Top-5 Records presents top-5 restaurant complaints

Who doesn’t like a list? David Letterman figured this out decades ago. Today, the Detroit Free Press chimes in with the top-5 complaints of restaurant patrons.

And none of them had to do with barfing.

1. Over 100 readers responded and the overwhelming top complaint was being addressed as "you guys" — as in "How are you guys?" or "Are you guys ready to order?" (In Canadian, that may be “youse guys.”). I have to agree with this. With five daughters and coaching girls’ hockey and soccer for years, I made it a point never to refer to the young ladies as ‘youse guys.’ A guy, by definition, is male, and I’m not sure how the “you guys” thing ever caught on. And there are gender-neutral alternatives, like ‘folks’ or ‘youse.’ One male reader wrote, "I am a customer, not a casual buddy."

2. Asking, "Do you need change?" when a server picks up a guest’s check with cash. Diners considered it presumptuous or thought it was an effort to get an extra-large tip — so they left less in protest. Most servers will tell you they’re only trying to avoid an unnecessary trip back to the table.

3. Checks brought too soon irk many readers; most interpret it as a sign the restaurant wants them to leave quickly. I prefer an early check because it sucks to be waiting around with a restless child or five just to pay the bill.

4. Sortofa food safety one — wiping down tabletops and chair seats with the same dirty cloth all over the dining room

5. Loud music or televisions. Agreed. I can do that at home. Cause I like to party.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time