food, after which they'll usually tell me how much they hate what I've ordered. There's no reason to say anything.

                                                          1. My "go to" response is that I was never served any food when the server is faced with an empty plate. If they happen to say anything, I usually say that the plate came out like that....ie empty! Most chuckle while some don't get it.

                                                            1. We went out with friends and one finished early. The waiter came by and said, looking at the finished plate, "Well, we don't need to clean this plate." Everyone laughed out loud.

                                                              1. I absolutely HATE when they comment on how much I ate. Ia m very thin because I am extremely active, and almost never eat any meats, fast foods, or "junk". But God forbid I finish an entire plate of mixed vegetables and pasta! More than once I server has made a rude comment like that, and I let it reflect on my tip how I felt about it.

                                                                1. I've had this comment from servers and from one friend in particular when I dine with him. My take: Yes, this is light banter. But it is also rude. Some light banter is. That said, try to shrug it off.

                                                                  1. My husband eats everything that doesn't crawl off first. When they ask how we liked our dinner, I always say, "He hated it!" They get it and laugh.

                                                                    Try sayng that when they comment.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: KSyrahSyrah

                                                                      i usually just point out i was too full to eat the plate

                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                        oh, I like both of those.

                                                                    2. The only time I really ever embarrassed myself as a server was after I was waiting on two women who both ate salads, a prime rib and baked potato each, and then ordered a dessert to celebrate the one's birthday. The restaurant I worked at didn't do tiny desserts. They were enough for 2-4 people. Sickly sweet 1500 calories per serving type of thing.

                                                                      So, I brought out one dessert after they said, "we'll take the cobbler." Apparently, they were expecting two, and like an idiot I said "Oh, I'm sorry, most people share these..." I must have been trying to explain my mistake. I don't even work as a server anymore and I still feel bad about it, years later.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Azizeh

                                                                        I think that's an entirely honest mistake - and one that I would have made under those circumstances. Whenever my husband and I order dessert, if we say "We'll have..." that means one. If we say, "I'll have...and he/she will have.." that means two. Don't feel bad about that. Seriously.

                                                                        At one of our recent tasting menu experiences at a michelin restaurant, we found the portion sizes perfect for us. After the fifth course of clean plates from both of us, the server commented, "You guys are my kind of people - a lot of people don't finish their food here. I like that." We could have taken offence, but it wasn't meant that way. Hell, I think we took it as a compliment. It could have easily went the other way if her tone had been different, and if it had been said in the way that some of the comments in this thread were, I can see being offended. In response to the OP, I'd say that I'd come down on the side of "too sensitive" but the tone of voice could turn it I suppose.

                                                                      2. Although it's not something I would recommend a waiter say, I don't find it offensive, unless it was said to someone overweight or if it was said in a rather disrespectful tone.

                                                                        1. I wanted to thank everyone who commented! I didn't envision so many replies. I'm glad most of you did get the sense I hoped to convey, that this is something that bothers me fleetingly but doesn't cause me, you know, great outrage. Mostly, I just wish they wouldn't - I think servers would be wise, perhaps, to refrain from commenting either that their customers ate a small amount or a large amount. (don't judge my intake!) I can see that they'd be concerned that 'small eating' meant dissatisfaction, though.

                                                                          Someone did point out the everlasting banter servers are instructed to put us through - boy! This is probably another post, but we tried a (new to our area) texas roadhouse steak place a few weeks ago, and the person seating us, having ask whether we'd been there before, educated us about the place over her shoulder through the crowded place all the way to our table on the opposite side. Literally, *looks over right shoulder* "well, we hand-cut" step, pause, looks over left shoulder "all our steaks in-house, and" pause, step step, half-turns back to us, "they're always fresh," turn-shimmy-around people, looks over right shoulder, "never frozen, and" ... we were both speechless and laughing (not to mention wishing we could just get to our seats already.)

                                                                          Then our server came and asked us if we'd eaten there before, and my husband said ".... no ...." and she launched the exact same speech. "We hand cut all our steaks in-house, and they're always fresh ..."

                                                                          From now on, if we eat at a new restaurant and are asked if we've been there before ... we're lying! :D

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: occula

                                                                            oh, that's hilarious! we've gotten that treatment as well... but the server crouched down next to the table (or in once case sat next to me in the booth) to give us the "low down"!

