What's "Good Service"?

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#1
Carolina Coast
2,760 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
I'm curious. There have been some posts complaining that service in a MDR is "bad".
Just what do folks require in order to consider it "Good Service"?
Is it different for breakfast and lunch than dinner?
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#2
BC
539 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
I would say good service starts at the maitee d station and to be greeted in a pleasant manner.

Upon being seated i'd say water and bread served within minutes and order taken within 10 minutes. Are you listening HAL? Being ignored by your waiter for 25 to 30 minutes after being seated is not acceptable.

Receiving food while it is still warm is also considered good service. Some would say receiving food while its still hot would be good service.

And yes breakfast and lunch are better chances in the MDR to be served in a timely manner with food that is not cold to lukewarm.

Good service would also be consistent with regards to time and temperature of food.
#3
Ontario, Canada
3,714 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by Appygirl
I would say good service starts at the maitee d station and to be greeted in a pleasant manner.

Upon being seated i'd say water and bread served within minutes and order taken within 10 minutes. Are you listening HAL? Being ignored by your waiter for 25 to 30 minutes after being seated is not acceptable.

Receiving food while it is still warm is also considered good service. Some would say receiving food while its still hot would be good service.

And yes breakfast and lunch are better chances in the MDR to be served in a timely manner with food that is not cold to lukewarm.

Good service would also be consistent with regards to time and temperature of food.
The notion of "good" is very subjective. What you have just described as "good" I would describe as "bare minimum acceptable". That also explains why some tip threads go crazy as people do tip largely different amounts for different reasons based on different expectations.
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#4
Carolina Coast
2,760 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by taxmantoo
The notion of "good" is very subjective. What you have just described as "good" I would describe as "bare minimum acceptable". That also explains why some tip threads go crazy as people do tip largely different amounts for different reasons based on different expectations.
That's exactly why I started the thread.
taxmantoo ... what is it that makes service "good" for you?
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#5
104,148 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We also think that the servers should remember specific items you request (for fixed diners) -- like iced tea each evening. We shouldn't have to remind them each evening.

We also don't like sitting around with dirty dishes in front of us for long periods of time. And waiting so long for food that it is no longer hot.

And when we have eaten breakfast and lunch in the dining room, we have not found the service to be any better.
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#6
Currently at Cruise Critic
2,352 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by summersigh
What's "Good Service"?
Food service? Or waiter service?

Food service varies dramatically from cruise line to cruise line and from ship to ship. It depends on the food quality, variety, accessibility.

Waiter service - I've had the same quality of waiter service on all cruise ships I've been on from Costa to Cunard. Never waiting, never cold food, never a reason to complain. Always extra tips.
#7
Alberta
20,419 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Appygirl
I would say good service starts at the maitee d station and to be greeted in a pleasant manner.

Upon being seated i'd say water and bread served within minutes and order taken within 10 minutes. Are you listening HAL? Being ignored by your waiter for 25 to 30 minutes after being seated is not acceptable.

Receiving food while it is still warm is also considered good service. Some would say receiving food while its still hot would be good service.

And yes breakfast and lunch are better chances in the MDR to be served in a timely manner with food that is not cold to lukewarm.

Good service would also be consistent with regards to time and temperature of food.
Pretty much sums it up for me. I'm not too high maintenance. I like the wine steward to keep filling my glass until I say not to but that seems to beyond the scope of most of them.

OP, let's hear what you think it good service.
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#8
3,482 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
The dining room staff should be well groomed and move with a bit of grace. They should seat guests promptly and present menus immediately. Drink orders should be taken and filled promptly. Bread and butter should be offered soon. A waiter should be able to describe the menu items, know what the main ingredients are, know what alterations are possible, and be able to make recommendations.

Service should be nicely paced with plates presented and then cleared at the same time. Waitstaff should be attentive without being intrusive, polite without being overly friendly.
#9
Sarnia On Canada
398 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
A very good description of good service IMO ... thanks whogo
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#10
Vancouver, B.C. area
319 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Yes, I agree with Whogo. Timely service to me also includes not being rushed, it's an art for sure. As for clearing dishes, that is a pretty subjective thing, when we have company from The Netherlands they always comment about the fact that the tables are cleared quickly, which to them is rude and improper, while we appreciate having it done in a timely manner!
#11
Western WA, USA
860 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by whogo
The dining room staff should be well groomed and move with a bit of grace. They should seat guests promptly and present menus immediately. Drink orders should be taken and filled promptly. Bread and butter should be offered soon. A waiter should be able to describe the menu items, know what the main ingredients are, know what alterations are possible, and be able to make recommendations.

