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View Full Version : Robotic Rushed Servers


Disneylover99
09-01-2012, 03:17 PM
Hi All!

We just got back from Disney.
We did the table service dining for the first time.
I have to say all of our meals were delicious (some spectacular).
We ate at 10 different restaurants altogether.

This is my beef.

8 out of 10 of our chosen restaurants had wait staff that rushed us so much through the ordering process. They all talked like auctioneers as they rhymed off the specials, told us what we could or couldn't order off the menu because of the dining plan etc... I had to ask several of them to repeat themselves and they still didn't slow down. Don't get me wrong, they were quick, efficient, and attentive in a way.... (ex. Keeping our glasses filled) But they never made eye contact or interacted with us on a personal level. It felt very robot like. We felt very rushed and somewhat stressed by these experiences at the end of our meals.

Luckily we were prepared. We researched the menus and had a pretty good idea of what we wanted beforehand. I'm wondering how people who have no clue what to order make out.
Is this the way dining at Disney is? Or did I just get the robotic ones.

I get that they are busy and trying to move as many people in and out as possible. But I think I may just stick with the quick service if this is the norm.

By the way....Our server at The San Angel Inn was wonderful!

CuteAsMinnie
09-01-2012, 04:34 PM
I don't think it as much as the DDP itself as is the servers are trained, as in any over booked dining establishment, to get the guests in and out as quickly as possible. One really can not expect to have a leisurely meal in all the TS restaurants and this is one reason why we do not use DDP or TS restaurants but a few special nights during our trip at our trusty, favorite locations. Our experience has been when we tell our server we don't want to rush, the gladly accommodate us (again, no DDP here)

The only restaurant we had a server problem along with the FOOD itself was LeCellier and the experience went from bad to worse to ridiculous to the $300+ meal was comped. :thumbsup2.

, I think On the DDP, you are at their mercy and it doesn't help to complain about the food or service because your meal has already been paid for either up front or thru the hefty rack rate. Another reason why we don't use DDP.

jenjie
09-01-2012, 05:15 PM
We just got back too. We didn't notice any of what you're talking about. We found servers to be very accommodating.

mom2my3kids
09-01-2012, 05:21 PM
Why would servers care if u are on the dining plan u are going to tip the way u want either way...

ttintagel
09-01-2012, 06:24 PM
Understaffing is an issue across many industries right now, especially the service industries. Companies all over the country are cutting down on staffing levels to save money, while expecting to move the same amount of product or more for increased profit for shareholders and CEO's.

Disneylover99
09-01-2012, 06:31 PM
LeCellier was our worst server experience, but best food!

B-Ride
09-01-2012, 06:45 PM
We just got back too. We didn't notice any of what you're talking about. We found servers to be very accommodating.

Our experience was the same. We were never rushed, the servers were extremely friendly and helpful. If anything, a couple were a little slow but in general we had a very positive experience.

Amy&Dan
09-01-2012, 06:49 PM
Hi All!

We just got back from Disney.
We did the table service dining for the first time.
I have to say all of our meals were delicious (some spectacular).
We ate at 10 different restaurants altogether.

This is my beef.

8 out of 10 of our chosen restaurants had wait staff that rushed us so much through the ordering process. They all talked like auctioneers as they rhymed off the specials, told us what we could or couldn't order off the menu because of the dining plan etc... I had to ask several of them to repeat themselves and they still didn't slow down. Don't get me wrong, they were quick, efficient, and attentive in a way.... (ex. Keeping our glasses filled) But they never made eye contact or interacted with us on a personal level. It felt very robot like. We felt very rushed and somewhat stressed by these experiences at the end of our meals.

Luckily we were prepared. We researched the menus and had a pretty good idea of what we wanted beforehand. I'm wondering how people who have no clue what to order make out.
Is this the way dining at Disney is? Or did I just get the robotic ones.


