Whining and Dining

Whining and Dining

Spork by ninebelow.

What is the future of news?  I don’t know, do you?  What I do know is that for my daily junk, I don’t especially mind who it comes from and I’m not inclined to pay for it.  At the fine dining end of the spectrum,  if Daniel Finkelstein, Matthew Parris, Charles Moore and Andrew Davidson would like to form a quality journalism publishing  skunkworks, I will happily pay the four of  them ten pounds a month to read everything they have to say about anything they care to write about, if that allows them to write more often. 

Speaking of fine dining, over on Comment Central, and inspired by this excellent list from the New York Times, Hattie Garlick wants to know what your pet peeves are about restaurants.  I’ve given her eight of mine to be getting on with.  For some reason, the memory of my six months going through Disney’s training process in Florida lingers on…

1) Greet us with a smile, not as if we have stumbled into your front room half way through the X Factor.
2) Assume that the number of people standing before you is the number of people dining. Say that number confidently and hospitably. We will tell you if it isn’t right.
3) Remember who orders what, for goodness sake. Make a little note or draw a picture. It was two minutes ago, and I’m still having the beer.
4) Your answer to ‘What’s good?’ must not be ‘It depends what you like’. I am asking you because I eat anything and want a recommendation, made with enthusiasm (or relish if a Ploughman’s).
5) If we are paying with multiple cards, assume that it is equally split. Do not ask ‘how would you like to split that?’ or worse ‘What are we doing then?’.
6) Feel free to move quickly around the restaurant and kitchen, but when you are serving us, try to SLOW DOWN, even for a moment. Try not to bang things down.
7) If you recognise us (because we come in here once a month), show it. You don’t need to know our names and hobbies, just be nice and pretend it’s nice to see us again. 
And finally…
8 ) Don’t give up on us grumpy Brits. We normally settle down a bit after we’ve ordered.
What are YOUR Rules for Restaurants?  Let me or Hattie know!










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