                                                                            1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                              Maybe this should be another thread! "Sat next to me in the booth" !!!!!!! WTF?

                                                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                                                LOL. it was very strange!

                                                                            2. re: occula

                                                                              Agree with everything you said -- it's not that big a deal, but I wish they wouldn't comment on how much I ate. The only time I think it's totally fine is when a server notices your mostly full plate and asks, "Was anything wrong?"

                                                                              1. re: Pia

                                                                                <The only time I think it's totally fine is when a server notices your mostly full plate and asks, "Was anything wrong?">

                                                                                I agree with this. Once, I was served a very nice salad, complete with a couple of fruit flies. I know that fruit flies happen - it's not a sign of an unclean restaurant - but I got skeeved and couldn't eat the salad. I would never have complained about it, but my server asked if anything was wrong. I told her; she comped the salad. Very unexpected, not at all necessary, but welcome nonetheless.

                                                                            3. I tend to be in the "clean plate club", so I hear some of these comments from time to time. The last time, tho, it worked to my advantage. I was having lunch at an ordinary Mexican restaurants with about a dozen co-workers. I was the only one to have finished everything on his plate, and the waiter commented on it as he cleared it. I said, "That's gotta be worth SOMETHING!" He agreed, and when he came back, he had a shot of fairly good tequila for me, on the house. (It helps that he's the son of the owner.)

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: ricepad

                                                                                A good shot of tequila tends to make up for 98% of server rudeness. Scientific fact.

                                                                              2. There used to be a 50's diner here - Ed Debevic's - big on the shtick. Waiters wore costumes and called you 'Hon' and 'Sugar' and things like that. The food was great. I used to bring visitors there all the time.

                                                                                I remember one time when my sis came into town and after I used the restroom, she said "Remind me not to finish my meal" as she had just witnessed a waitress picking up a clean plate from a table and announcing "Winner of the clean plate club!" It freaked my sis out about the public attention.

                                                                                MInd you - this was also the staff that had to abandon their work stations and do a line dance on the counter. In that situation, it went with the atmosphere.

                                                                                When I and SO eat out, I can RARELY finish what I've been served. He almost feels obligated to. Regardless of how or what is eaten, it should not be commented on (except in Ed's case) except a comment like "are you finished or can I take that".

                                                                                You're not eating like pigs.

                                                                                1. I live in a very small town in the middle of chain hell, so when a new (non chain) Italian place opened, my family decided to try it out. The food and the atmosphere were both great, and we were repeat customers, until... It was my birthday and after a delicious meal, we ordered dessert. I got a scrumptious piece of chocolate cake and ate the whole thing. The owner came out to see us and proceeded to make a huge deal about how I ate the whole piece of cake, even going so far as to pick up the dessert plate and scrape the frosting off of it, then offered me the fork. I'm not sure how others would've reacted, but having been a big girl my entire life, it hit a nerve and as soon as we got into the car I burst into tears. We never went back again. I'm sure he was just making what he thought was a funny joke, but being self-conscious already, it just absolutely mortified me.

                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: JRicher

                                                                                    What a jerk!

                                                                                    1. re: JRicher

                                                                                      BEYOND a Jerk. What an A*Hole Big or small that would smart. (((Hug)))

                                                                                      1. re: JRicher

                                                                                        That's awful - I wish you could have burst into tears in FRONT of him so he'd have been mortified instead of you (or at least along with you)! Wow. That's MEAN.

                                                                                        1. re: JRicher

                                                                                          He was definitely out of line, and I probably would have cried as well. Of course, if I had a wonderful piece of chocolate cake there probably wouldn't be much icing left on the plate for him to scrape! I doubt he intended to hurt your feelings, but that it why sensitive subjects - weight/diet, religion, politics, money, etc - are best left to private conversations between those who know each other well.

                                                                                          1. re: JRicher

                                                                                            Obnoxious. I have been self-conscious about weight my whole life and have had servers comment when I eat a lot, and it always upsets me more than I admit to my dining companion(s), but I have never experienced anything close to this. I would have waited until I was less upset and then written a letter to management (or a few online reviews, at least).

                                                                                            1. re: JRicher

                                                                                              How horrid, JRicher. It's amazing how cruel some people can be to others.