I get that they are busy and trying to move as many people in and out as possible. But I think I may just stick with the quick service if this is the norm.

By the way....Our server at The San Angel Inn was wonderful!

In our experience this is not the norm for servers. What we have noticed is yes, restaurants are far busier than they used to be in the pre ddp days, menus are standardized to a large extent and waiting to be seated is common.

We did ten days of the DDP over free dining during spring break. We never felt rushed. We generally had great servers, our favorites were at Nine Dragons (this waiter cracked us up as he stood there watching us gag down a couple of bites of the ginger ice cream and then told us to go to France for decent dessert!) and at 'Ohana where both our server and the "cousin" who kept us refilled visited with us quite a bit and were really attentive. We also had a very nice waitress at Cape May who commented on my dd's Disneyland shirt and asked a bunch of questions about DL and how it differs from WDW.

Frankly a robotic but still efficient server while not a "warm and fuzzy" kind of thing you'd expect at the Happiest Place on Earth, wouldn't really bother me. As long as I get my food, my drinks refilled and my bill delivered without long waits, I am happy.

But I am sorry you experienced this, I think we all expect more from Disney cm's since Disney set such high standards and has the reputation of being so above the norm in the service industry.

As to the tipping thing, when the DDP first began to not include the tip, I think there was some concern amongst waitstaff that they would be stiffed by customers who were irate over the change or just didn't realize the tip was no longer included. But that's been years ago this chang occurred and since then I no longer feel at all that servers are worried when you mention you are on the DDP.

Nohal
09-01-2012, 07:21 PM
I think the waitstaff feel they have to go through what is included in the DDP because this is the first time for some people. If you had to repeat the same thing over and over again it would probably sound robotic to someone else. I honestly think the DDP and DXDDP would be good for the server because the bill is going to be higher due to the extra things included than with someone just ordering and entree.

LockShockBarrel
09-01-2012, 08:00 PM
I've never understood the "we were rushed" thing. Just because a server is trying to push you out doesn't mean you have to comply. If you feel like they're being pushy, push back. Politely of course.

jenjie
09-01-2012, 08:16 PM
We ate at Coral Reef this week. Our server noticed DS didn't care for his dessert. She offered to bring him something different and didn't charge us for it. She knew we were on DDP.

At 50s Prime Time, our server replaced our drinks before we asked. I didn't want a milkshake as my drink so he offered my little guy the milkshake, saying he would count the soda toward little guy's meal. We didn't take him up on it but appreciated the kind offer.

minnie mum
09-01-2012, 09:40 PM
We've had good servers and bad servers over the years, but 'robotic'- um, no.

Frankly as long as they are courteous, prompt, and thorough, I really don't care. Generally we have found our servers to be quite pleasant, with the occasional one who is run off his feet or having a bad day. Can happen to anyone. Would I swear off all TS meals from now on- that would kind of be cutting off your nose to spite your face, don't you think?

Just want to add, that this thread started out as an observation about service. If everyone continues talking about tipping- the mods are going to come along and slap fingers.

Pumbaa_
09-01-2012, 09:52 PM
C'mon, we hardly ever slap fingers!:rotfl:

But good point. Personal tipping discussion is not a topic for the board. Along tipping posts have been removed.

Please keep the discussion away from tipping habits.

Thanks :thumbsup2

Disneylover99
09-01-2012, 11:00 PM
I'm happy to hear that many others have had excellent servers!!!!

I know it seems strange that I'm complaining, considering we were seated right away, served immediately and had prompt efficient service and excellent food.

But we felt totally rushed from start to finish almost every time no matter how we tried to slow it down. I guess we had hoped that a sit down meal would be a chance to relax and unwind a bit.

m6c5a90
09-01-2012, 11:13 PM
, I think On the DDP, you are at their mercy and it doesn't help to complain about the food or service because your meal has already been paid for either up front or thru the hefty rack rate. Another reason why we don't use DDP.

