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A beef: "Is this your first time here?"

Have been meaning to write this for a while now - and wonder if others share my real dislike of this question which is now so frequently posed in Toronto restaurants when your waiter first approaches your table.

Regardless of intention, to me it is both annoying and awkward as well as pointless. Whether I am dining with one, three or five others - more so with the latter - it smacks of some intrusive quiz or invitation to trivia night moving around the table just as one is settling down - and often it falls on the host to say well most of us have but some haven't - or whatever. So what!

The query is not the slightest bit helpful or necessary. Waiters can assume that hosts have either direct experience of the restaurant or familiarity through the Net or word of mouth.
And that they are intelligent enough to ask about anything on the menu as necessary.

The sophisticated approach to convey important information and invite any questions would be, "While I take any drink orders and let you look at the menu I should just remind you that as of a few weeks ago we are only serving table d'hote in which the entire table needs to participate." Or "We are encouraging sharing experiences as all our mains and many of the appetizers and desserts are served family-style."

But please not the "are you a member of the club?" type question thrown to the table. Almost as embarrassing as Morton's showing us a one pound potato as an object of surpassing rarity deserving of comment if not veneration. But that's another subject for another day...

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  1. I can see asking if it's a restaurant with something really unusual in their product mix -- the first examples that come to mind are Dick's Last Resort, with scissored-off ties, bad attitudes, and communal dining; and Fogo de Chao/Texas de Brasil, where the service on skewers is an atypical meal service.

    By asking, the server then gets to "Oh, okay, they're already familiar with it, so I don't have to waste everybody's time by explaining" or "ah, newbies -- I'll give them a heads-up so they're not offended/confused"

    In any other "normal" restaurant(sit down, place your order, your food is served, you eat) I don't get why it matters.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      But sunshine, even in the case you mention, wouldn't it be better to say, "Hello everyone. Just in case you don't know, some mean guy's going to come around and cut off your ties if you don't take them off" then to ask a question, wait for the awkward reply sequence, then give the news?

      1. re: Bigtigger

        No. Because if you've been there before, you already took your tie off.

        The question is then a good one to ask, just in case it was a more casual group...but I've seen people get up and leave who didn't know that part of Dick's schtick is servers with bad attitude.

        1. re: Bigtigger

          Bigtigger, i'd say "no" is the answer to your question.

        2. re: sunshine842

          Definitely want to asked that question at Dick's! Also, Texas de!

        3. There's a very popular restaurant on the UWS that gets great reviews here on the Manhattan board. It's in my neighborhood and Ive been there at least two dozen times. It's a small plates salumeria and the waiters always ask that question. It makes me nuts. I mean, come on. As though NYC doesn't have any small plates restaurants and we don't know what that is. And god forbid five people at the table say yes and one person says no and you have to listen to the whole spiel for the umpteenth time. And even sometimes when you all say "yes," the waiter says, "Oh, well then, you know that . . ." and goes into the whole damn spiel anyway. Aargh! Can you tell you hit a chord? Don't know why it bugs me quite as much as it does, but it does.

          14 Replies
          1. re: JoanN

            Hit a chord indeed - I just was annoyed, yet again, by that question taking my 11yo out to lunch today - seriously? Does it matter? Agreed - unless there's something really out of character at a restaurant it's none of your business and you don't care so why are you asking? Seems to be because they want to know if they should say "Welcome" or "Welcome back"

            Honestly? Welcome is just fine for anyone. sheesh

            1. re: cherieamb

              Next time a waiter-person asks if it's your first time here, say no, we have eaten here 18 times in the past 3 months, and then see if they say anything!

              1. re: foodyDudey

                I once replied, to a waiter I hadn't seen there before, "I've probably been coming here for longer than you have." He didn't take it well.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    Three weeks ago Mrs. B and I went to a local restaurant. We've been there many times. The waiter greeted us by name (he'd seen the reservation list) and proceeded to ask if this was out first time there.

                    I replied: "I've been signing your paycheck for 8 months, I'm here every week at the same time.

                    The waiter turned bright red, walked away and asked the host to reassign the table. He was to embarrassed to serve us that evening.