                                                                                              1. re: JRicher

                                                                                                That's really rude.

                                                                                                1. re: JRicher

                                                                                                  I know this is an old thread, but I echo what others have said, no matter what the intention, that is more than a bit much.

                                                                                                  And i'll add another point, in that people seem to think they are more within their rights to comment on how much someone ate, when that someone perhaps has a bit of a weight problem. I have brought up this example before, but it is because it really stuck with me. Once, in a restaurant, I witnessed an older woman feel free to comment, across several tables, to a woman who had ordered dessert "do you really need that dear?" . Yes, the diner was overweight, and I have serious doubts that this exchange would ever have taken place had the diner not been. It was disgusting, and so sad. Not only was it none of her business, but for all the meddler knew, this woman had been dieting for a year and was treating herself. The diner was extremely polite with her about it, can't say I'd be the same. Even as someone on the sidelines I felt like throwing a shoe at her head or something.

                                                                                                  And sadly, not limited to that comment, as it's seen when people feel the need to make reference to people "shoveling" food, or other nasty comments, particularly in reference to fast food, ice cream etc. People tend not to notice the thin person 'shoveling' food....

                                                                                                  1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                    No, they do.. except the comments are more like "wow, I'm impressed.. you did well!!!" As if my being hungry is something virtuous..

                                                                                                2. After reading all of these comments I sure know I will never make a comment towards someone completely cleared plate. I work in the business and never put much thought into this. I know it has happened to me but I can take a joke and just laugh and say something like "it was that good!"
                                                                                                  I know the server doesn't really care unless something is wrong and it's all about the way they say it. If they said it in a rude tone then i would react completely different and i would let my feelings show through my tip. Not a big deduction but less than 20%, of course.
                                                                                                  I would definitely say lighten up and just let that kind of thing slide. Believe me, your server doesn't mean anything by it. (you can tell by the way they say it and their expression.)

                                                                                                  1. Sometimes I order a lot because 1) I'm hungry and 2) I want to eat that volume of food, and sometimes I order a large meal because I intend to eat half and take the rest home for another meal. I ordered an entree in a family-run mexican restaurant a couple weeks ago and the waitress referred to it as "a Full-Meal Deal(c)", so I knew it was going to be big. I ate half, had her box the rest up. Yes, I could have finished it, but I'd rather enjoy a re-warmed left-over than walk out miserable. But if it's a chicken-fried steak the way I like it, I make no apologies and pay no attention to server comments, it's feed-bag-on time.
                                                                                                    And I tip on prompt and attentive service, not on what a server might say when dropping off the ticket.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: podunkboy

                                                                                                      ..........But if it's a chicken-fried steak the way I like it, I make no apologies and pay no attention to server comments, it's feed-bag-on time.

                                                                                                      Count your lucky stars. There is no chicken fried steak in Westchester and we are the poorer for it. If there were, neither heaven nor earth nor any server (mind you, I've never had one who hurt my feelings, only horrifically rude ones) could stop me from also strapping on the feed bag.

                                                                                                      1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                                                                        We went out to lunch at a chain restaurant that I don't particularly like, but they had a fajita salad or something that I liked. Well, they changed it, and started using a different salad dressing, but I didn't realize it when I ordered. The manager came over and said "you're not eating," and I explained I just didn't like the dressing, and that I had liked it before. She comped my lunch and offered us dessert, (which I declined.) But I guess that is why they comment or ask.

                                                                                                    2. People used to comment on how much i ate all the time when I was pregnant and then breastfeeding. For me it was survival. I tend to loose weight like crazy when breastfeeding and so i ate as much as i could so that i would not disappear.

                                                                                                      I was eating because i was too thin and trying to gain weight while the average person assumes that you are thin because you starve yourself and that expectation is what causes the surprise and the comments. Plus the fact that for some weird reason, it is considered socially acceptable to comment on the weight and food habits of people who are not overweight.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: hala

                                                                                                        Exactly my thought.
                                                                                                        Ive been underweight my whole life, and while I accept my body today... I wasn't always so comfortable.. and I still get offended when people make comments.. even if they are not trying to be rude.

