Going out to eat is supposed to be one of life's pleasures.
You don't have to cook or clean up afterward. Plus, servers take your order and bring your food. For just a little bit of money you can feel a lot of specialness, even if it's only for an hour or two.
Unfortunately, sometimes the experience is lacking.
As a coffee drinker, I expect to receive refills once my cup is near empty. So it is especially frustrating when one dines out and has a server who doesn't do that.
My wife and I often comment that the establishments with good service, even coffee shops, have a dedicated worker who refills water and drink glasses. That way the server doesn't have to concern herself with checking everyone's drinks. It's such a simple concept I don't understand why more restaurants don't employ that strategy.
Another odd aspect to dining out that I don't get is when a completely different person other than the server brings you the food. Shouldn't the person who takes your order also bring you the food?
After all, the server knows what you ordered and who ordered it. There have been times when someone in our party received either the wrong food or the food cooked incorrectly — something that the person bringing the food has no clue about because he wasn't the one who took the order in the first place.
I'll never claim to be an expert in running a restaurant, but I've had plenty of expertise in eating out over the years. I hope some of you restaurant folk listen to your customers. I like eating out, but I can just as easily fill my own cup of coffee at home.
BRIAN CROSBY, a columnist for Times Community News, North, is the author of "Smart Kids, Bad Schools and The $100,000 Teacher." He can be reached at brian-crosby.com.