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April 01, 2006

The Crusade

Here, we'll take a break from food talk for a bit of a rant on a restaurant annoyance. Consider the following. Upon clearing the plate shown at right, our server last night exclaimed:

"Ho, ho! I see that you didn't like it at all!"

Yes, Robert... I cleaned my plate (as I always do), and your witty sarcasm slays me. This joke was never funny to begin with. It wasn't funny when Robert said it. It wasn't funny when another server said the exact same thing two courses later. And what's more, it's really not funny when the times you've heard it number well into the triple digits. So here are my questions:

1) Does anybody genuinely enjoy it when their server makes a lame sarcastic comment about their clean plate?

2) Assuming the answer is no for a majority of the dining public, why do servers feel compelled to perpetuate the dumbest and most overused restaurant line in the book?

3) Most importantly, how do we stop this menace?

My experience in food service was limited to pulling coffee, so perhaps I just can't relate to this apparently uncontrollable urge to crack wise while clearing. Is it part of the training manual? Is it borne of some misguided need to say something... anything... while taking plates away?

I'm mystefied.


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