                                                                                                      2. i would be really put off by any comment on how much i ate. i don't mind too much if i've left a large portion and the waiter asks if the food was okay, but any additional comments beyond that make me very uncomfortable.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: jamieeats

                                                                                                          I agree that there is a vast difference between commenting on an unfinished or untouched dish, rather than a clean plate. One suggests a service or food issue, whereas a clean plate should after all mean things were just fine.

                                                                                                        2. the best thing about cleaning your plate is that you are spared the cringe making 'are you still working on that' question. Or worse 'are WE still working on that?'

                                                                                                          1. haha "wow, you guys did great" ranks right up there with "good girl! You finished all your vegetables" *pat on head*

                                                                                                            On the same thread, I also get a little irked when a plate, say shared appetizer for a table that hey, might be a little on the large side (say, nachos or something), gets cleared away before finished, without asking... as if someone else has decided that we've all had enough. It has happened a few times, and is sometimes snatched away before anyone can say "hey, we weren't done with that".

                                                                                                            1. What I'm taking from this discussion is that often women are sensitive about the inferred linkage between how much they eat and their body, slender or rotund. The guys don't seem as bothered by the servers' comments. I always suspect that people's happychat reflect their conscious or unconscious feelings about the person they are speaking with. Since I am a large woman, I have encountered comments many times that seemed to reflect another's assumptions about me.

                                                                                                              It is better for all if servers limit their small talk to neutral things. But since they often don't limit their small talk, you have make a choice to not let a chance comment affect you. If the server does this several times, then you might want to stop going there for awhile.

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                I'm thin but my mom is very overweight and extremely sensitive about it because it's due to medical reasons that are out of her control. I wish she could just shrug off others' comments and thoughts but it's not so easy. We live in a society that is extremely vain- we're conditioned to think a certain way at least subconsciously. Shrugging that off can be near impossible for some people. For her, she fears people assuming she can't control herself, when the opposite is true. (If anything she fears food now and barely eats, though I'm sure that's not helping her metabolism. Thankfully we finally found a nutritionist willing to work with her- that was a feat in itself) I'm sure that when a server makes a comment about finishing your plate or something of that effect, someone like my mom will take it to mean that they're out of control... which can be a horrible feeling of failure. I concur- waiters should stick to neutral subjects, unless of course they know their customers well and know their sensitivity threshold.

                                                                                                                1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                  "We live in a society that is extremely vain- we're conditioned to think a certain way at least subconsciously"

                                                                                                                  Right, like that facial piercings are "dirty".

                                                                                                                2. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                  I think you make a passing reference that is actually key: there is a huge difference btwn being sensitive and being oversensitive. Body image/eating issues are very real, very deep-seated, and though it's worthwhile to learn to blow something off, it's not always that easy.

                                                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                    Very true, it's not always easy. As someone who has suffered from eating issues/body image issues in the past, sometimes comments would touture me for days, even weeks after it was said to me. But in the end, I was only hurting myself more than I deserved to be hurt. You know? It wasnt the other persons comment that hurt me, it was ME that hurt me. Its very hard, but its impowering to not give others the power to control how you feel.

                                                                                                                3. Yes, and I take it with pride. If I polished off the food the chef/staff should be happy as they know they did a good job, and there's nothing wrong with them conveying that.

                                                                                                                  My moment of self-conscious discomfort comes when I've failed to make a big dent in the food I was served and the staff asks me if everything was ok.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                    I agree--this is a weird thing, and I've had it happen to me.

                                                                                                                    Maybe I won't go back, y'know?

                                                                                                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                      Sometimes they're asking because they want to make sure you're not unhappy with the food.

                                                                                                                      True story: I worked in an ethnic restaurant where a customer wrote a diatribe on the credit card slip (this was about 35 years ago...if you don't know what a 'credit card slip' is, ask your parents!). "This food is garbage! We're never coming back!", etc. By the time the server noticed the rant on the slip, the customers were long gone. Since the owners didn't speak English very well, they asked me to call the customer the next day and find out what was wrong. It turns out that they had no clue about what kind of food we served, but simply assumed that it'd be just like that other food prepared by people that look just like these people. When it didn't play to their stereotype, they were so disappointed that they barely ate any of their meal.

                                                                                                                      The server noticed that they didn't eat much, but she didn't say anything. Had she asked them if everything was ok and found that it was not, we would have gladly tried again, by recommending (and preparing) something more to their expectation.

