Archive for the 'Ask The Gal' Category

But I Only Got the Soup…

“I didn’t drink anything but water.” “I never eat dessert.” “I would have preferred the house wine.” Oh, shut up! Only kidding. Not really. Brave Astronaut, who has a fun blog about food and other interesting stuff, addresses an appetite-suppressing issue we all dread when dining out with a crowd–how to properly split the check: […]

But It’s Only Carryout

You didn’t sit down. You weren’t served, in the traditional restaurant sense. Your food, however, was delivered to you from a human. True, the food might have been wrapped in a plastic bag. It might have been encased in styrofoam. With luck, it came hot and steaming and seemed almost fresh from an insulated carrier. […]

Substitution Hell

No one wants to mess with a food allergy. Restaurant proprietors would like their guests to leave their establishments fat and happy, not covered in hives or gasping for breath in an ambulance. In the restaurants I’ve worked, even a hint of an allergy issue from a patron–“It’s not an allergy, but could you leave […]

Scammers…Or Merely Problem Children?

How do you know who’s looking to con a restaurant out of a free meal, and who is an innocent guest who would rather not have her salad garnished with a strand of hair? Anastasia recently wrote “Ask The Gal” to inquire about the best way to judge which patrons deserve a comped meal. She […]

Accepting a Gift–With Grace

It’s done so smoothly on screen. The maitre d’ of a fine-dining establishment acknowledges a last-minute, important customer and provides the perfect table for him and his guests. A subtle, brief hand shake is exchanged. The maitre d’ nods once more toward his guest and wishes everyone a nice evening–with a 20-spot or higher in […]

My Compliments to the Chef

There’s the theory that those who bitch the loudest get what they want first. It’s true, customer complaints are acted on fast at my restaurant. However, in a place as busy as ours, the biggest surprise to me is the relatively low number of complaints we actually receive during any given shift. On the flip […]

I Tip, You Tip

No question stirs up as much angst as the “How much do you tip?” issue. Phil, who has an incredible site, by the way, asks the question I am asked most: What is your standard tip when you go out? Do you consider it above what is customary? I think I’m a good tipper, and […]

About Those Hand Signals

Ask The Gal has struck a nerve, so here’s topic number two. Heidi wants to know: Is it really so bad to hold up two fingers while you are politely chirping, “Two, please.” I was a waitress and bartender for years, and like to think I treat waiters and bartenders well because of that. But […]

Ask The Gal

Many look to Restaurant Gal for advice on all manner of restaurant subjects: table etiquette, menu concerns, service and gratuity issues, and the like. I am here to help. Periodically, I will publish readers’ questions or comments, followed by my incredibly insightful responses. (I reserve the right to edit all questions, however, as well as […]