Having worked in food service, and thinking of myself as a VERY fair (some would say too-generous) tipper and food-fanatic, I find I am bewildered by the average Toronto food-server much of the time. My recent experience at Amore, which is one of the better Yonge-Eg restos (god knows there is a surplus of bad options) I do understand how serving glucose-deficient pompous idiots on a regular basis could fray the nerves after a time.
But please, let us all face facts: Toronto servers tend to come from the I'm Doing You A Favour By Simply Nearing The Table school. They tend to ignore and resist for most of the mealtime and then, magically, as the bill is delivered, drop into phone-sedx operator or best-ever friend mode very suddenly. And we wimps respond...
Amore is a decent restaurant in the midtown/north end of TO and you know, I quite liked it for brunch. I have no idea who waited on us last night but let me put it this way: if not for a yummy wine and the awesome company of our friends: GRRRRRRRR. The waitress is entirely responsible for this reaction. Bad service is why I have stopped spending money at a number of places in our city and I am not one of those who, having never worked in service, thinks I have rented a servant for 45 minutes whenever I enter a store or shop.
No, but I do expect to be able to sit down all the way in a chair before being asked for my drink order.
I want to have balanced my chow-hounding ass cheeks in the chair before interrogated about apps.
I want to be able to raise a glass with people I seldom see and to sip said wine before she is back again demanding to know if we know what we want.
And so it went all through the meal and the meal wasn't awful, though we did have to beg for water, bread, etc even as she fast-poured the wine (mistake) and hurried us along in a not-full room on a Friday night. The screeching baby in the back, no doubt related to someone on staff, was not nearly as annoying as this pushy, style-free woman who kept urging us forward with none of the little touches one loves while dining out: water filled more often than wine glass; warm tone instead of barking pushy up-sell agenda.
Lady, you've chosen the wrong profession and I just hope this cozy, albeit un-fancy neighbourhood spot gives you some service tips (or the boot) soon. That said, she is possibly a mere sample of what ails the average middle-brow Canuck restaurant. At least in the US, when they serve you, even if they serve you a big platter of yuck, they get the service aspect of it all: not servant, but service and sometimes, yes, when you're a lucky chowhound, food-savant comes with.