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Was this too long to wait? What should we have done (if anything?)

john333 Jul 6, 2010 09:51 PM

Last Saturday night I was with a party of 10 for dinner at an Italian restaurant. I guess it would be classed as a moderately upscale place with white linen tablecloths and all-middle-aged male servers.

We ordered our food and it took an hour and ten minutes for it to arrive! I thought that was too long to wait.

We all just kind of put up with it and didn't say anything.

Is this kind of wait time common for a large party?

  1. m
    Maximilien Jul 8, 2010 06:31 AM

    between ordering the food and receiving the first plate (from the info we have) , it's a long time to wait.

    1. jfood Jul 7, 2010 12:59 PM

      It depends.

      Restaurants take reservations based on the ballet of cooking that occurs in the kitchen. It assumes a 2-hour timeline from seats down to seats up. In that time frame there are several items that occur...drinks then order then apps then entrees then coffee/dessert. The kitchen timeline assumes order posted at around 10-15 into the process, apps out 5-10 after that and then schedule entrees to the table 15-20 after apps are done. Now if a large party shows up and goes straight to entrees without the apps, then the entire timeline in the kitchen gets screwed up. They may have assumed that apps were to the table first and that the 10 expected entrees would come after tables 12, 5, 15 and 3 received there entrees, but now WHACK, table 13 with 10 entrees show up STAT.

      Should the kitchen screw up 4 other tables for the benefit of table 13? probably not since they were not the impetus for the kitchen derailment.

      1. s
        soupkitten Jul 7, 2010 09:41 AM

        well, hang on a second. are you talking about how long it took to get mains, or how long it took to get everything through dessert? or, are you talking about how long it took to get the very first salad on the table?

        other little details. what time on a saturday night, and how big of a place are we talking about? chain/non chain?

        if you sat down at a busy and small place (i'm assuming a serious cooked-to-order menu, not applebees, here) with a party of 10 at bang 7:30 on a saturday night, and some folks in the party ordered well-done porterhouses for their mains-- yeah, an hour wait seems reasonable. that's why drinks, nibbles, starters, small plates and first courses are on the menu in the first place. it's unclear whether your party ordered starters & whether they were served in a timely fashion and then you merely waited for your mains. . . or whether y'all skipped the starters, just ordered mains, and thought you'd be signing the check in 45 mins.

        at most non-chain semi-fine and fine dining establishments, which seems to be what you're describing, a large party (8-10 or more) is assumed (by the restaurant) to be a 2 hour minimum time commitment, soup to nuts.

        1 Reply
        1. re: soupkitten
          a
          anonymouse1935 Jul 8, 2010 03:58 AM

          john333?

          Did it take an hour+ to get anything, or an hour+ to get your entire meal?

          I'm guessing an hour+ to get anything and no, that is not acceptable.

        2. a
          anonymouse1935 Jul 7, 2010 09:26 AM

          Why didn't you say anything?

          Yes, it is too long and no, it is not common or acceptable.

          1. invinotheresverde Jul 7, 2010 09:21 AM

            Were there appetizers/salads served in the interim?

            1. boyzoma Jul 7, 2010 08:21 AM

              I would not have waited that long without some major discussion with the staff. That amount of time is uncalled for. I hope they at least comped you some drinks!

              1. j
                Janet Jul 6, 2010 11:52 PM

                Yes, this was way too long for food to arrive. I would have become the cranky customer and have been causing a scene.

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