I don’t know if it’s an old person thing, but I’m getting really jacked off when I eat out lately. From being totally ignored when you stand at the please wait to be seated sign to being ignored when you are actually lucky enough to score a seat, yet not a drink or a menu.
Those sorts of behaviour tend to make me want to walk out. Actually there is no tend about it. I do. And don’t go back for quite a while. And then I tell everyone I know about it.
I suspend cafes and restaurants. That means I will not darken its door, part with one cent of my cash for a given period of time (usually until I have forgotten how bad it was). One local wine bar is currently suspended for six months. Another has just come back from a year long suspension. I’m pleased to say it has lifted its game. It’s actually come to the state where my friends want to know which places are suspended so they can too avoid them, or at least avoid trying to meet me there as I won’t go.
The thing that is really annoying me at the moment though is the corkage charge. Now I don’t mind paying corkage. Especially when a place has a liquor licence. Corkage is fair. It’s especially fair when you are provided with a wine bucket, some decent glasses, the wine is untwisted and a bonus if the waiter treats your drop like it’s been purchased from their own winelist. However when I was charged $10 a head corkage at a new, unlicensed restaurant AND I had to ask for a wine bucket, glasses and then open and pour myself, well let’s just say I was little miffed. I haven’t suspended it but I only eat breakfast there now (even I don’t drink wine at breakfast).
Seems I’m not alone in this general jack-offedness about restuarants. One critic says that he wants to take a bottle of white-out to restuarants so that he can white out the unavailable wine choices that although on the list are usally unavailabe. Another mentions an EATING/DONE EATING sign that they can put out so that waiters get the general idea.
I’d personally like to add my own YES sign to flash at waiters as they invariably swoop in to ask if I’m enjoying my meal right when I filled my mouth up with food. Actually I wish they’d just go away. I’ll let them know if I’m not enjoying my meal or my clean plate will tell them that I did. See old and grumpy.
So here are some other ideas that critics (via the SMH) have suggested to improve the dining experience.
- Torch so you can read menus in dim lighting.
- Wedge to put under wobbly table legs.
- Sunscreen and hat for when you’re seated outside under an umbrella but the sun moves.
- Cardigan for over-airconditioning.
- Spare reading glasses: for the dimwit in every middle-aged group (eg my husband) who forgets to bring theirs and has to get their long-suffering partner (eg me) to read the whole menu to them.
- Pepper grinder: when you want control over how much pepper goes on your food, and when.
- Spare knife and fork: for when yours falls on the floor from those big white bowls that everything slips off.
- Whistle to attract waiters.
- Matches for lighting unlit table candles and in case you forget the torch (see above).
- GPS for navigating the way to hard-to-find toilets. Image