Do I Have a Right to Order?

Dear Resto Owners, Invest in staff training.

I have noticed a funny thing that goes on in Chinese restaurants here in the Philippines. You enter the establishment, the service staff chirp out whatever greetings they can muster, they seat you, and then they bring the menus.

The thing is, when I’m with my parents, the waiter always manages to “forget” to hand me a menu, regardless of how empty or full the restaurant may be. This irks me, since these waiters see that there are X number of people sitting on their table, and none whom are menor de edad. And so I have to flag down the waitstaff and ask for my own copy, which obviously takes longer than if they just gave out the proper number of menus in the first place.

Is it because I look young? Then I guess I should be flattered… But honestly, a hungry person isn’t in the mood for flattery.

Frankly, I am not fond of the service culture of a lot of Chinese restaurants here. It’s the 21st century. Grandiose illusions of hierarchy are dying. Dying.

It may have been acceptable to hand out limited menus if the situation was that of a big party and/or the host is considerably older than the other guests. (i.e.: If grandma and/or grandpa were present.)

It’s not even right to reason that the typical Chinese restaurant isn’t a fine/upscale-dining operation, since patrons can easily spend as much as they would at, let’s say… an Italianni’s. (Just order anything with crab, lobster, or X.O. sauce and watch the bill skyrocket!) Despite being a casual-dining Italian resto, they have impeccable service. (Particularly, in their Gateway Mall branch.)

I understand that it’s really a cultural thing, but realistically speaking, the generation of customers coming into these places are shifting to the younger set. We are not only conscious of the food, but also of the whole package (ambiance, service, etc.). How often have I seen these waiters look irate or impatient and not at all accommodating.

How are we expected to bring our friends, dates, colleagues, etc. if the service culture still sucks? Like it or not, it actually matters.


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