The Sit-Down Restaurant Routine

I’m starving, let me go to a sit-down restaurant where I have to wait twenty more minutes before I can silence my stomach. Where is the logic in that?

This is the general process at a sit-down restaurant.

1. You enter the restaurant.

2. You are seated.

3. Waiter tells you their name, hands out menus, and asks what you want to drink.

4. Your drinks arrive at the table and everyone takes a sip like they’ve been in a desert for three weeks.

5. The waiter asks you and the people you are with if you need more time with the menu.

6. You all look at each other with a look on your respective faces.

7. It’s a look that says: I need more time but I don’t know if you need more time. If you don’t need more time, and no one else needs more time, I don’t want to slow down the process of us getting food in our stomachs, but I need more time so let me look around until I see someone’s face that says ‘I need more time’….ah, I found them.

8. You all murmur that you need more time with the menu.

9. The waiter leaves, and it feels like they may never return. Because when they return, you have to be ready.

10. Everyone at the table gets serious and buckles down on potential options.

11. You poll your friends, asking what they are getting.

12. You all decide on what you want to eat.

13. One friend says, “close the menu so they know we’re ready.” There is always that one friend in the group who is responsible for saying this.

14. Where is that waiter?

15. One person opens their menu again because they forgot their order.

16. The waiter returns. Thank God.

17. YES WE ARE READY TO ORDER, you say in unison, as starvation starts to take over your ability to act normal.

18. You all order.

19. The waiter doesn’t write anything down and this makes you nervous. You wonder if they are lazy. You wonder if they have the best memory in the history of mankind. You wonder if they are trying to impress you for a larger tip. You wonder how they will remember the three toppings you want on your burger, and the 5 toppings someone else wants on their burger. You wonder if they are human.

20. The waiter leaves and you ask each other how they could possibly remember everyone’s order?

21. It’s been three minutes, WHERE’S THE FOOD.

22. Excuse me, could we get more bread for the table please?

23. Excuse me, could we get some more water for the table please?

24. Finally the bread and water show up to the table.

25. Someone points out that the bread will fill everyone up and it’s not wise to eat it all. This is the same person who told everyone to close their menu. This person is vital at every sit-down restaurant.

26. You see your waiter walking your way with food, and your eyes widen.

27. The waiter takes the food to the table next to you. Incessant sobbing may or may not commence.

28. Some people, who you have never seen before, deliver the food to your table. You would hug them, but the food takes precedence.

29. One person is left without their food, as everyone else acquiesces and waits for the last meal to arrive.

30. One person takes out their cellphone to take a picture of their food, just in case they need proof later of what made them so sick. Who am I kidding, the picture is for Instagram.

31. The last meal arrives and it’s like Christmas morning.

32. Silence.

33. More silence.

34. Finally someone at the table takes a break from hoarding food in their mouth and asks, “How’s the food?”

35. Everyone says it’s really good and the hoarding continues.

36. The waiter comes by when everyone’s mouth is full and asks how the food is.

37. Everyone says it’s good and the waiter is not seen again until your plates are empty.

38. Everyone finished eating and someone proclaims they are still hungry. Others agree.

39. The waiter finally returns.

40. Would you like to see the dessert menu?

41. Again, everyone at the table looks at each other with that look. We’re all a bunch of face readers. All it takes is one person who wants to look at the dessert menu and then you all get the dessert menu. Time to scan everyone’s face to see if there is an eager beaver in the bunch.

42. There is an eager beaver. You ask for the dessert menu.

43. The food baby is starting to grow in everyone’s stomach.

44. Everyone looks at the dessert menu and realizes it’s not worth it.

45. You ask for your separate bills, and more water. Must. Have. Water.

46. The waiter comes back with separate bills and asks if anyone needs a machine.

47. Most of the table is paying by debit. Buckle up, you’ll be here a while.

48. Finally everyone pays and you’re free to go. But who will move first? Who will be the first one to get up and lead the pack?

49. One person slowly starts to stand up and they are relieved to see someone else start to stand up as well.

50. Before you know it, the whole table is up and on the way out.

And that basically sums up a sit-down restaurant routine. I’m sure there are slight variations. If I left something out, I’m sure someone will tell me about it.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t mention appetizers, I need an entire blog post to talk about those.

Hope I made you hungry!

