My Top Restaurant Pet Peeves – What’s Yours?

Jul 01, 2010

As a restaurant consultant who goes on eating missions religiously, I am always asked, “What are you top pet peeves in a restaurant?” I have many, however, these are just a few that aggravate me the most:

  • Hot food served on cold plates and cold food served on hot plates
  • Greeters that are unwelcoming and make me feel like I am imposing upon them
  • Dirty restrooms – Not surprisingly, I always feel dirty after using one
  • Dirty silverware or forks with bent tines.
  • Dirty or chipped wine glasses
  • Salt and pepper shakers that are half empty or crusted inside
  • Dirty or sticky tables
  • Wobbly tables or chairs
  • Uncomfortable booths or chairs
  • Orders that arrive incomplete
  • Failure of the manager to approach the table when there is a problem
  • Not bringing all the serviceware needed for the menu item
  • Servers with poor personal sanitation practices and are constantly touching their hair or scratching themselves
  • Necessary condiments that don’t arrive with food
  • The entree showing up when I am still eating my appetizer or salad
  • Servers not pre-bussing the table and removing dirty or unnecessary dishes

It is obvious that the little things matter. More importantly, you’ll notice that many of my complaints arise from a restaurant being dirty in some respect – sanitation and cleanliness are no-brainers and should always come first! To restaurant owners, remember: these top complaints come with easy fixes and will leave restaurant guests coming back.

What upsets you most about a restaurant dining experience?  Please share your peeves and comment!