- Definition: Choosing to walk out of a restaurant instead of letting people treat you like a fool, because you know you are better than that and definitely deserve better treatment.
“A meaningless statement remains meaningless, no matter how often it is heard”
– Roy H. Williams –
Three times. That’s how many times I’ve walked out of a restaurant without paying. Or ordering, for that matter.
The first time was in 2010. I was visiting Dublin with a “friend” (funny how holidays are perfect opportunities to change your views on one another, but that’s another story). Since we’d arrived late at our B&B, me and my friend had asked the owner if he knew a good pub nearby that wasn’t too expensive. Having found the pub, we were given a menu each and were told to find a seat, somebody would be with us soon to take our orders.
My friend took one look at the menu then proclaimed there was nothing on there to her likings. I tried to soothe her into staying, but she didn’t want to hear any of it. She got up and walked right out. The only thing I could do was follow.
The second time was after C.‘s last birthday party. The venue it was being held at was not close to home for me or either of the two friends I was with, so we asked a waiter in the restaurant adjacent to the venue if they had room left for three, which they did. We made reservations and were a little too late, but that was no problem as nearly all the tables were empty.
We took our seats and again someone told us they’d be right with us to take our orders.
After nearly thirty minutes of waving and whistling and winking and trying to get someone to come over to our table (we were getting thirsty and hungry, a combination doesn’t do any good for your mood), we simply got up and left.
The third time was last night. Although my father had celebrated his birthday in the weekend so my sisters and their offspring could attend, me and my mother felt he deserved a little treat on the big day itself.
Plus, it was actually hot and neither of us felt like cooking.
We planned to go to a pancake restaurant (laugh all you want but they’re common in the Netherlands!) but soon found out it was closed on Mondays. Searching for a good alternative, I found a different pancake restaurant (told you we have plenty) not too far from where we live: we could even go there on our bicycles!
I quickly made an online reservation and early in the evening we got on our way!
There were a few guests at the restaurant already, but not too many, and after a little kerfuffle with the supposed owner (she pretended we hadn’t made reservations – which I had – but couldn’t win since there were too many unseated tables for us to choose from anyway). We were told to find a table anywhere outside that pleased us and: “Someone will be right with you.”
I swear that’s a bad omen.
After a good twenty minutes of being completely ignored by the full staff, I noticed a couple entering the restaurant. They soon exited with the boss-lady in tow, showing them a good table on the terrace, near where we were sitting. To my great surprise an ordering device magically appeared in her hands (they do exist!) as she took their drink orders and moved back inside.
A few minutes after that, an employee brought the couple their drinks. I was baffled: how come people who came in AFTER us got served within minutes and we were nearing the half hour mark without as much as a friendly nod? I caught the eye of the waitress and tried to beckon her over, but she quickly turned away to clean already clean tables on the other side of the terrace. As far away from us as possible, of course.
As me and my parents got up, collected our stuff and marched back to our bicycles, we passed the boss-lady. I thought she’d try to stop us, but to my surprise she looked up and quickly away again. She didn’t seem bothered at all that we left.
Talk about unprofessional.
I hate it when people treat me like I am thin air. Or like I don’t matter. So it felt really good to just get up and leave. No shouting, no cussing, just getting up and marching out of there. Back to our bikes.
In the end we sat down in a restaurant we hadn’t visited in years, a few kilometres from the pancake debacle. We got a good table, a friendly waitress and within two minutes of sitting down, each of us had a drink in front of them and a few nibbles to whet our appetite.
Now that’s a statement.