Are You An Invisible Diner?

When the owner of the restaurant greets me at the door and asks me where would I like to sit, I usually say, “next to a waiter”. But that caper doesn’t always guarantee you’ll get good service.

Another line I used at a restaurant that was big on French cuisine went something like this.

Me: “Do you have frog’s legs?”
Waiter: “Yes, I do”.
Me: “Okay, hop into the kitchen and make me a hamburger”.

First, let me say that I am by no means a snob when it comes to eating out. I hardly ever frequent those fancy or expensive joints, it’s usually just a local restaurant or cafe. You can throw in the odd “franchise” like Sizzlers, or in years gone by, the Bonanza Steakhouse.

So you’ve walked into a restaurant, sat down and your order has been taken, and you’re looking forward to a nice meal. But that’s where the process stalls. Anticipation turns to bemusement, then frustration. You’ve reached the 40-minute-waiting-mark. “Excuse me, is our entree on the way?” If this sounds familiar, you’re one of the dining forgotten. You’ve become a transparent diner.

So why does this happen? It’s because you are unmemorable. You sit quietly, order politely, and wait patiently. But in today’s dining environment this is not good enough. So now it’s time to fight back. The secret is to make yourself memorable at the time of ordering.

“May I take your order, please?”

“Lovely. I’d like the (begin barking) woof! woof! woof! risotto please,” now slap yourself across the face and sing at the top of your voice, “I’m a yankee doodle dandy, a yankee doodle dandy…”

“Err, OK, sir. And for you madam?”

Your wife:
“I think I’ll have…(make a fart noise with your hand under your armpit) the chicken breast” shouting, “Geronimoooooooo!” and swing your handbag around your head while whistling loudly.

Of course, you can enlarge on this script as you expand your repertoire. Oh, I can hear all the excuses: “But we’ll be embarrassed”, or “but I’m a Supreme Court Judge.” Well, snap out of it. Cry-babies go to bed without dinner, unless you count the Macca’s drive-through on the way home.

Okay, so you’ve been served, but, what the? The meal is one of the worst you’ve ever tasted. Don’t complain or ask the waiter to take the meal back because the chips are cold unless you can see into the kitchen area. Chefs don’t like complaints and have been known to do some nasty things to your meal.

This technique can be used in any service scenario. But remember not to use it at dinner parties, because if anyone has a dining room large enough for a hundred guests, they probably have a few burly servants who will throw you into the street.


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