                    I don't own the place. The owner died 8 months ago. I'm handling the estate and probate. I had a staff meeting with all employees, which the server had attended, and each Wednesday I'm there at 11 AM with the checks. In about 60 days the late owner's children will have title and I can go back to being an occasional customer.

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      good lord. Talk about phoning it in!

                      he *should* have been too embarrassed to serve you.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        Especially since the paychecks he's been receiving are from my trust account, not the restaurant's account.

                        I did ask the manager to have him meet me in the office later that evening and tried to put him at ease. I assured him that his job was not at stake, and reminded him of the first rule inn trial law:

                        Never ask a question for which you do not know. the answer. This avoids getting blindsided.

                        When I brought the paychecks this past week he was on duty and served me lunch, no problem.

                        1. re: bagelman01

                          Huh? Never ask a question you do not know the answer? He didn't. He knew the answer.

                            1. re: rasputina

                              but he didn't know the answer -- he didn't realize that Bagelman had had a staff meeting that the server had attended, nor did it register that Bagelman hands him his paycheck every week.

                            2. re: bagelman01

                              So you succeeded in embarrassing him and making him stressed during service. How does that benefit the restaurant? The manager was there and should have been the person to have a discussion with the server, privately, after service was over. Rule #1 in customer service – never deal with employee performance issues in the customer service area.
                              I would not be too keen to eat what that kitchen serves you after you publicly humiliated an employee. Just sayin’…

                              1. re: EM23

                                um, Bagelman signs the manager's check, too, as I understand it.

                                Bagelman also talked to the guy **in private** -- see the post above.

                                Bagelman signs the kitchen's checks, too....buys him spit insurance that a regular customer wouldn't get.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  What does signing checks have to do with this? The manager's job is to manage staff. Bagelman embarrassed the server in public and later, realizing the guy was upset, assured him, in private, that he won't lose his job.
                                  I don't think I'd feel too confident with spit insurance.

                                  1. re: EM23

                                    Hey, folks, we removed a whole bunch of posts here. We know these etiquette threads sometimes get a little testy, but when you find yourself assessing the personality flaws of your fellow hounds, please take a step back.

                1. Try saying "You, you don't...remember me?" Then burst into tears. I can't stand the practice either. A simple "if you have any questions about the menu, let me know" would surely suffice.

                    1. re: LeoLioness

                      Neither do I. Seems odd to me that anyone would be annoyed by it. I'm more annoyed (and even then, only mildly so) by upselling efforts that are a bit too persistent, or lack of knowledge about what they are serving. Or criticism of my food choice, such as "...how can you eat liver? That's pretty disgusting...". Believe it or not,that's a direct quote.

                      Different strokes, I guess.

                    2. It is moderately annoying but it serves 2 purposes I can see - one 1. is it's an icebreaker

                      "no, we are visiting from out of town, we read about your restaurant on Chowhound"

                      "welcome to South Bublefuk, hope you are enjoying your visit, we have some local specialties on the menu - you really should try the raw scrapple pate"

                      "yes, we come here all the time, we just love the Kale Cesar"

                      "welcome back, we have some specials and new items on the menu, if you love the Kale Cesar you may enjoy our new Brussels sprout pancakes"

                      I gather from other posts on this board people just hate talking to waiters and would prefer to order by tablet and be served by drone. I don't mind a bit of banter with the wait staff -

                      2. its a bit of information gathering - why are people coming here? are they returning? Why?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: JTPhilly

                        I usually find this question asked mostly in restaurants that focus on small or shared plates. Yes, most people don't go into restaurants blind anymore, but at these types of places it's helpful for me to know how much they recommend we order.

                        But in general, I agree that a lot of people really prefer a very seen-seldom-heard server.

                        1. re: JTPhilly

                          While I get the intention of it being a conversation starter - I think it rarely achieves that. Instead of the response being "no - we're from out of town", the response that usually happens (from tables I'm with) is "yes", "no" or "some of us have, some haven't". I don't mind banter/talking to my waiter, but in all situations I remember it puts a quizzical tone over the table and stops conversation.

                          While it may be information gathering, I think it does make people feel as though they're expected to perform or take a test. I also think the fact that (at least in DC) it seems pretty pervasive takes away from the conversational nature.

                          1. re: cresyd

                            Perform or take a test? It's a yes or no question.