You should certainly still speak up if you have a bad experience even though the meal has already been "paid" for on the Dining plan.
We usually use the DDP and have had a serious server issue during a meal at 1900 park fare and politely talked to the manager about the issues. The entire meal was comped back to us on a Disney gift card, and we are talking about a party of 15 people even. We have found a good, very "Disney", response to any reasonable complaints, even while on the Dining plan thankfully.

TheRustyScupper
09-01-2012, 11:17 PM
A Server's view:

{Flame Proof Suit In Place}
1) The DDP has become almost omnipresent.
2) But, many people do not know what they get or do not get.
3) So, the server's "spiel" has become almost automatic.
4) Please don't blame the server.
5) They have to do this 30-50 times per day.
{Flame Proof Suit Back In Storage}


NOTE: I do not get upset hearing other tables get "the spiel".
I only get irritated when the service DURING the meal is poor.
By the way, for poor service, my tip is less than 2%, even with
a CM discount (I have to talk to the manager to get around the
automatic 18% CM-discount-imposed-tip).

AquaDame
09-01-2012, 11:33 PM
For our experiences on vs. off the dining plan* we did see a difference but I don't think this is the norm by any means. When we were on the dining plan we were always greeted with the quick spiel about what is and isn't included and they would seem a little more rushed. It was as if they went into auto pilot of drink, entree, desert, period. The next time we went without the dining plan it seemed like they relaxed a little, made more recommendations etc. I never once felt it was because they were robotic or rushed BECAUSE of the dining plan mind you, but because they had time they didn't spend going over the DDP stuff to devote to friendly banter. They didn't feel bad recommending apps, or good entrees that weren't included or ask if we would like ANY beverage, an add on, another beer, etc. On the dining plan we would order a beer or app and be reminded worriedly that it would NOT be covered and we would have to assure them we knew that and still wanted it.

TLDR; I greatly enjoyed my off the plan meals more!*

*we were actually using the TiW card, but that's totally different and doesn't change anything unless you worry about service quality if they know they get an auto 18% tip (never an issue for us).

sotoalf
09-02-2012, 08:03 AM
As I've said repeatedly in other threads, robotic service is less of a problem in the less frequented resort restaurants: Artist Point, Citricos, Jiko, almost anything in the Swan-Dolphin area.

Disneylover99
09-02-2012, 09:16 AM
It's not the spiel I mind. I totally get that they need to tell me important information about the specials or recommendations etc... And I really didn't feel they were rushing me because of the DDP.

The fact was I had to ask them to repeat themselves several times because they spoke so fast. There was no warmth or personality. There was no eye contact or connection. It was just rush, rush, rush. It was as if they came off the same assembly line.

I really wouldn't have noticed or minded if it was just a few of the restaurants. but 8 out of 10 seemed like a lot.

But again, the food was excellent and they were prompt and efficient so it's not something I would ever complain to a manager about. I never even considered it.

jimmytammy
09-02-2012, 09:30 AM
We usually use the Tables In Wonderland card and once the server finds out this, they tend to relax. TIW card automatically charges 18% gratuity, so maybe the servers feel a little more relaxed knowing they will get compensated. Im not saying in anyway that Free Dining folks are cheap, dont leave tips, etc. But we must be honest, there are those out there who under no circumstances will leave less than the standard 15%, some leave nothing. I have seen them myself. This is just one thought.

The other thought, we have a friend who serves at CM. He in his 1st week earned $600 over 2 nights. In that regard, and not saying again this being the case, but maybe the servers tend to shuffle the crowds through, therefore, earn more $$. Most theme park visitors tend to rush, even a nice sit down meal to get to the next ride, show, etc.

We are like you, dont want to be rushed, and refuse to be.

eva
09-02-2012, 09:36 AM
I've never understood the "we were rushed" thing. Just because a server is trying to push you out doesn't mean you have to comply. If you feel like they're being pushy, push back. Politely of course.

