Friday, August 1, 2008

Work With Us, Please

I was in the dining room two days ago when a table of ladies, good customers all, came in for lunch. After being seated, they all opened their menus and then got to talking. All well and good: we like it when people sit and catch up with each other over lunch.

While they were catching up, we were going about the dining room attending to other things, waiting for them to be ready to order lunch. At one point, one of the women waved at me and called over to me, "Aren't you going to take our order?"

Who would have guessed that they were ready to order? Four open menus in front of four people highly engaged in conversation is not a ready-to-order sign that we recognize.

First, we do our utmost not to interrupt a conversation; that's just rude. Second, we look for some sign that you are ready to order. The surest sign is when everyone at the table has a closed menu. Aside from that, one member of the party can catch our eye and we will be right there.

We're also pretty adept at seeing when you take off your reading glasses, start looking around the dining room, and so forth. But, we'd really rather not guess if you are ready to eat. Work with us: close your menu.

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