I don’t know about you, but I absolutely HATE it when a waitress plops down beside me to take my order. First of all, I don’t like people in general, and I certainly don’t want someone I don’t know sitting beside me getting their scurvy germs on me. Second, I don’t want to be friends. I want to eat and tip a ridiculous amount, but if I’m having a panic attack because the waitress is touching me, her tip is diminishing. If I go out to eat and the waitress sits at my table, I don’t go back to that restaurant ever again.
I’m sure some corporate dumbass read the cliff notes on Psychology 101 and decided that servers shouldn’t stand at the end of the table looking intimidating, but should be more personable and either sit with the guests or kneel down beside the table. They sell this to servers by telling them people will tip better because they will seem more friendly and open.
I call bullshit. A complete stranger sitting at my table is rude and intrusive.
Equally annoying is the server who kneels down. It’s bad enough that many people treat servers like shit, so some corporate asshole deciding to make them take a subservient position and kneel down is almost criminal. I always ask a server to stand if s/he is kneeling since I’m not royalty and I am uncomfortable looking down on people. Also, the server usually has her face on or very near the table…the table where I am going to put my food. More scurvy germs from a stranger.
When I started working at the restaurant, The Manager’s wife suggested I kneel when taking orders. She had worked for some major corporate chain and was thrilled with the concept. I respectfully declined since there are only two occasions when I kneel.
While one is appropriate for the restaurant, the other isn’t.