It’s not often that I venture into an actual restaurant, let alone an expensive one – so I always have a sense of dread wash over me when I have decided to eat somewhere nice, and the bill has arrived: what do I do? I mean, obviously, I know I have to pay – but I just don’t know how to. Do I wait like an idiot until the waitress decides to come back to our table? Do I leave the money and walk out? Do I venture up to where there appears to be a till? I just don’t know. And it’s different everywhere. Whilst I may get used to leaving the money and walking out in one place, it might be unacceptable to do that somewhere else.
The worst thing, I find, is when I’m paying via card, rather than in cash – this means that once the bill has been left at your table (if you haven’t had chance in the millisecond it seems to take them to do that, to ask for the card machine) you have to wait for them to walk back over – which can take a long time.
I think the bigger problem here is I don’t know how to get the attention of the waitress/waiter. When there’s a problem with my food; when I’d like more drink; when I want to order pudding – when I want to pay, I can’t get their attention and end up sitting for so long waiting for the right time to ask them. I’m sure I spend twice as long as I need to in nice restaurants, just because I’m shy.