Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Nadine Levy Redzepi of Downtime: Deliciousness at Home | Ask Your Questions Now ›

Not About Food

Restaurant "Regulars" Under Interrogation!!!


Not About Food 60

Restaurant "Regulars" Under Interrogation!!!

CindyJ | Oct 30, 2008 03:32 PM

My husband and I have been having dinner regularly and quite often at one particular small, independently-owned restaurant. We choose to dine at this restaurant because of its location, and because we really enjoy the food and service there. For some time, we'd been going there about once a week, and almost always on the same day of the week. We usually have cordial, pleasant conversations with the owner and the hostess, and we're always greeted warmly.

A couple of months ago, we did not happen to be in that town as we'd normally be, so we missed our weekly dinner there. In fact, I think we missed two weeks. When we did show up again, as we were being seated, the hostess said, "You weren't here last week. And I think you weren't here the week before, either." I said, "That's right." But she persisted and said, "We missed you. Why weren't you here?"

Now, I know we don't owe anyone an explanation about WHY we happened to not be there. In fact, I thought it was positively rude and absurd that she was even asking. And, after we were seated, the owner came over to say hello and he asked us exactly the same questions. We answered both of them by simply saying, "We just weren't here." Then, last night, under similar circumstances, we were given the same kind of interrogation. I don't know if it matters, and maybe there are cultural differences I'm unaware of, but for the record, let me mention that both of these individuals were born in Asian countries.

We'd easily opt out of the restaurant entirely, were it not for the fact that there's really nowhere else nearby where we'd want to have dinner when we're in that town. Remember, I said we chose the place primarily because it's in a location where we need to be. But sheeeesh! It's as though they're trying to make us feel guilty for not showing up.

I need a good response to these nosy, inappropriate questions. I know these questions WILL be asked again. Don't make me have to find another restaurant just because these folks lack tact and business smarts. I don't want to be rude in my response. I just want them to understand that I'm put off by their inquisitiveness.

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound