Five things you shouldn't have to be told NOT to do in restaurants

diaperchange.jpg
A couple took their infant to a Denver Starbucks this week, and when they didn't find a changing table in the restroom, they decided to do a ragey protest-change on a table in the dining room. This incident didn't end well. After being confronted by store employees about the public diaper change, the dynamic duo threw a hissy fit, one of them dumped coffee on the floor, and the cops were called in to keep the peace.

It's pretty gross to change a dirty diaper on a table where people eat and drink, with other people eating and drinking at tables around you. But sadly, this isn't the only bad behavior exhibited in dining rooms. Here are five things people shouldn't have to be told NOT to do in public eating spaces.

See also:
- Video: Alex and Ruth Burgos face cops after diaper change at Starbucks
- Five reasons why you should buy your coffee at Starbucks
- Name the candy in the poopy-looking diaper

restaurantcouple.jpg
This is as close as you should get....
5. Sucking face past the cute point
PDA has levels, and the first few aren't so bad -- hugging, some cutsie hand-holding, a few subtle neck-nips, even a kiss or two with mild tongue action generally don't offend. But when these sweet, semi-innocent acts turn into stuff you have to pay-per-view to see on late-night cable, then take it out of the restaurant (hint: hotels offer private rooms with beds and everything!). And those people who feed each other little bites of food from their plates might think they are being romantic, but even zoo monkeys would shriek and hide their faces if they were forced to watch.

crotch.jpg
Not in a restaurant, brah.
4. Digging into bodily orifices
From time to time everyone has an itch that really needs to be scratched -- welcome to the human condition. But it should go without saying that it's inappropriate to scratch at, or tunnel into, certain body parts in public view, especially in front of other people who are eating and drinking. A discreet trip to the restroom to handle that sort of business is the best way to go -- but unfortunately, some people never quite learned that nose-picking, butt-digging, pit-raking and crotch-adjusting (we can blame music videos for the last one) aren't activities that endear them to fellow diners, or anyone else.

Nailpaint.jpg
Nail polish is not appetizing.
3. Doing a mani or pedi
Watching someone get their fingernails or toenails done is boring, and watching someone give themselves an impromptu manicure or pedicure is even more boring, but watching someone take a file to their nails or smelling the acrid stench of nail polish while you're trying to eat? Boredom is quickly replaced by fully-justified wrath. My Grammy used to give me a good smack if I started to brush my hair at the dining room table, but I've seen folks sitting at café tables over lunch bust out emery boards, shove wads of tissue between their toes and go at their piggies like the restaurant was a Beverly Hills salon. I had a coffeeshop co-worker once whip out a bottle of polish and start swiping away at her nails while I was trying to eat; when I asked why she was doing that there, she replied that it was her lunch break, as if that made the mani perfectly okay.


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47 comments
Harusami Is
Harusami Is

I'd add belching and farting to that list... or maybe just avoid dining at Applebee's.

Conrad Luethy
Conrad Luethy

its just a kid if i witnessed this id think nothing of it people are to easily offended get over it laugh it off thats life

artcarmark
artcarmark

Don't talk on your CELL PHONE!

I'm so tired of listening to people, at the dinner table, talk at peak volume into their phones. As if I want to listen to one side of a conversation that I care nothing about. Hang up and pay attention to the people you are with. If you have to take a call, excuse yourself from the table and take it outside. It's just common courtesy!

barefoot303
barefoot303

kissing, scratching and primping.??? Please........ unfortunately, I have seen grown adults put chewing gum on the side of their plate and then expect the server to pick it off, and certainly folks still blow their noses at the table instead of excusing themselves to a restroom. Until these are things of the past kissing scratching and primping and just minor social behaviors...


Victoria Dyksterhuis Folkerts
Victoria Dyksterhuis Folkerts

Ridiculous excuse. Folks changed diapers for years without changing tables and they can be germ infested. Take it to your car!

