There was a recent brouhaha when Vanity Fair published a scathing review of the Trump Grill. But you don’t have to be political when it comes to thinking that a restaurant is just that bad. Here are some of the most common complaints that customers have about truly bad restaurants:
No Hostess to greet patrons as they walk in. Even fast food joints know it’s all about hospitality, so they always instruct food servers to greet customers as they walk in. It’s a bad sign when a restaurant doesn’t do this. If they don’t even know about this basic rule, what other mistakes are they making? Of course, it’s understandable when there are too many people. But greeting people at the door should be SOP. It’s all about offering hospitality and sincerity.
There are no patrons in the restaurant. This isn’t really a terrible sign, but it’s not really good either. Of course, there are slow hours. But the restaurant management should have some gimmicks to attract some patronage even during these slow hours. However, when it’s lunch time and the restaurant is empty, that’s a real danger sign. If you’re new to the area and you stumble on an empty restaurant during lunch time, you may want to avoid it. There may be a very good reason why people are staying away.
No Server attends to you when you take your seat. It’s hard to feel good about a restaurant when you’re ignored once you take your seat. You want to feel like an honored guest, not someone that they’re reluctant or unwilling to attend to. Many customers either have to ask for service when this happens or decide to leave.
Something’s dirty. This can be the table, the utensils, or the floor. When this happens, it’s just unappetizing. If the public place isn’t clean, you have to wonder how clean it is in the kitchen where they’re preparing your food. This goes the same for the restroom. Many diners head to the restroom to wash up before eating, and it can be a turnoff when you find a mess inside. It’s particularly troubling when there’s no soap and there’s a single restroom for everyone. That means the folks in the kitchen aren’t washing their hands either.
The food is bad. First of all, you have to admit that some diners are too finicky. They may forget to tell the servers that they don’t like tomatoes or they’re allergic to certain ingredients. If you have dietary restrictions, you have to tell your server so you can be accommodated. However, it’s certainly possible that the restaurant can be at fault. It’s a bad sign if the food tastes like it has gone bad. It may be over or under-cooked. The seasoning may not have been right and they’ve put too much salt.
It takes a long time for your drinks to arrive. It’s one thing when you have to wait a while as they prepare your food. It’s not as if they’re just microwaving the dish in the kitchen. It’s also forgivable when the place is busy and the servers are scurrying around trying to move as fast as they can. But it’s another thing entirely when your drinks don’t arrive and the servers and bartenders are just gossiping or fiddling with their smartphones. That’s just saying that they really don’t care.
You feel like you’re being rushed. There are many ways that restaurants can make it seem like they want you out of the place as quickly as possible. One way is when they serve your appetizers with your main course. Another way is to give you your check when they bring you their food. This is common in some diners, but it shouldn’t happen in a casual sit-down restaurant. It’s like saying that you shouldn’t order more drinks or more food.
You’re being gouged. You don’t really just pay for the food when you dine at a nice restaurant. You pay for the service, the place, and for the experience. But then again some restaurants go overboard in trying to get as much money from you as they can. Sometimes it’s because you’re in an area that tourists frequent so the prices are outrageous. They may also add additional charges that you simply have no idea what they’re for.
They don’t tell you that they’re a cash-only restaurant. This can be terribly annoying when all you have are credit cards. Restaurants that only deal in cash should have their servers tell you about it the moment you take a seat.
They don’t say goodbye when you leave. So what if you’ve already paid. As long as you’re there, you’re still a guest and you should be treated like one. A nice farewell is a nice end to a nice meal.
So what are your pet peeves about the restaurants you’ve been to?