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Aggressively Rushed Service

What Would You Do?

We've all been in crazy situations, and I want to know how you handle entertaining fiascoes and bad restaurant behavior. I'll present a situation and you tell me what you would do. Here's today's scenario:

You and a friend have sidled up to the bar at a small French bistro famous for burgers. You share the burger and a bowl of mussels, which are so good, you want to enjoy them to the last bite. But before you're finished eating, the waiter starts accosting you with polite, yet passive-aggressive questions like, "May I take your plate? Are you done with that?" You're still working on the mussels, but the shell plate — and all your silverware — get cleared without asking! After a few attempts to finish your meal sans utensils, you finally throw in the napkin.

Following the aggressively rushed service, you receive your bill, and want to tip accordingly. That's when you realize that the bistro's lone server is standing over you, watching you fill in the gratuity on the bill. What would you do?

To find out what I did — yes, it happened to me at a San Francisco hot spot! —


Despite the server's rushed attitude, I refused to crack under the pressure. After all, I had already finished my meal before I was ready! My friend and I waited for what seemed like an eternity before he walked away and then signed our checks, which, it goes without saying, reflected the terrible service.

What do you think about the way in which the situation was handled? How would you have reacted if it happened to you?


Join The Conversation
pamela661 pamela661 8 years
I think I would have asked for the manager, and then asked for a waiter who didn't have somewhere else to be. Dining out should be an experience that you enjoy, especially when it's not cheap. And watching someone sign the tab is rude, but that's his mistake. I would have given what I thought was appropriate - whether or not he was watching.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I would have smiled sweetly, and said,"I wasn't finished yet. Can you kindly bring back my utensils?" I will pay my bill and leave when I'm damn ready.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I would of asked to see the manager and if not then I would of been less than nice in my tip. Sorry but bad service=bad tip
skigurl skigurl 8 years
with the additional details given by yum, i don't think there's much else you can do other than complain to him, tell him you were very angry with service, will not pay your bill, and will not return it would be so frustrating!
imcs imcs 8 years
Yelp it. Tip accordingly, and yelp away! It's incredible the power yelp has over the community. Make sure you note the waiter's name (usually on the receipt), and yelp yelp yelp.
ohkate ohkate 8 years
I would have tipped appropriately based on the service and if possible have spoken to the manager about the rushed meal and the inappropriate and rude behavior of the server. it's difficult when servers forget they're actually working for their tip.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well - first off - i would have been more firm with the 'NO I'M STILL WORKING ON THIS THANKS' and not allow them to clear my dishes. i also would have done exactly what you did - dally before signing the check, and then tip lower because your experience was 'ruined' sort of. i know that restaurants want to have more turn over so they try to move people in and out faster, but still there's something to be said about being allowed to enjoy your meal.
sofi sofi 8 years
Wow- how rude. If you think he was management, I would have left nothing for a tip and handed a business card to him letting him know that you also work in the food industry. Tell him to keep an eye out on yumsugar for their review ;). By the way, why don't you tell us the restaurant and spare some people a similar experience?
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
*rushed service
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
Since you think the server was the manager, then I would have just filled out the tip right there while he was watching. If he had made any kind of noise or said anything, I would have explained that it was because of the rushed serviced and being unable to finish my meal. No excuse for it.
EkaterinaBallerina EkaterinaBallerina 8 years
This sort of happened to me several years ago with my cousins. We were staying in a resort town and the first morning one cousin, her father and I had a great breakfast at this rooftop restaurant. We loved it so much that the next morning, my cousin and I returned to the same restaurant with her sister, sans their father. The restaurant had two seating areas, separated by a narrow walkway. We were seated on the farther side. The waiter took our orders and then left us. For a really long time. We waited forever for our food. We even saw a family of four get exactly what we ordered before us, even though they'd arrived 20 minutes after us. The waiter finally saw we were ansy and rushed our food to us--UNDERCOOKED. They were pancakes too. One cousin got sick. Even worse the waiter tried to make up for the initial terrible service by hovering annoyingly. While my cousin was in the bathroom he brought the bill and hovered while we sorted it out. The bottom of the bill read "Service not included". My cousin laughed and said loudly, "Yeah you got that right". We left him one of the worst tips I've ever left a waiter. We're convinced that the paltry service the day after we'd received great service was because we were young girls alone. But yeah, I NEVER tip well for bad service. Bad behavior should never be rewarded.
Food Food 8 years
I actually think in this case that the lone server was the manager (and possibly even an owner). I am pretty sure the whole thing was very intentional, given that there was a party waiting to sit down at the bar. But still, it left the two of us thinking: Why us? Why not anyone else eating at the bar?
gaucholoco gaucholoco 8 years
Definitely wouldn't have let him take my dishes. (Had they been drink glasses we might be talking fisticuffs!) But as for what to write in for the tip, how about: "Don't play the ponies"
dmartinxoxo dmartinxoxo 8 years
cough*chez maman*cough.
Seka21 Seka21 8 years
Actually scratch my previous post.. id say 'standing that close wont get you a bigger tip for your poor service.'
Seka21 Seka21 8 years
What i cant stand is when they watch over you. I would say ' is there a reason you are standing so close or do you not trust i can sign my check unaided?' I hate bad manners!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I would have asked for a new silverware and shell plate combo. Maybe that would have at least clued him in that I wasn't done. The check thing is super rude though. It drives me crazy when servers do that.
miznic miznic 8 years
Not that I think it's an excuse, but I wonder if he was annoyed because the burger and mussels were being shared? - it would have meant less of a tip for him. Though seriously - that kind of behavior, no matter what, would have elicited a request for new silverware to finish my meal, and while he was at it, to get a manager or supervisor so I could have a chat with them.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
There is no excuse for the server to take your food/silverware before you're done with your meal unless you were there right as the restaurant was closing or something. I would have insisted that I was NOT finished yet and that I'd like my silverware back so I could finish my mussels. If the server refused, I would have asked why they were rushing me through my meal. If the situation wasn't remedied and the server was so rudely watching me fill in the gratuity on the bill, he/she would have watched me write in $0.01
Happsmjc Happsmjc 8 years
Yeah Yum you always seem so nice, but its easier said then done. When I get into these situations I usually chicken out, and then later wish I had done more. Only once did I stick up for myself, and the manger did NOTHING.
amybdk amybdk 8 years
What Modus Vivendi said. And about the hovering while check signing, I think I'd look at them and ask "Is everything alright? Do you need something?"
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
Yeah, I would have asked for my stuff back! In a nice way, like "Oops, I wasn't quite done with that. Would you mind terribly bringing me another plate?" with a big polite smile. I'd have called later to ask for a manager. I don't care for direct confrontation.
Sara-Rose Sara-Rose 8 years
I would have flat out said, "I'm not finished. Bring me new silverware and a new shell plate, please. Also, please get the manager, I would like to speak to them."
kittykat83 kittykat83 8 years
I've had this same experience before and, I have to admit, I did the same thing as you, Yumsugar. I'm just too hesitant to make a scene, even if it is called for.
shmoo15 shmoo15 8 years
It's sort of a non-American thing to stand and wait for the bill. It makes me totally uncomfortable. I would have asked for the silverware back.
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