Victoria Dyksterhuis Folkerts
Victoria Dyksterhuis Folkerts

I always carried a diaper changing pad and blanket. Go to your car. That is what respectful, ADULTS do. It is so disgusting to think of them doing it on a table! What do they think folks did befroe changing tables were invented???

Patricia Sparrow
Patricia Sparrow

i agree with all of these things but I have noticed that people with kids are stridently disagreeing with peoples opinions that changing your baby's dirty diaper in the middle of a restaurant is distasteful. I do not have kids and I don't want to see someone changing the diaper in the middle of a restaurant for many reasons but one of them is that I have to wonder if having fecal matter or urine in the open of a place that serves food is somehow against actual health codes...

Mara Felsen
Mara Felsen

a friend of mine did the diaper changing thing in the finest of restaurants as her form of protest for them not having diaper changing stations in the bathroom. I thought it was digusting but I understood why she was doing it. if restaurants routinely had changing stations, we wouldn't even be talking about this.

Fred Kaplan
Fred Kaplan

Grab a chair and you and your partner go into one of the washrooms. next they will sue so they get a quick settlement.

Isaac Patrick Sanchez
Isaac Patrick Sanchez

I hate when people blow their nose at the table,what are you going to do for an encore,shit your pants?

kpresskpress
kpresskpress

How about blowing your nose in the dining room? Go tothe restroom for that!!

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

Dang it!  If I can't scratch my nuts, pick my ass - ugh - I mean nose, lip lock my dog and put a fresh coat of lacquer on my body parts, I'm just simply not going to eat out any more.   

jenna-furrr
jenna-furrr topcommenter

Amen! I've seen parents let their kids do things in restaurants that my dad wouldn't let me get away with at home.

GFTW
GFTW

So disappointed that Ordering Dickhead Cocktails isn't one of the Five Things. WTF Wolowitz?

HoneyBakedAmbs
HoneyBakedAmbs

I don't have kids, but I knew how to change my baby brother's diaper on my lap, in a bathroom stall, at the age of ten years old -- without getting any grossness on me. These parents just aren't trying hard enough

Diners' right to not have fecal matter on their tables trumps a parent's right to throw a tantrum about the lack of changing space. Improvise, for the love of all things holy. (NOT on eating surfaces.)

@JPhine, I worked in food service for many years and always made a point to compliment parents dining out with well-behaved children. It amazes me how many parents let their spawn run rampant through dining rooms, and even at a "family-friendly" chain restaurant, that's a HUGE safety hazard. Wet floors. Knives on plates. Hot plates! And heaven help you if the restaurant serves fajitas and your little darling gets nailed with a sizzling-hot skillet -- because instead of sitting at the table, you allowed them to get underfoot and trip a server.

JPhine
JPhine

You (I) could write 50 chapters about the bad etiquette parents commit in restaurants. Going out to eat as a family used to be and should be treated as a special occasion and an opportunity for parents to teach their children how to act in public. But today it's a necessary evil and so many parents take it for granted. Letting kids run around unattended, allowing every member of the family to be buried in an electronic device while at the table, bringing the entire play room to the dinner table; how did this stuff become acceptable? When did patios (i.e. Highland Cork and Coffee, or the WORST, Lowry Beer Garden) become public playgrounds? Oh, but I'm sure I don't understand because I'm not a parent. I'm just someone who has to watch the children of strangers run around a busy parking lot unattended, let them scream in my ear when I'm trying to enjoy my beer with my friends, watch them throw food on the floor and make a disgusting mess while I'm trying to eat, dodge their stampedes as they run all over the place and think "Oh, the life of a sweet innocent child." And I sure as heck can't say anything because that's not my child, but somehow I ended up in their day care.

bondadprevalece
bondadprevalece

You should add the new trend of bringing your dogs to eat with you. I get it, it's Colorado, but come on. I actually saw a non-service dog INSIDE a restaurant in Boulder the other day, and I've had way too many patio dinners with dogs who wouldn't stop barking and their oblivious owners paying no mind. I'll wait for the pile-on.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@GFTW @jenna-furrr ... the entire industry of online "journalism" has devolved into vapid "top ten lists" -- in this case Jenny could only contemplate half that many -- deliberately placing each item on a separate linked page in a pathetic attempt to bait more page views, hence advertising revenue.

