Restaurant discovery app Urbanspoon today released a list of Americans’ biggest pet peeves when it comes to dining out. From noisy kids running wild, to menus that clearly need a spell check, Urbanspoon compiled the list based on frequency of complaints within the site’s user reviews, as well as expert feedback. The list highlights what people grumble about most while spending time in restaurants.
The list of the top 15 restaurant pet peeves includes:
- Unsupervised kids: Unruly children can quickly ruin a night out, as many people complain about kids running loose in restaurants and parents who bring noisy offspring to fine dining establishments.
- Slow service: Waiters who drop food off and are never seen again, or take too long with the check, leave diners less than inclined to leave a fat tip.
- Fast food: The flip side of slow service is complaints from those who want to be able to take their time enjoying appetizers before dinner, and not have to scarf them down so their main dish stays hot.
- No substitutions: Some people have legitimate allergies while others have slight aversions; regardless, most agree this rule should be dropped.
- An unexplained wait: Many people get hot under the collar when quoted a long wait time, despite multiple open tables in plain sight and no line for seating.
- Menu typos: This signals laziness and carelessness, neither of which are great qualities in a restaurant.
- Overly cuddly couples: Save the PDA for after dinner; people are eating.
- Take the call outside: Diners agree that people talking on their phones at the table are a major annoyance.
- Dirty silverware or glasses: Whether it’s leftover food or a faulty dishwasher, this is just plain gross.
- No partial-group seating: Many feel that if you plan to sit down and order an appetizer or a round of drinks, why enforce the wait for one last person?
- Nosy neighbors: Get the feeling those people seated a little too close are listening in on your conversation? They probably are, and most diners do not appreciate it.
- Rowdy patrons: Families or friends trying to enjoy a quiet dinner together can’t stand the raucous group at the next table, whose noise level goes up with each cocktail.
- Indiscernible menus: From kohlrabi to sous-vide, restaurants today include ingredients and preparations that leave diners wondering if they’re holding a menu or an SAT prep test.
- Weak drinks: If you’ve ever felt like your gin and tonic is suspiciously light on the gin, you are not alone, as diners find watered down drinks certainly don’t take the edge off.
- Can I get…?: A major annoyance often cited is having to request items that should be on the table, including bread, silverware, salt and pepper, or water.
Urbanspoon is a leading online local restaurant guide that aggregates reviews from professional food critics, bloggers, and diners. Available on the web and through its popular iPhone, Android, and Windows applications, Urbanspoon provides reviews for restaurants throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Urbanspoon is an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI). For more information, visit www.urbanspoon.com.