25 Things that Annoy Me about Cafes, Restaurants, and Bars

We eat out at least once a day, sometimes twice and at other times we do the trifecta, so these are the 25 Things that Annoy Me about Cafes, Restaurants, and Bars. I know, I know, we are terrible but we live in a great area where we can, and we do. I feel experienced enough to know that there must be some restaurant etiquette from BOTH customers and wait staff, or waiters and waitresses, not to mention the owners and managers.

Annoying Things that Wait Staff or Servers do at cafes, restaurants, and bars

Packing up the Restaurant …

Do not start packing up the restaurant while I am still eating. That is such bad form and makes me feel unwelcome. Yes, I know you want to get the hell out of there, but if you have specific times you say that you close, well pack up after that. Not while I am on my starter.

Asking me how my meal is …

Do not ask me how my meal is when I have just taken the first mouthful. It is like those escape to the country shows when they walk the people in the front door and ask do they love it and do they want to buy it. They need to look around, and I need to eat my meal before I give you my verdict. If I hate it, there will be food on my plate when you remove the dishes AFTER I have finished eating.

Clearing Dishes …

And this leads straight on to clearing of dishes. Do not start clearing the plates until we have ALL finished eating. If you are clearing them as each person finishes, the slower eater feels shamed and just gives up to get rid of their meal.

Dirty Cleaning Cloths…

To staff at cafes, restaurants, and bars ..PLEASE use a clean rag to wipe down tables. This is one of the most annoying things servers do. Don’t use those dirty, grimy rags that you do everything with. Yes, the tables will dry of their own accord but couldn’t you dry them off, so we don’t all have to watch the moisture dissipate as we keep our elbows, etc. off the table.

Lines on wine glasses …

Another thing that annoys the hell out of me are the lines on wine glasses. We know you have a huge markup on wines, so don’t stiff me by only pouring to the line. Fill it up.

I would rather be somewhere else staff …

On the other hand, staff who ignore customers while they are chatting on their phones, playing Pokemon or chatting up someone are annoying. Do NOT forget you are at work, and your job is in the SERVICE industry. I will back you, but you need to be a professional first and foremost.

Cafes and Restaurants that lie …

Cafes and restaurants should not say it is gluten free when it is not. I mention this because it regularly happens to our friend, who KNOWS the difference. This is culpable behavior.

Wait staff you are not Hester Blumenthal…

Don’t be a wanker describing the dish. You are a waiter or waitress, and not Hester Blumenthal. However, many wait staff can make excellent recommendations. On the other hand, all wait staff should be able to pronounce the dish and know what is in it.

Big Mistake …

Also, do not look someone up and down and decide whether they are a good fit as a customer for your establishment. Remember Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, when she went into the Rodeo Drive boutique, and they wouldn’t serve her? “Big mistake,” so do not be so arrogant and think that you can judge a person based on their appearance.

Timing ….

Waiting an unreasonable amount of time for your order to be taken, and/or being fed so quickly that there is no time to sit and chat. We know that you just want us out of there.

Kitchen and Wait staff need to coordinate …

Not sending all of the meals out at once, is a pain in the neck. For some reason, my niece never gets her meal at the same time as the rest of our family. This has become a running family joke now, but it does suck.

Wobbly Tables …

It’s just common sense, fix a wobbly table before customers sit down. I am the master of fixing tables with sugar sachets, or anything else I can find. I shouldn’t have to do this, particularly when I look gorgeous.

Sexist Billing …

Don’t give the bill to Gordon because he is the man. Ok, give it to Gordon but it is a sexist practice and one that can be difficult if you are at a business meeting. If I am running a business meeting with men — and I do — and I fully intend to pay — and I do — then if you give it to one of my male clients, that embarrasses me…and them, when they have to give it back to me.

