Frank Bruni of The New York Times published a worth reading article about gender equally and old gender roles at dinner.
I am not talking about business meals where the rule should follow the business relationships and not the gender. What I have to say applies to social meals. The distinction between business and social events require more skills from servers. I admit that it is not an easy job but servers need to pay attention; they need to read the table.
Since my youth, I have been a defender of women rights for equality. But I also recognized that men and women have different tastes and expectations. I believe that many etiquette rules could prevail in our modern society without diminishing women. Called it chivalry if you like, I see it as a matter of savoir vivre.
As I grow older, I came to appreciate the value of old-fashioned good manners. Frankly, , some rules make my life easier. I look at them as a way to delegate. I take advantage of it, whenever it suits my mood. Everybody knows that I am a career woman; so I do not feel the need to prove anything to anybody.
I go to restaurants to be pampered and feel special. I believe that servers should still follow the traditional etiquette of attending to the women at a table before the men, unless it is a large group. When I go for a burger or a pizza, I am less picky about the rule.
I condemn restaurants and/or servers that lower the level of services for an all-women table. Restaurants should not assume that women have necessary less money or will leave less tips. I demand that a server remembers who gave the credit card or read the name before putting it back on the table. A server who gave my card to my men companion will receive a lower tip.
Ordering wine is not a gender issue anymore. A server should not assume that the men will order the wine. The easiest way is to ask who wants the wine list or to leave the wine list in a neutral zone on the table. The person ordering the wine is the one who pays for it, unless specify otherwise. If you order a bottle of wine, the server will ask you to taste it first and you will be served last.
The Biggest Restaurant Service Offense On My Book
Sadly, North America restaurants and patrons fail to deliver on an elementary principle of etiquette. The biggest no no in restaurant service is when a server removes the plates at a table before everyone has finished eating the course. This basic rule should apply whether you eat at a corner restaurant or in a upscale restaurant. Efficacy or your personal well being cannot justify this lack of good manner. I hate this habit.
The NY Times article covers all aspects including the menu selection. Over 260 comments have been posted. How do you feel about that gender equality in restaurant services? Do you have any good or bad restaurant service experience that you wish to share with us?
+ Images by Kim Vallee from restaurants I visited – rights reserved