2/13/2012 05:00:00 PM
Controversial Restaurant Policies: Should You Have to Ask For the Check?
No one should feel rushed out at the end of a restaurant meal, but those who linger at their tables can delay dinner for everyone else who is waiting. Restaurants have one key way to move things along - the check drop. Once that bill is on the table, it's only a matter of time before the diners pay and skedaddle. But, is putting the check down before it's asked for too pushy? Check out this week's installment of Controversial Restaurant Policies to see our editors debate proper check timing:
James: The other night I was dining in the West Village, and the servers totally tried to give us the rush out - they dropped the check while the desserts were being cleared, before we even asked for it.
Kelly: I mean, how long were you sitting there after finishing your desserts?
James: We still had wine left - we were sipping it and still talking. No one was ready to talk about money.
Kelly: Had the server come up a few times and asked you if you would like anything else?
James: He dropped by and asked if we needed anything and we said no. I don't think a restaurant should give you the check before you ask for it.
Kelly: Yeah but you also need to be considerate of time. There were other diners probably waiting for your table. It's totally appropriate to drop it after dessert if the diners have indicated they don't want anything else.
Kelly: I mean honestly that wouldn't bother me, sometimes also servers need to cash out their tables before leaving for the night. I never minded if people lingered at the end as long as they paid somewhat quickly. Personally I hate having to ask for the check.
James: We also had paid some dough for a nice bottle of wine, we should have the chance to finish it without digging around in our wallets.
Kelly: Whatever knowing you you were wasted and hanging out wayyy too long. Move it along, they've got tables to turn, hello.
James: Well, I wouldn't have lingered for hours or anything - I know there are tables waiting. I just think the check can land like a thud in the middle of the table - let the diners decide when the reckoning comes. Feeling like you're being rushed out can ruin the entire meal.
Kelly: I mean clearly you have deeper issues pertaining to paying for meals. I can't help you there.
James: I'm willing to pony up when the time comes - you're the one who always seems to be running off to the restroom when the plates are cleared.
Kelly: Oh no you didn't. I'm done with this convo. Check please!