                                                                                                                    2. Went out for lunch today and while I was having the appetizer I ordered 2 entrees. The server paused and we had a brief, friendly exchange. After I was done with the first entree he came over and wanted to confirm that I still wanted the second, which I did. After I was done with that I ordered 2 desserts. Not the first time that's happened and in places that have frequent take outs, I often hear, "to go?" to which I smile and simply reply, "to stay."

                                                                                                                      I'm a glutton in restaurants and I've no shame. Just about every time I dine alone I end up ordering more than tables of 2 and 3 orders. I love food and I believe in giving a restaurants many chances to win me over. And, I'm guessing that the servers like that I order and tip big. It's a win for everyone!

                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: ediblover

                                                                                                                        I really don't mean to be rude- I'm just curious. Are you a woman or man? Also, do you work out/eat healthy otherwise? I would love to be able to do what you do in restaurants but often I have to skip dessert and downsize my entree (bread but no pasta) because despite my healthy eating/exercise regimen, my metabolism is good but far from awesome. I'm looking forward to being pregnant soon (hopefully!)... maybe then I can do that! :}

                                                                                                                        1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                          Male, active and I make healthy food, but don't care when eating out.

                                                                                                                          This past weekend I had an urge for a burger so went to a diner-type place. Had 2 desserts in a (chocolate chip) cookie ice cream sandwich and s'mores. The big catch here is that the place was about 4 miles away and I got there on foot (Why does no one want to have lunch with me?!). Going all out at the gym and cooking healthy is great, but simple habits are a big piece of the pie (hopefully, sweet potato pie - Got to find a place that serves that for dessert!).

                                                                                                                          1. re: ediblover

                                                                                                                            I'd happily shlep 4 miles for an awesome dessert, and I have. That's still a fantastic metabolism! Try a meet-up group or start your own- jog/chow.

                                                                                                                            1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                              Well, 8 miles with the return trip. I can usually find some poor soul to go with me once, but most people underestimate the impact of walking 10+ miles.

                                                                                                                              Since it's getting warmer, I have been thinking about seeing if many out there would be interested in a NYC area food-a-thon. Basically, spending all day walking around the area, eating and buying food.

                                                                                                                            2. re: ediblover

                                                                                                                              Ok, but are you normal weight according to medical standards? Are your numbers ok? I ask because behavior like this--even only occasionally--cause health concerns and sky rockets our medical costs.

                                                                                                                              Being a nutritionist, to me it seems like you have a form of an eating disorder.

                                                                                                                              1. re: spinachandchocolate

                                                                                                                                "occasional behavior like this sky rockets our medical costs?"

                                                                                                                                you're kidding, right? occasional & somewhat controlled indulgences will have no effect on your medical costs. it's the people who's diet consists of fast food all day every day who are a concern.

                                                                                                                                1. re: spinachandchocolate

                                                                                                                                  Hmm. I've had my share of eating disorders and it's clear their primary shared characteristic is a crippling ambivalence about eating/body image based on all kinds of deep-seated control and esteem issues. Seems to me like ediblover is perfectly happy with the habits he's devised for himself.

                                                                                                                          2. We had a favorite Korean BBQ place that my son loved. It was always his choice when it came his turn to pick. It was fun for him because they had a "grill" in the center of the table where you could cook your own food. One night we were the only ones in the place. We had ordered a lot of food, partly because there was a minimum to use the grill, and partly because we like leftovers.

                                                                                                                            So, I don't really like rice. I told the owner/server she didn't need to bring mine. Fast forward to the end of the meal - we had polished off every morsel of our dinner! No leftovers for us. And I could not believe our son was still hungry. I couldn't bring myself to order another full entree, so I asked if he could have my side of rice. I did say that if it was any trouble at all, or if they had to make it from scratch, to just skip it. But if it was already cooked, keeping warm, that would be great.

                                                                                                                            A few seconds later, she comes back with a bowl of rice, throws it down in front of him, and says "big boy, too much eating" and stomps away. Talk about a server commenting on your food.

                                                                                                                            Of course, we've never been back, and I'm glad her place was empty.

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Whinerdiner

                                                                                                                              I would have been furious. I would have left the amount for the bill to the last cent, and never go back.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Whinerdiner

                                                                                                                                Most korean ladies I know LOVE when you overeat their food...this one needs an attitude adjustment.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Whinerdiner

                                                                                                                                  That is really over the top. I have a kind of live and let live attitude in restaurants, but even that would be too much for me.

