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Post by CheenaGringo on Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:13 pm

I am starting this conversation with the hopes that we can keep it out of the Octagon even though there will no doubt be numerous different and possibly conflicting opinions.

To get the ball rolling, some possible areas for discussion (feel free to toss in more factors when they come to mind):
1) Accessibility ie. parking & ease of entry: how important is this in the decision process?
2) Seating : If you have a reservation, how soon to you expect to be seated? Without a reservation, what is the maximum time you are willing to wait? If the establishment has a bar or lounge, does that extend the time you are willing to wait?
3) After being seated: what is your expectation of a reasonable time before they arrive with menus and offer to take a drink order?
4) Do you expect to order your meals before the drink order arrives?
5) Assuming that you have received your drink order, how soon do you expect the waiter to arrive and take the meal order and is it your expectation that some sort of munchies arrive either before or with the drinks?
6) If you are in the mode to relax a bit before ordering, do you give your waiter some indication of just how long you would like before ordering?
7) If you choose to order soup, salad or an appetizer, what would be the correct amount time between the arrival of these and the main entrees?
8) Does the size of the kitchen and the number of customers modify your expectations as to how soon your food will arrive?
9) Do you have the same time expectations when there are just two of you as opposed to being part of a larger group?
10) While it is a given that a couple would expect to receive their meals at the same time, if you are part of a large group do you expect that everyone in the party receives their orders at the same time? Along these same lines, do take into account that some establishments have small kitchens and while they may typically do quite well for a couple, they may not be ideal for larger groups?
11) After receiving all entrees, how soon after do you expect the wait staff to return to make sure all is well and nothing is required?
12) Do you have an expectation that the wait staff is hovering in anticipation that you may possibly require something?
13) Should the wait staff start picking up finished plates as soon as someone is done eating or should they wait for all parties to finish before starting to clean the table?
14) Is it your expectation that the wait staff should always inquire if you wish deserts, coffee/tea or an after dinner drink?
15) I won't even touch the topic of receiving your bill as we all recognize that this is a different process in Mexico!

All of these questions assume that these dinning experiences only involve adults and no children since that is a totally different experience!

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Post by gringal on Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:35 pm

Good list......but I think the answer might be describing how the most successful mid-priced restaurant in town (Tango) runs the lunch show (since that is the time we most frequently dine out. I cook the evening meal)

They don't take reservations, except for very large groups. When you arrive, you are seated and very shortly, a basket of fresh hot bisquits arrives along with butter and two different spreads. You are given a menu. You can order drinks from the full bar at this time. (Best margaritas in town) You can order whenever you wish re the food, since they have a speedy kitchen.

The very friendly staff removes used plates without being obtrusive. Unless it's a very large party, everyone's entrees arrive almost simultaneously. The wait staff doesn't hover, but they don't avert their eyes, either, when you want attention. They specialize in steaks, but also have a good variety of , salads, starters etc. and their barbequed chicken is outstanding.

Portions are generous. Prices are reasonable.

Parking is atrocious anywhere nearby, but that doesn't seem to be a barrier for the customers.
There is usually a line waiting out the door on weekends.
Patronized by everyone........foreign residents, visitors and local Mexicans.

That's about it. They're always busy. IMO, if anyone is contemplating opening a restaurant......they would be well advised to go there, watch and learn.

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Post by CanuckBob on Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:37 pm

CheenaGringo wrote:I am starting this conversation with the hopes that we can keep it out of the Octagon even though there will no doubt be numerous different and possibly conflicting opinions.

