Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

obnoxious diners


zeffer81
 Share

Recommended Posts

...Back to the topic though, why do we pay for this kind of experience?

You nailed it. We have to pay for the food. The experience, a good one that is, is what we hope to get. It's the bonus. It's what's behind door #3 when we've chosen door #1. Luck of the draw. Obviously the experience part doesn't always work out for everyone. The obnoxious people probably thought they had a good time though.

There's no extra charge for the experience whichever kind we get.

You are right if you are talking about Denny's or Olive Garden.

But if I'm in a nice place, paying big bucks, and planning to tip my usual>20%..THEN I HAD BETTER GET A GOOD EXPERIENCE!!! It is expected and decidedly not a bonus.

If it is truly bad, and my requests to be moved aren't honored, and the problem continues... then as a minimum the tip would be zero.

Unfair to the server? Perhaps, but what is a tip for if not to get a good experience?

A few lost tips will make the servers more proactive.

There are no guarantees when you sit down to a restaurant meal and pounding the (keyboard) table and announcing l HAD BETTER GET A GOOD EXPERIENCE will not create such a guarantee.

You pay for dinner because that's what civilized people do, writing it off to experience if THE EXPERIENCE WAS NOT GOOD -- though canceling everything not already fired, getting the check and stomping off in a snit is acceptable and sends a clear message that you DID NOT HAVE A GOOD EXPERIENCE without inflicting collateral damage on the server.

Stiffing the server because of something that is not his or her fault is juvenile, whereas taking care of the server even though your EXPERIENCE WAS NOT GOOD will mark you as a person class and leave you with a tasty bit of self-satisfaction that goes well with a proper snit-driven stomp-out which -- I thank we can all agree -- is almost as satisfying as a good meal and yields far more interesting conversation over drinks later on.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I said nothing about pounding on the table. Very dramatic of you. But at a high end joint I do expect that the experience will be a good one and I do hold staff accountable to maintain the atmosphere or at least try to.

Saying that my thoughts are juvenile is inappropriate. BTW I am a very tolerant man and have never stiffed a waiter. We were speaking hypothetically.

Frankly I do not care if the server is pleased with me and thinks I'm a classy guy based on how much I pay him. Why in the world are tips seen as a waiter's right? It is still just a tip. In europe, the home of fine eats, they do not have this mania. They pay the waiters a fair wage.

I would say that stomping out and making a bit of a scene myself would be a sign of no class at all.

I am amused at the restaurant people who assume no responsibility for the decorum in their place whilst seeing no problem in cheerfully overserving loud guests. A problem that I've seen more than once.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't say your thoughts were juvenile, I said that stiffing a waiter for something they have no control over is juvenile and I'll stand by that. Rather like kicking the dog after a bad day at the office, isn't it?

Much as I loath the word "netiquette" I will suggest that netiquette defines typing in all caps as metaphorically equivalent to pounding on the table, and a gesture certainly as dramatic as anything in my post.

Tips are indeed a waiter's right in the U.S., barring bad service. Part of the social contract and all. Tipping patterns around the world are not relevant.

I didn't mean to suggest making a scene -- one can stomp out discretely as well as ostentatiously -- the point being that calling for the check and leaving abruptly sends a dramatic (that word again!) signal to the chef and/or manager that things are going wrong, whereas stiffing the waiter might be unclear as well as unfair.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...Back to the topic though, why do we pay for this kind of experience?

You nailed it. We have to pay for the food. The experience, a good one that is, is what we hope to get. It's the bonus. It's what's behind door #3 when we've chosen door #1. Luck of the draw. Obviously the experience part doesn't always work out for everyone. The obnoxious people probably thought they had a good time though.

There's no extra charge for the experience whichever kind we get.

Hmmn I have an expectation of atmosphere when I pay more than $30 for anything on a menu. Not even atmosphere really as the expectation that some old boy, frat party sales group whatever is not going to be obtrusive or down right obnoxious nearby.

