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Don't say "enjoy," say "enjoy your meal."

Don't say that: 


Do say this: 

Enjoy your meal or, where appropriate, "bon appetit."


Don't ever speak in part sentences. It's poor communication. It leaves the person you are speaking to to wonder what you mean.

"Enjoy" often sounds like an instruction, as if the rest of the sentence should be "it or else the chef will chase you down the road with a cleaver."

Also, it's a statement of presence by the waiter, when if the waiter were attuned to the mood at the table, while delivery of food is acknowledged, it is done so somewhat absent-mindledly, in a one-way expression of gratitude. By saying "Enjoy" or, frankly, anything else, the waiter is interposing himself into whatever conversation or mood the diners had developed. This is because speech from the waiter requires the diners to adopt two way interaction.

The correct approach is simply to make certain that the diner moves so that the plate can be delivered by saying, "excuse me" or "sir," "madam" or "miss" as apt.

If the ordering, cooking and delivery process is properly managed, it is not necessary to tell the diner what he's getting. The idea that waiting staff are part of the event is fine in a burger bar. It's not right for restaurants.

This is not, however, so where a diner is alone: there it is acceptable, even desirable, for some small degree of interaction. But never, ever, to tell him to "Enjoy!"



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