Diners Are Fed Up With Minimal Service. Will a Little Warmth Win Them Back?

Logo The New York TimesThe New York Times
2023-05-30 09:12:55  • 9 mins

The Marte family took a risk the other night. They went out to eat.

The last time theyd gone out, things quickly unraveled. The queso arrived but the tortilla chips didnt. Servers delivered enchiladas they didnt order. When the family complained, their waiter shrugged.

The bill came to more than $50, before tip a lot for working parents with two young children.

For us, thats why takeout is usually the better option, Jessica Marte said as she settled into a booth at a Chilis Grill & Bar in a suburb north of Atlanta. The food is not the problem. Most of the time its the service.

The patience that customers have extended to restaurants over the last few years is wearing thin, especially as menu prices climb and experienced workers are harder to find. A plaintive cry is rising from Americas dining rooms: Can we get some service around here?

And not just any service. Diners say they crave a night out free from QR codes, waiters who dont seem to care and menus designed to glorify the chef and attract influencers. They want to feel like welcome guests again, wrapped in the kind of warm, competent hospitality they fantasized about while the pandemic took it all away.

Continue read on nytimes.com

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