Think about the last time you enjoyed a romantic dinner out with someone special.
If you can recall the waiter’s face, you probably received too much service. When we are in the thrall of a loved one’s company, we don’t need or want a server to be a lively personality. When we want to dine and shine, we don’t want some interloper stealing our spotlight.
In fact, we want waiters to be there when we need them, but otherwise, they should be non-intrusive. They’re a necessary evil, not the life of the party.
But, of course, some waiters–and their restaurants–don’t get it. They’re serving a lot of meals, but are they serving the overall interests of their clients or themselves? Sadly, the more they think they’re serving, the less satisfied we become with the overall experience.
We see this a great deal in Southern California, where the stereotype says that every waiter is really an actor or a screenwriter on the make. They want to make an impression, to stand out, when they should stand down.
Supposedly, they’re in the business of assisting romance and providing a pleasant experience for us. But the way they operate, it’s all about THEM, really, and we know it and resent it.
They equate great service with hovering and interrupting you, mid-bite, to see if everything is ok. They’re stuck, focusing on their actions and not on the results or effects of their actions.