Customer Service at Restaurants in Eastern Europe
- Choose the table you want (in the smokers section or the non-smokers section) and sit down. If there’s not enough chairs, pull some over from a nearby table.
- Try to make eye contact with the waiters passing by. If no one notices you, wave your hand to the idle waiter goofing off across the room. If still nothing happens, call the waiter out loud
- Take your time looking through the menu. Read the appetizing description of every dish.
- Ask your waiter about a particular dish. The restaurant may not currently have most of what’s on the menu, but you might get recommendations about the what they actually have. Just don’t ask too many questions or you might piss off the waiter.
- Order salads, mezze, and aperitif (rakia or ouzo).
- These come relatively quickly. Take your time picking on them. Your main task now is to converse with your friends.
- When you start to get hungry, call the waiter again (if you see him around). Order the main course with wine or beer. Order a lot of everything.
- The food takes some time. No worries, you can keep ordering aperitif and carry on the merrymaking.
- Finally, an hour after you’ve arrived at the restaurant, the main meal arrives, and the party is at its peak. Maybe you won’t get exactly what you ordered, so you can get in a little argument with the waiter; but do it just for the sport because you know that you’re not going to change anything, right?
- It’s ok to try from everyone’s plate with your fork. It’s ok to be loud and to propose a toast to people from other tables. It’s perfectly fine to sing.
- In another hour or two, when everyone starts to get a little bit sleepy, order dessert and coffee (or digestive).
- Ask for the bill. For once, the waiter will respond quickly.
- Only one person receives the bill: the one who invited the rest, the oldest one, or simply the friend whose turn it is this time; if you are students, you can also split the bill equally. Round the bill to the nearest 5 or 10: that’s the waiter’s tip (2-3 Euro, maybe 7-8 if the bill was high).
Customer Service at Restaurants in the States
- You are greeted by a smiling hostess who asks you about the number of people in your party and seats you at a suitable table.
- A grinning waitress immediately comes and introduces herself. She does some small talk. She pours you ice and water and hands you the menus.
- Look at the pictures in the menu and choose one.
- You put on your jacket because the AC is be blasting.
- In 5-10 minutes, the waitress with the 24-carat smile brings you your dish. She refills your ice and water.
- In 5 minutes, she comes back to ask you how everything is and to refill your water again. She makes some small talk and looks like the friendliest person in the world.
- If there has been some mistake with your order (you wanted Diet Coke but they brought you Coke Zero), or you think it’s not cooked well (stake is way too bloody) you can always return it to the kitchen for reworking.
- The moment you put down your knife and fork, she takes away your plate so that it’s not in your way. She asks if you’d like dessert.
- She brings the check without you asking for it and leaves it on the table with the words “No pressure guys, take your time.”
- Some of your friends pull out their calculators. Some pull out cash and some, credit cards. You start calculating how much everyone’s dish cost and how much everyone owes for tax and tip. You give 15-20% tip.
- You are in and out of the restaurant in 40 minutes.
So, what say you?
Should we identify any pros and cons and try to change our ways, or should we just shrug shoulders and accept the “cultural differences”?
Which approach to customer service do you prefer and why?