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The Most Annoying Thing You Can Do While Eating Out At A Restaurant

Consider this a PSA on behalf of all hospitality workers across the nation.

Actually, make that across the world because this problem needs to be acknowledged and amended, universally.

No, I am not currently a hospitality worker but I once was. Although I suffered many of my own gripes along the years of serving fried chicken and chips, this isn’t about me or the literal sh*t I had to contend with (cleaning the toilets was a part of the job too).

This has to do with one particular scene I witnessed over the weekend.

While dining out at a restaurant, enjoying a wine, eating my chicken salad and catching up with friends -- on a neighbouring table I saw a middle-aged man having dinner with who I presume was his wife.

About ten minutes into his dining experience, I saw his hand shoot up like a primary school aged kid asking to go to the toilet urgently. Then I saw his fingers click.

Just don't do it. Image: Getty

But they didn’t just click once, not even twice but they clicked multiple times in the air like some sort of old school dance move, except he was using it as a means to get the waitress' attention.

Although not being the waitress he so desperately needed, I still found his clicking offensive and rude. I mean who actually does this outside of a movie and thinks that it is okay?

I looked at my friends, who had also observed the man and were shaking their heads. I attempted to contain my disappointment as much as I possibly could, and we soon all carried on with our evening, hoping that this was the last time we had to witness ‘the click'.

But then it happened again. And again. And again. Throughout the evening I saw this man waving his arm around in the air, clicking, to request (or demand) attention from the waitress.

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And no, it wasn’t that the waitress was non-attentive and needed a reminder, she was very attentive, I know because she was ours also.

Without sounding like a testimonial, this waitress was great -- she did her due diligence of checking to make sure our meals were nice, if we wanted another drink, filling our water up throughout the evening and all the other expected duties you would expect.

She was doing a fine job.

Although there was nothing wrong with her actions, there was definitely something wrong with his and this man needed a lesson in restaurant etiquette.

So from an old hospitality worker, and on behalf of my fellow hospitality friends, listen up Mr Clicky, here is your lesson.

Shona Hendley. Image: Supplied

Restaurants are places for people to eat, drink and enjoy themselves. Often, they are places where friends get together or couples go out on dates (like you and your wife) so atmosphere is key.

Usually an atmosphere that is comfortable, positive and fun would be pretty expected. But when you see someone being rude by clicking instead of a.) waiting two minutes for them to come over on their own or b.) make eye contact with them like a normal person, you ruin that atmosphere for the people around you.

Why? Because it makes them uncomfortable. It is 2020 and the waiter or waitress isn’t of a lower status than you, they aren’t undeserving of your respect or at least your common courtesy, they are just doing their job.

So, how about we all follow these simple guidelines in future:

1. No clicking at people.

2. Use manners like please, thank you and EXCUSE ME.

3. Turn up on time if you have a booking, people -- there is no excuse.

4. Pop your phone away (unless you're solo dining).

5. Respect your fellow diners which means no overt PDAs, turning your phone off or putting it on silent and not bringing your children with you unless it is a family friendly restaurant (and yes, I am a parent).

6. Observe the general ‘rules’ of where you are eating.  If it is fancy, dress in fancy stuff and if it says no split bills don’t ask to split the bill.

7. Be respectful of closing times. If it closes in five minutes, don’t stroll on in and order a three-course meal. Also on’t argue with the employee who reminds you of the closing them as if they have committed murder. Just don’t.

8. And finally, for clarity. DON’T CLICK AT THE WAIT STAFF or at anyone for that matter, no one likes it.

Featured image: Getty