To get the ball rolling, some possible areas for discussion (feel free to toss in more factors when they come to mind):
1) Accessibility ie. parking & ease of entry: how important is this in the decision process? Don't care
2) Seating : If you have a reservation, how soon to you expect to be seated? Immediately Without a reservation, what is the maximum time you are willing to wait? If the establishment has a bar or lounge, does that extend the time you are willing to wait? 15 minutes max
3) After being seated: what is your expectation of a reasonable time before they arrive with menus and offer to take a drink order? 5 minutes
4) Do you expect to order your meals before the drink order arrives? No
5) Assuming that you have received your drink order, how soon do you expect the waiter to arrive and take the meal order and is it your expectation that some sort of munchies arrive either before or with the drinks? Don't really care as long as the drinks are flowing
6) If you are in the mode to relax a bit before ordering, do you give your waiter some indication of just how long you would like before ordering? Yes
7) If you choose to order soup, salad or an appetizer, what would be the correct amount time between the arrival of these and the main entrees? 30 minutes
8) Does the size of the kitchen and the number of customers modify your expectations as to how soon your food will arrive? No, that is not my problem. They should be staffed accordingly however may make exceptions if the drinks keep flowing.
9) Do you have the same time expectations when there are just two of you as opposed to being part of a larger group? I would expect a larger group to take longer.
10) While it is a given that a couple would expect to receive their meals at the same time, if you are part of a large group do you expect that everyone in the party receives their orders at the same time? Along these same lines, do take into account that some establishments have small kitchens and while they may typically do quite well for a couple, they may not be ideal for larger groups? The meals should arrive around the same time otherwise the party should have been informed when they booked or arrived.
11) After receiving all entrees, how soon after do you expect the wait staff to return to make sure all is well and nothing is required? Within 2 minutes.
12) Do you have an expectation that the wait staff is hovering in anticipation that you may possibly require something? No I hate that.
13) Should the wait staff start picking up finished plates as soon as someone is done eating or should they wait for all parties to finish before starting to clean the table? Pick up right away.
14) Is it your expectation that the wait staff should always inquire if you wish deserts, coffee/tea or an after dinner drink? Yes, always.
15) I won't even touch the topic of receiving your bill as we all recognize that this is a different process in Mexico!
All of these questions assume that these dinning experiences only involve adults and no children since that is a totally different experience!
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Post by ferret on Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:59 pm

My answers are exactly the same as Cbob's. As much as I hate hovering waiters, if I start looking around because I'm missing a piece of cutlery or salt or pepper or somebody needs their drink refreshed, then I expect someone to take care of it pronto.
The absolute WORST faux pas that any waiter can make, is asking "do you require change" when paying the bill. It is absolutely without class.
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Post by hound dog on Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:33 pm

ferret wrote:My answers are exactly the same as Cbob's. As much as I hate hovering waiters, if I start looking around because I'm missing a piece of cutlery or salt or pepper or somebody needs their drink refreshed, then I expect someone to take care of it pronto.
The absolute WORST faux pas that any waiter can make, is asking "do you require change" when paying the bill. It is absolutely without class.

Well, ferret, Dawg just turned 70 years old and for many years had a job as a business development manager for a major internatoinal commercial bank which required my attending many lunches and dinners in top-notch and pedestrian eateries from New York to San Francisco to Podunkville and, never, ever has any waiter inquired of me as to whether or not I "required" change. I did have, at one point in my career. a colleague who stole tips we left on the table but that was another phase of my life when I was al lowly bank examiner civil servant type noted among staff members for a plethora of penny-pinching cheese-parers. Perhaps you are from one of those regions upon the planet noted for tight-fisted cheapskates and the waiter inquiring of you as to whether or not you require change was dropping a less than gentle hint that a modest tip was in order.
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Post by ferret on Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:59 pm

Not so Hound Dawg. It can happen in the very best of restaurants but usually happens with Restauranteurs who have neglected to give their staff good training because they assumed, incorrectly, that they knew their job. It also happens a lot in resort areas (ski and beach) where the staff are all very green kids or very transient. YMMV
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Post by Rolly on Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:16 pm

My restaurant life is probably a bit unusual. I eat out every Sunday, but it’s always lunch, never dinner. Almost all the restaurants I frequent are in Torreón which is a war zone, so I view nighttime visits as imprudent. Since I no longer drive or have a vehicle, I go with one or three friends.

We usually plan to arrive about 1:30, well before the Sunday lunch crowd. No reservations, no waiting to be seated, the wait staff and the kitchen are not busy, thus long delays are a sign of ineptitude. Of the 33 restaurants I have visited, two have gotten a black DoNotReturn star because of unacceptable slowness.

