With its growing popularity comes the realization that some human beings just don't know how to behave in public. So I've compiled a list of things you should STOP doing if you choose to eat your meals in public.
1. Blowing your nose
Sneezing and coughing you can't help, but blowing your nose? Puh-leeze. It's just disgusting. If you can't leave the table to blow your nose in the restroom like a civilized human being, stay home.
2. Showing up at closing time
If you've never worked with the public, I have a newsflash: employees hate people who show up at closing time. This is especially true at full-service restaurants where you'll be occupying someone's table long after the doors are locked. Before you enter a place at the last minute, ask if you could reasonably be out of there by their official closing time. If not, go somewhere else.
3. Refusing to tip
I've heard all kinds of excuses for not tipping. While I'll agree that it's gotten a little out of hand (i.e.: the tip question on the checkout terminal at Jersey Mike's), there's no excuse for not tipping when it's customary. No, you aren't making some fancy "statement" toward business owners who don't pay minimum wage. Tip or stay away from restaurants with servers. Those are your choices.
4. Complaining online
The internet has given customers a voice. We can give five stars when we love an establishment or one star when we hate it. Unfortunately, too many people abuse that privilege, firing off a missive about any imperfect situation. Consider that the restaurant you're bashing is filled with workers who rely on the money they make to pay the bills. If you have one bad experience, acknowledge that it may simply be an off night and refrain from telling the world about it.
What are your restaurant pet peeves?
My next Piper Morgan book, Piper Morgan Makes a Splash, comes out April 4, 2017. Sign up if you'd like to help out by posting on your blog about it!