Have you noticed this?

You’re dining in a restaurant. You finished your meal and are looking to get out of there. You ask your server for the bill, and, rather than walk away to print the bill, they feel the need to remove every single thing from the table.

Most recently, last night, I was dining at my local PF Chang’s (aside: stands for “Paul F. Chang’s”), and this happened. After I asking for the check (and even tried to make it look like I wanted to be on my way), I had to watch the waiter totally bus the table before thinking about walking away to print the check.

In the past 2 years, I’ve noticed this become more and more routine almost everywhere. From a practical standpoint, after it’s been established that the meal is over, I really don’t understand why they can’t just clear the main plates and get you on your way before completely busing the table.

Related to this, some places really need to work on the pacing of clearing appetizers from the table. The general rule should be that if there is food remaining on the plate and you are chewing, the wait staff shouldn’t even bother asking you if you’re finished with it. I witnessed this recently, where Cute~Ella and I were eating sushi at a stop on our #missionsushi tour. She had a Philadelphia roll as an appetizer, and just as she grabbed the final piece, the waitress lifted the plate. I think its even possible that the plate was off the table before Cute~Ella even lifted the piece of sushi.

Don’t get me wrong. I totally comprehend that the staff in all of these cases is attempting to provide a clean and unobstructed dining experience. I’m just saying that some thought needs to go into how they prioritize when and what to clear from the table.


6 thoughts on “Have you noticed this?

  • cuteellaisbold

    Which place was that at? Buffalo Wagon?

  • cuteellaisbold

    But yes, I have noticed that and it annoys me! What if I wanted to look at the plate a bit longer or heaven forbid I wasn’t actually done?!

  • Voice of Reason (ALB Edition)

    Yes, I do find that rude as well. However, I notice that I’ve a number of “pet peeves” at the restaurants. Such as… I also do not like it when my appetizer and my main meal comes out at the same time. More often than not, there is hardly room to fit all the dishes along with drinks… or If I am in luck to have the appetizer proceeding the meal, the appetizer dishes should be cleared (if finished) before bringing out the main course…. or forgetting to see if we would like dessert before bringing out the bill.

  • Albany Jane

    Excellent topic! I know it makes the server’s job much easier, but agree that over the top bussing is annoying. Personally, I’d just run and get the check and bus after everyone left, or dropping the bill.

  • techcommdood

    I find it rude when they bus the table early or when they rush your dining experience. If you ask for the check, you are looking to leave; it’s not the time to start bussing the table. If you are enjoying an appetizer you shouldn’t have wait staff looming over you waiting to take your dishes.


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