                            1. re: LeoLioness

                              I'm just commenting on how I've seen tables that I've been at respond to the question. That it doesn't serve as a natural conversation starter to either elicit if people are from out of town, regular patrons, first time with small plates, etc.

                              Perhaps the phrase 'take a test' is a bit extreme, but when I've been out with a group there's usually this pause amongst my table, we look at each other, and there's this moment of "how do we answer this?" I'm only contributing anecdotal observation that it's function is more odd than a natural conversation starter.

                        2. Worry if asked, "Is this your last time here?"

                          1. Nice question. Although I don't see it as a "Not About Food". It is certainly more about food than other threads I have read here.

                            Short answer: I don't feel the question of "Is this your first time here" as annoying or offensive.

                            16 Replies
                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              I just find it strange, if there's not something very unique about the restaurant.

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                I don't find it offensive.

                                I have been to one restaurant which does not offer anything special/unique. They did ask me if this is my first time, and I said yes. Immediately, the waiter simply go over the menu a bit more detailed with me, and then he went back to inform the manager and the manager gave me a coupon for my next visit.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  If they're going to follow through like that, then it's a good question to have.

                                  All too often, though, someone will say "Is this your first time here?" And when I say yes, there's just the gentle chirp of crickets. It's a bizarre question when there's no follow up.

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    and then there's the occasion when mgmt has instructed employees to explain to newcomers (and repeats) at great length how it's not a menu per se, but rather a 'concept'...

                                    yeah we get it your boss is hopelessly pretentious, now where's my drink?

                                    1. re: hill food

                                      y'know, I'm just getting closer and closer to being the rotten lady who yells about kids on her lawn.

                                      Because I'd either ask them since when "concept" was defined as "printed list of dinner options with prices" instead of "menu" ---

                                      -- or on a grouchy day, just get up and leave because that pegs my bullshit meter.

                                      (What did you do??)

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        "well we'd conceived of a simple ask and receive and pay type relationship tonight, which I suppose could sound a bit wanton, but we just weren't prepared for more"

                                        no I never have done that but it has been so darn tempting.

                                        1. re: hill food

                                          yeah, the inner monster is sometimes so spot on, but you have to conform to societal norms.

                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                            I was 'THIS' close to posting something about alleys and BYO latex.

                                            I can still claim it was about kitchen safety practices, right?

                                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    Totally agree. I can't imagine anyone being so sensitive as to be offended by the simple question. It serves two purposes...it's a friendly icebreaker, and it gives the server the opportunity to share with newbies items that are specialties of the house, or personal favorites.

                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  I guess I wouldn't mind it so much if I hadn't been asked the same question every single time in a restaurant that's practically a neighborhood hangout for me. And if the waitstaff didn't change so frequently, they'd know that.

                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    My first week working as a bank teller (ages ago, when there were half a dozen tellers and several dozen customers in the bank all the time), I asked a woman for ID to cash her check. She got her back hairs up a little, and told me she'd been coming to that bank for 20 years, and why should she have to show her ID? I told her, "Well, I've only been here a week, and you wouldn't want me cashing your check for just anyone, would you?"

                                    She couldn't disagree with that.

                                    1. re: kitchengardengal

                                      EXCELLENT response.

                                      I had the same at the grocery the other day - she asked for my credit card, for verification, and I said "Oh, yes, you're new, so you don't know me yet," and handed her my card.

                                      She asked if I was a regular, and I say "Oh, just ask Joan and Michelle and Patti if I'm a regular", rattling off the names of the three closest cashiers at the other registers.

                                      Right on cue, they all looked up and said "Hi, Sunshine!".

                                      I think the poor girl thought she was being pranked.

                                      1. re: kitchengardengal

                                        Sigh - I have an account outside of the US that I've been trying to close for a number of months, and have been calling a lot on the phone to deal with various difficult bureaucratic issues. They no longer ask for my ID/personal details to confirm before getting into very specific detailed bank information - and honestly, that is NO comfort.

                                        1. re: kitchengardengal

                                          Been there, heard that. "Know Your Customer." was practically tattooed on our brains back then. I did the teller thing in the days before the single-feed line. It was easier then, but still it would come up on occasion.

