Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Waitstaff Flare Gun

When no amount of hand-waving or bellowing will do...
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Quite simple: in reastaurants there are lots of things to distract the waitstaff. Patrons need a really obvious way to attract attention to themselves.

A low-yield flare gun mounted on each table would do the trick. It fires a bright, colourful flare 6-10 feet in the air, signifying that I *really* want another cup of coffee.

Restaurants could even go as far as to colour code them -- green is Vera's section; red is Flo's section; purple is Alice's.

MrWrong, Jun 17 2002

"SERVICE PLEASE" light http://www.halfbake...20PLEASE_22_20light
A restaurant version of the "flight attendant call button" [phoenix, Jun 17 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Automatic Restaurant Table http://www.halfbake...0Restaurant_20Table
...allows you to make out your order yourself... [phoenix, Jun 17 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Psychic restaurant http://www.halfbake...sychic_20restaurant
[phoenix, Jun 17 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Tip status indicator http://www.halfbake...0status_20indicator
Not related, but apropos. [phoenix, Jun 17 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Robco Restaurant Flaregun http://www.halfbake...staurant_20Flaregun
[linked relocated from annotation text] [bristolz, Oct 17 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       Leave without paying; they'll damn soon notice you.
angel, Jun 17 2002
  

       [blissmiss] - if you're keen on the non-violent approach, be glad I didn't post the "Waitstaff Harpoon Gun", too... But I do agree, being able to select one's target is appealing. (For me, it goes right into the waitresses' staging area, where they're standing around yakking while my order goes stone-cold two feet away from them...)
MrWrong, Jun 17 2002
  

       [phoenix] - Lots of good links there. I did read the "Service Please light" idea, but I still feel that a flare gun is a helluva lot harder to ignore than a little blinky light. (Or a coaster, as in the annotations of said idea.)
MrWrong, Jun 17 2002
  

       You don't want Alice's light to be purple blissmiss? oh wait - you didn't say non-violet aproach...   

       Would the flare gun be sort of bolted to the middle of the table instead of freely movable? How about something resembling one of those fireworks that you place in the ground and they send a fountain of sparks straight upwards... that would be good if it wasn't too loud...
RobertKidney, Jun 17 2002
  

       As long as I, nor any of the other patrons, don't get charred with the signalling device, I'm happy. Thus, your Roman candle idea [RK] is a welcome and festive addition.
MrWrong, Jun 17 2002
  

       I was in a restaurant once that had a flag on the end of your table that you would raise to signal the waitress. Quite effective and not at all dangerous. I wish that I could remember when and where this occured.
dana_renay, Jun 17 2002
  

       will no-one own up to flicking peas?
po, Jun 17 2002
  

       ...then there's the way Palestinians communicate their impatience to restaurant patrons who annoy them...
beauxeault, Jun 17 2002
  

       I don't know about flicking peas, but I will confess to picking fleas.
quarterbaker, Jun 17 2002
  

       The Hacienda Mexican Restaurant, just outside of Ramstein Air Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany, has had the flag routine on the end of the table for years. Simple 4" X6" flag on a wooden pole. And waitresses can't see a human waving, but they notice a stationary flag. Hmmm. Oh, yea; the flare thing just didn't work out. Too much collateral damage. Why so many Americans come over to Germany just to eat Mexican food, I don't know.
Grog, Sep 17 2002
  

       Ich wünsche meine tacoglocke
thumbwax, Sep 18 2002
  

       See similar idea, the Robco Restaurant Flaregun
[URL moved up to the links area. ~admin/bristolz]

Shortly after I discussed this idea at lunch with a group of people where the Halfbakery was also discussed, the Waitstaff Flare Gun appeared on this site. But my original idea was for a pocket gun; not a system installed at restaurants. No restaurant would voluntarily install a flare system! And if they used a system based on lights, the waitstaff would just ignore it.
robo45h, Oct 17 2002
  

       Riiiiiiight - so you're saying that restaurants would welcome any and all comers with assorted flareguns of their own choosing, is that right robo?
thumbwax, Oct 17 2002
  

       When entering this restaurant, take care to notice residual burn marks on the ceiling. These would tend to indicate tables that get poor service, such as that one odd table off in the corner that the waitress can't see from the counter.
krelnik, Oct 17 2002
  

       Years ago I was watching my eggs grow cold as I waited in vain for my toast I invented a solution to this problem. I call them "Waitress Darts". A cup full of cheap plastic darts is placed on each table. The darts are all imprinted with the table number and a request i.e "#17 water" "#17 check" etc etc. Bandaged / bleeding waitresses should be avoided upon arrival at the resteraunt.
BdgBill, Sep 05 2003
  

       Start a slow, erotic strip. Especially if you are middle aged and chubby, you'll get attention real quick. They'll be happy to scamper off and get your check.   

       I got so fed up once in a TGI Friday's that I put on my coat and told the greeter on the way out that she had until the elevator arrived to present my check. Bingo!
FloridaManatee, Sep 05 2003
  

       Problem is, though, there are always a few rude bastards in every restaurant/bar/cafe who think they should be served immediately, first, yesterday, completely disregarding all other customers and they would abuse this system to the full.
squeak, Sep 05 2003
  
      
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