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30 Responses to The Sit-Down Restaurant Routine

  1. Niina says:

    This pretty much described every visit to a sit-down restaurant I’ve had. Especially 36. Seriously, do waiters stalk us until everyone has taken a huge bite and then hurry over to ask questions? Is it nice to watch us spray our steaks and burgers all over the table? And, well, I guess I’m that menu-and-bread person. Even though I’m also the person who usually leaves something on the plate because there was too much to eat. But now I’m hungry. Only half an hour till lunch…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Right!? They never come by when we need them to come by, they come by when our mouth is full and we can’t say anything. They must have cameras on us. Maybe it’s a strategy so we can’t do anything but nod back at them. Enjoy lunch!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. moxieluster says:

    Having been a waitress for six years, we are told to check after they take a bite, especially if it is steak. Steak will continue to slowly cook if It’s left on the plate, as it is hot. You must make sure their steak is cooked to order, that way if there was a mistake they aren’t sitting there eating something they don’t particularly want or like. It’s always best to check after the first few bites to remedy any problems there was with the food.

    As for me, I always order a appetizer before my meal, because it takes me about 15 minutes to find out what I want to eat. I tell them that I want to order an appetizer so they don’t walk off to serve the other twenty or so customers they may have as well, knowing full well how busy it gets and how easy it is to get caught up in all the hustle and bustle. I also tell the waitress if I’m “thirstin to death” so they know that I will be drinking fast and I’ll need a refill very soon.

    As a waitress I checked on my customers to the point I feared I was annoying them. But after the third time of “everything is fine, we are good” I would slack off on that table and only go two more times before the end of their meal.

    Not only that, but I live in a small town. So everyone knows everyone, and there is two restaurants to choose from, so I go to them regularly. They know my drink order, how I like it in a go cup instead of a regular glass, and how I usually order something to satisfy the table as we wait for the main order to be cooked.

    I think everyone’s restaurant routine is slightly different, but this list is the basis for many. Being in the food service business I usually go in knowing how I want things conducted and setting a standard for the person waiting on me, not rudely of course, but just to make their job easier by me telling them ahead of time what to expect.

    Interesting post. 😁😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      That makes sense – the whole checking on the customer right after they’ve taken a few bites. I have nothing wrong with it, just pointing out the humour in the fact I always have my mouth full.

      Appetizers! That’s what I meant to say at the end of my post, not hors d’oeurves..don’t know what I was thinking.
      There’s one restaurant I go to where the same waitress is always there and normally has our drinks at our table by the time we sit down, I like that kind of service.

      Liked by 1 person

      • moxieluster says:

        If I’m really starving and feel up to it, I go to a Mexican restaurant. Free chips and salsa, hells Yeah! Hahaha.

        Yeah it never fails, waitresses seem to always come at the most inopportune or embarrassing moments. 😂😂 I have walked into quite a few sex talks and have been asked questions dealing with customers sex life..hahaha. It was rather embarrassing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        hahaha really? Wow, I bet they don’t train you for that. Do you know why some waiters don’t write down the order and prefer to memorize them?

        Liked by 1 person

      • moxieluster says:

        Actually you are told you receive rather odd questions and to just go with it as long as you’re not uncomfortable. Waiters deal with a lot more then people realize, It’s easy for them to become irritated.

        Sometimes it is just easier to memorize it then write it down, that way It’s more neat and organized and you are not trying to scribble it all down and making it a mess, which makes the cooks life hard, since It’s all scribbled in a rush and hard to read.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Interesting. I was at a restaurant with 8 other people the other day and the waiter memorized all of our orders and who was splitting what with who. It was quite impressive. I can only imagine how many irritable people waiters have to deal with.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The worst is when you don’t wanna leave, because you’ve been sitting for a while. So you keep ordering water :p


  4. Barb Knowles says:

    OMG at the risk of inflating your ego more, this may be the funniest thing you’ve ever written. And I think EVERYTHING you write is hysterical. Ok here’s what just happened. My husband is (or was) sound asleep. I started reading this post and burst out laughing , but with my head 1/2 down in my shirt so I wouldn’t wake him up. Then my shoulders were shaking and then the whole bed was shaking and as I read the next line (because I’m “that person” who takes charge of menus etc) I then erupted in full belly laughter. I ran into the kitchen to laugh and write this. As I dry the tears I realize that the moral to this story is that your blog wakes my husband up.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Barb Knowles says:

    Reblogged this on saneteachers and commented:
    Mere words can’t express how hard I was laughing as I read this post! Oh man. Enjoy!


  6. averagejules says:

    This is painfully true! Especially #7. Like that one is to a T


  7. Pingback: What Makes A Family? | saneteachers

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