                                                                                                                                2. I vote "too sensitive". I can be a big eater at times and I just reply, "Yes, it was really good" or "Yes, i was bloody starving!". I don't care what a complete stranger may or may not think of me.

                                                                                                                                  The only time something like this bugs me is when I go to my parents' place for dinner and one minute my mum comments on how I may have put on weight and the next minute she urges me to have second helpings.

                                                                                                                                  P.S. I am female.

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Billy33

                                                                                                                                    This is not being too sensitive. When is there ever a time that a waiter should throw your food at you and make a nasty comment? Life is too short to worry about it in the longrun, but in the short term- do something about it. I concur that I would have revoked my tip because her behavior was way over the line, and then complained to management.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                                      Uh, did you read the same original post I did? How do you equate the server saying "Wow, you guys did great!" with throwing your food and making nasty comments?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                        I was replying to whinerdiner.

                                                                                                                                  2. But..the server isnt the one making you feel bad, you are making yourself feel bad and you are the only one who is in control of how you feel. I'm sure the servers intention was not to make you feel bad and it sounds like it was a compliment more than anything. If a server said the same thing to me, I would agree and probably play a long and say something witty or funny.

                                                                                                                                    People say things, take it all with a grain of salt and be proud of how much you ate! You enjoyed it obviously, it was a good thing and a delicious meal!

                                                                                                                                    1. I once went to Morton's with two other guys and we each ordered our own 48 oz. porterhouse, along with (of course) baked potato and salad, preceeded by a shrimp cocktail, and finished off with a slice of cheesecake. When we finished everything, we got an ovation from several tables around us.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: steakman55

                                                                                                                                        That's the spirit! Impressive.

                                                                                                                                      2. They're just making conversation, trying to be friendly. As long as you're slim, I wouldn't be embarrassed. However, I don't recommend cleaning your plates at restaurants with big meal--too unhealthy!

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: spinachandchocolate

                                                                                                                                          I have a habbit of leaving food on my plate and I get comments from servers saying I should 'eat more', that I dont eat enough, am I saving room for dessert or what self restraint I show and how much self control I have. But it isnt like that at all, it's just what I do..But anyway the point I'm trying to make is, I think the servers (and I used to be one) try and find an "In" or common ground with the customer, make conversation and establish some sort of faux relationship. It's never anything personal, I'm sure half the time they are just trying to see if they can sell you more.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: dinnerwithfox

                                                                                                                                            agree!

                                                                                                                                        2. I know how you feel, except I am on the opposite end. I have a lap band and many times I eat only 1/4 to 1/3 of my meal. They always harass me about my food and why I did't eat more. I always tell them about my band so they will STFU, but I shouldn't have to do that. it is kind of personal.

                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                            For .05 seconds, I wondered why playing in a band would cause you to eat less. Like, does she have trouble getting the guitar strap around her after a big meal, or something? (I get it now.)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                              I think it's good that they ask you. An unfinished meal usually signals a problem with the dish, so they're just making sure that you're satisfied and there weren't any problems.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                You're right; you shouldn't have to do that, plain and simple. If the waiter inquires, simply say "It was delicious but I'm done with my meal.." If the waiter presses, speak to the manager. There is no reason you should have to give an explanation unless you want to.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                  Just say "you're full" or "you weren't very hungry"...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                    I have the same problem. I had 80% of my stomach removed in 2009 (not my idea) and have had various complications ever since. Last week I was feeling particularly crappy but agreed to meet my Mom for lunch at my favorite spot. They know me and know what I've been through. I was only able to get down a few bites of food and got the rest to go. The waitress cheerfully boxed it up and made no comment about how little I'd eaten. As we left, another waitress I know a bit better rushed out to offer me some herbaceous baked goods (she didn't have them with her, thank goodness) to help my condition. I turned her down, but Mom and I had a good laugh about it.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tracylee

                                                                                                                                                      Oh, that threw me for a minute. Ha, that's very kind (no pun intended).

                                                                                                                                                  2. I've only had comments about food back when I was Mystery Shopping for a short while (basically to know how it works for class disucssions). As a MS, I had to memorize a list of things to order to respond to later, and the job was considered a scratch if I didn't order everything.

