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weinoo

Restaurant/Bar Annoyances

265 posts in this topic

6) The parents of 90% of the children in restaurants. Can't get a hyper, spoiled, loud, shrieking miserable whelp to sit still for two hours?

I agree with that one. It's not the kids that annoy me, it's the parents that do absolutely nothing to stop the disruptive behavior and flash those "isn't my little angel just adorable" smiles around the room at all of the annoyed people.

Another thing that annoys me are loud groups that want everybody in the place to know how cool they are and how much fun they're having.

The thing that annoys me most from servers is never seeing them again once they drop the food. Having to either do without something or flag down another employee to get it. I don't expect them to keep a constant watch on me but drop by a time or two and see if anybody needs anything.

Overall, not many things really bother me in most situations. I don't expect servers to bow and scrape or pretend to be invisible. I don't want to pretend they're part of the furniture and not people. I don't need to feel that spending my money puts me on a higher level than them. I can accept that there are different personality types among servers just like there are among any other group of people. Attentive service (within the scope of the establishment, I don't expect the same from a 60 seat diner during a busy lunch with two waitresses to provide the same attention that I'd get at a high end place with an entire fleet of service staff) and good food are really all I need to be happy with a restaurant.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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6) The parents of 90% of the children in restaurants. Can't get a hyper, spoiled, loud, shrieking miserable whelp to sit still for two hours?

I agree with that one. It's not the kids that annoy me, it's the parents that do absolutely nothing to stop the disruptive behavior and flash those "isn't my little angel just adorable" smiles around the room at all of the annoyed people.

Seriously, 90 percent? I think you might be suffering from a bit of confirmation bias (i.e. the well-behaved kids are out there, but you don't notice them, because they're well-behaved.) Around here everyone takes their kids to restaurants, and I can think of literally one time in the past ten years that my meal was significantly disrupted by a child. For the record, my kid has eaten in restaurants of (almost) every level, and we don't let him run around, shout, or disrupt anyone's experience. When we go to restaurants, the vast majority of the time nobody is running around, shouting, or being disruptive. (Except for that table full of drunken sales guys in town for a corporate junket who think it's funny to sexually harass the waitress, of course.)

My peeve is when I order a glass of wine to be served with my main course, and it doesn't show up until I remind the waiter, by which time half the course has been eaten.


"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

Visit my food blog! http://goodformeblog.blogspot.com/

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Seriously, 90 percent? I think you might be suffering from a bit of confirmation bias (i.e. the well-behaved kids are out there, but you don't notice them, because they're well-behaved.)

Seriously, 90 percent.

That's Las Vegas for you. The parents have this "Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" attitude, as their holy terrors ruin the dining experiences for dozens, nee, hundreds of diners. We don't call them "ankle biters" for no reason, dontchaknow.

Maybe, Munchymom, your child/children are beatific. Unfortunately, most children I come across in fine-dining venues in Las Vegas are NOT beatific. They're in need of a good beating.

Hyperbole? Yes. But barely.

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Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Heh. Our trips to Las Vegas have always been child-free as we see that as an adult destination (and the kid gets to be spoiled by Grandma and Grandpa!) But still, we've eaten there in buffets, cafes, mid-range places, high-end places, and I don't recall having even one meal ruined by a disruptive child. Poorly dressed and ill-mannered grownups, that's another story.

ETA a Las Vegas-specific peeve: Fine dining restaurants that open onto the casino floor. Where people smoke. A lot. Ew, ew, ew.


Edited by munchymom (log)

"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

Visit my food blog! http://goodformeblog.blogspot.com/

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Seriously, 90 percent? I think you might be suffering from a bit of confirmation bias (i.e. the well-behaved kids are out there, but you don't notice them, because they're well-behaved.)

Seriously, 90 percent.

That's Las Vegas for you. The parents have this "Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" attitude, as their holy terrors ruin the dining experiences for dozens, nee, hundreds of diners. We don't call them "ankle biters" for no reason, dontchaknow.

Maybe, Munchymom, your child/children are beatific. Unfortunately, most children I come across in fine-dining venues in Las Vegas are NOT beatific. They're in need of a good beating.

Hyperbole? Yes. But barely.

Actually parents in Westchester county NY have the same attitude.

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5) Couples who decide to have the "big pre-divorce blowout" in the restaurant.

