The Replacements--"Waitress In The Sky (live)" (mp3)
The Replacements--"Can't Hardly Wait (live)" (mp3)
A few years ago, I was in a Cracker Barrel with one of my children and I ordered one of the new skillet dinners they were featuring. Now this particular waitress did not have designs on me, but she was especially attentive to our meal. In fact, when she came back to check on us at one point, she looked at me and said, "You lovin' that skillet! You cleanin' it up!"
Now, I don't know about you, but I'm not looking for that kind of commentary from a waitress. Or waiter. I just want him or her to bring food to our table and whatever else we might need to enjoy that. Period. And then to check back soon after the food was delivered to make sure everything is right, and then just occasionally after that so as not to interrupt the meal.
And when I'm finished, I expect to put my utensils on the plate in such a way that lets a waiter or waitress know that I'm am finished, knife and fork side by side and pushed all the way in. I do not need to be asked "Are you still working on that?" or "Did you get full?" Or "You didn't like that, did you?" or "It looks like somebody was hungry," if the plate is empty.
I'm also not a king; I don't need to be addressed by the royal "We," as in, "Did we save room for a piece of Key Lime Pie or maybe a Molten Chocolate Explosion?"
What do you say to those other favorite upscale questions like "Is everything still wonderful?" (which, I guess, shows supreme confidence in the chef) or "Is everything still tasting good?" (which is a little scarier, since it carries with it an implication that there may be some rough patches ahead, or worse, that there's definitely something wrong with the dish, they just want to know if you can detect it)?
With that approach, a waitress or waiter might follow these simple guidelines:
1. When taking the orders, answer any questions, but don't recommend anything unless asked.
3. When checking back, simply ask if anyone needs anything.