I wrote a complaining review on one of the slow ones’ Facebook page. The owner read the review and invited me to return as his guest. That turned out very well indeed, and I have been back a couple more times. We decided to give the other slow place a second try, and it also turned out well.

A couple have earned a DoNotReturn because the food was not very good. Three others got the black star because the food was woefully overpriced. Unless the service is really bad, I judge a restaurant on the taste of the food and quality vs. price.

I am uncomfortable if the waiter hangs around too much, but I really hate when he disappears completely. I don’t care if the waiter clears to plates one by one or all together. I always ask for the desert menu when he clears the table. I ask for the check when the desert arrives. I hate waiting for those things.

Out of my 33 restaurants, I rate 6 as outstanding and 5 as the pits. That leaves 22 ranging from very good to just OK.

Only 3 restaurants on my list serve ‘Mexican’ food. There are two reasons for this, We get enough Mexican food at home, and the goal of these eating adventures is to introduce my friends to as many kinds of cuisines as we can find. Thus far we have done French, Italian, Lebanese, Chinese, Japanese (sushi), Mongolian stir-fry, Brazilin, Argentine, and American. I think we have exhausted the ethnic scene in Torreón.
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Post by hound dog on Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:18 pm

ferret wrote:Not so Hound Dawg. It can happen in the very best of restaurants but usually happens with Restauranteurs who have neglected to give their staff good training because they assumed, incorrectly, that they knew their job. It also happens a lot in resort areas (ski and beach) where the staff are all very green kids or very transient. YMMV


Well, I suppose I see your point, ferret, as Dawg was not a frenquenter of restaurants at beach or ski resorts but mainly a patron (often with business clients) at restaurants catering to a business clientele in established business centers in urban areas.

Dawg has told this story before and apologizes to those who have read it but I remind you that Dawg is an old fart and must be forgiven for repeating anectodal events:

Dawg and Dawgette were driving along the French Riviera and decided to stop for lunch west of Nice in a beachfront restaurant with a pleasant seaside location on a splendid day and the following conversation occurred:

Waitress: What will you have?
Dawg: What sort of sandwiches do you serve?
W: We serve cheese, ham and foie gras sandwiches.
D: Well, OK, bring us two ham sandwiches and two glasses of house red wine.
W: Sorry, we are out of ham.
D: Well, OK, bring us two foie gras sandwiches and two glasses of house red wine.
W: Sorry, we are out of foie gras.
D: Well, just what sort of sandwiches do you have?
W: Cheese.
D: Then, please bring us two cheese sandwiches and two glasses of house red wine.
W: Sorry, the kitchen just closed for lunch and will not reopen until 4:00PM.
D: But it´s only 11:45AM and, according to your sign out front you serve lunch until 12:00Noon.
W: Yes, but only if your order is in by 11:30.

We found a McDonalds a bit down the road and had a Quarter Pounder and (since this was France) that glass of house red wine.

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Post by CheenaGringo on Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:21 pm

Ferret:

You bring up an interesting point and I agree with you. I intentionally stayed away from any questions on tipping since that often turns into a dog fight. We intentionally avoid any such questions in two different manners. If we are planning on paying in cash, between the two of us, we try to have an assortment of bills and coins to allow us to pay the bill and include the tip at the same time. Then we just tell our server to keep the change or remainder over and above the amount of our bill. Or if we pay with a credit card, the problem takes care of itself.

One thing that does drive me over the top is requesting separate checks or dividing up a bill amongst the participating parties. If one person pays, there is less chance for someone being embarrassed or the server been screwed on a tip. I always figure that if we pick up a bill, there will always be an opportunity for someone else to reciprocate in kind.

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Post by ferret on Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:34 pm

LOL Dawg! Loved the story!

Cheengagringo, I didn't want to get into a "tipping" story either...been there, done that in the Octagon. Our protocol mirrors yours almost exactly.

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Post by viajero on Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:42 pm

Dawg,como se dice Quarter Pounder en frances.
Chris

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Post by brigitte on Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:44 pm

Do not remember, just remember the price which was something like 180 pesos per burger....

