Hooper: Restaurant service is declining, but some get it right

Published July 1, 2013

I asked my Facebook friends: Is it just me or does restaurant service seem to be declining?

While careful not to paint with too broad a brush, many agreed that remarkable service has become the exception. Too often, it's pedestrian, as if servers are going through the motions. "Can't wait to get off work," seems to be the mantra.

I tip well regardless, but I wonder if I'm sending the wrong message. Are owners failing to promote engaging service? Or do I need to be more appreciative and courteous in the beginning?

Maybe the solution is to laud those who get it right. Thanks to my Facebook crew, Ybor City's Carne Chophouse, Treasure Island's VIP Lounge & Mexican Restaurant and Clearwater's Pico Rojo earn shoutouts.

Owners take note — good service and word of mouth count. …

Word on the grapevine is Gov. Rick Scott will pen a book profiling significant Floridians, including hip-hop megastar Flo Rida. Can't you see Scott joining Flo Rida on the stage for a spiffy little version of Club Can't Handle Me? You go gov.

Bumper sticker seen on a Mini Cooper: Caution Maximum Capacity: 15 Clowns.

Stop by any Sweetbay through Sunday and buy a bag, brick or container of coffee that Wesley Chapel-based Support Our Troops will deliver to troops in remote areas. …

Kudos to the Florida Aquarium for netting close to $1 million for its Rising Tides capital campaign through the New Market Tax Credit initiative, a federal program. With the help of attorney Jim Lang, the aquarium brought home federal funds for a deserving project. It's important given Florida lags most states in using the program.

That's all I'm saying.