5 Restaurant Do’s & Don’ts That Piss Me Off

I worked my butt off for over ten years in some amazing restaurants so I know it’s hard to give every customer a perfect experience… But here’s a list of things (oh trust me, I have more than five) of things that bug the crap out of me, which can be so easily fixed.

1.     TINY TABLE TANTRUM – A restaurant's revenue is directly related to how many it seats, but when it’s not busy, and not going to get busy, don’t seat us at the crappy table near the kitchen door, or next to the only other couple in the place. Offer my guest and I the nice roomy four-seater near the window (I am 6’4 in case you haven’t noticed).

2.     THE IRRITATING WATER QUESTION – Dammit, haven’t you figured it out yet … we ALL want tap water. I’m gonna spend plenty of money on booze, so don't guilt me for not jumping on the “sparkling or mineral” up sell. It's not that I mind you asking the question, but when I tell you “I’ll take good ol’ tap with a slice of lemon (to kill the chlorine flavour) thanks very much”, I’ll take it with a smile please.

3.     IF YOU SCREW UP MR. RESTAURANT, YOU EAT IT – I learnt from years of running kitchens that if the wait staff or kitchen messes up an order and it’s corrected without offering the customer a discount or something for free, they will act satisfied, but they are not. Give them that dish for free and they’ll return, cook it again and you may have fixed the issue, but you’ve lost that customer forever. 

4.     LOYALTY IS CHEAP, SO BUY IT – As diners, we are more fickle than ever, and most of us have a sea of exciting, affordable dining experiences within a few miles. Most chefs and restaurateurs know this. So if we choose to frequent your restaurant, often, show us some love. It costs maybe 2 bucks to cough up an amuse bouche before our meal arrives – a buck fifty for a small dessert sample after a meal. Making a customer feel important costs near nothing, yet so few restaurants do it.

5.     TO GO OR NOT TO GO? – This one doesn’t affect me, as I have no issue asking for my leftovers “to go please.” But I know many of you are too intimidated to ask for your half a tomato in “a take out container.” I’m always impressed when wait staff offer up a container without being asked. I don’t care if you’re in a Michelin rated resto, that container costs pennies and there’s nothing embarrassing about not wasting great food.

Agree or not, would love to hear your comments below. Chat soon y'all.