Poor Service in Amsterdam Restaurants

employees must wash handsThe New York food scene is the best in the world, so this foodie likes to keep an eye on what’s cooking in the big apple. This weekend an article in the New York Times about “One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do” caught my eye.

Service in Amsterdam restaurants often is poor. And I am frequently struck by the rather pretentious behavior of many Amsterdam waiters that make you feel that you’re lucky being served at all, that your presence is causing them all sorts of unexpected troubles, and is terribly untimely and utterly inconvenient.

I guess the publication of this list means that not everything is perfect in New York. But at least people still complain and try to change the situation. In Amsterdam, people pretty much got used to poor service and just put up with it. Where, for example, rule number 3 of the New York Times article urges to “Never refuse to seat three guests because a fourth has not yet arrived”, Amsterdam has restaurants like L’Angoletto that make it a house rule. And you’re lucky if waiters fix your table upon request as opposed to the very reasonable rule number 5 that “Tables should be level without anyone asking. Fix it before guests are seated”.

4 thoughts on “Poor Service in Amsterdam Restaurants”

  1. Add me to the list of people who’ve gotten used to it here, though I can’t say I “put up with it”…I just avoid anything resembling a trendy restaurant. It works pretty well.

  2. Good point. There isn’t so much we can do about the poor service, but agree that does not mean we put up with it. And the trendy places indeed are the worst, as well as pretty much anything around Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein.

    I just had a really bad experience on Friday night. I didn’t make a reservation (mistake) and was completely ignored by staff for more than 5 minutes in the first restaurant and then told that no tables were available when half of the second restaurant was empty and it was close to 8:30pm.

    We went to Oriental 128 in the end. And as if to prove me wrong, the service was fantastic. We’d been there once before, more than 3 months ago and the host remembered us (tips sometimes do work). He even recalled that they had run out of the wine we wanted back then, and made up for it by making a great suggestion this time!


  3. Good to hear more evidence of exceptions.

    Maybe the one thing we can do is to keep eating at the places with great service, and tell them that’s one of the reasons we keep coming back.

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