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Waiters "auctioning" your food

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Waiters "auctioning" your food

ChrisVR | Apr 4, 2002 08:44 AM

What is up with this?! You know what I mean, when the waiter comes to the table with your entrees and doesn't even try to match the food to the person who orders it. They just say "Steak?" "Chicken Marsala?" or whatever, until someone claims it. I feel like I'm expected to get out a bidding paddle and vie with the other people at the table for the most appetizing looking dish.

And I'm not talking about restaurants where the food is served by people other than your waiter (although in that case it is always a given that they have no clue who gets what meal.) I have this happen with big groups but also when it's just me and the hubby.

I feel like this is a pretty recent phenomemon that has just gotten really bad in the last 5 years. When I was waitressing, I was trained to not only write down what was ordered, but who ordered what. It wasn't that hard, and I just checked my order pad before I served the food, maybe sneaking a peek if I wasn't sure. It would never occur to me to expect the customers to tell me what they had ordered. I can't imagine why that has changed.

This behavior always drops a few dollars off the tip amount. Well, maybe I have that wrong. When they do it right, or at least attempt to match the food with the diner without asking, I always tip better, but I don't necessarily plan to tip poorly when they "auction". I'm just less likely to tip 20%.

I haven't been to Europe in a while; is this just a U.S. thing?

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