Just like any other profession, restaurant industry types have their personal pet peeves. And man, are they not shy about divulging what gets them heated. A wide net was cast for this survey of dining dos and don'ts, a handy guide for restaurant etiquette, which means the probability of not being guilty of at least one of these is pretty low.
In no particular order of offensiveness, here are just a few things that piss off some of Seattle's restaurateurs, general managers, maitre d's and chefs. And just like a nasty Yelp review or comment, these are all anonymous.
• "A diner sits down, looks at the menu, flips it over to find nothing they want there, then flips it over again thinking something might have magically appeared."
• "When a diner makes his or her way to the kitchen to say 'thank you.' Cooks dont make shit. Show your love with a twenty. The verbal tip is out. "
• "When people come in from outside of the restaurant and stand in front of their friends' tables and have a full-on conversation then leave without spending a penny."
• "Here's one that drives me bonkers. When people bring drinks from outside the restaurant and sit at the table with all their plastic water bottles and stuff."
• "When guests rock back and forth in their bar chairs and the chair falls...and then they get back on and start rocking again."
• "Computer usage at a table trying to have a business meeting in a busy dining room. RESTaurants are for rest, not work."
• "Bringing in their own bottle of wine that, in most cases, is shit and then complaining about a corkage fee that we waive if it's a good or better bottle."
• "When a table comes in and fills up on conversation and just talks the whole time."
• "When happy hour people stay past happy hour and make that last little bit of wine last hours. I have personally witnessed four people in at 5 pm, order nothing past 6, and stay until 8:30."
• "Not calling ahead to let the restaurant know that you have an allergy, are a vegan, vegetarian, and so on."
• "No call, no-show reservations and late cancellations."
• "Dietary restrictions that are totally bullshit. It's one thing to be allergic to nuts or shellfish, and we will respect and honor that wholeheartedly. But when someone comes in and says, 'I'm on the paleo diet and I want to order the tasting menu,' I think it's just ridiculous. Worse is when they then complain that the dish didn't taste very good. OF COURSE IT DIDN'T! YOU SAID NO DAIRY, NO GLUTEN, NO SUGAR, NO SALT, NO FAT, NO BABY SEALS ETC. ETC!"
• "Phones. They are a wonderful invention that have vastly improved our lives and totally screwed up how we act in public. Get your face out of the phone when dining with your guests and hang out with your friends, loved ones and family. Use it to answer questions that have stumped all of your public school pals or find where the house party is later that night, but for the love of all that's good and great, try putting the device away for an hour or two."
• "I want parents with children to go out to restaurants but I also want all guests in restaurants to enjoy a meal in an environment without screaming children. I'm not giving solutions as to how they should go about solving this and I'm very sympathetic to the difficult task of rearing children but I'm also very sensitive about the happiness of my guests."
• "If you're going to get drunk, get a hold of yourself and don't embarrass yourself. If you have no control when drinking, don't go to a civilized place for a meal and beverages. Go to Kell's or Peso's so they can throw you out in the proper manner."
• "Calm down and wait to be seated by someone. Exercise some patience and restraint."
• "Saying, 'I'm from New York' or 'I've been to France 25 times' to imply that you know our business SO well and should be telling us how to do it. Start your own restaurant."
• "Don't stack plates after you've finished your meal, you're not helping. Be civilized and just hold still, we'll take care of the rest."
• "If you don't like where your hostess seats you, politely ask if you can sit somewhere else. And if not, suck it up. Do not throw a tantrum. Because now, you just set everyone else up to be like, 'Fuck these people.' Why do you want to do that to yourself?"
• "Don't wear a lot of perfume and then sit at the open kitchen."
• "It drives me nuts when restaurant people forget they are in the customer service industry and try to make their GUESTS dine a certain way."