We’ve all seen that one person at a restaurant that’s making everybody’s life difficult, but have we ever been that person?
Waiters, chefs, your fellow diners, these foodie faux-pas are enough bring you bad vibes across the board…
1. Complaining loudly
Giving your waiter or waitress a verbal seeing-to won’t make your sirloin any tastier, and for the rest of the restaurant watching someone viciously shooting the messenger leaves rather a bad taste in the mouth.
If you have complaints, deliver them politely and at reasonable volume, and if you’re really disgusted vote with your feet.
2. Letting children run wild
They cry, they make a mess, occasionally they throw stuff, and that’s all fine. We’ve all been there, and parents have been there twice.
However, there’s a minimum requirement to keep your kids at your own table, under your watchful gaze. It is not someone else’s job to keep you child from getting flattened by a food trolley.
3. Excessive PDAs
It is a blessing and a curse for the restaurant industry that eating out is a go-to activity come date night. When 8pm rolls around fashionable establishments fill with amorous couples, some dabbling in footsie, others the kind of heavy petting that would get you kicked out of prom.
We have three words for these people: Get a room.
4. Discussing food politics
This is one of those sins that perfectly nice, normal people still commit from time to time. Don’t declare loudly that well-done steaks are for savages. Don’t provide an in-depth analysis of the pretentiousness of the menu. And don’t make super-edgy jokes about how vegans and/or non-vegans should be shot.
You don’t know who you’re insulting, and it may include the hand that’s feeding you.
5. Asking really stupid questions
“Excuse me, are the chicken fajitas vegan?”
“What’s the difference between the 6oz and 9oz steak?”
“Is the food good here?”
6. Being extremely indecisive
Civilisations do not rise and fall on whether you pick the sea bass or the carbonara, and ordering food is a zero-sum game. The longer you test the patience of the staff, the longer everyone in the restaurant has to wait.
7. Talking about your sex lives
You. Are. In. Public.
8. Going off menu
OK, maybe this won’t make everyone hate you, but it will make one person hate you so much that the net negative feeling is the same. It’s like walking into a Nintendo store and asking for a PlayStation 4.
9. Constantly photographing your food
You’re perfectly within your rights to do this. We just find it irrationally annoying.
10. Sticking gum under the table
We’ve all felt it, the clammy squelch of finger unexpectedly meeting gum, and there’s a special circle of hell reserved for the perpetrators.
11. Being that guy about the bill
You can almost see the nervousness sweep round a table when it comes to dividing the bill.
There’s the would-be Sherlock launching a witch hunt over a missing 50p; the big spender espousing an even split after ordering the Chateaubriand; the non-tipper that refuses to cough up for someone ‘just doing their job’… You’ve come so close to a lovely evening. Don’t mess it up now.
12. Using it for your break up
The rationale goes something like this: ‘If I break up with them in a public place, they feel too embarrassed to cause a scene’. Firstly, it’s cowardly, and secondly, it will cause a scene.
13. Stealing stuff
Freebies are there to be used not abused, and it’s definitely bad form to stuff your pockets with sauce sachets, after-dinner mints and napkins.
We’re watching you.
14. Generally being a jerk
When confronted with members of the service industry, some people transform into petulant, preening prima donnas, content to ruin any number of evenings should their duck confit arrive a degree below optimum.
Chill. Your. Beans.