My thoughts exactly. We often tell the server that we are not in a hurry and plan to have a leisurely meal. We have never done the DDP. So that may be one reason that we haven't encounter this a lot. We also tend to chit chat a bit with the server. This seems to loosen them up and we find we get much more relaxed and friendly service. If you are looking to have a more leisure meal, ask the server where he/she is from. Or ask them about things they recommend in a certain park or resort. I find if you show interest in a person, they tend to find more interest in you.

mad madam mim78
09-02-2012, 09:49 AM
Hi All!

We just got back from Disney.
We did the table service dining for the first time.
I have to say all of our meals were delicious (some spectacular).
We ate at 10 different restaurants altogether.

This is my beef.

8 out of 10 of our chosen restaurants had wait staff that rushed us so much through the ordering process. They all talked like auctioneers as they rhymed off the specials, told us what we could or couldn't order off the menu because of the dining plan etc... I had to ask several of them to repeat themselves and they still didn't slow down. Don't get me wrong, they were quick, efficient, and attentive in a way.... (ex. Keeping our glasses filled) But they never made eye contact or interacted with us on a personal level. It felt very robot like. We felt very rushed and somewhat stressed by these experiences at the end of our meals.

Luckily we were prepared. We researched the menus and had a pretty good idea of what we wanted beforehand. I'm wondering how people who have no clue what to order make out.
Is this the way dining at Disney is? Or did I just get the robotic ones.

I get that they are busy and trying to move as many people in and out as possible. But I think I may just stick with the quick service if this is the norm.

By the way....Our server at The San Angel Inn was wonderful!

Curious. Have you ever waited tables in your life?

Disneylover99
09-02-2012, 10:09 AM
Yes, I have waited tables.
Why do you ask?

Disneylover99
09-02-2012, 10:33 AM
One of the reasons why I do tip well is because I was a server. I do know what it is like. It's hard, tiring work. And I have encountered rude, ignorant customers who clearly felt superior. But thankfully they were few and far between.

I think part being a good server is knowing how to read your customer and chatting them up in a genuine way. It only takes a moment to set the tone. First impressions are important no matter what your job.

I just don't like anyone talking a mile a minute to me the moment I sit down and when I ask them to repeat something they still talk a mile a minute.

TheRatPack
09-02-2012, 10:41 AM
We've had both.....really slow servers who almost forget about us and our food and then the ones that seem like they are getting you out as fast as they can for some contest they have going on in the kitchen LOL

It's not just as Disney though....we've noticed an overall lack of service lately at a lot of restaurants we eat at. Just last week we ate at a restaurant we eat at fairly regularly and the waitress wanted to take our food order with our drink order. Okay....that's fine. Then when she brought out the food, she brought refills and our check LOL.

JerseyJanice
09-02-2012, 12:14 PM
I am stunned each and every time I see someone on the Disboards complain that they were rushed at any restaurant. Why? Because that has never, ever happened to us, while the exact opposite--that is, having slow service--has occurred too many times.

We're paying good money to enjoy the parks, but then get stuck in 2 hour or longer meals.

Regarding warmth and personality, on our most recent trip, I was amazed by the excellence of all the waitstaff we encountered. Really, each and every waiter or waitress couldn't have been nicer and more pleasant to be around. I wrote a detailed Email to Disney complimenting these workers.

It just goes to show how widely different experiences and opinions are. Whenever I see someone here complain about being rushed at WDW, I figure they have to be from the deep South or some place else where people aren't in a non-stop hurry (like they are in the NYC area where I live).

rachel09985
09-02-2012, 12:28 PM
I have only had a problem with this one time- it was Sci Fi and the server was awful. We weren't ready to order the first time she came around so then she came around when two were in the bathroom and we said no we didn't know what they want, then she came back again when they were still gone and wanted us to order...It was awful.

Then she made us order the dessert with our meals and we didn't know what we wanted so then we had to guess!

