Maybe it's because I'm from a very social family, but when I go to a restaurant I can't help but socialize with my waiters. Whether I'm asking their opinion on the wine list or wondering what their name is, I enjoy chatting with my servers. How about you?
- Bad taste: Obama Waffle mix. — Slashfood
- Make your kitchen hazard-free. — Chow
- Does food really travel 1,500 miles from farm to table? — Slate
- Toast the last days of Summer with sparkling margarita floats. — Hostess with the Mostess
- How to cook with quinoa.— The Kitchn
- Can service at a restaurant ever be too good?— The Epi-Log
- The do's and don't's of sandwich bags. — Simply Stated
- The city of Toronto may ban paper coffee cups. — Serious Eats
- Be more energy-efficient when washing dishes.— CasaSugar
The City of Brotherly Love is also the city with the most-tipping love. Based on Zagat's newly released Philadelphia survey, the city's residents leave a generous 19.6 percent tip on average, compared to the countrywide average of 19 percent. Diners in New York — long considered the most expensive place to live in the US — only tip equal to the countrywide average, while those in Los Angeles tip below average at 18.4 percent.
Do Philadelphians really possess more love for their fellow citymen? Or is it because of Philadelphia's large number of BYO restaurants? I'm most surprised by the fact that New Yorkers tip such a meager amount. When I lived in Manhattan more than five years ago, it was considered standard to tip 20 percent due to the high cost of living there, and the fact that so many New Yorkers make a living in the service industry. Do these numbers surprise you? Are they in line with what you would normally tip, given decent service?
Often, when I'm trying to decide between two dishes, I'll ask servers what they recommend. Sometimes they won't have an opinion, but often, servers are very knowledgeable about what the best items on the menu are. I rarely regret taking their advice. How about you?
A restaurant in Nuremberg, Germany has figured out a way to eliminate bad service forever. How'd they do it? Simple, they eliminated service completely. At the bistro 's Baggers, which is now the first sit-down restaurant in the world without waiters, the waitstaff has been replaced by a fully automated ordering system. Each table has been connected to the kitchen via metal rails and meals are ordered via a touch-screen at each table.
Customers' orders are registered upstairs in the kitchen and a computer in the cellar keeps track of supply stocks. The system also calculates the likely delivery times for drinks and meals at every table and keeps customers informed.
What I want to know is what happens when the computers crash, and how do you get a refill, or send something back?
Source: Spiegel International
When you dine out, do you care more about the food or the service? A recent survey conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation showed that most people care about the service. The survey, which is part of the ORC's "Ouch Point" series - a monthly survey examining tolerance thresholds in a variety of common scenarios, concluded that rude wait staff was responsible for 25% of the dining "ouch points." The study also showed that the younger you are, the less likely you are to handle rude wait staff. In the 18-24 year old age group, rude wait staff took 55% of the votes, compared to the overall 25%.
I guess I would have to agree. I know that I've had amazing food and horrible service and left remembering only the service. Would you agree? If not what is your biggest dining "ouch point?" To find out what the rest of the survey results are, read more
In honor of today being National Waitstaff Day, I thought it would be a good time to give a roaring round of applause to all of you readers who work at restaurants, bars, and cafes. I worked as a bartender/waitress, and know how difficult, frustrating, and exhausting it can be, so if you eat out today give an extra tip and remember that your server is a person too! A good waitperson not only delivers your meal, but stops by the table to check on you, keeps an eye on your table, and deals with comments about food/drink that they didn't make. They totally deserve a salute and today's the day to leave a 20% tip, so cheers to all of the waiters out there!