Restaurant "Improvements"

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RichLB
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#1 Restaurant "Improvements"

Postby RichLB » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:35 pm

In the hopes some restaurant owners/managers read this thread, I'd like us to offer up some suggestions which would improve the dining experience. Some places already implement some of these suggestions, but I'd like to see more. Users, please feel free to add stuff.

* When serving bread, please provide enough butter. Many restaurants present such a dollop of butter it's barely enough for one piece of bread.
* And speaking of butter, please don't serve a little frozen brick. Soften the butter so it can be spread before serving it.
* Salads are another issue. With the exception of Caesar Salads, most restaurants provide dressing on the side in such a small quantity it barely covers more than a smidgen of the salad.
* I'd also like it if creamy salad dressings are identified as to what they are.
* One of the mysteries of dining in Pattaya is the phenomena of the disappearing wait staff. When arriving and ordering, there is usually no problem, but when it comes to requesting the bill, lo and behold, they are no where to be seen. I like the idea of a little bell on each table to summon the waiter either when the meal is finished or one needs help.
* When a group - either small or large - eats at a restaurant, please assume they want separate checks. No one likes bringing out a calculator to determine who owes what = let the restaurant do that.
* If VAT is to be added to the bill, why not include that in the price on the menu?
* Music in restaurants should be background music and not played so loud it is impossible for guests to talk to each other. My suggestion if to turn it way down or off.
* Reading a menu is some restaurants can be a challenge - either the light is too subdued to read it or the print is so small one needs magnifying glass - or both. An investment in a little flash light and/or magnifying glass is a classy touch.
* When ordering water, have the waiter deal with removing the plastic wrap around. If one cuts their nails, it's sometimes impossible to open the bottle.
* Air conditioning is always appreciated, but managers should remember no one likes arctic air blowing on them during a meal. I suggest adjusting the vents to cool the dining room and not be trained on the guests.
* This one is really picky, but I often wonder why some places insist on displaying all their glassware when a guest is first seated. I know it promotes wine sales, but it's annoying to sit passively while all those glasses are collected before ordering.

Well, that's it for now. Comments and/or additions would be great.

Up2u
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#2 Re: Restaurant "Improvements"

Postby Up2u » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:39 pm

I agree with most everything. In Pattaya, most restaurants (except for the most expensive) include the VAT in their menu prices but after a recent to Bangkok I noted nearly all restaurants(even low and moderately priced) were plus plus. The service charge was either 5 or 10 %. It's not an issue for me as I make a mental calculation of 20%.

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#3 Re: Restaurant "Improvements"

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:52 pm

On the butter issue, how about serving it with bread at all? Many restaurants don't serve butter with bread and the waiter looks at you as if you're some kind of nut if you ask for it. Maybe that's a continental thing - I have no idea - but I would think most restaurants that have been in business for more than a month or two ought to know by now that many customers, especially Americans, like butter with their bread.

I'm among those who dislike "service charge." I even resent the term itself. Sounds to me like "Welcome to our restaurant, but if you want any service, you have to pay extra for it." I don't appreciate being told not only do I have to tip, but how much it's going to be. I want to be the one to decide whether to tip and how much to tip. If I get good service, my tip is good. But if I get lousy service, I'll be the one to decide how much to tip or whether to tip at all, depending on how bad the service was. I've been in restaurants where the service was so bad, the waiter should have tipped me.

I also get annoyed with restaurant owners who think it's appropriate to yell at the wait staff right in front of the customers. I'm not in a restaurant to see a staff member get humiliated right in front of everybody. Owner or manager, if you have a problem with one of your staff members, take him aside, out of earshot of anyone else, and have your confrontation in private.

And please - if your restaurant has booths, do you really have to immobilize the tables? Sometimes the table is too far or too close, but it can't be moved. It's bolted to the floor.

And here's one that's really nitpicky: Why do many restaurants refrain from putting toothpicks on the table until the end of the meal? I often get food uncomfortably stuck long before the meal is over, but no toothpicks are on the table.

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#4 Re: Restaurant "Improvements"

Postby Daniel » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:41 am

I would say the ‘more expensive’, rather than the ‘better’, restaurants like to give you a price that doesn’t include VAT or a service charge, to make their product appear cheaper. It’s a really irritating practice.

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#5 Re: Restaurant "Improvements"

Postby thewayhelooks » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:52 pm

RichLB wrote:no one likes arctic air blowing on them

Tell that to the cinema chains.

fountainhall
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#6 Re: Restaurant "Improvements"

Postby fountainhall » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:00 pm

Daniel wrote:I would say the ‘more expensive’, rather than the ‘better’, restaurants like to give you a price that doesn’t include VAT or a service charge, to make their product appear cheaper. It’s a really irritating practice.

I agree with all the above and especially this one. VAT is an integral part of the price, whether you are buying a T-shirt, sneakers or a meal. So why do restaurants omit the VAT?

Service charge is also often a misnomer since wait staff do not always get all of it. The owner of one top Italian restaurant in Bangkok gives his staff 2% and keeps the other 8% for himself. This is crazy as patrons believe there is no need to give a tip on top of the service charge. If the service is lousy, then as suggested above, no-one should get any service charge.

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#7 Re: Restaurant "Improvements"

Postby Jun » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:44 am

Adding VAT and service charges to the bill is irritating. You have no choice but to pay it, so it should be included in the pricing just as a principle. In the UK, for any business selling predominantly to individuals (rather than businesses), it's a legal requirement to display prices with VAT & has been since when Mrs Thatcher was in charge.

As for any business that quotes prices, then has a the service charge in small print, well if they display their prices in such a devious manner, once I have paid the service charge, they can forget any hopes of having a tip on top,.

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#8 Re: Restaurant "Improvements"

Postby fountainhall » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:32 am

Jun wrote:As for any business that quotes prices, then has a the service charge in small print, well if they display their prices in such a devious manner, once I have paid the service charge, they can forget any hopes of having a tip on top,.

Whilst I agree in principle, the problem for me is that if I have had really good service I do want to reward the wait staff in some way. But I have no idea who actually gets that 10% service charge. Sometimes it is the wait staff. Sometimes it is split between all the wait staff, including the kitchen staff. At other times, the management become Scrooge-like and only dish out a portion of that charge to their employees.

If justified, I want my "reward" to go to the staff who have served me and perhaps also the cooks/chefs. And I want to decide how much they get. I don't like being told - this is what you have to pay and you have no say on who gets it! Occasionally when I arrive at a restaurant, especially at a higher end one, I have asked who gets the service charge. I should start doing it more often.

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#9 Re: Restaurant "Improvements"

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:46 am

fountainhall wrote:I don't like being told - this is what you have to pay and you have no say on who gets it!

I don't like it either, but then again, with regard to who ends up with the money, that's not my problem.

If a waiter gave particularly good service at a restaurant where there is a service charge I sometimes will slip him an additional tip when no one working there can see me do it or see him accept it. I can't think of any other way to do it.

Even at restaurants where there is no service charge, most of the time the bill comes in some sort of pouch. I always leave the tip in the pouch. I think that's what people usually do. But there's really no way to know who ends up with the money. It's even more of a problem when there is more than one waiter servicing your table.

All you can really do most of the time is leave the tip and simply hope the person you intended it for actually gets it.

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#10 Re: Restaurant "Improvements"

Postby RichLB » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:39 pm

In the hopes of reviving this thread, I've thought of another "improvement". When serving baked potatoes, it'd save my burnt fingers if the cook would remove the aluminum foil wrapper before the meal is served.


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