Based the the level of service I sometimes get, I’ve been convinced that many of the restaurants I frequent here in the UK don’t actually exist until I get there. Apparently I (may be partially) right!
As my wife is probably tired of hearing from me… it honestly feels like sometimes that as I walk in the front door of a place, the waiters are walking in through the back for the first time. It’s not that they are not nice, they just often seem so… lost. It’s not even bad service per se, so much as if though they’ve just now memorized the types of things that they should say and ask and so are just going from a script. Perhaps there are crucial aspects of ordering food in Great Britain that I haven’t yet grasped.
The hilarious part is that I am probably one of the least picky people food-wise (you could give me the completely wrong order and unless it turns out to be pile of mushrooms covered in mayo, odds are I won’t send it back) but for some reason I continuously find myself amazed by the restaurant service.
Usually they will have no idea what the specials are or, if they do, what they might contain. Sometimes we’ll order one or two things from the Appetizers section and then be asked “Any starters?”
In the States, the restaurant service is really based on tips, so they have huge personal incentive to give excellent service. While “service charges” are becoming more common, in general it’s still only 10% and gets distributed to the whole staff as far as I know. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a large component of the whole situation… they can go on auto-pilot and it won’t affect them much either way financially.
Anyone else notice this?