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How Does a Server Decide Who Gets The Check?

Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail laura.hahnefeld@newtimes.com. Miss a question? Go here.

How Does a Server Decide Who Gets The Check?
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Cullen Campbell, Chef and Owner, Crudo

We always give the check to the man and if there are more than one they will usually fight over it. Once I had a man ask for the check on the patio of the restaurant that I was working at, paid it, then asked for a boost over the wall to sneak away from his date. He left his date alone in the restaurant and he tipped the server extra for the boost. True story!

Amanda Bayuk, Manager/Event Coordinator, Cartwright's Sonoran Ranch House

Most of the time it's apparent what guest is in charge of the table. Often, it may be the guest who chooses the wine. Usually the guest in charge has a certain presence about him or her from the beginning. By the end of the meal if it is difficult to determine who the check should go to, it's ultimately put between two gentlemen or in the center of the table.

Chef Steven Zimmerman, Sheraton Crescent Hotel

If it's a male/female couple we tend to place the check near the gentlemen. If two or more guests, we place it in the middle of the table. Eye contact with the guest usually helps to decide where to place the check.

Romeo Taus, Chef and Owner, Romeo's Euro Cafe

It's all about the Alpha! Group of women: the one that sets the expectations. Group of men: the one that orders the wine. Mixed couple: if not separate checks, the one that sets the tone of the dining experience. It's all about the Alpha!

Kelsey Oisten, Director of Marketing, Caballero

If a table has not already specified who is paying for the check, I always suggest placing the bill in the center of the table. 

Christopher Gross Chef and Owner, Christopher's Restaurant & Crush Lounge

Normally by the name on the reservation or whomever looks like the biggest tipper (joking!).

Chef Jacques Qualin, J&G Steakhouse

The person who asks for the check. In a case where more than one person requests the check, we always give it to the person who asked first, unless someone asked the manager in advance. The request to the manager would then stand paramount.

Jon Lane Owner, O.H.S.O.

Most center the check; however, I still place it in front of the eldest male or female depending on who is at the table by old habit.

Gregg Troilo, Proprietor, British Open Pub & Grill

Our servers usually greet our customers and at one point or another, they ask the group if they would like separate checks or one check. That takes a lot of the guess work out of the situation.


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