We do love eating at restaurants, but certain trends tend to drive us completely up the wall. Regardless of the restaurant’s price point and quality, nothing can ruin the dining experience quite like having something shoved down your throat. Whether it’s a clever theme that’s taken a bit too far, or a server being forced to ham it up for the “enjoyment” of the customers, these 6 annoying restaurant trends tend to leave a bad taste in our mouth.
1) Singing Happy Birthday
Not to sound selfish, but we really don’t care about some stranger’s birthday. So, when you interrupt our conversation to serenade them with Happy Birthday, or worse yet, your own unique birthday song, we can’t help but get a little irritated. We didn’t come to the restaurant to listen to you clap your hands and watch servers look embarrassed while parading around the restaurant, we just wanted a decent meal.
2) Forced Group Interaction
This comes in the same vein as singing Happy Birthday, but it’s heightened by asking us to participate in the festivities. Sure, if we wander into Benihana’s we can probably expect to be seated at a table of strangers and forced to engage in a few pleasantries with people we don’t know. But, if we’re asking for a table for two, there’s a good chance we’d like to keep it at exactly that.
3) Servers Kneeling Tableside to Take an Order
We get it, you want to relate to the customers and the tips are higher when you build a connection with the people you’re serving. Nevertheless, dropping to one knee and meeting us right at eye level is a tad off putting. We’ll still tip 20 percent even if you don’t invade our personal space in an attempt to become our new BFF, just keep the water coming and we’re a-okay.
4) Crayons and Butcher Paper for Everyone
The problem with leaving Crayons on the table isn’t so much that it implies your food and service isn’t enough to sustain our attention, it’s more the fact that it reduces a table full of adults into a bunch of juvenile buffoons. But, you’re pretty much getting your comeuppance every time you throw away another wad of butcher paper with obscene drawings on it.
5) “Fun” Menu Item Names
There are already enough things for us to sift through on a menu without having to add nonsensical rhyme schemes and made up words into the mix. Instead of trying to figure out what a Pizzadilla or Pastalaya is, we should probably be attempting to figure out what we’re doing in a major chain restaurant in the first place. Still, that doesn’t give you the right to just make stuff up.
6) Restaurants Too Hip for Quality Service
On the opposite end of the spectrum from the major chains is the hip diner that’s so happening it doesn’t need to offer you quality service. These are the places that don’t take reservations (not a big deal) and often have servers who treat refilling your water like it’s some sort of major inconvenience (this one is a big deal). Regardless of the establishment, a customer is still a customer, and we want our water dammit.
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