Some one else mentioned is it worth it to be arrested for refusing to pay for such an occurrence? Good question. I know you argue in court and not on the street but what would the cops say if you wanted to press charges against the obnoxious in question.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some one else mentioned is it worth it to be arrested for refusing to pay for such an occurrence? Good question. I know you argue in court and not on the street but what would the cops say if you wanted to press charges against the obnoxious in question.

On what grounds could you press charges?

Slinking out after stiffing the waiter accomplishes nothing. Talk to the manager & owner and ask that they speak to the offending parties, or ask to be moved to a different table. Let them know that you had a bad time, and why. If they are at all good at what they do, the management will know that they need to see to the comfort of all their guests, not just the big groups.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree you should be able to go to a high-end place and expect more than you would from TGIFriday's in terms of atmosphere. Unfortunately, no one can completely protect you from other diners. My two worst dining experiences have been 1) when someone died in the dining room and 2) when a family brought their elderly father in for dinner to tell him he could no longer live on his own. I think 2) was a version of that trick of taking someone out for a nice dinner to break up, hoping they will be too civilized to cause a scene. I could hear most of the (loud) conversation from that table and felt so bad I couldn't eat. The restaurant owner didn't do anything-- how could he?-- but at the end of the evening he came over with the old man's coat and helped him into it very tenderly. Just about broke my heart. Thing is, when you go out to eat you are still going out in public, with all that implies. Hopefully people are not spitting on the floor but they can do plenty of other things that they cannot precisely be busted for but that can still spoil your fun.

Edited by Tess (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You ever wonder why there is not a great deal of abhorrent behavior at most McDonald's? I think it's because the management is disciplined if they allow it.

They don't take the path of least resistance, they are not afraid of loosing the business of twits.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You ever wonder why there is not a great deal of abhorrent behavior at most McDonald's? I think it's because the management is disciplined if they allow it.

They don't take the path of least resistance, they are not afraid of loosing the business of twits.

My first proposal for restaurant-quote of 2008.

But some of those twits, minus the twitlets which took them to McDonald's, might conceivably take themselves into the higher-end "experience" restaurants. That would not change them or their behavior in a lot of instances; it would just put their twitness into Gucci shoes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You ever wonder why there is not a great deal of abhorrent behavior at most McDonald's? I think it's because the management is disciplined if they allow it.

They don't take the path of least resistance, they are not afraid of loosing the business of twits.

Or, they don't serve booze, and since people tend to want to get in and get out as fast as possible, there's not much of a real estate/entitlement mentality.

I personally haven't seen enough abhorrent behavior in either fine dining establishments or MCd's -- though I've seen some at each -- to find one system ore the other superior.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

or like my family did at a recent meal in Palm Springs where two wahoos were dropping every name they had in their little black book to impress each other - we started talking opening about their conversation in a volume that they could hear.  It quieted them a bit without elevating hostilities.

am i understanding this correctly? the topic of conversation between two strangers was annoying, so you behaved in a manner that made them think twice about what they were talking about?

Day late and dollar short...I missed this reply. We responded in a way that let them know that they were talking to the entire restaurant, and we did it in a way that they heard, but not the entire restaurant. Right or wrong the strategy was effective in this instance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One could get up to go to the restaurant, and in passing the table, stop and politely respond to something they'd said previously.

Something like "Oh I agree, she's TOTALLY overrated as an actress too!".

Might even work. I've never had quite the guts to try it in a restaurant setting.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many years ago when my son was 6 yo (he is in college now) we were eating at a very nice restaurant at the beach. A table of 6 next to us was full of guys who had just come off the golf course, had consumed a little too much alcohol, and were very loud and occasionally profane. My son waved over the host and asked somewhat loudly "could we move to another table, those men don't know how to use their inside voices and it is ruining our dinner." The table got very quiet (unfortunately there wasn't another table available) for the rest of the evening. As they were leaving, one of the men came to our table and very sheepishly apologized to my son for their behavior. Out of the mouth of babes.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...