There is nothing more iconic than the American diner. You sit down in a booth, you order up a big breakfast or perhaps a burger and fries. It’s no muss, no fuss and the food is usually hot and fresh, if not necessarily gourmet. But sometimes the All-American diner turns out to be a bit too much muss and certainly too much fuss.
Waiting on Drinks
If there was one measure that you could grade a restaurant on, it would be the delivery of your drinks. When you have to wait for a drink, you’re almost certainly going to wait around for everything else. This isn’t taking into account a milkshake or specialty mixed drink that can take quite a while to prepare from scratch, but something like coffee or even water should be ready to go when you first sit down.
If you find yourself waiting five, ten or fifteen minutes on a glass of water and the acknowledgement of your waiter, leave. Leave now. Don’t bother waiting around.
If a glass of water takes fifteen minutes to serve, you can bet your short stack and omelet will take even longer. This is especially true if you witness your server and her manager talking on the phone, gossiping, talking to other employees and basically ignoring the customers. There’s no excuse for that, and if your business isn’t good enough to merit a glass of water and a hello, there’s no need for you to stay.
Sometimes you know things are going to be bad from the moment you walk in the door. The floor might be sticky and the corners filthy. If you can see the dirt on the tables and floor, why are you still standing there? Unless this is a food truck parked on a dirt road, there is absolutely no reason to eat your food surrounded by soil or dust.
It’s even worse if the restaurant smells. A diner, even a large chain one, should smell like pancakes and apple pie. Or perhaps bacon and toast. But certainly not vomit or grease. If the place doesn’t smell appetizing, they aren’t likely to be very appetizing. You can overlook a lot of things to eat in a place that smells like heaven, but when it smells like a bar bathroom, it’s going to be very hard to enjoy any food.
Finally, nothing takes the cake quite like a horribly inappropriate server. You mgith find yourself waiting for food and drinks. You might find yourself arguing about the ingredients in your food, but you should certainly never find yourself mistakenly called out by your waitress.
You might have only a few dollars in cash and need to pay for your meal with a credit card. The waitress takes the card and asks if she should include a tip with the charge slip. You tell her no, intended to use your cash, but instead of asking for details or waiting to see what will happen, she shouts out, “NO TIP!” for the restaurant at large.
You’d be horrified, rightly so, and you’d have to suffer the wrathful looks of other patrons as well as you leave – even if you go through with your plan and leave cash behind for the waitress who certainly doesn’t deserve it now.