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Dear Urban Diplomat: Is it rude to order dessert when there’s a line of people waiting for a table?

Dear Urban Diplomat: Just Desserts


Dear Urban Diplomat,
My husband and I recently waited for two hours to get a table at a new restaurant at Dundas and Bathurst. While we ate, we could feel the people in line eyeing our table. After we finished our entrées, the server brought our bill without offering dessert, so we sent it back and ordered panna cotta and cappuccinos. As we did, someone in line let out an exasperated “C’mon!” which I found incredibly rude. But then I wondered if maybe we had violated some unwritten rule. Is it bad form to order dessert when there’s a big lineup?
—Just Desserts, Dufferin Grove

No reservations, that most pesky and pervasive of dining policies, turns hosts into bouncers and queuers into glucose-deprived rage-aholics. You are perfectly within your rights to ignore them entirely. That said, if you simply can’t enjoy yourself while a throng of hostile diners hovers a few feet away, don’t fight it. Next time, hit up one of Dundas West’s many Portuguese bakeries for an espresso instead.

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  • Scott

    Enjoying dessert is definitely not “C’mon” worthy, however there’s nothing worse than watching someone talk over the last few drinks of a beer after their cheque has been paid.

  • moonshake

    How about NOT going to any restaurant where both the staff and the waiting customers want you to to leave asap? I wouldn’t reward any place that was practically pushing me out the door by hurrying me along with an unrequested bill, with a dessert order.

  • CdnSyrup

    I would never go to a restaurant that pushes me out because people are waiting for a table!

  • Angela

    You, just like all the other restaurant-goers, waited for seating. Also, you are paying for the service and food. Why should your experience be rushed? It is very rude for anyone to try to rush you during your divining experience. Even if you decide to stay after dinner for drinks and desserts, you are completely entitled to do so. The waiters should be as hospitable as possible and if not, I wouldn’t tip liberally and I would mention to the manager on duty the terrible service I received. Dining is supposed to be a relaxing experience, you shouldn’t have to feel guilty as you enjoy your meal and you definitely shouldn’t have to feel obliged to go elsewhere for dessert.

  • common sense

    If you know a restaurant is busy make a reservation…

    If you didn’t or couldn’t make a reservation and there is a two hour wait, it’s your choice to do so, I certainly wouldn’t wait 2 hours for a table! There are lots of other places to go.

    Eying the tables of other patrons and yelling C’Mon is just plain selfish and beyond rude!

  • Genius

    The best thing to do is to order the dessert, then dont even touch it for 20 minutes, then ask the waiter/waitress to pack it up for you to takeaway.

    Everyone waiting in line steams with frustration, but doesnt have los cojones to do jack.

  • Jam

    @ Genius – That’s a first class A$$wipe thing to do – not to mention Cowardly.

  • No Lineups

    My policy is to never wait in lines. Sure I miss the trendy and perhaps some good things (maybe), but I gain a lot of time and self respect.