Going out to eat can be a special pleasure with multiple courses, exotic food combinations, a great server with expert recommendations, delicious cocktails, gorgeous settings and loads of great memories. But let’s be real; going out to eat can also be a pain in the ass. What's your least favorite thing about going out for dinner?
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This includes price-fixed menus where almost every item has a supplemental charge, menus that try to incorporate too many cuisines without actually offering authenticity, consistency or quality in any of them, and menus you can barely read because the layout seems to have been designed by a six year-old.
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Many will argue that servers have one of the toughest and most thankless jobs in the world, so you can't expect to understand what they go through, and as such, can't blame them if the service isn’t good. While this may have some merit, it also leads to a kind of classism where some people want you to feel guilty about asking a server for anything just because they feel bad that they're a server in the first place. Now, that's fucked up.
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Some restaurants do these well (mainly tapas places where it makes sense to offer small plates of food), but for many, there's no reason for them to exist. Small plates are basically just an excuse to get patrons to pay premium prices for tiny amounts of food; otherwise, they'd just be served as appetizers.
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Tipping really stresses people out. Some feel like they have to give the minimum, even if the service didn't merit it. Others feel that they shouldn't have to tip, because the wait staff's employer should be paying them a proper wage. And still others only tip based on what they believe others are tipping. There are so many different opinions on the spectrum of under-tipping to over-tipping that the only constant seems to be over-tippers trying to make under-tippers feel like they are bad people due to how they treat that single aspect of their lives.
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Having your plate taken away from you before you're done is like spoiling the special first-time experience of a 16 year-old virgin. It's wrong and it will leave an impression that is both sour and lasting.
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This includes a table where your chair is pushed up against the other worst table in the house, or one where you can feel the draft from a doorway that never seems to stay closed for more than nine seconds, or when you're seated so close to the kitchen you can't hear anything the person across from you is saying unless what they are actually saying is “*clatter*curse*bang*”.
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As I’d mentioned in a previous article about the types of people whom you’ll split the bill with, when the bill comes, it turns everyone's pleasant demeanor into a state of controlled panic. No one wants to deal with it, and furthermore, no one seems to know how to deal with it.
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Back in the day, you'd pick a place and go. Now, it's a complex flowchart-worthy ordeal of Yelp-research, texting, making a reservation, adjusting it because someone backed out, Facebook check-ins, people taking photos of their food to post on Instagram, friends who are so late that others have finished their meals by the time they order and other obstacles that throw a wrench in the works. I’m not in the mood for Mexican or Greek or Chinese tonight. I’m in the mood for a simple, enjoyable dining experience.
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