Michael Bauer, restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, published a story today detailing his greatest pet peeves when it comes to dining out. The items on his list include "waiters who refuse to write down your order" and "food in bowls that should be on a plate."
Taking inspiration from Bauer's clever collection, The Daily Meal's editorial staff came up with a list of the things that annoy us the most at restaurants. We know being a server is no easy task, but here's a collection of the things that really irk us:
• "'Sommeliers' who ask, 'What number is that?' when you order a wine. (It's OK for waiters, who aren't supposed to be wine specialists and know the list inside out, but it's not OK for anybody with the pretensions of calling him- or herself a wine steward or sommelier.)"
• "Not being seated at a good restaurant until 'the rest of your party' arrives. I get that at a no-reservations bistro with high turnover, but not at a nice place where you have a reservation."
• "Being given a time limit. The only instance in which that's acceptable is if you beg your way into a table at a busy restaurant, and are told up front, 'We can let you have a table, but we need it back by 10.' That I understand. But not if you have a reservation and are told as you're being seated what time you need to vacate it."
• "Being brought your check before you ask for it."
• "Seating your party and not giving you a menu, and not coming back for 15 minutes."
• "Seating your party and not taking a drink order for 15 minutes."
• "Waitstaff that forgets to collect the menus from diners."
• "When you give a waiter or waitress your credit card and they give the bill and receipt to the other person at the table (or vice versa)."
• "Having to ask for water or extra napkins."
• "Waitstaff that takes an extremely long time to fill or refill your water glass."
• "Letting empty dishes stay on the table too long. If my companion(s) and I are done and the dishes are sitting there too long, they're getting stacked."
• "When you can't transfer the bar tab to the table."
• "Having to wait too long for the check."
• "If I make eye contact with you from across the room and keep looking and you see me, I'm not looking at you because I think you're awesome and amazing; there's a problem. Come over."
• "Telling me to 'enjoy' something."
• "If my companion orders the wine, or I order the wine, pour the wine to sample the bottle in the glass of my companion or myself… in the glass of the person who ordered it."
• "Waitstaff that clears the plates before everyone at the table is finished eating."