Ten most offensive kinds of restaurant behaviour

Fellow diners are capable of destroying the very best of meals. (Shutterstock)

Fellow diners are capable of destroying the very best of meals. (Shutterstock)

VirtualTourist.com, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:56 PM ET

Whether prompted by necessity or adventure, travellers do a lot of dining out, and thus have developed some pretty strong opinions about the experience. With this in mind, the members and editors of travel website VirtualTourist.com have compiled this list of the most offensive kinds of restaurant behaviour. From inappropriate diaper changing to unfair bill splitting, it shows that fellow diners are capable of destroying the very best of meals.

1. RUDE CUSTOMERS

From snapping at waiters (both literally and figuratively), to calling them names, to good old-fashioned condescension, it's amazing the way some people treat the wait staff. Good manners aside, if ever there were someone to whom it was important to be kind, it's someone who handles your food.

2. CELLPHONE USERS

Although we live in an age of public oversharing, loud cellphone users seem all the more offensive in a restaurant, especially when they have something personal and possibly medical to talk about. We recommend leaving the restaurant entirely for calls that really can't wait.

3. NOSE BLOWERS

While it may seem minor, this is a really great way to ruin the collective appetite of the people with whom you're dining. If you're so sick that this is really a necessity, please stay home.

4. SENDING EVERYTHING BACK

We've all had the experience of having to send back chicken that's a little undercooked or a soda that's a little flat, but for some people, sending something back to the kitchen is practically a sport. Consider leaving the restaurant altogether, if a meal really has to return to the kitchen that urgently.

5. COMPLAINING ABOUT FOOD AFTER IT'S EATEN

A worse version of the person who sends the food back, this person waits to complain about quality until they've eaten most of what was on the plate. Why they needed to consume so much of it before voicing their dislike is a mystery to all.

6. ALTERING FOOD TO THE POINT OF ABSURDITY

Like a scene out of "When Harry Met Sally," some people ask for so many changes to the food they're ordering, it makes one wonder why they chose that dish. By the time they're finished, they can turn a hamburger into a slice of pizza.

7. OUT-OF-CONTROL CHILDREN

They're lovely at the playground, but at a snazzy restaurant, not so much - especially when their parents don't realize (or accept) that not every eating establishment is one that allows drawing on the tablecloths. It's not even the noise levels that drive diners crazy but the running around, sometimes with potentially dangerous utensils in hand.

8. NOT TIPPING

Arguing that if they don't get tipped for their job they shouldn't have to tip others, some people have no problem stiffing the waitperson. Of all the embarrassing behaviours in which a fellow diner can indulge, this is without question the worst.

9. PUBLIC DIAPER-CHANGING

Even with "family restrooms," elaborate changing tables, and, well, home, there are still parents who use restaurant floors to change a crying child. Amazing though it may be, they actually think other diners won't mind. They are wrong.

10. UNEVEN BILL-SPLITTING

You've ordered a light dinner and a soda, they've ordered everything from cocktails to appetizers to dessert, and when the bill comes, they're the first people to suggest splitting it. This might not be so bad if only they weren't quite so defensive when you point out the imbalance.

(c) 2011 VirtualTourist.com, Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.


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