                                                                                                                                                    In one case, I ordered a beer (as required), an appetizer (cheese fries), another beer, and a steak dinner (2 sides). There were rolls as well. The waiter said, "I'm guessing you won't be wanting a dessert." I smiled and said sweetly, "Oh my, what's dinner without a dessert?" He laughed, and I got the sinfully rich dessert as well.

                                                                                                                                                    In the second case, I ordered a terrifically huge breakfast - pancakes, eggs, sausage, grits, potatoes, toast and orange juice. The young server (probably brand new) looked me over and said, "Uhm. That's a really lot of food." I said, "Honey, I'm headed off shopping, and I need to fuel up."

                                                                                                                                                    I'm guessing I don't look like I'd eat that much food, and I typically would not. I found that taking it lightly worked well. I can imagine both servers in the back saying, "You won't believe how much food that woman at table whatever number can eat." And, my stomach hurt when I ate that much, so I hung up my MSing.

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: CyndiA

                                                                                                                                                      What is this mystery shopping business Cyndi? I'll do anything for an excuse to order like that for myself!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                        Just Google Mystery Shopping. Many of the chain type restaurants hire services to check that things are being done properly at various restaurants. Do not pay to sign up though. Those are scams. The legitimate companies have forms that you fill out and sometimes training tests and so on. Then you sign up online. Check job descriptions and locations. You send in the tab and paperwork at the end. In some cases, you get the meal in exchange for the work. In others, you get paid a small amount in addition.

                                                                                                                                                        I did quite a bit of research several years back and signed up with several companies to get a look at the scope and the differences. Restaurants are usually just part of the mix. I did a couple of grocery shops, home repair stores, and a gas station.

                                                                                                                                                        The restaurant shops usually do require a large order and variety. I always thought that might be a tip off, but I don't think I was ever identified as the MS. I have web sites and blog as well, so I often do reviews, so I blend in easily. I like the typical experience when I go and not special treatment.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Old thread, but referenced on a Digest post, so...

                                                                                                                                                      This is why I've always loved Chowhound. Constant reminder I'm not alone.

                                                                                                                                                      I do have a tendency to cut them off at the pass: Not much more I can do here! And that kind of self-deprecating thing.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Just wanted to say, as a *relatively* new boards member, how entertaining it's been to see what legs this post has (I think it was my first). Kicked around for a bit, set aside, revived. Thanks to everyone for a nice discussion and making me feel welcome.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Here's something for your consideration regarding this touchy topic: portion sizes in the U.S. are pretty ridiculously large in general. Working at a restaurant that is no exception to this rule when I've ever made comments about being a part of the "clean plate club", it was simply out of shock. I also would make sure that this comment was focused on the customer enjoying the food, and not their appetite. However, after reading many of the responses to this topic I can see why some people would interpret this as rudeness. Should this be a reason for a reduction in gratuity? Depending on the tone of voice, body language, and other indicators...maybe (if you feel it was blatant rudeness). If nothing else I hope anyone who reads this comment remembers this:

                                                                                                                                                          Every time a server approaches a table they don't know the situation. It could be a stressed out mom/dad with a couple of screaming kids who just want to get in and out ASAP. Or it could be a disgustingly happy couple out for a special occasion, or a million variations in between. Servers are expected to figure this out all the while not knowing a thing about their customers as people, and what their expectations are for service.

                                                                                                                                                          This being the case we servers walk a tight rope between success and failure, and our incomes are completely dependent upon it. One wrong move or word and that could completely eliminate a tip! We have so little information about you and your dining companions to work with that we're just trying to do our best we can.