Although Cracked's first item -- Clueless Waitstaff Robotically Asking How the Food is Mid-bite ... 

... or asking how something tastes that you obviously haven't even started eating yet.

Automatic Tip Deduction for that one!


HoneyBakedAmbs
HoneyBakedAmbs

@Conrad Luethy Would you sit down and consume food at a table that had just been used to change a baby's diaper?

(Depending on how busy the restaurant is, remember, it might not have been thoroughly cleaned -- or, in the case of Starbucks, wiped down at all ...)

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@Mara Felsen Diaper stations in public bathrooms have only been around for a couple of decades at most. What did parents do before then? I don't seem to ever recall seeing a baby get changed in public, much less in a restaurant, before this modern convenience. Although it's an overused cliche, I'm going to use it anyway: definite first-world problem.

jamisings
jamisings

@Mara Felsen Your friend should not have taken a baby out to a fine restaurant in the first place. That's the kind of place people go to to get away from kids. She should've got a babysitter or stayed home and ate take out. Also your friend is a selfish idiot who deserved to be banned from the place for life for doing something so disgusting.

HoneyBakedAmbs
HoneyBakedAmbs

@Mara Felsen Your friend sounds like a charming human being, taking a baby in diapers to "the finest of restaurants" in the first place. I'm sure the other diners really appreciated her form of protest. Considerate!

hopsspring
hopsspring

@kpresskpress 

Of all the things in the world...blowing one's nose? If that grosses people out, perhaps leaving the house isn't a good idea.

GFTW
GFTW

@jenna-furrr Like, letting you out of the basement to go to restaurants?

bondadprevalece
bondadprevalece

@HoneyBakedAmbs @JPhine I reviewed an establishment on Yelp recently (yeah, I know) and mentioned that it was probably not the best place to take your children, and the owner messaged me and thanked me for saying that. I was amused.

JPhine
JPhine

@HoneyBakedAmbs @JPhine I'm also a veteran of the industry and share your experiences. It was hard not to compliment well-behaved children because it was so rare, and therefore noticeable. 

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@JPhine I basically agree except for two things. One, I don't care if the whole family is buried in electronic devices. It doesn't affect me and if it keeps the kids quiet, all the better. Two, Lowry Beer Garden is a bit of an exception. In the tradition of German beer gardens, places like this have always been family-friendly. I don't care if someone's kids are running around squawking as long as they don't trip up the waiter who's bringing my beer.

jamisings
jamisings

@JPhine Some idiot wrote a book saying you shouldn't tell your child "no" and never correct their behavior. I can't remember the name of the book or the guy, but I know it exists because a number of parents have quoted it saying how discipline "keeps them from growing up to be well adjusted adults." If I'm not at work I tell them to spank their little brats and be real parents. (I'm not allowed to say that at work, just tell the parents the kids shouldn't climb the bookshelves.) But this guy is partly responsible for how bad children are now adays.

bondadprevalece
bondadprevalece

@JPhine Thank you. And I feel like every time you mention it, parents act like you're just being judgmental or you don't understand because you don't have kids. That's not it at all. And it's not even a kid getting loud - hey, it happens - it's when parents just sit there and let them whine and yell and run around, seemingly oblivious to the fact that yes, there are other people in the restaurant listening to your child and this is not your family table at home.

Cecil
Cecil

@bondadprevalece "I'll wait for the pile-on." You poor, poor individual. You're like some sort of internet saint.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@HoneyBakedAmbs "Would you sit down and consume food at a table that had just been used to change a baby's diaper?"

