Dining Poll: What Do You Do When a Crying Child Threatens to Ruin Your Meal?

It’s happened to almost all of us. You’ve settled in at a restaurant to enjoy a nice meal and some quality conversation with a friend or loved one. And then a child cries. And cries. And keeps on crying. What do you do when the tears keep flowing — and the parents exhibit no signs of going? Weigh in on today’s poll!

Dining Poll: Would You Like Some Music with Your Meal?

One of diners’ most frequent complaints about a restaurant is that it’s noisy. But, what about when restaurants pipe in music? Is that noise? Do great tunes complement great food? Or, is anything over a certain decibel level annoying? Chime in on our latest dining poll!

Top Restaurant Complaints: Really?

Top-ComplaintsDetroit Free Press writer Slyvia Rector gathered a list of common complaints diners have when visiting a restaurant. Frankly, I was shocked by what I read. Not because they were controversial, but because they seemed so banal (and petty). The top complaint of all was regarding diners being addressed as “you guys.” While this probably isn’t appropriate (or heard) at a white-tablecloth restaurant, if you’re elsewhere — say at a BBQ joint — is that truly offensive?

Other trespasses include servers who ask if diners need change when they’ve paid their bill, checks that are brought too soon, and the use of “the same dirty cloth all over the dining room.” The first two offenses probably depend on the volume of diners at a restaurant and, again, whether or not it’s a fine-dining establishment. The latter, however, is a problem of perception over reality. Every restaurant I’ve worked at, high and low-end, has had a bevy of bain maries filled with water and bleach, each with towels in them. It may have looked like there was one cloth on duty on any given evening, but, rest assured, there were many and they were returned to their bleach-y water after each use.

I had expected to read more grumbling about prices, portion size, waiting too long for an order to be taken or for food to arrive, lighting — and even temperature. So let’s hear it! What are you biggest complaints when dining out? Shout ’em out here or share your gripes with your fellow Facebookers.

Diners Behaving Badly: What Annoys You About Other Restaurant Patrons?

Annoying-DinersThe folks who run the food and dining section of the Chicago Tribune probably dine out a lot, so it’s not surprising that they’ve got a complaint (or 10) about their fellow diners. Judy Hevrdejs compiled the list, which includes people who linger at a table long after their meal has ended and diners who bring their own salt to a restaurant.

When I was a restaurant worker, I had a lot of complaints about diners. A LOT! As a diner, though, I have just a few, one being people who monopolize the wait staff’s time at the expense of other patrons. You know the people I’m talking about — the ones who ask question after question about the menu, the specials (“What was the first one again? And what did the other one come with?”), or the server’s personal life (“You’re from Texas! How’d you wind up in New York?”), while you wait and wait (and wait) for your check.

What do your fellow restaurant diners do that drives you mad? Has another patron’s behavior ever ruined your dining experience altogether? Tell us about it here or over on Facebook.