Tuesday, January 14, 2014

the most annoying things about restaurants

I go out to eat more often than the average person, I assume, so I probably get more annoyed by restaurants than the average person. At least I hope I do. Because I get annoyed by them a lot. Here are the behaviors I wish would go away, from least offensive to most offensive.

This really has nothing to do with anything but I just watched this episode and thought this was hilarious. Bean Blankies!

6) Being out of stuff: Yeah, I get that it happens, but if I eat dinner at 7:00 and it happens? I don't get it. And if you have a small menu with only five entree options and you are out of one of them? That's even worse! That happened to us in Delaware and it was kind of a bummer. Just be better prepared!

5) Dropping the check before offering dessert: Listen, we are fat kids. Chances are, we will spit a dessert. I get not everyone is like that, but for those of us who are, can you at least ask before you leave the check without saying a word?

4) Refusing to substitute a side: This happened to me a few weeks ago and I got overly mad about it. We were at a Cuban place and I ordered a sandwich and could have plantain chips or fries as a side. I really wanted black beans and rice. I asked the waitress if I could substitute and without telling me there was an upcharge or that she needed to ask, she just said no. Really? So I got the fries and they went untouched. What a waste! And I had a bite of Andrew's rice and beans and they were yummy, so I was extra bummed.

3) Poor seat choice in a mostly-empty restaurant: If there is no one in the restaurant, I don't want to sit next to the bathroom. I don't want to sit in the middle of the room. I don't want to be right next to the only other table in there. And please don't give me the stink-eye when I request to change. Sadly, I am that person so I will ask to be more comfortable. Obviously, if it's 8pm on a Friday night, none of this applies. I'll sit in a closet if you will feed me faster!

2) When I have an empty plate, making a comment that I must have enjoyed my food. This one really gets me. Am I supposed to go to a restaurant, spend my money on an entree, and then leave half of it behind? I have a healthy appetite and I don't really care for leftovers so sorry not sorry but if my food is tasty, I will finish it. There is no need to make me feel like a cow for finishing my dinner. Can't they think of something new to say?

1) Questioning a tip amount: For work, I hosted an event at a restaurant in Washington, DC based on a colleague's advice. The service was awful. They weren't ready for us, the guests had to stand in line for their drinks (rather than a waiter taking orders), I had to ask them repeatedly to replenish the buffet (and was told "Tell them to eat the fish" when I wanted more chicken), and had to beg for them to turn on the AC. I was embarrassed that guests were brought to this place, and when the bill came, gratuity wasn't automatically added. My company policy prohibits tipping beyond 18%, no matter what. I understand and respect what people in the service industry do and know that they depend on tips to make a living; however, I feel that tips should be earned by doing a good job and by this waiter (he was the only one serving us) not attending to the guests and acting put out by additional requests, I didn't think he earned the maximum I could give him. So I tipped 15%. This was lunch for 24 people, so that wasn't a small amount. I was still with a few colleagues after signing the bill and the waiter came out from the back.

"Excuse me," he said, "But it is customary to tip 20%."

"20%? I thought 18 was more the norm."

"Oh yeah. 18%.... so, did you want to do that?"

I was speechless. Did he really think he had done his best and deserved that? I looked at my colleagues, including the Dean of the school I work for, and firmly said "No. I feel I tipped you what was fair for today." He said okay and walked away.

So, um, yeah. That was awkward and most definitely a pet peeve of mine from here on out.

What are some of your biggest dining out pet peeves?

Glossy Blonde


  1. I can not believe that you were questioned about a tip?! Wow. I would have been like....I was being nice and generous with that you did get. I dont HAVE to give you anything!

    I cant stand when Chris and I are by ourselves and the restaurant is fairly empty and we get seated by a family with a ton of loud kids. Obviously we are on a date night and I dont want to hear the kids screaming and carrying on and kicking the bench and all that other jazz. I understand if it is crowded, but usually it is not.

    I hate when they bring the bill and I have my credit card out and ready to hand it to them but they dont take it and make me wait 5 more minutes to come collect it and run it and bring it back. Obviously I had it ready for a reason, I need to leave!

    When they let your drink run out constantly.

    I cant stand when I order a salad and a meal and the salad comes out...then 2 minutes later my meal is there. I want to enjoy my salad or appetizer for awhile BEFORE my meal....not with my meal.

