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5 Things Restaurants Need to Say Goodbye To in 2023

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A fresh new year is upon us. It’s a clean slate with a pie in the sky hopefulness for the future and an opportunity to say goodbye to the things we no longer want or need. There are plenty of things we all want to leave in the dust, but there are a few things that restaurants need to banish from existence as we collectively kick 2022 to the curb.

Drop the antiquated idea that the customer is always right. This phrase is said to have been popularized by Harry Gordon Selfridge back in 1909. That may have been the case for Mr. Selfridge and his fancy London department store 114 years ago, but times have changed. We can agree that the customer is always important, but there are far too many times when they are absolutely not right. This century-old way of thinking has created self-entitled customers who wrap the mantra around themselves like a flannel blanket on a chilly night. Let it go.

Crayons are something some restaurants give to families with children so the kids can occupy their time as they wait for their food. Kids these days have iPads, AirPods, and cell phones to stare at. Restaurants are struggling enough financially without having to provide Crayons too. Most of the time, kids draw on the wall or the table anyway, so stop giving them out and let parents shoulder the responsibility of keeping their kids entertained.

If customers want a half-regular, half-decaf, mochaccino made with almond milk and topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon and crushed peppermint, they should go to a coffee shop. The server at Applebee’s or the local Oyster Bar is not a professional barista. A cappuccino or espresso machine is one thing, but restaurants need to keep it simple when it comes time for customers to order. Servers don’t have time to create a macchiato masterpiece that the customer is probably going to be disappointed with anyway.

Can we please be finished with the little buzzers that tell customers when their table is ready? We have cell phones that can do that without having to hold a piece of plastic that lights up and vibrates like a toy from the 90s. Besides, those things must be the filthiest items in the restaurant, dirtier than the minds of even the most jaded of servers. Toss them out along with all your hopes and dreams from 2022.

As we leave the year behind, let’s leave Yelp there too. Too many people use it as a threat for better service. Or it’s used to “get even” with a restaurant or employee when a customer feels they’ve been slighted. Any yahoo can create a Yelp account to leave a one-star review with a very biased opinion. Then, the restaurant has to go into defense mode to keep its coveted Yelp rating. Face it, practically every restaurant has a rating on Yelp between 3-4 stars. Just assume that about all restaurants and then watch Yelp ride off into the sunset.

2023 is a chance for all of to make a change if we want to or to stay exactly the same. But I resolve that if restaurants switched it up a bit, it might make for a brighter year for both customers and employees.

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Bitchy Waiter

Bitchy Waiter

Darron Cardosa is a writer, actor, singer, and waiter. He lives and and works in New York City and enjoys "The Brady Bunch," "The Facts of Life" and cocktails almost as much as he hates your baby.

7 Comments

  1. Cadence
    January 5, 2023 at 1:19 pm — Reply

    Surprised you didn’t cover tipping vs the new inclusive surcharge to do away with it altogether.
    The drama on yelp is the product of people’s immature vindictive nature that had long existed since the colonial days. There are the kinds of people that would rather blame anyone else than look at their own short comings. This sort of childishness has exploded with the new young rich tech influx. Musk is a perfect exaggerated example that’s hard to miss

  2. Sam
    January 5, 2023 at 1:45 pm — Reply

    Can we add uncomfortable, unpadded DIY seating to this list? Yes, points for Upcycling a palette and owning a drill but damn—can i get a soft seat please?

    • January 13, 2023 at 12:16 am — Reply

      The people that insist they must have a window table to see the ocean when it’s completely dark outside. Some of them insist waiting for it and then complain to the server that they had to wait.

  3. Ginger
    January 5, 2023 at 7:17 pm — Reply

    +1 to both the earlier comments, we’re nearly halfway to a list of 5 More Things 😁

    Ngl the Yelp mention stung a little, I was quite the Yelper for a minute (not in a childish way I assure you, dear reader) — but these days I don’t bother with their crowded app, at least not for restaurants in my city. I go by the Google reviews, because they’re right there in Maps when I look up a neighborhood to see which spot I might want to go to. Nice to know I could stand to say goodbye to Yelp for restaurants.

  4. January 5, 2023 at 9:17 pm — Reply

    No, we can’t get rid of tipping yet because – in case you hadn’t noticed – service workers don’t get paid a living wage. Other countries make such a thing a priority, that’s why they don’t tip. Anyone in the US saying to do away with tipping now is someone who doesn’t think of service workers as human.

    Bump up the US social safety nets to protect them, then do away with tipping. Also, back up restaurants with the funds to do their part. If you’re wondering where such funds will come from, the is the same as it’s always been: Tax. The. Rich. Even Eisenhower knew that was a good idea, that’s why he taxed rich citizens and companies at 91% of their income (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/statistics/historical-highest-marginal-income-tax-rates ), and he was a Conservative Republican!

    Tax the rich, then there’s no need to tip. (Also, it funds public transit, first responders, and the world’s real heroes: teachers.)

  5. Elizabeth DiPietro - The Sporty Spendthrift
    Liz
    January 7, 2023 at 6:40 pm — Reply

    Are those little 4-pack of crayons really breaking the backs of restaurant owners? I mean, I have a toddler and would never think of going to a restaurant without an arsenal of things for him to do, but not sure if everyone thinks that way. For people who don’t think ahead the crayons could make a dramatic difference for a server whose customers didn’t think ahead.

    Something I’d like to see go extinct that would benefit everyone—backless bar seats. I’m 40 and it’s hard for me to sit on a seat without a back. For my 70-year-old mother it’s nearly impossible for a substantial period of time. And she’s fine otherwise, she’d love to sit at the bar and hang out. I feel like bars are losing customers to a particular type of seating for no reason. Doesn’t take up any more space to have bar seats with backs.

  6. Tish
    January 27, 2023 at 8:16 am — Reply

    A used to be awesome spot near me recently undertook a huge remodel and it’s absolutely gorgeously done.
    Unfortunately it’s also extremely incongruous, austere and incredibly uncomfortable. They made stone tables and bench seats and threw throw pillows all over the place. First, gross man, I don’t want this nasty fabric germ cushion and second y’all best be super fast becasue I think I can sit on this cement bench for about 60-90 seconds before I’m writhing in pain. Do they just not actually want peoples in there? It’s THE WEIRDEST.

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