Restaurant Gripes Usually Have Nothing To Do With the Food

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Dirty bathrooms really annoy diners, but what is their No. 1 complaint? Find out.

Dirty tables, ill-equipped restrooms and rude servers are among the top complaints of people when dining out. But what about bad food – where does that rank?

According to a recent national survey by Consumer Reports, diners are generally more annoyed by cleanliness issues in restaurants than they are by mediocre food. But diners’ No. 1 gripe is dirty utensils on the table, a complaint registered by 76 percent of survey respondents.

I think it’s understandable that diners don’t want food-encrusted forks on the table. It’s not very appetizing.

Here are a few survey highlights, along with the number of people who listed them as a complaint:

  • Dirty or ill-equipped bathrooms – 73 percent.
  • Servers with a sloppy appearance or poor hygiene – 67 percent.
  • Meals or beverage served at the wrong temperature – 66 percent.
  • Tables too close together – 39 percent.
  • Gratuities of 18 percent of higher automatically added to the bill – 50 percent.

CR surveyed more than 1,000 Americans to find out their top restaurant gripes.

Not surprisingly, the results also show that you can’t please everyone. For instance, while 16 percent of diners said restaurants that provide too much nutritional information are a turnoff to eating, another 14 percent complained that there’s not enough nutritional information available.

Click here to check out the CR restaurant gripe-o-meter.

I think my biggest complaint when eating out is a rude or inattentive server. Even if I have a bad meal, a good server can really save the dining experience if they’re friendly and pay attention to my needs.

What’s your biggest restaurant pet peeve? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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