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Post by Intercasa on Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:49 pm

No quarter pounder in France, my man Samuel Jackson says (to Travolta) in Pulp Fiction:

Vincent: And you know what they call a… a… a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
Jules: They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with cheese?
Vincent: No man, they got the metric system. They wouldn’t know what the *&^% a Quarter Pounder is.
Jules: Then what do they call it?
Vincent: They call it a Royale with cheese.
Jules: A Royale with cheese. What do they call a Big Mac?
Vincent: Well, a Big Mac’s a Big Mac, but they call it le Big-Mac.
Jules: Le Big-Mac. Ha ha ha ha. What do they call a Whopper?
Vincent: I dunno, I didn’t go into Burger King.
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Post by viajero on Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:05 pm

Intercasa wrote:No quarter pounder in France, my man Samuel Jackson says (to Travolta) in Pulp Fiction:

Vincent: And you know what they call a… a… a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
Jules: They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with cheese?
Vincent: No man, they got the metric system. They wouldn’t know what the *&^% a Quarter Pounder is.
Jules: Then what do they call it?
Vincent: They call it a Royale with cheese.
Jules: A Royale with cheese. What do they call a Big Mac?
Vincent: Well, a Big Mac’s a Big Mac, but they call it le Big-Mac.
Jules: Le Big-Mac. Ha ha ha ha. What do they call a Whopper?
Vincent: I dunno, I didn’t go into Burger King.
Bingo

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Post by Mainecoons on Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:21 pm

Great topic!

1) Accessibility ie. parking & ease of entry: how important is this in the decision process?
Not very, we walk to most places.

2) Seating : If you have a reservation, how soon to you expect to be seated? Without a reservation, what is the maximum time you are willing to wait? If the establishment has a bar or lounge, does that extend the time you are willing to wait?
We rarely get reservations as we are early eaters in a town where most seem to like to eat after seven.

3) After being seated: what is your expectation of a reasonable time before they arrive with menus and offer to take a drink order?
Five minutes tops.

4) Do you expect to order your meals before the drink order arrives?
No.

5) Assuming that you have received your drink order, how soon do you expect the waiter to arrive and take the meal order and is it your expectation that some sort of munchies arrive either before or with the drinks?
Yes, like the munchies and expect the waiter to check by frequently enough to be told when we are read to order dinner.

6) If you are in the mode to relax a bit before ordering, do you give your waiter some indication of just how long you would like before ordering?
No, we just tell him on one of his stops that we are ready to order.

7) If you choose to order soup, salad or an appetizer, what would be the correct amount time between the arrival of these and the main entrees?
No more than 15 minutes.

8) Does the size of the kitchen and the number of customers modify your expectations as to how soon your food will arrive?
No.

9) Do you have the same time expectations when there are just two of you as opposed to being part of a larger group?
Depends on how big and how busy the place is.

10) While it is a given that a couple would expect to receive their meals at the same time, if you are part of a large group do you expect that everyone in the party receives their orders at the same time? Along these same lines, do take into account that some establishments have small kitchens and while they may typically do quite well for a couple, they may not be ideal for larger groups?
Hard to answer as we avoid large groups.

11) After receiving all entrees, how soon after do you expect the wait staff to return to make sure all is well and nothing is required?
Within 5 minutes or sooner.

12) Do you have an expectation that the wait staff is hovering in anticipation that you may possibly require something?
No. Don't like hovering waiters.

13) Should the wait staff start picking up finished plates as soon as someone is done eating or should they wait for all parties to finish before starting to clean the table?
No preference.

14) Is it your expectation that the wait staff should always inquire if you wish deserts, coffee/tea or an after dinner drink?
Yes.

15) I won't even touch the topic of receiving your bill as we all recognize that this is a different process in Mexico!
In Mexico you expect to ask for the check.
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Post by CheenaGringo on Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:10 pm

There was a "method to my madness" in asking about kitchen size. Those of us who were raised and possibly matured NOB seem to have an expectation that a restaurant kitchen is sized commensurate to the number of seats available. The reality often is that the kitchen is way too large and efficiencies can be lost in the size.

