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'Helping the server' at your table...

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Not About Food 51

'Helping the server' at your table...

silence9 | Sep 18, 2006 04:28 PM

Hi... When dining at inexpensive-to-moderately priced sit-down restaurants, I have a bit of an odd habit. I tend to 'tidy-up' the table during the course of the meal (if there are apps, entree, dessert) and especially toward the end of the meal prior to the arrival of the check. I will stack my salad plate and bread plate together (when finished) and nudge them toward the edge of the table for removal, 'bus' the table by wiping crumbs into a used napkin, and even wipe up spilled sauce or condiments from the table surface. I will also 'cover up' unsightly gristle or uneaten fat with a paper napkin, prior to the removal of plates from the table. I generally only do this when the co-diner is my wife, who has accomodated such fussy compulsive behavior for lo these many years. My question is: do servers appreciate this behavior, or am I really just making more work for them? I like to have a non-cluttered table as I work thru apps, entrees, dessert courses, etc.. And since I do not expect fastidious and prompt table clearing service at inexpensive restaurants, i tend to do the small micro-mangement of clutter and mess removal from my own table between courses. I also try to do this unobtrusively, so that other diners do not gawk at the guy cleaning his own table. Do any of you also 'police' your table-top as a part of the casual dining experience? Is this behavior very silly? And more importantly, do you think it bugs the restaurant staff? Just wanna do my part, I guess, and mamma always taught me to clean up after myself :-)

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