Disgruntled Diners

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 120 months ago
Disgruntled Diners

As our grip on our wallets tighten we'll probably be going out to eat a bit less, so choosing somewhere that doesn't annoy the pants off us before dessert is going to get more important. Restaurants should take note: the Good Food Guide's list of the top ten things that hack diners off is compiled from feedback from thousands of readers across the country.

Top gripe is the insidious practice of 'double tipping' - where a service charge is included in the bill, but then there's that little space underneath the total for you to write in a tip. Do you feebly scribble a number, not wanting to look cheap, or do you boldly sweep a line across it and strike a blow for principled eaters everywhere?

'Over attentive waiters' are next in the firing line, a nice euphemism for the people who hover at your elbow asking every three minutes if everything's OK and topping up your glass until the damn thing's brimming over. We've lost count of the number of times we've smiled through gritted teeth and mentally subtracted bits from the tip.

Pretentious use of foreign languages is another bug-bear (it's not crème anglaise, it's custard, alright?) and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall can rejoice as out of season ingredients are on the list too. And as for open salt and pepper bowls - ew!

Charging for tap water inevitably makes an appearance. We all know that bottled water is evil and London tap water is like drinking melted virgin snow (almost) but there's still no law to compel restaurants to give it to us for free. So, not illegal, but spectacularly unethical?

What gets your goat when you go to eat? What makes you feel ripped off? Or are you a picture of serenity on all occasions? Let us know...

Image from Cedric's pics under the Creative Commons licence

Last Updated 02 January 2009