Service should be nicely paced with plates presented and then cleared at the same time. Waitstaff should be attentive without being intrusive, polite without being overly friendly.
That is exactly the service we received when on the Prinsendam in October and November. Our stewards were Roy and Putu and the wine lady was Jane. We had similar service on the same ship in June and July. I certainly expect the same level of service when we will be on the Amsterdam soon.
#12
Milwaukee, WI 53201
13,674 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Good service is just average.

Outstanding service is a server willing to go above and beyond.
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#13
Carolina Coast
2,760 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Hummmm ... Good Service to me would be .....

>The menus, water and bread as soon as possible after the last of the tablemates arrive.
>After a couple of days - Being recognized by the wait staff even if they don't know our name.
>After a couple of days - The wine steward knowing our name and having our bottle (we do the "package thing") ready when we arrive.
>Orders taken as soon as the group stops pouring over their menus.
>Help with menu decisions if requested.
>Hot food hot, cold food arriving cold.
>Not having empty, dirty dishes sit in front of me for long.
>After a couple of days - wait staff remembering who drinks what at dinner and who likes what with desert (as in we always have a cup of decaf with desert)
>Pleasant responses (we try to be pleasant and smile or laugh a lot)
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#14
Raleigh, N.C.
11,210 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
To add to the lists that others have posted, one of the things that define good service to me is to have each course come out for everyone at the table at the same time. We have had some waiters who haven't grasped this concept.
#15
7,624 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
I always like the line from the movie Arthur. " I love waiters , you ask for things and they bring them, Just like Santa Claus"


Seriously though,

Good service to me is a server who is professional , polite, courteous . Remembering I like iced tea and my DW likes Diet Coke is nice , but it's not the end of the world if we have to ask for it.

Nice pacing between the courses , one course comes shortly after the other . Hot food should be hot, cold stuff cold .

I am a huge ice water drinker , so keeping my glass full is a very good thing. This will probably shock and appall some people here ,but if the server actually puts a pitcher of ice water on the table, that's a really good thing. In fact sometimes I will even ask if that is OK. Not just on a cruise but even on land.

We are pretty low maintenance also.

We eat out a lot at a wide variety of restaurants, diners, the local chain places and some very upscale places too. We don't expect Pearl from the diner, Ashley the college student at TGIFriday , and Pierre at The Ritz to all be the same .

They are all different dining experiences.


Pearl at the diner I have known for 20 years, we gossip, and ask about each others families, and talk smack about our respective teams. Of course she knows we have coffee right off the bat, and we like this and not that .

We are fine with Ashley saying "HI Guys" and writing her name on the tablecloth . Our daughter worked in one of those places while she was in school. that's the kind of atmosphere they go for.

The upscale restaurant where Pierre has been there 25 years and his father before him. Of course we expect more.

Of course we also realize that we are not the only diners in the place wherever we go. Of course we deserve to be waited on properly and professionally, we don't expect the whole place to drop everything when we walk in the door.


I always feel sorry for any sever when they get a real live one that has to complain about everything. It may not even be their fault, it could be a kitchen error, but they get the tongue lashing in front of the whole restaurant.
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#16
Wales
2,136 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Good service is also not having to wait ages between courses.

I couldn't care less if they remember my name or what I drink (personally I think it's better if they ask - anyone can change their mind) but orders need to be taken and meals served promptly.
#17
Ontario, Canada
1,014 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Acknowledging that I'm there, is always a good start... After that, I'm pretty patient and understanding. But if the waitstaff can't even make eye contact and smile, it sets a poor tone, no matter where you are.
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#18
Seattle
656 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
My mother (and we all know that our mother is ALWAYS right ) judges a restaurant by two things: if the bathroom is clean and if they keep your water glass full. The former is a no-brainer and the later means they are paying attention.



Like the earlier poster, I love to have a pitcher of water kept at my table.