                                        2. re: JoanN

                                          I know exactly what restaurant you are referring to on the uws and what is (almost) funny is that in no way shape or form is it different or unique from several hundred others here in the city! Maybe they get a lot of put of towners since its near enough to lincoln center....?

                                      2. I don't think it is meant to be a personal question. It is in the same vein as "how are you?" ...." Enjoying this lovely weather?" ...." How is everything tasting?"...... Etc. it only requires the correct response and civility, then you forget about it.

                                        1. There's a BBQ place in Texas, Rudy's slightly above average for Texas. They ask you the question and if you haven't been they offer you a couple of meat samples. Not a sit down place like a proper BBQ place should be.

                                          1. We frequent a small local chain for lunch/dinner/brunch averaging one visit a month, and they only ask us that question if we are with our daughter for brunch. As their pricing is if an adult orders the brunch buffet, kids under 7 eat free. We decided to go for brunch one time on impulse, they asked and we were delighted to learn that. And now we are going out for brunch much more!

                                            I listened to the seating of a childless couple at the next table: the question wasn't asked.

                                            1. It's usually a precursor to an explanation on how to order too much food.

                                              1. The only proper response to this question, "Why, is it yours?"

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  (see my post up thread about my bank experience - sometimes that really is the correct response!)

                                                2. Doesn't bother me in the least. It reminds me of guys asking where I got my beautiful blue eyes. I knew they were doing their best at an opening line. (My favorite answer was that I got them from my mother and had to give them back at midnight.)

                                                  As has been stated, if the restaurant has a shtick, and one has been there previously, repetition is not necessary. If we are there with others who are new, we let the waiter explain.

                                                  My goodness, the waitstaff is just trying to be friendly and welcoming. What is wrong with accepting the attempts? There are a lot more important things to be annoyed at in this world - like why don't men put the toilet seat down.

                                                  Lighten up a bit. My son is in the army overseas. Somehow compared to that, there is little in life with which to be annoyed.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: samsaulavi

                                                    there are larger issues to find annoying, yes.

                                                    but I do like the reaction of "why, no is it yours?"

                                                    1. re: samsaulavi

                                                      I am not offended. Maybe there is something I don't know, if I am new. And if I am not, then it's just a conversation opener.

                                                      (I like the blue eyes response. My son as pre-schooler, when asked where he got his beautiful curly hair, said "in the bathtub.")

                                                    2. I don't like it but I understand it's a line the servers are required to ask the same way employees at my store must ask "what brought you in today?" Rather than "can I help you?"
                                                      So I'm annoyed at the practise but certainly not with the server. It's likely an open-ended selling question.
                                                      Matter of fact asking someone when the last time they were in our store is another suggested ice breaker.
                                                      It's dumb but why let it bother me? So many things that actually affect my life that are worth getting annoyed at. That's less than a second of my life wasted.

                                                      1. I always say, "Yes...I just got out of prison."

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: Steve L

                                                          Steve, that is followed by some guttural sound, right?

                                                          1. re: Steve L

                                                            Steve,L, but in prison at diner, did they ask " is your first time here?"

                                                            1. re: PHREDDY

                                                              and can we explain how our system works? FEET WILL BE KEPT BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE! it's a fixed menu with few or well really, no options. we've adopted a minimalist approach and have few complaints as there are no alternatives.

                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                Told the screw that I was lactose and gluten intolerant. Eggs? Sunnyside up please.

                                                                Dude didn't really seem like he cared to attend to my needs or comply with my simple requests.

                                                                Didn't even bother to ask for fragrance free soaps... *sigh*....

                                                          2. I don't remember ever even being asked this question - so I think my response would be to the effect of 'Why do you want to know?' or
                                                            'Who wants to know'. I wouldn't want to be directly hostile or rude but what business is it of theirs? do 'First Timers' get preferential treatment? or do they get treated like red headed step-children if they're not 'members'

                                                            1. A client of mine recently bought a company that does mystery shopping among other services. He brought me the existing training tapes/and manuals to make sure that they were in compliance with current labor/discrimination laws.

                                                              When reading the manual for shopping a family casual chain of steakhouses with Roadhouse in the name. I found that the shopper is required to report whether the server asked if this was the patron's first visit to XXXX. Follow up question on the survey. If yes to 'did server ask if this is your first visit?' did server then explain that there would be line dancing?

