Running a restaurant is about as hard as playing a game of 3-D chess. So many elements have to work together: food, drinks, service—and knowing who ordered the squid with stinging nettles. Today’s pet peeve is from an anonymous reader, annoyed by the widespread and completely baffling practice of what she calls the “dinner auction.” That’s when a food runner or even the server himself, entrée plates in hand, needs diners’ help to figure out what goes where.

Pretty much every modern restaurant POS system allows orders to be entered by seat number, so there’s no reason for anyone, food runner or waiter, to show up at the table with no idea where each order goes. It’s especially a problem when there’s a fairly large party and different people have ordered approximately the same thing. “I have a chicken burger with sweet potato fries, one with salad, and one with salad no dressing.” It never actually ends up with people getting their actual order, because all anyone hears is “chicken burger”. I hate this.

OK now, who had the turkey club with a side of exasperation?

Other restaurant peeves in this series:

Bartenders Drinking Shots
Servers Who Sneer at What You Want
Servers’ Condescending “We”

What do you think? Should service staff know where to drop the plates? Drop your opinion in the discussion box below.

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