Wednesday, June 22, 2011
why is my plate still here?
There is an important element of service that seems to be overlooked in this town at a number of restaurants. From a casual pub or diner to some of the nicer restaurants in the city, the problem seems universal for some reason.
The 'pre-bus' (or 'table maintenance') seems to be over and above the talents of the average server.
Allow me to define the term:
'Bussing' a table usually happens after the guests leave it. All of the items are removed so that the table can be wiped and re-set for the next people to use. 'Pre-bussing' happens while the guests remain. It involves removing unneeded and erroneous objects from the table as they become unnecessary (ie. clearing the empty glass when you bring a fresh pint). This is not a difficult thing for a server to do, in fact it helps you keep track of what stage a table is at in their dining experience and keeps things neat and tidy so that the guest doesn't have to "enjoy" their meal surrounded by dirty, used dishes/glasses etc. If the restaurant is nice enough this can even mean removing the salt & pepper shakers/grinders as the table heads toward dessert.
There is no reason that I should receive a cheque with a dirty plate still in front of me, particularly when my server is not incredibly busy. It's laziness/carelessness on the part of the wait staff. I challenge any server who reads this blog to evaluate yourself on how well you do this. It's a small thing that makes a big difference in the quality of service you give! To those who do this well, bravo! To those who don't, stop making the rest of us look bad!