Skip to main content

6 Irritating Things People Do in Restaurants

Audrey's desire to help others understand human behavior led her to study psychology. She specialises in Self-Limited Thinking.

Leave bad habits out of restaurants.

Leave bad habits out of restaurants.

Must You Do This When I'm Eating?

It had been a long, busy day without time to eat, so I decided to treat myself to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. Hungry doesn't even describe my eagerness to sink my teeth into a mouthwatering meal. As I enter the foyer, a sweet voice shouts, "Table for one?" "Yes, I reply," almost drooling on myself.

The familiar red, shiny booth is a welcome sight, and it only takes a minute for me to settle in and grab a menu. Appetizing aromas make their way from the kitchen, pouncing on my tiny taste buds and salivating in unison.

I make my selection quickly."I'll have the Salmon Special with endless fries and a side salad." The amiable server, Bob, responds, "You got it." I settled back in the generously cushioned booth and felt relieved. This has been easy. This is good. Very good. Or is it?

Time passed quickly, and in no time, my happy server appeared with my order. Hallelujah! But, just as I'm about to dig in and take my first bite of food...

1. Blowing Your Nose in Public

I was about to enjoy my meal when Mr. Nasty, sitting in the connected booth, decided to blow his nose repeatedly, getting louder each time. I try to ignore the disgusting sounds, but I am about to lose my appetite.

My dinner has been ruined, and so has the entire evening. I drive home and make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

This may not seem so bad to you, but frankly, this experience turns my stomach. And I guess I'm not alone because blowing your nose in public is among the top six most irritating annoyances. Good grief, Mr. Nasty; next time, take yourself and your runny nose outside or to the restroom. And remember to wash your hands.

Now that this irritating habit has been addressed, here are five more top-rated annoyances that may be on your list.

Be considerate of others. If you're not feeling well, stay home where you belong.

Be considerate of others. If you're not feeling well, stay home where you belong.

2. Speaking Too Loudly

Is speaking loudly in public a nuisance, or is it an individual's right? The majority of people agree that it's impolite and a disturbance. However, it is one's right. Often, folks get carried away and excited, not realizing they are causing a disruption. Come to think of it, I would have to plead guilty on occasion or two.

Some loudmouth has ruined many a dinner. Not everyone is interested in your political views or what your aunt Betty did last week. It's courteous to keep your conversation to a moderate or quiet tone.

Surveys have been done to determine what people think about loud talking in public. The results show that 82% think it's a public nuisance, whereas only 18% say it's an individual's right.

What are your thoughts about this?

3. Picking Your Nose

Picking your nose can turn a person off. It's not only a dirty habit; no one wants to be exposed to what comes out of those nostrils. It's just as easy as stepping into a private place as the restroom and grabbing a tissue.

It is not okay to pick your nose in public. Most adults with this behavior were not taught in early childhood that this is a no-no.

This habit is unhygienic because your finger has lots of bacteria and other foreign matter that should stay in the nose. And remember that you are spreading bacteria and germs to everything you touch.

Keep your food to yourself, please!

Keep your food to yourself, please!

4. Eating With Your Mouth Open

This is just plain gross. Eating with your mouth full of food, exposed to all, is disgusting to most people. There is no reason to eat with your mouth open unless you take giant bites of food. And this shouldn't be done in the first case.

A person who chews with their mouth open, or even partially open, is not allowing much of the air from within the mouth to be pushed up into the nasal area and is weakening the smell created to build taste. And here's another thought that may be new to you:

Fair View Foody states: People who eat with their mouths closed and chew slowly are giving themselves the treat of more flavor from their food. Food becomes more satisfying! Slow, closed-mouth chewing may also help a person eat less, as one reason people eat is for flavor enjoyment. If your food is lovely (full of flavor), you may eat less as you are not searching for taste. No matter what the reason, try chewing slowly and with your mouth completely closed.

So, there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth.

5. Being Glued to Your Phone

Your cell phone has become an essential accessory, but the diner isn't the place for your phone. If you're having dinner with another person and using your phone, the message you're sending is the other person is more important. This isn't nice. And this goes for texting too.

Please, put your cell phone away during dining. This should be a pleasant, relaxing experience. Don't spend the entire meal on the phone. Those texts and emails can wait until you get home.

Be present with the people you are with.

6. Dining Out When You're Sick

This should be obvious. Please keep your germs to yourself. WebMD reminds us that the mixing of hands and sharing of items create a hotbed for all germs, including the coronavirus. Two people reaching for the same nacho simultaneously makes it too easy to touch hands, and communal bowls of salsa can wind up with surface contamination.

The best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus or any germs is to properly and regularly wash your hands. When you're done with your meal and get home, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

And remember to wipe down your cell phone often. Make this a practice, especially when you're sick.

"Good manners sometimes means putting up with other people's bad manners."

— H. Jackson Brown

Good Manners Gives You an Advantage in Life

I grew up when good manners were a requirement—not a choice. I thank my parents for teaching me the basics. "Please, thank you, may I, yes ma'am, no sir," were combined with no talking back to adults and respecting your elders. We kids ate what was served, or we went without.

Courteous behavior is not rocket science. Google provides endless help for anyone in distress regarding behaving appropriately in public. And don't forget that good manners indicate a person's character. Good manners show the best that you have to offer.

A Bit of Humor


© 2021 Audrey Hunt