  2. ahhh I hate hate hate when they say "you must have enjoyed your dinner." uhh no I came here so I would hate the food and not want to eat it! ugh

    Also, wow I cannot get over the nerve of that guy with the 15/18%. Can you say obnoxious? I served for years and I never ever ever would have done that!

  3. Okay that tip thing would have really irked me. So rude, and presumptuous! I've never had anyone ask me if I enjoyed my dinner in an obnoxious way like you did - that's so weird to me.

    I don't like when waiters are inattentive. I get that you're busy, but please check to see if I need anything and if my water looks low, a refill would be nice.

    I also hear you on the seating. My parents and I walked out of a place once because they refused to sit us anywhere but the bar, citing that all the other tables were reserved. The place was empty, I think 3 couples were there and there were TONS of empty tables. When we started walking out, the manager came back and was like, no it's fine, you can sit wherever. Too late, buddy.

  4. Duddde, I can't believe the server asked about his tip?! For my mom's birthday last year we took her to a swanky Mexican spot, and there were 9 of us so tip was already included...worst service ever. I guess because he knew he was getting 18% regardless? I was so pissed. We eat out a lot, too {well until last week, now that we're doing the Whole 30}, and I hate when servers say, "well, looks like you enjoyed it!"...biggest pet peeve.

  5. Asking for more of a tip is crazy! Even if he did a good job and thought he deserved more it's not okay to ask!

    I think the 15% was an over tip based on the service provided, he should have been happy to get that.

  6. WOW! You've had some crazy experiences! I can't believe that tip thing! You're not alone with your pet peeves...I have many. My biggest irritation is when I order a water WITH LEMON. They bring out a water....no lemon. Seriously? I specifically said it. So then I have to ask for lemon and get a plate of like 10 lemon slices... I don't think it's that crazy to get a single lemon slice with my water...please pay attention!! *whew*...sorry...I just got angry thinking about it!

  7. Yikes I can't believe that server got away with asking you that! And I also hate that you must have enjoyed it comment. I mean I'm sure they run out of things to say to people to be pleasant. But, why shouldn't you eat the food you bought??

  8. Wow. That is a little tacky going out and asking for more tip. For 24 people normally they would have two servers so they failed on their end.

  9. SERIOUSLY!!!!! Questioning your tip is unacceptable, especially when service was bad.

    I get annoyed at all of these things too. AND not just at restaurants.

    Recently my husband and I went to buy a new bed/mattress and because we look like we are 12 we were 100% ignored in one of the stores we went to. We tried to get help, but since we are young and look like we wouldn't spend as much they just ignored us. A few minutes later an elderly couple walked in and had 5 employees rushing over "what can i get you to drink, how can we help, let me show you this." etc. We just left, went a few stores down and spent 4000 on furniture. It really upset me the fact that the store treated us that way and honestly I wanted to be like "YOU JUST LOST OUR BUSINESS!"

    I say all this to say, I totally agree with you on all of these points haha.

  10. Wow that tip thing is ballsy. I guess it works sometimes by guilting people. It would not work for me! As an ex waitress, I knew when I deserved a bad tip.

    I hate when they don't split checks. In an idea world, ONE person will take care of the bill for everyone but these days, no one has the money to treat their 6 friends to dinner/drinks. If its a fancy restaurant and they are using software from 1996 to handle their finances, I'm going to judge.

  11. I DETEST awful service. MFD worked in a lot of restaurants so we ALWAYS tip 20% or more. If you totally suck we're giving you 15% and if I was questioned on it I would RAGE at that person. How rude.

    I hate when my drink goes unfilled, when the ketchup bottle is empty, and when I have to ask for salt.

    My number one peeve is the drink thing for sure - I then can't concentrate on anything except for the fact that they won't fill my drink.

  12. Ohhh... the tips. My husband is WAY TO NICE sometimes. He is also the guy that REFUSES to send back food that's messed up so no one touches it "with their balls" no kidding. I am with you. Work for your money.

  13. Yeah questioning the tip is not smart, because you clearly did something wrong - don't bring more attention to it!
    I hate the weird seating. I always ask first if they're seating me in someone's section specifically but even then, I ask to move to a different table in the same section. I don't want to be right next to another table of people when the rest of the place is totally empty.