Starting back in August of 2011, I tried to make it my mission to get restaurant photos during our travels throughout Central Mexico. During my meanderings through various establishments, I have observed kitchens which were amazingly small for the size of the seating. I have no idea if it is an investment thing or if they just figure they can be more efficient with a smaller kitchen and less staff. Anyone who has been in the restaurant business knows that this is a fine line to walk and danger lurks when the crowd size exceeds the efficiency level. As a result of what I have observed, we have become even more relaxed about just how fast our dinners arrive and it has become more about the quality.

As opposed to MC, we rarely think about dinner until 7:30 or 8:00pm and unless unusual events have occurred we are rarely in a big rush to finish our relaxing time of having dinner. If it takes an hour and a half or two hours, we rarely could care less. With the exception of the Lake Chapala area where we find ourselves driving to and from restaurants, we tend to find accommodations in "centro areas" that allow us to walk to and from the restaurants we wish to frequent. To us, nothing better or more relaxing than walking back to our hotel after a fine meal!

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Post by johninajijic on Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:57 am

1) Accessibility: Not important, we can usually park withhin 1 1/2 blocks of the restaurant..

2) Seating : If you have a reservation, how soon to you expect to be seated? Immediately Without a reservation, what is the maximum time you are willing to wait? [b]15 minutes If the establishment has a bar or lounge, does that extend the time you are willing to wait? NoWe always get reservations

3) After being seated: what is your expectation of a reasonable time before they arrive with menus and offer to take a drink order? Five minutes.

4) Do you expect to order your meals before the drink order arrives? No.

5) Assuming that you have received your drink order, how soon do you expect the waiter to arrive and take the meal order and is it your expectation that some sort of munchies arrive either before or with the drinks? Yes, we like the munchies.

6) If you are in the mode to relax a bit before ordering, do you give your waiter some indication of just how long you would like before ordering?
No, we just call him over if he waits too long.

7) If you choose to order soup, salad or an appetizer, what would be the correct amount time between the arrival of these and the main entrees? Up to 20 minutes.

8) Does the size of the kitchen and the number of customers modify your expectations as to how soon your food will arrive? Depends on size of place.

9) Do you have the same time expectations when there are just two of you as opposed to being part of a larger group? Within reasonable time frame

10) While it is a given that a couple would expect to receive their meals at the same time, if you are part of a large group do you expect that everyone in the party receives their orders at the same time? As close as the kitchen can. Along these same lines, do take into account that some establishments have small kitchens and while they may typically do quite well for a couple, they may not be ideal for larger groups? No, not taken into consideration. Most do well

11) After receiving all entrees, how soon after do you expect the wait staff to return to make sure all is well and nothing is required?
Within 15 minutes or sooner, but this only happens about 50% of the time here.

12) Do you have an expectation that the wait staff is hovering in anticipation that you may possibly require something? No. Don't like hovering waiters.

13) Should the wait staff start picking up finished plates as soon as someone is done eating or should they wait for all parties to finish before starting to clean the table?
Don't care.

14) Is it your expectation that the wait staff should always inquire if you wish deserts, coffee/tea or an after dinner drink? Yes.

15) You always have to ask for the check.


Last edited by johninajijic on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:07 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Parker on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:02 am

To get the ball rolling, some possible areas for discussion (feel free to toss in more factors when they come to mind):

1) Accessibility ie. parking & ease of entry: how important is this in the decision process?;

Absolutely, Mexico is not handicapped friendly; even if they try nobody pays attention.

2) Seating : If you have a reservation, how soon to you expect to be seated? (Immediate, if we arrive the time expected.)Without a reservation, what is the maximum time you are willing to wait? (Up to 20 minutes) If the establishment has a bar or lounge, does that extend the time you are willing to wait? (Yes, if they serve a Tapas.)

3) After being seated: what is your expectation of a reasonable time before they arrive with menus and offer to take a drink order? ( Immediate)

4) Do you expect to order your meals before the drink order arrives? (Will order if it appears they’re rushed.)

