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Jun 23, 2012 06:37 PM

When the server keeps coming back to check on you

went to a restaurant last night which we had been to a couple times before, I'm guessing that it's the restaurant policy because the servers just don't leave you alone. Constant babbling and checking in to see if we want anything else becomes annoying after about the 8th time, we were eating and talking to each other and yet the server checked in every few minutes with 'can I get y'all anything else'. Even the manager always comes over once to ask the same question. We have noticed this every time we've been.

I don't want to get up to look for my server to ask for an extra napkin, more water and so on but surely when the diners have said once or twice that they are fine, why keep coming back?

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  1. Then just say, "We are fine, thanks, if we need you we'll wave a hand." If that doesn't work, go elsewhere.

    1. As a former server, if a table doesn't need something one minute, sometimes they will the next. Ideally, after delivering your main course, they are supposed to give you a minute, then come and ask you if everything is alright. After that, the server is just supposed to keep an eye on you and periodically walk conspiculously by you in case you do need something. But, if your server is swamped, then he/she might take whatever opportunity, however often, to verbally check on you.
      Two other scenarios: if there were recent complaints about customers being ignored, your server, or the entire waitstaff, may have been told to step up their checking on their tables (with the manager checking up on THEM)...or, if you are in one of those establishments where there are no actual stations and every server takes at least some responsibility for every table, you could end up getting asked over and over if everything is alright.
      Although admittedly annoying, as a customer, I find being ignored MUCH more annoying.

      1. In this case it sounds like that is the policy.

        If you dine there again ask for the manager when you are being seated. Let the manager know that your party needs to converse without interruptions and to please inform the server to keep an eye on the water glasses. Assure the manager that you will signal the server if you need anything else after the food is served.

        They are just trying to make the experience a good one. You have to let them know if your preferred serving style differs.

        1 Reply
        1. re: meatn3

          Good point. Without some instruction, on one can possibly know what you need and want. Converse.


        2. #1 Question>>>Was this a chain?

          Many chains have policies on checking back with dining patrons. Secret(mystery) Mystery shoppers are engaged who actually time checkbacks and report (including visits by the manager). Your lowly paid server and manager may have been following policy and trying to keep their jobs!

          If this is the case, the suggestion down thread that you inform the manager in advance that you wish to converse without interruption is meaningless, it's not worth a loss of job, sometimes the mystery shopper is timing service at an adjoining table.

          If this is not a chain, the checkbacks may be a means to turn tables, the establishment may not want you to camp out for a leisurely meal...............

          1. Sounds like they were giving an effort to give you great service. If it's not the type of service you like, just kindly let them know that you do not wish to be disturbed and will get their attention if you need anything.