10 Most Annoying Things About Dining Out

We often wonder why anyone would decide to own a restaurant. Not only can profit margins be thin, they also rise and fall on whims. Hire an inept server? Customers at that table will never return.

It's a precarious business.

From the guest's point of view, however, there's no reason to reward a bad experience. We've all encountered an uninformed waiter fumbling through explanations of that night's specials, a manager who refused to correct some mistake, or watched staff members fawn over those at the next table while ignoring yours.

There are, of course, issues a restaurateur can't control--the vagaries of Dallas' alcohol laws, for instance, or that screaming baby at the next table. But of those they can, these are the most annoying:

10. Wait staff asking "How is everything" at all the wrong moments
You know they're just trying to be polite, just fulfilling an obligation set down by management. But they can also see that you've chomped down on close to half of that burger only moments earlier. With cheeks puffed out and eyes bulging, you're hoping to survive this bite without having to find out who in the dining room knows the Heimlich maneuver. That's when they descend, all chirpy and bright, to pop the question. Happens every time.

9. Superlatives
Some restaurants can't resist this gimmick. They print "best pizza in Dallas" on the menu, scribble "best apple pie in the northern hemisphere" on chalkboards or paint "world's best ever foie gras" on the window. Instinctively guests see this as a challenge--one the restaurant will have a hard time winning. It encourages diners to find fault rather than discover something great. And discovery is part of the fun, right?

8. The practice of seating people in clusters
It's a slow night. Only two other tables are occupied in a 1,000 square foot dining room--and the hostess plants you right between them. Yes, this is easier for the wait staff to handle, especially as the manager sent half the crew home. But this also robs the guests of some privacy. In a quiet space, voices carry. The practice, therefore, can make for an awkward dining experience.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >