Mr. Snooty Snoot

February 11, 2011

in Server Stories

Many years ago I had my first experience involving a “fine dining” establishment. I took my college sweetheart to a high-priced restaurant in Sarasota, Florida for her birthday. We dressed in the best clothing that we could afford at that time with our limited incomes. She wore a nice dress, and I had on a sports jacket and tie. They weren’t fashion designer clothing that the restaurant was used to seeing such as Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani. We probably wore JC Penney discounts, but it was the best that we could do.

When I was presented with the menu my eyes bulged in shock at the meal prices. I was expecting expensive, but not exorbitant. I’m sure it was pricey even for those with decent jobs; for a college kid it was a fortune. Fortunately I brought along some extra cash.

I decided to order the duck; I can’t remember what my girlfriend ordered. The waiter seemed aloof; I wasn’t sure if it was because he was trying to be efficient or had marked us as amateurs. I was stunned when my plate was brought to the table. On the large plate was a tiny piece of meat that was, at most, the size of an infant’s hand. My girlfriend couldn’t believe it either. To make matters worse, I had better tasting duck elsewhere at a much more economical restaurant.

When the waiter came back to ask how we enjoyed our meals, I asked him if that was the typical size of their duck. The waiter sneered at me and said “Yes” in a haughty tone as if to say “Why of course it is you lowly trailer park trash JC Penney-wearing peons.” I can’t understand why Mr. Snooty Snoot had to put on airs and take on such a contemptuous demeanor simply because I inquired about my food portion. Didn’t he realize that if he was ever personally hired by those that he served they’d have him pruning their rose bushes, cleaning their toilets, and picking up their dog’s poop? I thought about complaining to management, but I didn’t want to make a scene and ruin my girlfriend’s dinner.

The waiter made no pretense of paying attention to us for the rest of the evening. He probably figured that such young lowlifes weren’t going to tip anyway. Such an assumption is wrong of course. I would have given him a decent tip for decent service, instead of a fair tip for awful service.

Before we left I used the restroom since we had a long drive home. I couldn’t believe it when I saw a guy in there that was stationed as an attendant, I guess to powder men’s bottoms when they were finished doing their business.

Unfortunately the experience left a bad taste in my mouth for fancy pretentious places. Even to this day it’s a rare occasion when I visit a hoity toity restaurant; the fanciest it gets for me is Bonefish. I like to stick to tried and true chain restaurants like Red Lobster and Outback where I know that I’ll be treated decently and will receive consistently good food.

– Fed up with foo-foo restaurants

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Clare February 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Are you for real? Restroom attendants are quite common at high end restaurants, as are small portions and high prices.


Bob February 11, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Not several decades ago. I was describing my reaction to something I had never seen before.

It's beyond me why anyone would want to pay a high price for a tiny portion, especially if the food is sub-par.


Jack February 13, 2011 at 6:50 pm

If today, you only frequent chains, I am really surprised you are satisfied with their service and food. I don't really like it when the server scrawls their name on the table in crayon. Don't get me wrong chains have their place, but if you want really good food, refined service, and an overall good dining experience, stay away from the chains.

There are many privately owned, high end restaurants that offer fine dining without being snooty, and pretentious. The trick is finding them in your area. One rule of thumb, stay away for tourist areas, where their sole reason for existing is to serve as many people as possible, the most mediocre food available.


The Jaded Waiter February 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm

"Didn’t he realize that if he was ever personally hired by those that he served they’d have him pruning their rose bushes, cleaning their toilets, and picking up their dog’s poop?"

I'm sympathetic to most everything in your post with the exception of the above statement. Despite your irritation with your waiter, denigrating the profession like that is out of line. You have no idea what a person's skill set outside of their restaurant job might be. A lot of waiters are artists, musicians, students, writers, and even small business owners on the side. Waiting tables is a job that allows them to make a respectable income while still having the time to pursue interests that a 9-5 job might not allow for. For all you know your waiter could train your dog (not pick up after it), replace your toilet (not clean it), and design your landscaping (not prune your bushes).

Sorry you had a bad experience with a dis-interested server but please, show a little more thought and respect towards the profession.


Bob February 22, 2011 at 1:09 am

That's not the way I meant it. He was putting on airs like he was a part of the upper class. There was no reason to act as if we were low class because of our dress.


Amber May 11, 2016 at 2:01 pm

Not sure about where you were, but where I live fine dining restaurants pay their servers well. Never mind the tips they get since it's based on bill total.


theblonde March 3, 2011 at 11:44 am

I have to tell you, it wasn’t the restarant. If you go anywhere underdressed, are shocked by the prices, and inquire about the sizes, your server will look down on you. They may be a little better at hiding it, but they’re pretty certain it won’t be a good tip and won’t be too happy about it.


Raven March 18, 2011 at 9:49 am

Methinks someone has an inferiority complex, so no matter what the waiter did/said, you would have taken it negatively.


sadi March 29, 2011 at 1:59 pm

A good server will treat you well, and not judge you by appearances. Try a nice local place after checking reviews on food and service. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

That server was a dick, period.


Amber May 11, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Agreed, I've been to a few fine dining steak restaurants with tasting menus and everything is a la carte pricing. Every-time the servers were great. The last time was on my honeymoon a couple years back, the server was amazing, he even write down the name of the wine he'd recommended to us and we loved.


Sarah August 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Tried and true chain restaurants like Red Lobster and Outback where I know that I’ll be treated decently and will receive consistently good food? Is it just me, or does this story sound like everything else today: an advertisement.


Bob August 4, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Sarah you're so jaded. I was just providing names of restaurants that most people would recognize. My point was that I can't see paying big money for poor service and bad food when I can go to less costly chain restaurants that give me what I'm looking for.


dezi November 14, 2011 at 9:36 pm

I don't fully agree with the chain restaurant thing but I understand where your coming from. I hate it when people try to somehow brush off or try to justify for other people's lousy behavior. Didn't sound like the waiter had a real reason to avoid you and maybe this was just a lousy waiter or experience. I hope you giving something new another chance and not let that lousy situation hinder you forever. 🙂


Danny May 13, 2012 at 4:43 pm

My "favorite" encounter with overly snooty waiters is when they inquire about the food but then prompt you with an adjective before I'm able to respond (ex, "How is your food? Fantastic?"). I tend to respond with "Good, yes. Fantastic, no".


Dawn November 10, 2015 at 7:30 pm

I know right? That's the norm with those high end restaurants outrageously priced for portions small enough to make an anorexic proud


Mel November 3, 2016 at 11:28 am

Wow, the server pegged you exactly right. You couldn't look up the prices of the restaurant on the internet? Or leave the restaurant when you figured out you couldn't really afford the meal? I really doubt that you had enough for a "decent tip" since your eyes bulged out of your skull looking at the prices. Next time, eat at an affordable restaurant. And yes, plenty of establishments have restroom attendants, including restaurants and clubs. They offer things like towels to wipe you hands, cologne/perfume, baby powder (for your hands), etc. They have jobs which don't require them to wipe your butt, but that just shows how low-brow you actually are to assume that's what they do.


Sean T February 10, 2017 at 4:32 am

Had you paid attention to the OP's comments in the thread you'd have seen that this happened BEFORE access to that Internet you chided him for not using was a thing…

But hey, I can see how in your haste to be right, you didn't, you know, make use of the resources you had available to you…


Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: