I would love to hear your comment on how to handle excessively loud and boisterous diners at a fine dining restaurant. This happened tonight; we had invited a couple to a hip, though fine dining restaurant and the table next to us consisted of 6 drunk diners, 3 men, 3 women who were entirely loud and obnoxious. The restaurant where we were is not a sedate, Michelin *** gastronomic restaurant; indeed, it has a very lively bar with TV screens and its own DJ later in the evening but it is fine dining--we ate in the dining room, not the bar. It is decidedly fine dining, and we had two dishes with black truffles and another pasta dish with black truffles and lobster. It is, by any definition, fine dining with a name chef and operated by a well known restaurant group. Our dinner tonight started at 6:45pm and ended at 9:55pm. The table next to us was so loud, the men were laughing hysterically at the top of their voices, the women encouraging them and also loud, and the women began making sexual gestures around the food. The problem wasn't the behavior of the woman with her sexual gestures--it was the loud talking and laughing of the entire table. So loud, that our guests (he is 28, she is 26) commented that it was ruining their first time at the restaurant.
It bordered on ruining our night for all 4 of us; so much so that early in the evening, when I shot daggers at them via my eyes and they realized they were loud, they seemed for a nanosecond embarrassed, and I said to them "You are ruining our dinner; seriously." The ensuing quiet from them lasted 5 minutes, then they resumed. At the end of our 3 hour meal, when they got even more drunk and resumed their profoundly loud laughing and carrying on, we told the management of the loud noise and that it had ruined experience; they basically shrugged as if to say (and I think they actually did say this) "We're sorry about the noise but there's really nothing that we can do.
We're not prudes or church mice; indeed, we like the music at the restaurant and love the hip vibe. That our 20-something guests had an issue with the noise also makes a statement.
So....those of you either in the restaurant industry or as diners (btw, we are regulars at the restaurant; we go there usually 2 times a week and are quite friendly with the management and chef), what are your thoughts about how this might be handled?
Edited by DutchMuse, 23 June 2012 - 08:56 PM.