The End of Etiquette? Lubbock Can Behave Better At Restaurants
Lubbock is a polite place to live.
That may sound strange, but it's true. Doors are patiently held open, and elevator buttons are pressed by the person closest to them. We say "hello" or "howdy" to passers-by and are generally kind and friendly to cashiers. It makes me very happy and proud to live here.
However, there is one major area for improvement with some, most certainly not all, Lubbockites. Behavior at restaurants, particularly towards the servers and staff, who make your meal possible. Of course, you would never do any of these things, right?
Here are some of the worst behaviors I've seen or experienced in Lubbock restaurants.
Ignoring Your Server
You came to a restaurant to be served, so please pay attention. You can pause your conversation to make your order. And when the person who ran your food is holding a blazing hot plate, don't make them wait to find out who it belongs to. If that's your cajun pasta, be clear about it. And if your server asks, "How is your day going?", the answer is never "Sweet Tea."
Coming In Right Before Close
I get it— you got hungry late. However, coming in at 5 minutes until close is rude to your server and the entire back-of-house staff. At that point in the evening, they've likely already cleaned and begun to put things up. Now, everything must be re-opened and will have to be recleaned, just for you. If you do come in late, don't "camp out. If you had to stay an hour late at work for one person, you'd be furious, too.
Making A Mess (And Letting The Kids Run Amok)
Nobody likes to be judged for having their littles along with them. I once dreaded the looks I'd get for bringing the baby out to eat with me. So I made sure that my kid didn't make messes, and if they did, I cleaned it up myself. I took the opportunity (as my parents did with me) to teach my child how to behave at a restaurant politely. If I had to walk them out to take a break, I did. I've seen so many parents treat restaurants like daycares, allowing their kids to destroy the place and run around unattended. This is not only rude, it's dangerous, especially to your child, who could get a hot plate dropped on their head.
If you have an allergy or food sensitivity, be sure to tell your server so they can assess if an accommodation can be made for you. That's not an unreasonable request. What is unreasonable is modding a plate of food into oblivion. It throws a wrench into the process of the kitchen. I think Starbucks' "secret menu" culture might be to blame for the prevalence of this practice now.
Ordering a Steak Well-Done
This one may come as a surprise, especially if you are the person who likes to destroy a quality steak. There are several reasons why ordering a steak well-done is rude to the kitchen, your server, and the rest of your party. I've dedicated an entire article about it that you can read here.
This is such a strange phenomenon, but I've seen it several times in Lubbock. People who use adjacent tables for storage for their purses, birthday gifts, etc. Or just leaving their items scattered on the floor, creating a trip hazard. Unless you rent the room, you have no right to do this, especially if the restaurant is really busy.
...and The Absolute Worst
People who don't tip or under-tip, and people who complain only as an attempt to get something free. Here's hoping these people never go out to eat ever again, as they don't deserve the privilege.
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