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Leaving a Restaurant Early

Let's Dish: What's Caused You to Leave a Restaurant Prematurely?

Usually when I'm looking for a bite to eat somewhere new, on vacation, or just a place I haven't researched beforehand, I ask for a menu before being seated to make sure it's something I'd be interested in. But there are those times when you get caught up and end up being seated and served water before you realize there's nothing you like. I hate having to awkwardly get up and walk out because I always feel slightly bad for leaving without tipping and for the obvious diss on the restaurant. However, when I've been seated just to have to wait 30 minutes for the server to return, I don't feel bad for getting up and leaving. Whether it's been because of the menu, poor service, or maybe something unpleasant like a hair in your food, have you ever left a restaurant early? What happened?

Source: Flickr User _Pek_

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Italophile Italophile 4 years
Extremely poor service is the only reason I have ever left a restaurant early!
tresbien tresbien 4 years
I'm never afraid to leave early, though I've had to coax some timid friends. Main reasons: realizing the prices are too expensive, being ignored too long by servers, or the restaurant having a lack of ambiance. And do really bad dates count? lol
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 4 years
A long time ago I went into a Thai restaurant that was a dump but was super popular. I was seated and handed a menu but when I looked up I saw a server friggin POP A ZIT in the reflection of a window. I was outta there in a flash!
fuzzles fuzzles 4 years
I won't hesitate to walk out of a restaurant if the front of the house is dirty or disorganized. If that is what they are allowing you to see, you can be certain that the kitchen is ten times worse!
fuzzles fuzzles 4 years
A friend once recommended a Mom and Pop Chinese place in my area. She had never actually dined on the premises before, but would often have lunch delivered to her office. Finding myself at the same strip mall one day, I popped in to have a look-see. It was mid-afternoon, and while the place was empty, every single table was sporting dirty dishes. The open kitchen looked as though it was in need of a good hosedown as well. I asked for a takeout menu, left, and never went back. I also told my friend that she might want to consider a new place when it came to having her lunch delivered!
dclsweetspot dclsweetspot 4 years
I don't get intimidated by someone I'm paying, the one benefit of getting older. If I'm seated and left waiting or ignorned by a hostess busy having a personal conversation rather than seating me I walk out. If I am not able to see a menu prior to being seated and find that nothing on the menu appeals to me, I have no problem getting up and leaving.
amber512 amber512 4 years
I have left when the wait was ridiculous and I have also left places that didn't have menus available before being seated. And their offerings were nowhere near worth the price.
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 4 years
I've never left a restaurant immediately that I can think of, other than the fact that I've not been able to get over a prohibitive wait. But I'd love to know why people do. I always hear these great horror stories.
snarkypants snarkypants 4 years
hmmm...well once they didn't let us see a menu before we were seated. we were the only people in the place. it felt dirty and the menu was quite "meh". we left immediately.
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