5) Assuming that you have received your drink order, how soon do you expect the waiter to arrive and take the meal order (5 minutes) and is it your expectation that some sort of munchies arrive either before or with the drinks? (Yes)

6) If you are in the mode to relax a bit before ordering, do you give your waiter some indication of just how long you would like before ordering? (Yes)

7) If you choose to order soup, salad or an appetizer, what would be the correct amount time between the arrival of these and the main entrees? (15 to 20 minutes)

8) Does the size of the kitchen and the number of customers modify your expectations as to how soon your food will arrive? (Yes, to expect everyone to be prepared for all circumstances is unrealistic in this kind of environment.)

9) Do you have the same time expectations when there are just two of you as opposed to being part of a larger group? (Absolutely not)

10) While it is a given that a couple would expect to receive their meals at the same time, (Yes) if you are part of a large group do you expect that everyone in the party receives their orders at the same time? (No) Along these same lines, do take into account that some establishments have small kitchens and while they may typically do quite well for a couple, they may not be ideal for larger groups? (Yes)

11) After receiving all entrees, how soon after do you expect the wait staff to return to make sure all is well and nothing is required? (About 5 minutes, enough time to taste all.)

12) Do you have an expectation that the wait staff is hovering in anticipation that you may possibly require something? (No hovering is different than attentive. These are a learned skill and really enjoy those that know the difference because each customer is difference.)

13) Should the wait staff start picking up finished plates as soon as someone is done eating or should they wait for all parties to finish before starting to clean the table? (No they should wait a few minutes because some people are slow eaters and rushing them can be very uncomfortable. And all drinks, even if its empty water glasses should be left on the table.)

14) Is it your expectation that the wait staff should always inquire if you wish deserts, coffee/tea or an after dinner drink? (Yes)


15) I won't even touch the topic of receiving your bill as we all recognize that this is a different process in Mexico! (Now I believe this is a very touchy issue that does need to be address.)

All of these questions assume that these dining experiences only involve adults and no children since that is a totally different experience!

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Post by Zedinmexico on Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:01 am

hound dog wrote:
ferret wrote:Not so Hound Dawg. It can happen in the very best of restaurants but usually happens with Restauranteurs who have neglected to give their staff good training because they assumed, incorrectly, that they knew their job. It also happens a lot in resort areas (ski and beach) where the staff are all very green kids or very transient. YMMV


Well, I suppose I see your point, ferret, as Dawg was not a frenquenter of restaurants at beach or ski resorts but mainly a patron (often with business clients) at restaurants catering to a business clientele in established business centers in urban areas.

Dawg has told this story before and apologizes to those who have read it but I remind you that Dawg is an old fart and must be forgiven for repeating anectodal events:

Dawg and Dawgette were driving along the French Riviera and decided to stop for lunch west of Nice in a beachfront restaurant with a pleasant seaside location on a splendid day and the following conversation occurred:

Waitress: What will you have?
Dawg: What sort of sandwiches do you serve?
W: We serve cheese, ham and foie gras sandwiches.
D: Well, OK, bring us two ham sandwiches and two glasses of house red wine.
W: Sorry, we are out of ham.
D: Well, OK, bring us two foie gras sandwiches and two glasses of house red wine.
W: Sorry, we are out of foie gras.
D: Well, just what sort of sandwiches do you have?
W: Cheese.
D: Then, please bring us two cheese sandwiches and two glasses of house red wine.
W: Sorry, the kitchen just closed for lunch and will not reopen until 4:00PM.
D: But it´s only 11:45AM and, according to your sign out front you serve lunch until 12:00Noon.
W: Yes, but only if your order is in by 11:30.

We found a McDonalds a bit down the road and had a Quarter Pounder and (since this was France) that glass of house red wine.



Dawg that sounded like the East Germany in the old days except every resturant (except for the ones the leaders used) was like this.
They pulled a machine gun on my father and than he told them he was a guest of the East German government and the guard turned
bright red and begged my father to not have him killed. Needless to say everyone left and went to West Berlin and had a wonderful
meal and very much appreciated the west again. Best hotel/Resturant in East Germany was kinda like a bad holiday inn from the 60's
including the resturante with all the rules like Dawgs french resturant.

