Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ten Signs of a Bad Restaurant

I am a self proclaimed restaurant snob. I know good service and good food when I see it and I have certain expectations (some say impossible, I say stringent). I also do my research before trying a new restaurant. Every single one of these signs of a bad restaurant, have happened to me in the past month alone. Chains, take note, these are the reasons you can't charge higher prices.

1. There is no bread basket. Or the bread basket you do get is old. Olive Garden you are the biggest offender for serving day old bread. Don't think I can't tell that your breadsticks were baked yesterday and then just reheated right before being shoved in the basket.

2. There is no oil or dip for your bread, there is only butter. In little individual packets that have been frozen. I understand the need to refrigerate butter, but does it really have to be so hard I have to warm it in my hands to keep from tearing my bread?

3. The waitress writes her name on the drink napkin or on the paper tablecloth. Yes, they really do this. Why? I don't know. Just in case your memory is so bad you can't remember the name "Amy" when you want a refill on your soda.

4. The dessert menu contains three items and one of them is gelato. I judge a restaurant solely based on dessert. Even if I did not like my entree, if the dessert is good enough, I'm going to come back. And by the way, no one ever orders the gelato anyway so why bother having it on the menu?

5. The "vegetable of the day" is zucchini and summer squash. In January. This one actually happened at a restaurant that I adore 99% of the time. So disappointing. Where did they get that summer squash? Guatemala?

6. Dirty flatware or water glasses. This is just disgusting, but is actually fairly common. I would estimate this happens to me about 1 out of every 5 times I dine out.

7. Paper napkins. Nothing says cheap like trying to wipe your hands on a paper napkin. Spring for the cloth, it ups the swankiness of your restaurant 100 times over.

8. The restroom doors say anything on them other than "Men/Boys" and "Women/Girls." You guys know what I'm talking about here. If the establishment has "Hens" and "Cocks" on the restroom door, don't expect a quality meal.

9. They don't take reservations. Who wants to actually wait 90 minutes for a restaurant? This would require going to dinner BEFORE you are actually hungry. Who has this kind of time?

10. Bringing the check over as I set my dinner fork down on the table without asking if I would like dessert or coffee, or even if I'm ready for the check. I always order dessert, and despise not being asked if there is anything else I would like. Even if the dessert menu sucks, I am probably still going to want coffee.

What do you hate about some restaurants? Any bad experiences recently?


  1. I love the cartoon! Some of those things you listed are pretty horrendous.

    I've been trying to branch out and try new restaurants lately and stay away from the chains, but I'm definitely not quite a restaurant snob yet! ;)

  2. I am sooo with you! The last "chain" I went to was Maggiano's which I can never complain about but other than that I really don't go to any. Day old bread is the worst!!

  3. Soooo with you on this - my only gelato exception was at Teatro - but it was worth it. With you on the bread- and I HATE when the butter is think I want this?

  4. hahaha!! Oh my gosh -- I love this! I could've written it myself. ESPECIALLY about the bread and desserts. I hate when restaurants don't have bread for me to eat while I'm waiting for my food. Call me a little kid, but I get too hungry otherwise! (And I just love bread, so always look forward to having really good bread). And why do some restaurants not even offer dessert before they bring the check!? It only benefits them if you order it.

  5. What I hate most is dirty flatware, and I also get frustrated when the waiter or waitress ignores us or takes forever to get back to us.

  6. Forget gelato--what about when one of the desserts is just plain ICE CREAM! That is such a cop-out. I order dessert because it is not something I want to make at home. Or already have in my freezer!

    PS Love your blog, adding it to my blog roll!