                                                                                                                                                          So please... remember if we do make a comment about your clean plate generally, we're just trying to be friendly :)

                                                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: waiter24

                                                                                                                                                            Being friendly implies that you want to make the customer as comfortable as possible. By making comments about cleaning one's plate, you are doing the exact opposite. The intentions may be good but the outcome doesn't change. If your customer was my mom, if you made a comment about her cleaning her plate and she was angry/depressed as a result, it wouldn't matter to me that your intentions were well meaning. You can argue that perhaps she is too sensitive but that doesn't change the fact that it was none of your business to make the comment in the first place. If you want to make friendly banter that is positive, compliment your customers in a genuine way; their clothes, general appearance, children, etc.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                                                              If servers used "might possibly offend someone oversensitive" as criteria to eliminate topics from conversation, they'd have nothing to talk about.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                                I may have admitted that my mom is oversensitive but that doesn't excuse a waiter's stupid comment away. Yes, commenting on how someone cleaned their plate is just stupid. Perhaps you feel that it shouldn't offend. Perhaps. But, if you know that it has a decent chance to offend, why say it? Unless you know your customer intimately, why risk it? I just don't see the upside. This reminds me of my ex (who is an ex for a very good reason). He wanted to buy a bday card for his relative that made several references to being old. Knowing his relative, I told him that she would not like the card. He bought it anyway and while she was gracious, I could tell she was hurt. He admitted to me later that he did not like this relative and wanted to passively hurt her- which he did. The point obviously is to ask yourself why you would say this in the first place. Just because you can argue to yourself there is nothing wrong with it doesn't necessarily mean that's true.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with Nicole...this topic in particular is obviously sensitive for a lot of people. It's a bit of a leap to say that if one topic might best be left untouched, all topics must be equally hard to negotiate. "Might possibly offend one oversensitive person" is different from "likely to offend a fair number of people."

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                    "Might possibly offend one oversensitive person" is different from "likely to offend a fair number of people."

                                                                                                                                                                    true - but which is which is not clear, as just this small sampling of a thread shows

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know if I agree with that. I think this thread shows that this topic in particular is a minefield. Sure, you might tiptoe through it without exploding, but then again you might not—why not just avoid it entirely? Though there might be exceptions, the rule that there are neutral topics and risky topics seems pretty easy to follow for the most part.

                                                                                                                                                                      That said, what I do agree with you about based on comments that appear to have been deleted, however, is that I'd just as soon give servers the benefit of the doubt. I certainly shoot off my mouth without thinking enough to feel sympathetic with those who I might feel have done likewise.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                                                                    True. And this kind of fits in with comments that perhaps people should pause first, or know a person well enough first to say. It's kind of like going up to a stranger who might have a few extra pounds and asking them when their due date is.

                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                                    Which is why good servers are good servers. You ask if they liked the meal, is there anything else they could bring, would they like dessert. Basic common sense is you do not make snide comments, cute comments, personal comments. No different from a customer service person on the phone stating, "boy you sound awful, are you seeing a doctor?"

                                                                                                                                                                    I cannot remember the last time someone mentioned the clean plate club, maybe it is a chain thing. It would bother me only a little but I would shake my head at the stupid meter the server just nailed.

                                                                                                                                                                    Likewise keep your eyes above the neck, do not sit down, do not drop hot food or red wine on me, all pretty basic customer service.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                      I've been on the giving and receiving end of this. It never bothered me, and hopefully never hurt my guest's feelings. I used to be able to put away an extraordinary amount of food when I was younger, and was fairly petite, so I not only astonished the other people at the table, but the servers, also. We all found it a bit comical what, and how much of it, I'd eat. (How I long for those days now!)

                                                                                                                                                                      I'd bet that only 99 out of 100 times is this ever said for the purpose of being rude, but thinking back on it, it is a bit of a misguided thing to say. It could offend someone, and shouldn't be said for that reason. There's nothing wrong with feeling a bit insulted. How you feel is how you feel. Can't help that. Just know that the server, most likely, wasn't purposefully trying to make you feel bad.

                                                                                                                                                                      I never heard about a complaint like this while working in a restaurant, so one thing I might suggest is calling the manager after you've left and just telling them about the comment and how it made you feel. Don't tell them the server's name, because I don't think it would be right to get them in trouble for it. But it would probably result in a discussion about it at the next employee meeting, so everyone on staff would be informed that this type of comment might not be well received by everyone.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MichelleRenee

                                                                                                                                                                        Well said, MR.

                                                                                                                                                              2. The one comment I ever got that really annoyed me was when I was about 7 months pregnant and I ordered a cup of coffee at starbucks. The very young looking male barista said "are you sure you want that". I was shocked! I asked if he had a pregnant wife or girlfriend - he didn't. I then explained to him that it was fine for pregnant women to have a cup or two of regular coffee - especially after the first trimester.