The buffet meals you can't really say they rush you because you control the pace based on your eating speed.

mad madam mim78
09-02-2012, 12:35 PM
Yes, I have waited tables.
Why do you ask?

I guess it's just in my nature to defend servers. The job is extremely demanding and most people who have never waited tables before don't understand how hard it is to be a good one.

I'm not under any dillusion that these servers actually care about me or how good of a time my family is having at Disney world. Because I know the job so well I know these servers who do act all personal and try to entertain you curse your whole family the minute they turn their backs. There might be a few servers that actually do care but those are rare and I would never expect that to be the norm.

Just yesterday we were at a local restaurant and sat at the bar close to where servers pick up their drinks. It's hilarious. The cuss words were just a flying and it's interesting to hear the servers step out of their super sweet personas when they aren't serving their tables.

I guess what you're saying is you want your server to pretend to care. As a guest I just want my server to be polite and efficient and keep my drinks filled. I don't need them to tap dance for me or tell me jokes. They just want to get paid and go home. I just want my food to be good.

chimo2u
09-02-2012, 12:40 PM
We usually use the Tables In Wonderland card and once the server finds out this, they tend to relax. TIW card automatically charges 18% gratuity, so maybe the servers feel a little more relaxed knowing they will get compensated. Im not saying in anyway that Free Dining folks are cheap, dont leave tips, etc. But we must be honest, there are those out there who under no circumstances will leave less than the standard 15%, some leave nothing. I have seen them myself. This is just one thought.

The other thought, we have a friend who serves at CM. He in his 1st week earned $600 over 2 nights. In that regard, and not saying again this being the case, but maybe the servers tend to shuffle the crowds through, therefore, earn more $$. Most theme park visitors tend to rush, even a nice sit down meal to get to the next ride, show, etc.

We are like you, dont want to be rushed, and refuse to be.


I would never think to look at another table as they are tying up their meal and see what they are leaving for a tip! How do you know they didn't write something on that line in their bill? Or unless you have super sonic sight, how would you even know what they left if they chose to leave cash? When I'm on vacation, my last concern is what the people at the tables around me are doing :confused:

Bob NC
09-02-2012, 12:57 PM
I guess what you're saying is you want your server to pretend to care. As a guest I just want my server to be polite and efficient and keep my drinks filled. I don't need them to tap dance for me or tell me jokes. They just want to get paid and go home. I just want my food to be good.

It's funny, every time I post that I think Disney restaurant prices are too high I get blasted by people saying you are paying more for atmosphere, or, "show."

Yes, I do expect my Disney servers to pretend to care.

Disneylover99
09-02-2012, 01:11 PM
It just goes to show how widely different experiences and opinions are. Whenever I see someone here complain about being rushed at WDW, I figure they have to be from the deep South or some place else where people aren't in a non-stop hurry (like they are in the NYC area where I live).



I would think everyone (whether you live in the North or South) appreciates a server that doesn't talk so fast that they have to be asked several times to repeat themselves. And I don't live in the deep south. I live in Toronto.

Disneylover99
09-02-2012, 01:46 PM
I guess what you're saying is you want your server to pretend to care. As a guest I just want my server to be polite and efficient and keep my drinks filled. I don't need them to tap dance for me or tell me jokes. They just want to get paid and go home. I just want my food to be good.

Nope. That's not what I'm saying at all.
sure it's nice if they care or pretend to care.
I just want someone to look at me and speak without speaking so fast. I just don't want to have to constantly ask them to repeat themselves over and over again.

mad madam mim78
09-02-2012, 03:19 PM
Nope. That's not what I'm saying at all.
sure it's nice if they care or pretend to care.
I just want someone to look at me and speak without speaking so fast. I just don't want to have to constantly ask them to repeat themselves over and over again.

Fair enough. I talk pretty fast myself. I know it's hard for me to slow down.