Would you sit down and consume food at a table that had just been used by parents who changed and handled their baby's urine soaked feces filled diaper in their car -- and didn't wash their hands because Starbucks didn't provide a changing station in the bathroom --  spreading all that delicious bacteria onto the table they subsequently touch with their hands, and the door handles you touched when you entered and exited the restaurant?

.......mmmmmmm ... E. Coli tastes like chicken!


HoneyBakedAmbs
HoneyBakedAmbs

@JPhine @HoneyBakedAmbs Yep. I think I can count on one hand the number of times (in 15 years) that I stopped to tell a parent their child(ren) were remarkably well-behaved.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay "It's unlawful to have filthy crotch-licking, feces eating, snot-drooling animals in restaurants."

No doubt. It's also illegal to have dogs in restaurants.

bondadprevalece
bondadprevalece

@DonkeyHotay Thanks for the tip. Next time I'll just mention it to the owner and see what they say first. I just sort of put up with it at the time.

bondadprevalece
bondadprevalece

@Cecil @bondadprevalece Sorry, every time I bring it up in real life there never fails to be someone going on about how I should expect animals all around my food because it's CO. Excuse me for assuming many self-proclaimed foodies share that sentiment.

Cecil
Cecil

@DonkeyHotay You always seem so pleasant. I do wonder what kind of person you are in real life. My guess: meek. Very, very meek.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@bondadprevalece "I have noticed that a lot of fellow dog owners don't seem to think what their dog does *is* irritating to other customers in the first place."

Just like lowlife cigarette-sucking tobacco addicts don't think their putrid noxious effluent is obnoxious and offensive to others.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@hopsspring ... hey fuckchop, here's a HipTip --

No one else wants your filthy stinking slobbering feces-licking ball-sniffing flea-covered insecurity-blanket captive pets around when they're eating ... or anyplace else for that matter.

Leave them at home ... with your ugly girlfriend and fetal-alcohol syndrome children.



bondadprevalece
bondadprevalece

@hopsspring @bondadprevalece @DonkeyHotay And this is exactly the type of response I'm referring to.

No, obviously I am NOT talking about the mere presence of animals on the patio (I do object to their mere presence indoors, if that is what confused you). It's interesting that you say my protestations are "tinged with such adamancy" when that's exactly what your retort is and the type I anticipated. I specifically mentioned my issue of dogs barking and you jump to the conclusion that I have issues with dogs in general (um, I have two dogs at home). Just because you've never seen a dog get too close or get bark-y doesn't mean they haven't - maybe you're one of those dog owners who is oblivious? I have noticed that a lot of fellow dog owners don't seem to think what their dog does *is* irritating to other customers in the first place. Yes, I have had dogs at the table over come over and sniff at me, and I have sat through a dinner with a barking dog. I don't know what to tell you.

But your response is exactly what I expected - I'm just a big ol' dog hater, and everyone who has experienced an unruly pet at dinner is just a hater.

hopsspring
hopsspring

@bondadprevalece @DonkeyHotay "all around my food" -- so the dog is licking your burger? Peeing in your wine? I frequent breweries (which have food, some of them) and often times dogs are on the patio. I have never seen a dog get into a strangers food or "get too close" for a diner's comfort. I've seen dog owners ask every person sitting on that patio (I have done this myself too) if it's okay to have their pet there. No one balks. Perhaps I hang at places where folks are more interested in their own experience and relaxing a bit as opposed to overpriced "gastropubs" with patrons who act like the presence of a canine (well behaved, I hope--if they're not, the owners should be put to task, no question--I have NO problem doing this) is akin to having a pig eating from its trough one table over. And though I keep as far away from the pedantic term "foodie" as much as humanly possible, there are many chefs in my sphere and rarely do I hear any of them talk about dogs. Perhaps this is more about dogs themselves than it is about dining? The protestations are tinged with such adamancy.

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