Good or Bad?: Having the Check Ready When Asking About Dessert

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Photo: iStockphoto

Weve already discussed how annoying it is when servers get all cutesy about dessert, but, on the other end of the spectrum, whats up with the ones who ask you if you want dessert and then, before the words No, thanks are even halfway out of your mouth, turn out to have your check already printed for you and ready to drop? Is this an act of rudeness or, all the opposite, the height of thoughtful efficiency? Probably a little bit of both. After all, were mostly thankful to get our check faster, but, on the other hand, theres something a little presumptuous about it like, I could tell youre the kind of cheap bastard, or amateur eater, who wouldnt want anything else, and Im in a hurry to put my next customer in your seat, so pay up and get out. More to the point whos to say that just because we dont want dessert, we might not want to lounge around for a little while and maybe get another drink. Isnt that the reason its customary to wait for No thanks just the check before printing it? If we had our druthers, things would be done in the way of a Brazilian rodizio, except youd display the red circle when youre done with your meal and youre ready to pay. That way if youre not in the mood for it, you avoid the dessert-question ritual altogether. Just the check.