I was having a plate of noodles the other night and enjoying it.
I went out to dinner with a friend and bent over to eat a meal we had planned for weeks.
The restaurant is newly opened and highly rated. Life was good.
Great food too.
But then it happened. Again.
"Have you finished?
The server asked, the finger was already comfortable with the edge of my plate.
"Can I get it out for you?
"Yes, I have finished eating, for I am a vacuum;
There is no food in front of me.
But not my friend.
He ate only half his meal. consumed. "No,"I said.
"We haven't finished eating yet.
"Without my permission, the restaurant has abandoned or simply ignored the classic principles of service etiquette (
What I'm talking about is the main course, not the small plates everywhere, and different manners are needed).
Once everyone at the table has finished eating it has always been a habit, the waiter will not clean the plate, but hover over the diner and his fingers twitch until the moment someone puts the fork down.
Then, they took the silverware as quickly as the Vulture did.
And everything else in front of the customer.
If you are lucky, they may ask for your permission before stealing your plate.
When the server cleans up the plate before everyone is done, he or she leaves the table with a series of subtle but important signals.
Those who are still eating will feel as if they are hindering others;
Those who are not will feel that they have eaten in a hurry.
The initial collective dining experience turned into a collective exercise of guilt.
I'm not the only one to notice.
"Things must be getting worse," says Taylor Cowen, an economics professor at George Mason University, who has written a lot about economics of eating out.
"This is a problem.
I don't like it either.
There were objections elsewhere.
Some examples: SF Gate, the sister site of the San Francisco Chronicle, published a short article on 2008, begging the waiter to wait patiently.
Adam Roberts, founder of pop food blog amateur cuisine, did the same in 2012.
And the New York Times, as a long list
The nos of the restaurant staff include the following: "When others are still eating the same food, do not take an empty plate from a guest.
Wait, wait, wait.
"It's not clear why the subtleties seem to have evaded so many restaurants.
There may be economic momentum behind this.
"Land prices are rising, which pushes up the value of each table," Cowen said . ".
"This makes it more important to push people forward.
"After all, a similar trend is that many restaurants want diners not to order desserts because the dish is not very profitable and it encourages people to linger.
But maybe the waiter is cleaning up individual dishes because they believe it's what the customer wants.
I heard a lot from the server.
The sad fact is that the unfortunate trend is probably the least unfair for the waiters, who have to deal with most of the anger but are not actually the ones to blame.
Those who are at fault will be the manager who pushes them to move the table, and the diners who ask to take the plate immediately, even if the rest of the table is still enjoying their food.
The waiter was just in the middle.
But reality still exists.
And not that type.
In public, the restaurant may argue that they are trying to avoid confusion;
In private, they may encourage waiters to speed up the table;
But for diners and waiters, this is equivalent to an uncomfortable dining experience.