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Do or Don't: Bringing Outside Food/Drink Into a Restaurant

Do or Don't: Bringing Outside Food/Drink Into a Restaurant

Last week, New York Times critic Frank Bruni broached the question of whether it's kosher to bring outside food or drink into restaurants. I've noticed at some places — most recently at a popular neighborhood coffeehouse — that a growing number of establishments have barred customers from bringing items (such as water) inside. Bruni cited an example of a friend getting turned away from brunch at a New York diner for arriving with a Starbucks coffee in hand, and argued in favor of the establishment. "It strikes me as a measure of disrespect," he writes.

What are your thoughts on the issue? Is Bruni being too extreme when he calls it disrespectful behavior?

Join The Conversation
zoneandonlymrm zoneandonlymrm 4 years
If a restaurant (like McDonald's) doesn't offer a healthy alternative or to make a complete "value meal" costs more than it would for you to get a banana and yogurt (from a local grocery store) with your hamburger, why would that be so wrong to bring those items into one of their restaurants? I don't think it would be rude or disrespectul. You have the right to make a consciousness decision to eat healthier and make good decisions for your body.
Robyn3354682 Robyn3354682 4 years
As a small business owner myself, I definately say do NOT bring in outside food or drink.  As far as people saying it should be ok or let water/juice be the exception, I would like to see how they would feel if they were on the other side of the fence.  People need to stop being so selfish when it comes to them being a consumer and look at it from all sides.  If this kind of thing keeps up there won't be any small business' left and the quality of dining out will drop tremendously.
dessert-princess dessert-princess 5 years
As a small business owner ,we strive to give excellent customer service. We are competing with large chains who have unlimited advertising budgets.We take a lot of pride in every aspect of our business. We order our coffee through a small business who roasts their beans in small batches, and deliver to us weekly. All of our baked products are baked fresh daily. It is very important to us that we offer a superior quality regarding our coffee we serve or our baked goods. It doesn't matter if you order a muffin, cupcake, specialty cake, wedding cake or a cup of coffee. We want it to be the best!!! I It is insulting when someone brings a dunkin donuts cup of coffee into our shop. We are a coffee house/ bakery. I would never bring a cup of coffee into another business that serves coffee. I think it is extremely disrespectful to visit a food establishment and bring anything into the food establishment that is on the menu. I understand that everyone has different tastes((and I respect their freedom of choice), but please leave the coffee in your car and purchase your desserts to go.
chow chow 8 years
i'd say it's usually pretty rude.
Argentee Argentee 8 years
I have no problem when it is for children. As a child, my mother learned not to trust restraunts when they said there was no milk in something... it turns up in the oddest places and after the first time a meal out ended with my being rushed to a hospital, mom got paranoid. As an adult I won't bring my own food, even though I've had some similar experiences.
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
I would only do it for my son. Otherwise for adults I think it's very rude. And in doing it for my son it's usually only crackers and other snacks to hold him over until his meal comes anyway. I don't think I would ever bring him in a full meal because if he couldn't eat the food or didn't like it then I wouldn't bring him to that restaurant.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it really depends on what you're bringing to the place and what kind of place it is. there are times that it's just WRONG to bring in stuff - but honestly, a coffee - really?
CarlyHP226685 CarlyHP226685 8 years
If its a little kid then i dont see a problem. Most kids are picky and if they go to dinner with their parents or guardians then who cares. Adults however shouldnt bring food in to nice restaurants. I've eaten pizza in a dunkin donuts before because the people i was with wanted D&D. But I would never bring outside food in to a nice place. And movies? I always buy a drink and/or a snack at walmart or another store before i go in. $10 for a ticket and then $6 for a soda and $5 for candy? HAH! Not gonna happen lol Me & my boyfriend have snuck in our lunches before too...Wendy's sandwiches and wraps are the perfect jacket pocket sized snack haha. I do think that overly smelly food should be banned. No strong odors that will bother other movie goers! I try to go in the early afternoon so its empty.
bawp125 bawp125 8 years
this might be one of my pet peeves. i work at an independent coffee shop and sometimes people bring in coffee from starbucks!! it's really like a slap in the face to establishments like the one i work at, because we are a small business struggling to survive against a coffee empire. i could see there being some exceptions, but brining in food or drinks from direct industry competitors is a complete faux pas.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
it depends - if i had a coffee or water on the go, then i would bring it into most places (but not a starbucks into a different chain of coffee shop or anything) - but like actual food, NO! except like for a little kid, like someone said, if they only like/can eat certain stuff but the parents want something different, then that's also an exeption.
katie171 katie171 8 years
I wouldn't feel comfortable bringing outside food to a restaurant.
Angela123 Angela123 8 years
I think it's rude and disrespectful to bring outside FOOD into a restaurant where you will be eating, but not necessarily beverages. If I already have a water or a latte or bottle of soda or whatever in my hand when I enter a restaurant, I'm not going to throw it away. Anything beyond that I wouldn't really do.
mtiger mtiger 8 years
I would never bring food or drink into a restaurant. Maybe a bottle of water at a fast-food restaurant. Also, I'm like readers above...I sneak snacks and drinks into the movies. $4 for a bottle of water is outrageous!
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 8 years
Yes, I take a small bottle of water into the movie theater with me because I will not pay $4.00 for one. I have even discreetly pulled a cookie from my purse at a coffeehouse. (My homebaked goods are much better than the mass produced items! LOL) ;) At a sit down restaurant, probably not. I guess it depends where I am. :)
LadyLiLa83 LadyLiLa83 8 years
I don't do it, and I've actually never seen anyone who did.
ummyeaitsmarcie ummyeaitsmarcie 8 years
I wouldn't do it at a sit down restaurant, but I routinely buy dinner at a fast food place and take it to the wireless hot spot in my town. I buy a coffee and occasionally a dessert there once I'm done with my food.
rickimc rickimc 8 years
Personally, I would never do this. However, I have seen people bring in food for thier young children, and this does not bother me.
puddlesworth puddlesworth 8 years
water is free, so why should they care if you bring your own?
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