By ROSIE WATERLAND
Since when did you have to have a PhD in Rocket Science to make a restaurant booking? Since when did, oh you know, those things called plates become so daggy? Why can’t I just get a drink in a freaking GLASS?
I’ll tell you why: Restaurants have had an obnoxious overload. I don’t know if it’s since being a foodie became a thing, or since Instagram meant every meal served is being judged by all of @miss_Sassy19’s followers, but it’s almost impossible these days to organise a pleasant meal without throwing your hands up in exasperation and saying this:
Alas, I can’t change the ways of the food industry. But I can give you a list of the most obnoxious things restaurants do, in the hopes it will give you the power of choice and exclusion. Selfless, I know. You’re welcome.
So by all means: Go out. Dine. Be merry! Just don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Here’s the top six obnoxious moves that restaurants pull:
1. A booking system designed to make you give up.
You can have a table for 6 but only after 8pm. Tables for two are fine but there’s a minimum spend of $100. We can fit you in at 7 but you have to be gone by 8:30. Tables between 6 and 9 can only select from banquet option B. If there’s going to be less than five of you we’d like you to prepay.
We can fit you in – in an hour – but only if you wait in our bar and we require a minimum drink spend of $50. Each. We only have tables of that seat 2 or 4 – NO variations. You can book by phone but only with the codeword. We only take internet bokings with a credit card.
We don’t take bookings. If Sally has 8 friends and the restaurant has 4 tables with 6 chairs and each of Sally’s friends is going to spend this much on wine and take banquet option C and be gone by –
2. Classic meals ‘with a twist’.
Oh I’m sorry, when you ordered a meat pie were you not expecting a single sheet of pastry, topped with a single scoop of mince garnished with a single mint leaf – all crammed into a single mason jar on a bed of mushy peas?
No, I wasn’t. And one piece of ravioli is one bloody piece of ravioli – I don’t care how big it is.
If I wanted my food ‘deconstructed’ I wouldn’t be paying a professional to construct it for me. Now put a pastry lid on my freaking pie.