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servers taking away my plate too soon...

Maybe it's just me and the places I've eaten out at but lately I feel like servers and bussers want to take away my plate too quickly all the time. I know they want to turn over the table but sheesh! calm down! We recently ate at a place where the busser practically stood behind my shoulder in anticipation for my finish. The other night we were at pretty decent brewery/farm to table place and I was halfway thru my meal. I was drinking some water and the server comes over "are you finished?" I was polite with just a "no" but I almost gave her a lecture.

What is the deal here? is it just me or is this a trend everywhere??

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  1. When dining out, always carry a Taser.

    3 Replies
    1. re: beevod

      I thought for Chowhounders, "pepper spray" is the preferred tool ;-)

      1. re: LotusRapper

        Only if it's local artisan small-batch heritage non-GMO, estate-bottled, organic, fair-trade, sustainable pepper spray.

    2. especially when the restaurant is half empty, especially when my companion is still eating....

      1. Not just you. Seems to be happening every restaurant we've been to lately.

        2 Replies
          1. re: trolley

            #1 POORLY TRAINED WAITSTAFF
            #2 Greedy management and owners
            #3 Diners who don't open theor mouths and complain

        1. If my husband and I are both obviously finished, by all means clear. But if one of us is eating, it is very rude to take the other person's plate. My husband is a very slow eater. In fine dining I say no, please wait until he is finished. In casual places I usually let them because I just don't want to explain myself.

          9 Replies
          1. re: melpy

            yeah none of the places we're eating is Per Se or anything but when dishes cost $15-30 I don't consider that fast food either. No pun intended here! :-P

            1. re: trolley

              Usually once something hits that 15 dollar mark, I expect some common manners courtesy in the serving department.

              When I say casual I am thinking a sandwich shop, the local pho restaurant, some of the chains that are ubiquitous here.

              Also places that are owned/operated by a population that may not share the same customs get a pass.

              1. re: melpy

                and I actually meant to up the price of the 15-30 bc I noticed the most expensive item came in at $49. The restaurant was half empty and a Tuesday night. The last place was a brewery/pub but not cheap either. small plates from 9 and most expensive dish in the high 20's. definitely more casual but not McDonalds either.

                1. re: trolley

                  I've seen that as well. It's a training issue. There was a young busser who did it to us a number of times and we had to gently fend her off. It became a running joke with my GF and I.

                  "Watch out! Here she comes!"

                  In time she learned her trade and has become an excellent waiter. We still laugh about her early days.

                  1. re: trolley

                    That's terrible. I might even say to the server, no, it is impolite to clear while some members of the party are still eating. Although as a general rule, I really dislike the "educating" of servers by diners. My father does this in a non-condescending way but I still feel awkward.

                    1. re: melpy

                      EXACTLY! I've been on the other side as a server in my early 20's at the end of my college career and after college. I always had one table (usually an older man) that had to tell me "how it is". Even if they were wrong I had to just bite my tongue. I don't want to end up like those old men ever by telling my server "how it's supposed to be" but I guess next time I need to speak up to make a change.

                      1. re: trolley

                        Instead of saying it's "how it is" just state that's how YOU want it to be. I've definitely seen people here complain that dirty dishes were allowed to pile up on a table, even though others were still eating.

                        1. re: LeoLioness

                          i guess in the fashion of my therapist it needs to be formed as an "I" message versus a "you" message :)

              2. re: melpy

                Taking away one plate while another is eating is really a pet peeve of mine.
                It reflects poorly on the server and will be duly noted in my tip.

              3. It's rude! I don't tolerate rudeness very well. When this happens to they usually draw back a nub!!!