Step Away From The Plate

I’m starting to sound like my parents. “Back in my day, (fill-in-the-blank).”

This fill-in-the-blank rant is about whippersnapper servers clearing plates from the table before I’m finished eating. I remember a time when servers wouldn’t even clear one plate until all diners at the table had finished, and it is still done that way in fine dining restaurants and in casual restaurants where management has properly trained their staff. If a diner pushes a plate to the edge of the table, that’s one thing, but otherwise, leave the stinking plate alone, please.

My husband says everybody does it now – it’s becoming an epidemic. It’s the young servers most eager to clear the table. It’s worse if the restaurant is slow and the servers are bored (why not go polish glassware?) but I’m wondering if perhaps this new generation has multitasking issues. Walking by a table on the way to the kitchen, they feel compelled to grab something, to save a step later? It’s so annoying!

We’re having dinner with friends at a casual but upscale burger restaurant the other night and our server (and every other server in the joint) is constantly picking at our table, trying to remove something. WE’RE STILL EATING, mind you, burgers in hand, sweet potato fries still on the plates, and they’re trying to take them away. Good grief, kids. Let us old folks eat in peace… you’ve got a lifetime to clear plates.


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