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Requesting A Specific Waiter

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I'm in vacation in Canada, showing the husband the joys of the Stratford Festival.

I've been coming here every year since 2000, and have one special place that I adore that I've been coming to since 01. Part of the appeal is the waiter I always sit with --Robert manages to remember what wines I like, what desserts I like, the differing tastes of the friend I travel with and generally makes for an exceptional evening. On par with a night at Citronelle under Mark's care...

So when I made the reservation to take the husband, I requested a table with Robert. I quickly got an email back saying that the table was reserved and that they had noted my request.

When we arrived, no Robert. He wasn't working that night.


Should they have called and warned me???? I would have happily changed the evening we came.

We had a nice evening, but it wasn't the same and I feel like I've built up this experience with Mr. BLB and not quite delivered.

I'm coming back in August with the usual traveling friend--the same request is on file but I suspect I'll make more of an effort to make sure he's working that night...


From a diner's perspective--do you have a special waiter you request?

From an owner-manger's perspective---do you think you owe a customer a call or email when the waiter requested is unavaible?

I'll be back online next week.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!


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From a diner's perspective--do you have a special waiter you request?

When we go to Las Vegas, we often eat at Canaletto's, at the Venetian. Our favorite waiter in the world, Vito, is there. He's just wonderful: straight out of Italy, hilarious, comical, but a professional--European service, through and through.

Also in LV, at Ortanique in Paris, there is a waiter named Adam who we request, having been saddled with someone else once. The someone else made requesting Adam (who had waited on us previously) a necessity. The someone else made us remark, "You know, that waiter we had the first time was really good." Adam doesn't push you to order more than you want, doesn't hover, doesn't make obsequious remarks, doesn't have that "I'll be taking such good CARE of you that you leave a REALLY BIG TIP for me" tone in his voice, and he DOES make good recommendations. Plus his grandmother danced with Elvis's revue, so there's that. He kind of looks like Oliver Platt, who I've always thought would make a great waiter.

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From a diner's perspective--do you have a special waiter you request?

I've heard that at one of the old-line restaurants in New Orleans (Antoine's? Arnaud's? Galatoire's? can't remember which), requesting a specific waiter is an acceptable and even expected way to get the best experience, especially for the regulars who've been going there for years.

This has always struck me as a little odd -- are there the "choice" waiters that those in the know get access to, and then a stable of second tier talent that the rest of us poor saps would get saddled with? :lol:

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