We were at a restaurant which, for obvious reasons will remain anonymous, when what was a terrific experience suddenly went somewhat South.
It seemed like a fabulous dinner - the ambience was lovely, the service at first struck as so smooth, polished and professional that we actually began commenting on it to each other, and the food was excellent.
Even afterwards, we felt it was a great time - just somewhat tainted by what happened with our server.
That being said, we wonder if this happens often - a server who apparently becomes attracted to a guest and behaves in subtle but totally inappropriate ways? And if so, does it taint the overall experience to the point that the customer may not return, fearing to some degree and at some level that if seated at that waitperson's table, they will again be placed in an awkward, uncomfortable and unacceptable situation?
A few decades ago, when waitpeople were in the habit of announcing their name and that they'd be your server, there were those who became very familiar in a somewhat intrusive way that could become uncomfortable for the guest.
Our experience went beyond this by leaps and bounds and was on a different level. The server was polite, friendly, agreeable and above all, professional at the start.
We're not sure when it deteriorated into inappropriate behavior toward my guest. Was the server put off by the fact that he was a younger man dining with an older woman? Who knows - and it's beside the point. The server began touching my guest - at first I was not even aware of it but toward the end, it became more obvious and very unsettling. Near the end of the meal, the server actually ran her fingers up my guest's neck.
If sexual harassment is inappropriate for women, it's equally inappropriate for men. Both of us were increasingly unsettled and uncomfortable as it escalated. It left a bad taste in an otherwise delicious dining occasion.
Both of us were uncertain of how to handle the situation as it was so unexpected and seemed to happen out of nowhere.
I ask you - how would you handle this, both as an operator and as a diner? Would you report it to management after the fact? Would you take it up with the server at the time? We did nothing to encourage this behavior, but it leaves a lingering and unpleasant taste. We'd like to know what could be done to prevent other diners from a similar situation - disconcerted and feeling "dissed."