  14. whoa! he actually called you out for not leaving 20% when you left a tip to begin with?! dammmmmn homey. i worked as a waitress, there was no way i would ever question someone, even if they left no tip at all. granted i would be pissed, but still.

  15. Yes to #3!! My husband and I went into an empty restaurant for supper around 5, and were told to sit by the bar, because they were completely booked for 6, and were concerned that we wouldn't be done by then. SO confusing! And I can't believe that waiter even commented on his tip. That's just rude.

  16. The waiter that questioned the tip amount was just rude! That's not cool. And the seating issue in an empty restaurant always gets me mad, too. We speak up and ask to be moved. Here's another annoying thing - when food comes out, and the server assumes that I'm the one who ordered the salad because I'm a woman. It never fails, they always offer it to me - and my husband ordered it! The same could be said about always offering me the diet coke. Nope, I ordered the regular! Judging people's food and drink preferences is very rude. IMHO they should just ask the table as a whole.

  17. How can you not sub a side?! That's just dumb! I don't care if you have to charge me more, I'm cool with that - but at least give the option!

  18. Well subbing for something is always an option, no matter how fancy the restaurant or not. I know this to be true - I worked in food service for way too many years.

    Truthfully I'm sure that server was busting his ass if he was the only one for 24 people, that's an insane amount for one guy unless you're a pro. But to question a tip, especially in front of a group is not tactful. I would sometimes leave off auto gratuity for a large party, if I thought I would get more by having the person tip themselves. But only if I knew I'd done a great job!!

  19. That is ridiculous that the waiter questioned you. Way to embarress and piss off your patrons, dude. I would turn beet red if that happened to me.

    I hate when the waiter/waitress picks up the check before we leave the table (unless their shift is ending); otherwise, I think it's rude. I really wish the waiter would continue to fill my drink as long as I'm sitting there, including after I pay the check. I like socializing at restaurants and I would love to do it with constant refills of Coke/Dr Pepper. I am with you on the being out of ingredients. I went to a restaurant on a Friday night around 7 or so and they were out of pizza dough. Seriously?! On top of that, they didn't warn us before we ordered just an "Oh, we're out of pizza dough" after we ordered a pizza. Ugh. They had a limited menu on top of that, so we ended up getting some appetizers for dinner, but that was it.

  20. I agree with all of these especially the seating thing! It took me a few years post college to do it, but now I speak up about that kind of stuff. I hate when people assume I don't want a drink because I look young and then card me. I know it should be a compliment, but it makes me feel like a baby. We are fat kids!! LOL me too. All the food, drinks, apps, everything is gone if I'm going out eat and spending my hard earned money!

  21. I hate it when they try to take my plate before I'm done without asking me. They reach out for it and I have to say, No I'm not done or practically grab it from their hands! I also hate it when they don't come back to check to see if we need anything. If we do it sucks 'cause we're waiting.

  22. I eat out far too often. I think my biggest pet peeve is when the server starts clearing people's dinner plates while others are still eating. Yah, we know you need to turn your tables but calm down!

  23. My boyfriend thinks I am the worlds rudest customer when we go out to restaurants, but I know what good customer service looks like and I expect it. I worked in a restaurant I don't think my standards are too high.

  24. I am DYING at the animated image in this post. So hilarious. I keep reading it over and over again.

    I hate when the check gets dropped before dessert too. It makes me feel like they're rushing me out the door.

    And, the tip thing - WHOA. I can't believe he approached you about that. So unprofessional!

  25. That has happened to us beofore in DC, too! Actually three times here. Same as you, we tipped 18% and were approached and asked if we had bad service or if there were some reason we did not tip 20%. I get so angry every time!

  26. I hate when servers say I must have hated my meal since there was nothing left. Makes me feel like a fat kid. As for the waiter who asked about the 15%, no class. It is sad that in this day and age, waiters expect 20%, even if they don't earn it. I am all about fair tipping and if you do an amazing job, I will go above 20%, but because they earned it. Great post...I want to write one myself about all the things I hate.

  27. This is a great list! I can't believe #1 actually happened to you...that is the worst! How awful and rude!

  28. Yes to all of these! Also I hate being rushed....giving me the check when really I would just like to sit and enjoy the environment & my company!


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