Lunchtime poll – restaurant flaws
October 4th, 2010
12:30 PM ET
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I'm a pretty easygoing customer. Servers are overworked, someone in the kitchen doesn't show up for work, the AC is on the fritz - a whole mess of problems are potentially on the menu, and I'll let it roll right off my back. I'm out to have a good time, and we're all only human, right?

And then every once in a while, I sit down at a restaurant that just doesn't seem to give a darn. It looks like a nice place going in, but the service is indifferent, the food is awful (not to mention overpriced), they're out of the one thing you wanted, the table wobbles, there's a draft - and you get the sense that no one's trying to do anything about it.

In the case of this dreadful brasserie, I'm voting with my wallet and just vow to never return (I'm not a Yelp-er, but if I were, I'd consider airing my grievances online). Let us know in the comments below what you'd do in such a circumstance, and answer us this:

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soundoff (423 Responses)
  1. pringerX

    Almost all of these things are flaws that would make me think twice about eating at a particular restaurant, but rude service probably takes the cake. It's amazing how much a enthusiastic, friendly server who does their best to care can make up for.
    It's a bit of a self-reinforcing thing though: good servers who care (or put up the front that they care) cause customers to respond positively, thus bolstering the server's mental image that customers are not rude SOBs; unfortunately the reverse is true as well.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  2. Max

    Having your waiter disappear for 15 minutes when you're ready for the check.

    October 7, 2010 at 11:50 am |
  3. Lisa

    I hate small portions of an over priced meal. Many restaurants think their place is special and try to pull off charging more for a bad meal. They hire cheap cooks who don't know what they're doing and prepare lousey food.Keep that up and they'll end up on Chef Ramseys show!

    October 6, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  4. Linda

    The most rude thing a server can do is remove dishes before everyone has finished. I am a slow eater and I will still be eating and all the plates are removed but mine. I know they are told to do that but when you pay ofr an expensive dinner you want to enjoy and not be in a hurry.

    October 6, 2010 at 7:52 am |
    • Clay

      Linda, Please don't feel rushed if you are the only person with a plate left. It's considered rude/bad service to not clear plates as the meal progresses. Encourage your friends to get coffee after they're done? Then it might feel more leisurely.

      October 6, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  5. waitstaff

    worst pet-peeve- being barraged by "frequent diner" sales pitches. you've just finished a meal with decent service, fairly good food, and then... "would you be interested in spending a million dollars to join our frequent dining program? you get a certificate on your birthday!" hate.
    i have to do this. and i'm sorry. every time i ask an innocent customer if they want to sink money into a plastic card that gets them magical mythical bonus points and free sparkly candles on your birthday, i cringe internally, and try not to drop the mandatory act long enough to apologize to my customer for turning their dining experience into a sales pitch. sorry. but i promise that your coffee will stay full and i'll continue to bring the water pitcher around.

    October 6, 2010 at 2:57 am |
  6. Ryan M

    The worst "flaw" (as opposed to a fundamental problem like poor service or crappy food) is restaurants that serve foil-wrapped frozen butter with the bread. It's an easily-correctable problem that I've encountered even at high-end restaurants. And it shows up during the first few minutes of the meal.

    October 6, 2010 at 12:20 am |
    • Clay

      Most health departments require all food to be kept at 40 degrees or 140. And if you have a real stickler of an inspector, they won't let you keep butter at room temperature for any length of time.

      October 6, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  7. rdjfsr

    Rick Sanchez still RULES

    October 5, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
  8. rdjfsr

    What I hate about a restaurant is the smelly stinking non english speaking wet back next to me and the kids with them

    October 5, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
  9. Ituri

    So... we have to pick ONE?

    Sorry, but if the entire place isn't spotless, I won't eat there. Utensils, bathrooms, tables, floors, EVERYTHING. Imagine if they weren't? How many people are in a restaurant on a normal day? 100? 400? Hundreds of people scuffing, spilling, peeing, and dragging filth EVERYWHERE, and its never cleaned! Its any wonder we have mutant bugs everywhere now.

    October 5, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  10. rdjfsr

    Rick Sanchez Rules...he's the man

    October 5, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
  11. OKE

    All of the above?

    October 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  12. The_Mick

    It's the SERVICE that makes a big difference. If that's first class, you can generally infer that the other important details get sufficient attention. The first time I took my mother to a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store -which I and my friends love- the Reuben sandwich she ordered was very greasy. The manager and waitress were terrific, seemed genuinely upset about it, replaced the meal and gave us complimentary desserts. Ever since, every time I took my mother long-distance to visit her sister, she'd demand that we stop at a Cracker Barrel [there were none local to us at the time].

    October 5, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  13. Austin B

    How about those damn parents that bring their screaming little babies and kids into the place at 8 or 9 or even 11 t night???
    That I cant understand....esp. when you are out having a good time on a friday night...and boom....screaming babies who ought to be in bed....

    October 5, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
    • Veal

      ...........or at least on the menu. Yum.

      October 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
  14. Andres

    Amazing work to whoever design the eatocracy logo, BEAUTIFUL typography :)

    October 5, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  15. Michelle

    I am pretty understanding, as my partner is a chef and I have worked in a bevy of restaurants. Mistakes happen; they always will when a human element is involved. That being said, I cannot stand when a mistake is made and management refuses to fix it, or everyone just blames someone else. I will go back to a restaurant if they make a mistake and handle it in a professional manner. I will tip better if that happens, because it shows that the workers in the restaurant can think on their feet. However, I will not tolerate having my food made incorrectly and being told that there was no mistake made or that I ordered wrong (or it was the chef's fault, etc etc etc). Drives me absolutely made.

    October 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
    • Tony Soprano

      So Youse a Made Broad,Huh?

      October 5, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
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