MSN ran an article on The World's Rudest Restaurants and why we love them anyway.
Maybe it's because I'm still something of a southern girl, but I cannot abide by rudeness. If I'm going to an establishment, whether a restaurant or a boutique, I expect a certain level of service. And I'm not interested in whether the rudeness is a gimmick or ego. It's simply an unacceptable attribute. Food is about hospitality. It's about making people feel taken care of by fulfilling a basic need of satiating hunger, but doing it with elegance or fun. You don't have to be my best friend to serve me, but you do have to treat me like a human being.
Pretentiousness and attitude run rampant in the food industry. It's one of the things about it that makes me the most nervous. I'll acknowledge that not everyone can produce inspired meals and that the men and women of the industry are some of the most hardworking people around. So, on some level, I certainly understand the snobbery and the ego. I just don't agree with it.
And it doesn't matter how delicious the food is. A great meal doesn't make up for belittling your guest. My favorite restaurants have been ones where I can walk in and instantly feel valued. The food could be mediocre, but if the service is impeccable, I'll go back again and again. And if a restaurant happens to combine a welcoming staff with exemplary food, well then they own real estate on my heart. For me, it's about the staff appreciating my patronage as much as I appreciate their dedication and hard work.
So thanks anyway, but I'll skip the verbal abuse, even for the best meal of my life. I'll settle for a decent meal served with a side of dignity.