Z

PS first thing you do in East Gemany hotel room is find the bug :-) :-) True

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Restaurant Expectations Empty Re: Restaurant Expectations

Post by CheenaGringo on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:07 pm

Having been in the bar/restaurant business in a previous life NOB, a quick comment on expecting to be seated immediately if one has reservations. One of the measurements of a restaurant's success is the number of times tables are turned during a particular meal. For the sake of discussion, lets say you have made an 8pm reservation for a party of 8. Some restaurants have a limited number of large tables while others have to use two four tops to accommodate 8. One could hardly expect a restaurant to hold such from opening time till your arrival at 8pm, so they try and calculate getting a turn or two before your arrival. The best laid plans go astray when a party takes longer than planned. Staff can hardly be expected to rush them along and I would say that you would be offended if staff did it to your party.

Now if it is a reservation for a party of two or even four, very few excuses could make it right that they don't have a table for immediate seating.

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Post by gringal on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:14 pm

....and then there's the Planned Delay. Party of four, with reservations.

"Yes sir, your table will be ready soon. You can wait in the bar".

We planned to have wine with dinner, but no drinks first.
About 45 minutes later...........the table was ready. We noticed that nobody had been sitting there....in fact, the place was half empty.
Never returned.
Beer

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Restaurant Expectations Empty Re: Restaurant Expectations

Post by johninajijic on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:03 pm

gringal wrote:....and then there's the Planned Delay. Party of four, with reservations.

"Yes sir, your table will be ready soon. You can wait in the bar".

We planned to have wine with dinner, but no drinks first.
About 45 minutes later...........the table was ready. We noticed that nobody had been sitting there....in fact, the place was half empty.
Never returned.
Beer

You didn't tell us where that was if in Ajijic.
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Restaurant Expectations Empty Re: Restaurant Expectations

Post by Parker on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:36 pm

CheenaGringo wrote:Having been in the bar/restaurant business in a previous life NOB, a quick comment on expecting to be seated immediately if one has reservations. One of the measurements of a restaurant's success is the number of times tables are turned during a particular meal. For the sake of discussion, lets say you have made an 8pm reservation for a party of 8. Some restaurants have a limited number of large tables while others have to use two four tops to accommodate 8. One could hardly expect a restaurant to hold such from opening time till your arrival at 8pm, so they try and calculate getting a turn or two before your arrival. The best laid plans go astray when a party takes longer than planned. Staff can hardly be expected to rush them along and I would say that you would be offended if staff did it to your party.

Now if it is a reservation for a party of two or even four, very few excuses could make it right that they don't have a table for immediate seating.

I thought that you were looking for optimum expectations where one is seated by a hostess with menus in hand, servers are ready and the bar is also prepared. (Expectations of 20 to 25% TIP) So far that I’ve seen “Tango” is the best for the amount of customers they get. And yes these expectations are for a table of two to four.

We’ve had great service else ware but many times the customer base was small but we do eat early, not by choice, just I’m not supposed to eat any solid food after three, and I break this rule often and pay for it the next day. If one can’t enjoy themselves, why bother?

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Restaurant Expectations Empty Re: Restaurant Expectations

Post by gringal on Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:59 pm

John...no, I didn't tell and it wasn't in Ajijic.

I try to slap my hand before naming names of places where I've had negative experiences unless I've had them more than once. One bad time could be an off day. By the third time, they are fair game for a little dissing. If it's a brand new restaurant that hasn't been properly shaken down yet, I don't say anything negative if my first try is within their first month. I noticed that on TOB, the new Indian restaurant is getting beat up pretty badly already by some, and they haven't even been open for a week. Not fair, IMO.

Or, to get back on topic, I don't expect a brand new place to meet my usual standards of service, etc.


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Post by Mainecoons on Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:23 pm

First impressions are absolutely critical for any business, but especially for a restaurant. I DO expect a new place to have "rehearsed" sufficiently to put forth a credible presentation from the get go. I think this is why so many of the new openings fold shortly thereafter is that they don't understand how important it is to get it right from the start as word of mouth in a place like this is a killer.

I'm reminded of that "Joe's" place that opened up on the carretera to much fanfare and was such a total flop they couldn't even put out a decent Marguerita on opening night. They were gone shortly thereafter.

Don't open until you have your act together. Period.
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