I know a lot of restaurant folks frequent the Chowhound boards, so I have a question about an issue that absolutely VEXES me almost every time I eat out.
Why, oh why, is it so hard for me to get my check, then to have it settled, in a timely manner once I've finished my meal?
I suppose it might have something to do with the fact you are no longer a candidate to order more food or drinks once you ask for the check, so your order of importance drops from those who can still add value, but especially in getting the check in the first place, I still have my gratutity/tip to consider so I would think any waiter/server interested in maximizing my satisfaction would not want to annoy me at the EXACT moment prior to my decision on said gratuity. Also, in a busy place, since I'm done ordering wouldn't you want me to settle up so you can clrear and turn the table?
However, whether I'm at a Cheesecake Factory or an independent restaurant where I've dropped more than $200-$300, I consistently run into issues in this area. I'm like "please, please take my money" but the servers disappear and it leaves a very bad impression of my experience no matter the quality of the meal - especially if I have somewhere to be after the meal (movie, concert, relieve the babysitter, etc)
This is something that has happened to me in many areas of the country (though I admit it is a bigger issue with younger servers), so I feel there must be a reason why restaurants do not pay attention to this - or maybe I'm just asking wrong. But all research shows the final impression of any experience is the dominant one for impacting satisfaction and intent to return or recommend, so why a restaurant would want to create frustration at this stage is a mystery to me.
Please enlighten me......