6

I totally forgot about this until you reminded me with this comment but I was once working in an UES establishment and a couple got into a heated argument at the table. The man got up and HIT the woman. She started screaming and the waiters physically removed the man. He waited on the corner for her though. After, the waiters tried to help the girl get home, call a friend, call the police whatever and allllllllllll she wanted to do, was chase the dude down the street. Which she did.

Then there was the another time when the patron threw plates across the room and the owner threw him out and decked him on the street when he tried to get back in the place.

Sorry for the tangent. Just reminded me!

P.S.

I HATE music that is sooooo loud that you can't hear the people at the table.

I HATE it when the staff is seen doing something totally normal like sneeze or cough in their hands but they then handle your plates.

And from the service side, I hate rude children waaaaaay more than rude adults.

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How about dimly lit restaurants with unreadable menus? What is the rationale for using a size 8 cursive font? I can't count how many times we've had to pass the votive around so we could see what the hell was being offered. (Thank heavens for the flashlight app on my new Iphone!).

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Could you refill my water glass, please, without me having to flag you down? Last night hubby and I were out and he asked the waiter for more water (both of our glasses were half full) and the water refilled his glass and walked away. Heelllooo????

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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I don't like places that are always refilling iced tea; I like my iced tea a certain way (right amount of lemon, right amount of sweetener) and then you turn your head for a second and your half-empty glass is refilled and you are back at square one.

It also illustrates why some of these are hard - I wouldn't be surprised if some people have a pet peeve that their tea isn't refilled all the time. The best solution I've seen is always bring a new glass for iced tea drinkers (with new ice and a new lemon, another related ice tea peeve) when the tea starts getting low (but don't take the old glass until it's done!).

Another major MAJOR peeve is waiters that comment on how much you've eaten (e.g. "you must've hated that" said sarcastically; desired response "not until now").

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How about dimly lit restaurants with unreadable menus? What is the rationale for using a size 8 cursive font? I can't count how many times we've had to pass the votive around so we could see what the hell was being offered. (Thank heavens for the flashlight app on my new Iphone!).

Heck.. hard to read, busy fonts in ANY lighting conditions are pet peeve of mine. I really hate it.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I don't like places that are always refilling iced tea; I like my iced tea a certain way (right amount of lemon, right amount of sweetener) and then you turn your head for a second and your half-empty glass is refilled and you are back at square one.

It also illustrates why some of these are hard - I wouldn't be surprised if some people have a pet peeve that their tea isn't refilled all the time. The best solution I've seen is always bring a new glass for iced tea drinkers (with new ice and a new lemon, another related ice tea peeve) when the tea starts getting low (but don't take the old glass until it's done!).

Yeah.. that is the best solution. Bring a completely fresh, new glass of ice tea to the table. I've found that people are very particular about the way beverages are refilled. For many, it seems to be the single most important service element at a restaurant.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Yeah.. that is the best solution. Bring a completely fresh, new glass of ice tea to the table. I've found that people are very particular about the way beverages are refilled. For many, it seems to be the single most important service element at a restaurant.

My wife generally divides restaurants into "good water place" and "bad water place."

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People who think their handbag/coat/poodle/whatever deserve their own seat at the bar.

What would be the appropriate protocol for a handbag/coat? Of course, in the ideal world, there would be hooks attached to the bar for handbags. But a coat? What do others do with theirs?

Should said bar become crowded, then I would definitely attempt to move my coat...


Karen Dar Woon

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What would be the appropriate protocol for a handbag/coat? Of course, in the ideal world, there would be hooks attached to the bar for handbags. But a coat? What do others do with theirs?

Should said bar become crowded, then I would definitely attempt to move my coat...

How about at your feet? On your lap?


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Or on the back of your stool, if it has one, or under you, if it doesnt.

Handbags- over shoulder, at feet (not so safe) or on lap.

Possibly on bar next to your drink.

But I can see using the next stool, if occupancy is low.

Why are rude kids worse than rude adults? :confused:


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

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Has anyone posted about waiters regularly filling and overfilling your wine glass in a transparent attempt to empty the bottle and get you to buy another one?

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I am in China. Here, in restaurants, they hand you the (48 page) menu and immediately ask "What would you like?" then hover till you order something. Requests to disappear till I've actually read the thing are met with uncomprehending expressions and a repeat of the "What would you like?" mantra. Then they start pointing at random dishes as suggestions.

I did once call one out and ask what the dish she was pointing at actually was. She had no idea. So she pointed at another.

