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Feb 5, 2011 04:44 PM

How do you acknowledge that you had a particular waiter before?

Last week I had lunch again at a nearby restaurant I've been going to alot. The waiter I got was one who had waited on me a few months ago. I brought it up by saying that "you were my waiter a few months ago..." I went on to say I was glad for that because I knew I was in capable hands.

I wondered later, would it be more polite to put it this way: "I was your customer a few months ago"? I thought maybe saying that "you were my waiter" sounds sort of condescending. What do you think?

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  1. How about a simple "nice to see you again"?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pylon

      you took the words right out of my mouth.

      1. re: Pylon

        That's a good one, thanks. I'll use that next time.

      2. I wouldn't be worried about some egregious offense, but yeah, nice to see you again would have worked well. "waiter" has pretty much gone by the wayside now as people say "server," but I don't think it's a huge deal.

        3 Replies
        1. re: rockandroller1

          Thanks for your comment.

          As an aside, and this is probably for a different thread, I realized finally that I personally prefer to use the terms "waiter" and "waitress". I'm uncomfortable using the unisex word "server". It sounds like a term from the old Soviet Union (hello comrade server...). I know in some of my other posts I used "server" but I've come to realize that I don't like the term.

          Any waiters or waitresses out there care to put in their two cents?

          1. re: john333

            why not use waiter regardless of sex?

            1. re: john333

              I know 'server' kind of smacks of slavery, but it's the new more correct term. You might like saying "stewardess" more than "flight attendant" or "secretary" more than "administrative assistant," but that's not considered the best term any longer.

              I waited tables for 15 years. I didn't like being called "waitress" as I don't like terms that are specific to females like that - nobody says "doctress," they just say doctor. This is why "stewardess" went away as well, since there were men in the field. Waiter is supposed to be a term for a male, so using it for everyone wouldn't be any more correct than calling everyone a stewardess regardless of their sex.

          2. I just smile and say "How are you?"

            For all I know the waiter doesn't remember me.

            2 Replies
            1. re: redfish62

              Trust me, unless you were a terrible patron, have a particularly memorable hairdo, or tipped 50% he doesn't.

              People assume I know them all the time. I do remember some regulars, but usually you have to come all the time before I remember, have a really weird or difficult order, or look really strange.

              1. re: redfish62

                This is a very good point. The servers see so many people over time. However a smile and nod works well, as does the phrase "nice to see you again."