dining out


Are Food Trucks Siphoning Customers Away From Bricks-And-Mortar Restaurants?

Food trucks have soared in popularity for two very simple reasons: They allow entrepreneurial operators a relatively low-cost, small-staff way of launching a business, and they can instantly transform a food desert into a lunchtime hot spot. But are traditional eateries losing customers to this proliferation of meals-on-wheels? [More]

Another Restaurant Hops On Kid-Banning Bandwagon

Another Restaurant Hops On Kid-Banning Bandwagon

We’ve told you before about restaurants that established bans on screaming youngsters, kids under 6 years of age, and anyone younger than 18. Now a Houston restaurant has decided that after 7 p.m., diners need to be at least eight years old to get in. [More]

The Tweet heard 'round the world.

Food Truck Worker: I Was Fired For Calling Out Customers Who Didn’t Tip On $170 Order

While sit-down restaurant diners customarily leave tips, gratuities are much more rare in the to-go food business. But when an eatery goes out of its way to accommodate a customer, it’s not unheard of for that customer to toss a few extra dollars in. So when a food truck worker in Manhattan saw his crew had been left without a tip on a $170 order placed by a multinational shareholder advisory service, he took his frustration to Twitter — and got fired for it. [More]

Sick Of Losing Dinner Reservations To Bots, Engineer Creates A Better Bot Of His Own

Sick Of Losing Dinner Reservations To Bots, Engineer Creates A Better Bot Of His Own

Like tickets to a Justin Bieber concert, dinner reservations at some restaurants are so desirable that people will go out of their way to insure they get a table. But while many of us just wait until the hype dies down and dine out at eateries where you don’t need a reservation, there is a war waging online to see who can create the better reservation bot to game the system and score seats as they pop up. [More]


The Argument For Abolishing Restaurant Tips

As any Consumerist reader knows, tipping is a hot-button topic, with some people arguing that they will only leave a tip when they receive excellent service, while others point out that most tipped employees — especially in restaurants — make well below minimum wage and rely on tips for survival. Then there are those who attempt to make the case that tipping should just be done away with, as it has been in most of the world. [More]

If An NYC Restaurant Isn’t Showing Its Health Inspection Grade, It Probably Failed

If An NYC Restaurant Isn’t Showing Its Health Inspection Grade, It Probably Failed

Three years ago, New York City began requiring that all of its 24,000+ restaurants post huge letter grades representing their most recent health inspection results, but more than 1,000 eateries that didn’t make the desired A grade are balking at going public with their report card. [More]

The iTray at work at the Yo! Sushi in London.

Restaurant Uses Mini Helicopter To Deliver Food To Tables

In what could be a breakthrough in foodservice technology or one of the most ill-advised ideas ever, a restaurant in London has begun using a miniature helicopter to bring food to customers’ tables. [More]

(From ThePriceHike.com)

NYC Restaurant Tells Customers That Tipping Is Not Allowed

As we’ve discussed here many, many times, restaurant wait staff often rely on tips because their base pay is generally far below the minimum wage level. Since tipping is an anomaly overseas, waiters in most other countries are paid a living wage. Thus, one sushi restaurant in Manhattan, which claims it has always paid its employees well, has recently started telling customers that tips will not be accepted. [More]

Reporters Kicked Out Of Amy’s Baking Company After Complaining About Flies In Their Martinis

Reporters Kicked Out Of Amy’s Baking Company After Complaining About Flies In Their Martinis

After a couple weeks of intense media scrutiny and claims that Yelpers were endangering their lives, the owners of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ, re-opened last week with virtually no drama. But one group of diners say they had an experience similar to what TV viewers saw when the eatery was featured on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. [More]

Amy of Amy's Baking Company on My 103.9 in Phoenix this morning.

Owners Of Amy’s Baking Company Say Yelpers Are Endangering Their Lives

After their appearance on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares catapulted them from being the cranky owners of a Scottsdale, AZ, restaurant to worldwide infamy, the owners of Amy’s Baking Company haven’t really been talking to the media, except to occasionally shout at the cameras that they can’t talk to the media. Then this morning Amy and husband Samy sat down for a local radio interview with another person who has Gordon to thank for her few minutes of fame. [More]

(The Consumerist)

Restaurant Calls Police In Dispute Over Price Of Vegan Pasta Brought In By Customer

A New Jersey couple who brought their own vegan pasta to a restaurant were not thrilled to find out they were being charged more than if they had just ordered off the menu, leading to the police and American Express getting involved in a finger-pointing fight between diners and owners. [More]


After A Dine-And-Dash, Is It Legal For A Restaurant To Take Money From A Waiter’s Tips?

It’s a story we’ve heard any number of times, both professionally and from friends in the restaurant world. A customer splits without paying the bill, or doesn’t leave enough to cover the full amount; to make up for the loss, the manager takes it out of the waiter’s pay. Can this be legal? [More]

The owner of L.A. restaurant Red Medicine said he decided to Tweet the full names of no-shows after losing out on business last Saturday night.

Restaurant Uses Twitter To Shame People Who Blew Off Reservations

Allowing diners to reserve tables can be a risky proposition for restaurant-owners, as the business may have to turn away walk-in customers based solely on the reservation-holders’ say-so that they are going to show up. When the diners fail to materialize, it can mean lost business to the eatery, which is why one L.A. restaurant recently decided to start naming names of no-shows on Twitter. [More]

The Waffle House lists the 20% as a "property management surcharge."

This Waffle House Adds 20% Surcharge To Pay For Security

Used to be, if a business wanted to spend money to bolster its security, it would have to eat that cost or pass it on to the customer in the form of higher prices. But one Atlanta Waffle House has decided to keep the menu prices the same, and just tack on a 20% surcharge to cover the extra security cost. [More]


Should Diners Be Rewarded For Well-Behaved Kids, Or Should That Just Be The Norm?

We’ve seen the joy that can spread when restaurant employees type in an personalized discount on diner’s receipts — perhaps complimenting the customer or simply giving a discount to wish a mother-to-be luck. In another recent case of a generous restaurant server, the worker gave a family $4 off the bill for having “well behaved kids.” Sweet, right? Or should it just be expected that if you’re dining out, you keep your kids under control?



Waitress Who Posted No-Tip Receipt From “Pastor” Customer Fired From Job

Earlier this week, we posted a story about a restaurant customer who not only chose to deny the waitress a tip, but also wrote “I Give God 10% Why do you Get 18?” on the receipt. Now we’ve learned that the server who posted the receipt online has been fired. [More]


Smart Move Or Bad Service? Restaurant Calls Cops On Diner Who Claims He Left His Wallet In Hotel Room

It’s a nightmare situation for any consumer: You’ve just finished your expensive meal and suddenly realize you can’t pay because you don’t have your wallet. How do you convince the restaurant manager to cut you some slack? What if they won’t? [More]


More Than 50 San Francisco Restaurants Accused Of Scamming Customers & Employees By Pocketing Health Care Surcharge

For more than four years, dozens of restaurants in San Francisco have been tacking on surcharges to diners’ bills, claiming that the money was to go toward health care costs. But it turns out that millions of those dollars were just going into restaurant owners’ pockets. [More]