Here are 13 things that restaurant diners do that often annoy waiters compiled from interviews with waiters.
1. Telling the waiter you are in a hurry and to please tell the chef to hurry
2. Asking the staff to sing Happy Birthday
3. Complaining about the food but leaving a clean plate
5. Staying more than 30 mins at the table after finishing your meal.
6. Sending food back to the kitchen
7. Allowing little children to run wild
8. Drunk and disorderly
10. Flirting with the staff
11. Telling the waiter how the food should have been prepared
12. Fighting over a check
13. Not leaving a tip
And of course - us diners need to have our day in the court of public opinion. We all have a forgettable restaurant story. One of my most unfortunate experiences which ultimately turned out great was when my wife Speedo Swimwear designer Priscilla Burns and I were celebrating a wedding anniversary at the Portland Oregon Westin Benson Hotel.
The Duck l’Orange was over-cooked and had the texture of rubber, the vegetables were over salted, our drinks were badly mixed, the waiter set his sleeve on fire doing a dessert flambé.’ Later a wheel fell off the pastry cart as it passed by. I didn’t complain to the waiter. I sent a letter to the hotel manager.
The hotel graciously invited us to return on-the-house and asked us to please advise them in advance when we would be coming. Months later we did. We were warmly greeted. Benson hotel matchbooks on the table had our names embossed in gold, and needless to say the dinner and service were superb. The London Grill lived up to its reputation for being the one of the finest places to dine in Oregon that night.
Yes it was a set-up, they knew we were coming but didn’t know that 25 years later I’d be doing restaurant reviews for a living. If they did... they might have provided us with a string quartet too.
I should have never gone to the Benson (or any dinner house) on a Sunday night as it’s often the chef’s night off and only the line cooks were on duty. I knew better. Because I had worked at the Westin Benson years earlier as a continental cook.
Here's couple of last minute additions to the above list:
Putting your dentures on or taking them out at the table
Leaving weapons on the table
If you care about the future of fine dining and can help out a young student chef – please visit Chef Denise Joy Milan’s Indiegogo crowd funding project page at:
Best to all,