I have a million stories. They haven't worked out 'service' here, at all.

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Why are rude kids worse than rude adults? :confused:

Something about being treated like the "help" by a kid is pretty atrocious. I once had a child speak to me in such a way that his mother couldn't look me in the eyes. I am not at all saying that the kid had the ability to make me feel less than, but it was gross that he attempted it. I also really hate to see kids with no manners when they are old enough to have them..."I want my food!" type bahavior. Glad I'm not a waitress anymore.

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Being upsold. Do you want white truffles on everything?? And they don't tell you the cost.

Or, I think you would enjoy this $100 bottle of wine, and I just sat down...and the place is a 9th Ave. Trattoria. (translation: not where I would spend a hundred bucks on wine without giving it a lot of thought) Give me a break and lay off the sales job. (gee...I sound like Weinoo) :laugh:

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Being upsold. Do you want white truffles on everything?? And they don't tell you the cost.

Or, I think you would enjoy this $100 bottle of wine, and I just sat down...and the place is a 9th Ave. Trattoria. (translation: not where I would spend a hundred bucks on wine without giving it a lot of thought) Give me a break and lay off the sales job. (gee...I sound like Weinoo) :laugh:

It's getting scary, hathor. Being upsold is annoying. As is when you're told the specials, and usually not told the price. I like to ask the price of the specials just to see the look on the waitperson's face.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Is there anything that doesn't annoy you guys?

I find these type of threads upsetting. I swear to god it seems like people go out to eat just so they can complain about it. For just about every complaint in this thread there is someone who would complain about the opposite. People complain cause a server fills up the iced tea, while other people complain when server's don't fill it up. Some people want to pour their own wine, while others are offended if they have to touch the bottle themselves.

Want to know who is responsible for bad service? The public.

It also greatly depends on the type of establishment. If I'm at a diner, or a casual chain, or something, and the server/runner auctions off the food...so what? Like, are your conversations so important that you can't stop for 10 seconds to get your entree? The higher you progress along the dining scale, the more you should expect from the service.

Your restaurants upsell you so that they make more money. News flash: restaurants try and make money. In these tough times, every cent counts so yeah, maybe you can put up with some upselling. It might be the difference between your favorite Trattoria being in business one week and out the next. Those truffles aren't going to disappear just from the occasional person who asks for them...the servers need to push them because truffles are a) ungodly expensive and b) very perishable.

You know why you don't get a new ice tea glass every time? Cause I like my dishwasher. And he's buried right now. Plus, now it means I have to walk to the dishpit when there might be other things to do. You know why servers top off your glasses? Cause they have time. They might not have time in 5 minutes. You are half empty and I've got the pitcher in my hand? I'm going to top you off. Because, like I said, in 5 minutes I might not have time to fill your glass. Would you rather have to put an extra sweet n low in your tea now, or have an empty glass sit in front of you until I have time to come back around? Cause I know you'd complain if your glass sat empty for longer than 2 minutes.

I'm sorry, this is so frustrating to me. I HATE these massive bitch fest threads about the restaurant business. I guess it just ties into people's love for complaining about everything and feeling entitled to do so. It's a wonder any of you enjoy the experience at all...

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I guess it's better to complain here than actually do it at the restaurant. I get frustrated about the upselling, but I understand that restaurants are struggling right now. However, I don't feel being pressured to add something extra to my dish is going to help ensure my return business. In my mind, if the waitstaff is attentive to the best of their ability and the food is consistently good, I'll put up with any other little annoyances. It kind of ties in to the thread on being a "regular." I have certain restaurants that I go to, repeatedly, because they don't push any of my (admittedly personal) buttons. I agree that for everyone that complains about something being done one way, there's another person who complains that it's done the opposite way. It does seem like there are certain things that do rub quite a few people the wrong way, though...

Maybe this thread can count as group therapy, and we can all be nice to our servers next time we head out, even if they over/underfill our glasses, comment on the amount of food we did/didn't eat, or brandish white truffles at us in a threatening manner! :raz:


If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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Geez, I just re-read what I wrote.

Sorry guys. I take this stuff seriously, being my profession, and in this business we hear a lot more bad stuff then good, even at the high levels. A lot of time, absence of criticism is the highest praise.

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I always tip well...waitstaff puts up with a lot of crap...people are NOT at their best when they're hungry!


If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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