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Rude Waiters Ruin the Dining Experience

When you dine out, do you care more about the food or the service? A recent survey conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation showed that most people care about the service. The survey, which is part of the ORC's "Ouch Point" series - a monthly survey examining tolerance thresholds in a variety of common scenarios, concluded that rude wait staff was responsible for 25% of the dining "ouch points." The study also showed that the younger you are, the less likely you are to handle rude wait staff. In the 18-24 year old age group, rude wait staff took 55% of the votes, compared to the overall 25%.

I guess I would have to agree. I know that I've had amazing food and horrible service and left remembering only the service. Would you agree? If not what is your biggest dining "ouch point?" To find out what the rest of the survey results are,

  • Rude waiters 25%
  • Hosts/Maitre d's who underestimate waiting time for a table 20%
  • Slow service 15%
  • Poorly prepared food 12%
  • Cold food 10%
  • Being ushered out of the restaurant after paying the check 3%
  • Dirty menus 2%
  • Fast service 1%

Source: PR Newswire

Join The Conversation
meganekko meganekko 10 years
Just last night our service was TERRIBLE...and it ruins most of the experience. I was dining with my mum who I see about twice a year, and a snotty server wrecked the mood, brought the wrong food and served more attitude than service. =/
KimmieChronicles KimmieChronicles 10 years
The most annoying type of waiter/waitress is the person that constantly asks, "How's everything?". I think a perfect wait staff should be seen and not heard. I don't want someone to ask if I want my water glass filled, or if they can take my plate away, when my water glass has nothing but ice, and I am clearly finished with my meal.
Kaciegrrl Kaciegrrl 10 years
Totally agree with the survey - service is paramount. Most restaurant food I've ever had has been good, but fairly run-of-the-mill. For me and my fiance, what puts a dining experience in the Come Again column is the service. If the server is rude, distracted or neglects details (basic ones like getting our drink orders right), we may only give the restaurant one more chance to redeem itself or just go somewhere else in the future.
onesong onesong 10 years
AGREED, Chaotic. Which is so silly, because obviously you have to be nice to get a good tip. I've worked in food service before, and believe me, it's just as easy to be nice to whomever you're serving as it is to be rude. I always figured I needed to do what I could to give myself the best shot for a good tip...and I always felt like that was a part of my job...hello, it's customer service!
Chaoticfury Chaoticfury 10 years
I live in NYC, and the service goes from the best to the downright worse I've ever had. I think age has a lot to do with it. Being in your 20's automatically means you'll get sneered upon because they think your tips are under 25%. I understand that tipping is a major part of the wait staff's income, but it's based on overall service (unless gratutity is included in the bill). I hate waiters with that attitude "I'm putting up with you, so I deserve a big tip."
greeneydmonster greeneydmonster 10 years
whenever my friends and i go out to eat we get the worst service. we're young and i think peeople expect us to be obnoxious and give bad tips, so we get bad service and then we do leave bad tips. because so many of my friends are waiters i tip really well, 20-30%, if i get good service. it's an unfortunate cycle.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
if the waiter starts you off with a bad attitude, the rest of the meal goes downhill from there even if the food is good. If the food is bad but the wait staff is nice and helpful, that's fine! I'd probably still recommend the restaurant! Of course, it also helps if the customer is nice to the waiter. I've worked in food before and you gotta give what you expect to receive.
jhuck jhuck 10 years
My friend Ryan and I stopped into a small restaurant last weekend. We looked at the menu and the problem was, we couldn't understand what half the stuff was! Ryan's going to school to be a chef, and he's usually quite good with knowing ingredients. Our waiter just gave us a snarky look and walked away when we asked what things were. Another guy that worked there stopped and asked us if we needed help, and explained everything to us. Our waiter only showed up again to take our order and give us the bill. We wanted the other guy to get our tip because he was helpful and kept coming back to see if we were doing ok even though we weren't in his area.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
Rude service definitely ruins a meal for me. I'd trade for anything else on that list, and still call it good, but not for rudeness.
orangeflower orangeflower 10 years
I agree. If we have bad service, I tend to focus and complain throughout my meal about it and aren't paying as much attention to the tastes. Maybe because when you get older things are slower and you don't mind as much? hmmm.
eaker eaker 10 years
I usually think rude waiters and slow service go hand in hand. The whole point of eating out for me is having someone else cook and serve the meal for me, so when the waiter sucks it ruins the experience.
chancleta chancleta 10 years
i agree when service and food are good i will go back again and again...if the food is good but the service sucks i'll take the food to go but never ever dine in
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
I dont like rude waiters, or ones who give you attitude. Ive had a few of those lately. :MOB:
kungfubunni kungfubunni 10 years
i've also had mediocre food at this one frou-frou restaurant in town, but to this day i still say, "but our waiter was awesome!"
ald7077 ald7077 10 years
I can see this.. Most restaurants are just cookie-cutter, chain restaurants anyway, so you want something to stand out in your visit.
jewelsugar jewelsugar 10 years
Guess we can see why Hell's Kitchen's dinner services are so unacceptable to its diners!
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