Submitted By Simon Hardy Butler, July 30, 2017
Is it just me, or is the line “Hi, my name is [insert moniker here], and I’ll be your server tonight” one of the worst things to hear at a restaurant when you’re ready to order?
Once upon a time, diners didn’t get that kind of introduction a lot. But now it’s rampant, and there’s an even bigger problem.
Many people aren’t offended by it.
I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because so many family-dining chain eateries have that on default as a way of making customers comfortable. I, on the other hand, see it as something of an issue, for the minute a server tells you his or her name, you’re at a different level of service. You may feel obligated to express equal conviviality. You may feel pressured to supply a bigger tip at the end of the repast, even if it’s not deserved.
This level of informality has got to stop, in my opinion.
Not that knowing your waiter’s name is something hideous or evil; after a good feast during which you’re looked after quite courteously, you may want to meet your server in an effort to understand who treated you so well. Still, as a rule, it’s a little tacky and anathema to a wonderful restaurant experience. This is a way of loading the dice in an eatery’s favor, and I am not amused by it. It doesn’t belong in great restaurants.
Perhaps it doesn’t belong in not-so-great restaurants, either.
Really. If the entire industry trained its staff to avoid this kind of conversation fodder, it would be in a better place … and diners like me would be a lot happier. A little distance between client and vendor is necessary in these cases, and a professionalism that eschews such introductions is a benefit. I, for one, would love to see this trend mitigated in some way. I have faith that it will be.
At the risk of more waiters seeming aloof when they’re not, that is. We, as restaurant patrons, must get used to this style, too.
When we do, you can bet your bottom peanut that it will be a win-win for almost everyone.