Rude and ignorant waiters have been described as the nation’s biggest gripe when it comes to eating out, according to a new survey for the London Restaurant Awards.
The survey of 1143 members of the public conducted through toptable.com asked diners to name their top three annoyances about restaurants, and found that over half rated rude staff and slow service as the biggest contributions to a bad experience.
Other frustrating issues irritated diners were likely to complain about included the tables being too small or close together, staff that didn’t know the menu and dirty glasses. Just 38 per cent of those questioned complained about service charges, despite the recent furore surrounding the allocation of tips.
Silvano Giraldin, Maitre D’ of Le Gavroche, said: “The food can be the best you have ever tasted, but a meal can be completely ruined by bad service. The very best service should put you completely at ease, pre-empt your needs, but never be intrusive –you should barely be aware of your waiter. Rudeness is unforgivable, the customer may not always be right, but they should always be respected.”
Diners also listed waiters’ lack of English skills and poor vegetarian menu options as other frustrating restaurant traits.