Annoying Things CUSTOMERS do at cafes, restaurants, and bars

Your children …

While you love your children, I don’t necessarily. It is excellent that you bring your kids to restaurants and cafes, as I did. Children should go with their parents. But …I do not want your kid running amok, while you sip on that Margherita and ignore your kid. Take them to restaurants and cafes, and help them learn appropriate behavior. These places are not child minding services. I always feel for the wait staff trying to bring hot coffee out, and some kids is running around. Mum’s and Dad’s etc. would go nuts if their kid were scalded or burnt.

Your dogs …

Like your kids, dogs should go to restaurants and cafes if this is allowed by the managers. Yes, your dogs will get their bowls of water before I get my water and that is ok. Most dogs are excellent and just lie around, but those of you who let your dog sit up on your lap and eat from your plate, well ..it’s not necessarily what everyone wants to watch. Those of you who do not control your dogs when they go troppo as a bird flies by, need to control your dogs for the benefit of all of the customers. There is NO such thing as a bad dog, just a bad owner…same for children. The dog and kid owner patrons can sometimes be the double whammy for other patrons.

Feet on Seats …

For those of you who put your feet up on a seat ….one word …DON’T. Such bad manners, and I do not want to sit on your dirty foot or shoe marks. How would you feel if you got dog poop on your clothes? Don’t even put your feet up at a beach side cafe, relaxed and chilled out as you might feel.

Bag Seats …

In Paris, you will see the women claim seats for their bags, and these are known as ..bag seats ..though I am not sure what the French term is. Ask a Parisian lady to move her bag so that you can sit ..at your peril.

Know it all Customers …

Customers who are rude to wait for staff tick me off. Do NOT snap your fingers or be a condescending dick. Yes, you may watch Master Chef but come on, you are not better than anyone. You might think that you are a wine and food connoisseur but not everyone in the restaurant, cafe or bar will appreciate your grandiose knowledge.

Tipping Sucks …

Tipping. Like OMG. I have an entire article on Tipping Around the World, so rather than get into it here, have a read of it. However, I will have one shot right here. America — pay your staff a decent wage. No one wants to have a lovely meal and then have to play mathematical puzzles at the end to work out what should be paid as a tip.

Extortionist Customers …

Customers — just because many people do use TripAdvisor and Yelp, do not threaten cafe, restaurant and bar workers with a bad review. If you have had a seriously awful meal, by all means, write a review, but I have heard people tell wait staff at the start of the meal, that if it isn’t good enough, they will write a bad review.

Fussy Customers and Customers with Genuine Needs …

Customers who totally rewrite menus. You go out to eat because you want a professional to feed you. They have devised a menu that reflects their passions and skills. While there are times when people need some variation due to allergies, auto-immune conditions, etc., etc., most other people should not entirely rewrite the menu.

We were out at a very nice Thai restaurant and the lady next to us, ordered a Thai Laksa — without the lemongrass, without the ginger, without the prawns, without the galangal, without the coriander, etc., etc. I think she ended up with rice stick noodles on their own. Why go there in the first place, and why order something with so many disagreeable ingredients?

Know your Order …

This is the fault of both the customers and the wait staff. When you are out with a large group of people, remember which dish you ordered. Ok, the waitstaff should have a system going as to who ordered what.

Split Bills …

If you are going to split a bill, have the courtesy to inform the wait staff beforehand that this will happen.

Tight Arses …

Do not be one of ‘those’ people who say, but I didn’t have bread, and therefore my portion of the bill is less than yours. Just divvy the damn bill up amongst how many of you there are, regardless of what you do or don’t eat. You are dining together for a purpose — enjoyment or business. Have a read of this if you want me to prove my point, Traveling with Other People — the Dont’s and the Dont’s

Do NOT be the person you goes to the toilet when it is your turn to buy drinks.We have a friend who does this all of the time. We have a name for him, and it isn’t nice.

Social Media Wankers …

This is aimed directly at me. Making everyone at your table wait while you get the best Instagram and Facebook shot of everyone’s meals. I have included the links to our sites so you can see what a social media wanker I can be.