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January 24, 2009

The Comment of the Week: from a restaurant owner

Michael Tabrizi, owner of Tabrizi's in Harborview, wrote an interesting comment about restaurant owners' complaints under an earlier entry, When a Restaurant Needs Your Table. He did it in a tactful way, so it didn't seem to annoy anyone.  Or maybe there were just so many comments it got lost in the shuffle. Anyway, I thought it was worth repeating here in case you missed it: ...

...I also agree that many diners don't know what it takes to operate a restaurant. Perhaps a list of complaints from the owners side can be posted here just to educate diners about a typical Saturday night, and what is involved.
1- People don't show up.
2- People don't call to cancel
3- People come with more persons that the reservation calls for without a warning.
4-People don't respect the local dress code or policy, many think if they spend money at your place, they own you.
5-People make mistakes when ordering and blame it on the server, just because the next table dish looks better, now they want that.
6-People walk out without paying.
7-People insult servers, they think these people are beneath them.
9-People get a ticket for parking wrong, and blame the restaurant.
10-People steal silverware,Salt&pepper shakers, and china.
But of course there is the other breed, who love to go out and have a good time, understanding the rules, and the essence of a guest and a host.

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 6:29 PM | | Comments (11)


Wait a minute Tabrizi's has a dress code? Nothing on the web site about it. How are customers to know?

Totally off topic, but we just had the WORST service I've ever had anyplace ever at Lebenese Taverna. It was so bad in so many ways, I can hardly describe it!

I find #5 hard to believe. I just don't think people are that bad.

Not paying the tab and stealing salt & pepper shakers etc. are not on the same level as being in jeans instead of dressed appropriately. That is plain stealing and should not even have to be mentioned as bad behavior. That is just unacceptable!

Although, as some may remember, my partner's late mother used to walk off with everything including the cream pitcher and the butter dish, insisting "they want you to - they charge for it!"

incunabulum (love the name,btw!)--I'm guessing you have never waited tables.

I often see posts on where people say things like "I made reservations for Friday night at X, Y, and Z. Which one should I actually go to?"

incunabulum, I'm eaten with people who did number 5. Very, very embarassing.

Mr. Tabrizi has some very good points there, but I would hope most of his patrons don't do all of the above.

Since my visits to Baltimore aren't that well planned (other than my flights in and out), we never make reservations. But the places we visit always fit us in and I tip appropriately (20% and up). I realize the economy is in the tank and since they were kind enough to fit us in, they deserve a little extra. As long as the service is at least, decent.

PCB Rob, I'm sorry to inform you that not all people are as civilized as you are.

Dress code? Does this mean i can't wear sweatpants and a mesh tanktop to Tabrizi's?

As to walking out on the bill at restaurants, I've always wondered how common that is. It seems like it could be very easy. There are really not that many places in our economy where you can consume a good/service first and then pay. A restaurant puts a great deal of trust in its patrons that they will actually pay for what they used but in theory no longer need.

@ pigtown: I bet you my experience at mortons was worse than your experience at leb taverna.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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