                                                              This chain requires the question be asked, and if the answer is yes doesn't bother wasting patrons' time explaining the staff line dancing.

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                as long as it's structured like that, it does make sense -- the line dancing is something out of the ordinary that newbies might be unsettled for whatever reason to see.

                                                                I'm not offended, I just think it's weird when it's a "regular" restaurant with nothing that begs explanation.

                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                  These days everyone believes they are a special snowflake.

                                                                  1. re: Leonardo

                                                                    Are you referring to me, or to a restaurant that thinks they're so special that people are just too clueless to figure out their special-ness?

                                                                    1. re: Leonardo

                                                                      I'm a special snowflake. and mom always said so.

                                                                2. I've been asked it many times and it doesn't bother me in the least. I don't see anything to get worked up over.

                                                                  1. If I say "yes" it's usually followed by the dreaded "Allow me to explain how the menu works".

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Leonardo

                                                                      ummm.....I open it, and read the things listed, and tell you which one I want?

                                                                      (or is it a mechanized or digital menu that sings and dances?)

                                                                      1. re: Leonardo

                                                                        Hah! Many years ago, a friend and I got that lecture, with emphasis on the restaurant's family-style service and two wood-burning ovens. Okay, fine. The plates could've been split between a mouse and a hummingbird (maybe) and none of our first-choice mains was available because one of the ovens was down that night. Add in excruciating noise, and I haven't been back although the joint is still in business. So, once again, go figure.

                                                                      2. I assume it's something required of them by restaurant management, but like you, these things annoy me. I don't like to be referred to as a "guest" either - I'm a customer.

                                                                        If it really bugs you, try replying enthusiastically, "Yes, it is! Does that mean my meal is free?"

                                                                        1. Does not bother me at all. I try to have compassion with people who are taking care of me. If I don't care to listen I can tune out, with a smile on my face, and just reflect how grateful I am to be out with my husband/friends and not having to cook or clean up afterwards.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: delk

                                                                            I'm with you, delk, and as a former server, I have empathy for being required to do strange and irksome things in the name of your bosses, so I try to remember that they'd likely rather not be asking anything at all.

                                                                            1. re: grayelf

                                                                              that is the sensible, even zen-like way to maintain a low blood pressure.

                                                                              but sometimes it's so darn hard to deflect the flack that gets thrown around. and even harder dealing with people who think you should be upset.

                                                                              for me this thread is so I can vent and spew and keep it out of real-life. here = pretty much nothing (sorry).

                                                                              there = I'm next in line for behavior and diet modification (oooh but maybe good tranquility drugs!)

                                                                          2. To be honest I never really noticed this question except in kitschy type places. However on Thursday we tried a new place in the neighborhood and the server asked. When we said no she welcomed us, introduced herself and thanked us for coming. Didn't bother me in the least.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: foodieX2

                                                                              Although the server's welcome, introduction and thanks should be offered regardless of how often you have visited. I tend to a group who dine with me every Wednesday night, and have done for years.
                                                                              I no longer have to introduce myself, but I always welcome them and thank them for visiting.

                                                                              1. re: cronker

                                                                                I guess that was my point. I never really noticed the question before but assumed, being that the place is brand new, the managers requested it of the servers and I thought she handled it nicely. I assumed if we said yes she would said basically the same thing.

                                                                            2. Doesn't bother me at all. And even people suggesting snide or sarcastic responses to the question seem to realize that it's most likely the management that requires servers to ask it so perhaps we should cut the waiters some slack. There are also plenty of restaurants that serve knowledgeable foodies as well as people who may be completely unfamiliar with the food or menu. I frequent a Basque tapas place near me and heard a couple visiting ask how big the 'ham steak' was on the Spanish Ham Pinxto. So what if the restaurant wants to gauge how familiar the guest may or may not be with the food. It seems to be sincerely meant to help guests to have a nice experience. If you're that anxious about a 7 second interaction with someone who's about to bring you food for the evening, meditate or have a drink before you leave the house.

