Thursday, January 12, 2012
please remain seated
Ok people. This is a simple concept, when you are dining in a restaurant (perhaps with the exception of a diner or Cora's breakfast) you should not get up from your seat to pay your bill. You may have noticed that your server has brought everthing else to your table throughout the course of your dining experience, there's a good chance they will also take payment while you are seated.
You may think that you are making it easier on your server by 'coming up to the machine' to pay. This is not the case. Here is why: your server is keeping an eye on your table and knows that he/she has just dropped off the bill and will come by in a few minutes to sort out payment. When you vacate your table your server can lose track of you which will probably result in you asking another server to process your card/make change. This may seem simple but servers have a list of things to do in their minds and for someone who is not taking care of your table, processing your bill is not on that list.
This is even more important when you are in a group of 6 or more, especially with separate cheques. You may not notice in your oblivious bubble but crowding around the service stand (often where the debit/credit machine is located) makes it difficult for the servers who are using that area to get around you. You were well situated around your table and now you are congesting the thoroughfares of the restaurant; blocking servers and guests alike.
This type of scenario also makes it more difficult for a server who is processing your multiple cheques to make sure that everyone has paid. Again, everything is much simpler to do while everyone is seated so that someone doesn't skip on the bill.
The worst part of all of this is when you leave your table prior to getting your bill at all. You then approach a random server and say "I'm ready to pay!" well that is so nice for you, I have no idea who you are, what you have eaten or who was serving you in the first place. We then engage in a game of charades, "oh she was about this tall, about your height, hair down to about here, maybe blonde?" Great, just a moment while I go find your server, ask what table you were at, try to describe you to your server in a similar charade fashion, borrow their swipe card to access your bill and then come back and print and process. All of this takes more time than if you had just remained seated at your table until your own server had time to process your bill and though I'm sure you're not concerned about the other guests, I have to ignore my tables while I sort this out for you.
Now as always there are exceptions, if you have been waiting a really really really long time for your card to be processed then I can kind of understand. But 6 minutes does not count as an eternity, have a little patience.