                                                                              1. I can guarantee that the question is only asked because there have been "X" number of people who didn't know about the "small plates, 500 degree plate, the cutting off of ties, etc, etc." and became unhappy as a result. Everything that's done is usually the result of something that had been a problem. I think that those of us on Chowhound, by the very nature of this site, are probably pretty up to date on the latest culinary trends and eat out often enough to know the difference between say, a medium and medium rare steak for example. So why does the server in the steak house have to tell me what "medium" will look like? Because of the many people who got a perfectly cooked medium steak and sent it back (to the trash) because what they really wanted was medium rare, that's why.

                                                                                So... yeah, it's a little annoying to listen to the, hopefully only, 15 second spiel but I cut the server some slack. They're ordered to do it and I have been with a lot of people in restaurants (often relatives) where I've been glad the server was going over those things so that I wouldn't have to - very difficult to do without sounding condescending. There are a lot of places outside of New York and San Francisco where the dining public is not as restaurant savvy.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: bobbert

                                                                                  I don't have a problem with the question in and of itself.

                                                                                  It's what they do with the response that leaves me shaking my head. All too often, they ask the question, and if I say 'no', there's just this awkward little silence.

                                                                                  If there's a script of some sort as to how to proceed with a "yes" or "no" answer, then it doesn't faze me....but why ask if you're just going to leave it laying there in the middle of the table like a dirty napkin?

                                                                                  And yeah -- that's "shame on management" -- because they haven't taught the staff how to proceed with the response.

                                                                                  1. re: bobbert

                                                                                    This. Very much this.
                                                                                    So many of the complaints I deal with can be identified as guests expectations not being met, and often this is the fault of the waitrons not clearly leading guests through the experience.

                                                                                    Small plates/Tapas/antipasto? Often means a variety of dishes, tastes, meant to share. Easy to let the diners know this as they order, rather than wait for the nasty email/bad review on Yelp etc.
                                                                                    I don't like a robotic, scripted presentation in my staff - I prefer them to converse naturally and make a connection with the table so that questions and answers and also some guidance in the menu can be a shared thing.

                                                                                  2. It doesn't bother me if the menu/restaurant requires explanation, but lately, I've been asked that when there's nothing new or different about the place. The most I've been annoyed is when I was ordering a burger at a burger place (where you place your order at the counter, they bring it out, so very casual). They asked if it was my first time there (yes) and then started to explain how to order a burger. I was annoyed and hungry so I cut them off and said, "Yes, I know how to order a burger." To their defense, it was the restaurant's first week of opening but, come on people, ordering a burger is not a complicated thing!

                                                                                    1. How about just saying 'thanks' and leaving it at that?

                                                                                      1. Honestly when I read things like this, I feel bad for servers because it seems like everything they say/do is going to bother some people. It's never occurred to me that the question is anything other than the server trying to be helpful/friendly, not exclusive. It was very helpful at places like Range because the system is so unusual (different stations, order is placed, food brought out at the station prepares it, no particular order). But, even if it were a typical restaurant, the server could be more watchful to make sure you know what's going on.

                                                                                        1. I agree it's usually a pointless question, but relatively harmless, and don't blame the waiter for it. Sometimes I just answer no whether I've been there or not, especially if I sense a 'yes' would result in a pointless spiel I don't feel like listening to.

                                                                                          1. How about you just answer the question and get over it. It's the servers job to ask. If the owner has no method of tracking repeat customers and relaying that info to the servers, then the blame lies with the owner. As for whether or not the question is helpful, in the eyes of the house, it could be. If they were interested in building and maintaining a client base. Sample responses: "No, I have been coming here for a few years. I guess you have not been our server before. My name is ..." Yes. We read about the menu concept and want to try it."

                                                                                            How about some simple manners, before you strap on the attitude. That person is trying to make a living and they deserve some respect. BTW, being a server is not an easy job, being a diner is.

                                                                                            1. Please sit back and think about the big picture. Does this REALLY MATTER? Is it really something to even let bother you? Wow, how about replying either "Yes" or "No", "Thanks for asking!"

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: lutherben

                                                                                                Real good point. We have about 5 or 6 different restaurants that we are "regulars" at. We do know most of the wait staff, and if an off night we will get different server, and asked the question. We never take offense to it, but we note if the new person is attentive to our dining needs. That said, I have no problem tuning out the monologue if needed, and then move on to my meal and time to relax.