Food & Drink Magazine

Pet Peeve of the Day: Feet

By Waiterstoday @Waiters_Today

Ok, so I don't have anything against feet in general.  I'm not saying I'm fond of them or that I have a fetish of some kind; it's just not that kind of blog.  My peeve of the day...especially a warm weather customers who find nothing wrong with removing their shoes in the restaurant.  Yea, I know; it's gross!  I work in a restaurant & sports bar in the suburbs, thousands of miles from the oceanfront, miles from a lake and definitely not within the confines of a public pool.  Therefore it would stand to reason that there is no excuse for customers to dine without shoes.

Customer #1 I would guess to be in his mid to late 40's, well dressed and dining with his wife.  They sat in a booth which is along one wall; the aisle side being one which everyone passes; servers, hostess, bussers, and customers on the way to a table, the kitchen or the restrooms.  He slipped off his loafers and proceeded to sit with his legs across the seat, bare feet dangling off the edge.  Who wants to see this on the way to the dinner table?  Employees had to pass this table multiple times; each time trying to avoid bumping into said feet.  To be honest, I  wanted to run into them each time I passed as a way of letting the man know he was in a public restaurant and not his own home although it is doubtful he would get the message.  I have a feeling that I would have been deemed clumsy and rude; having no regard or courtesy for our customers.  The irony of course would be lost on him.  Finally his food was delivered to the table and he turned to sit properly.  Relief flooded over me at the knowledge that I no longer had to see his bare feet as I seated customers throughout the restaurant.  Our respite was short; as soon as he finished eating, he turned sideways in his seat and returned to the offending postion and treated us to his dangling, wiggling bare feet again until he and his wife finished their after dinner conversation and drinks.  

Customer #2 was seated with friends at a bar table.  I noticed that she had slipped her flip flops off and they were on the floor beneath her table.  More than once she got up from the table to use the ladies' room and not one time did she put her flip flops on her feet!  Ewww, not only was she barefoot in the restaurant, she walked through the bar, the dining room, and the restroom with no shoes.  Who does that?  Yes, our place is very clean but let's be honest; it's a restaurant.  There is always something on the floors and I don't even need to add the fact that the restroom was involved.

Customer #3 is a teenage boy; seated at a booth with his mom and teenage sister.  It's summer, he's wearing flip flops...normally not a big deal.  However, the first thing he did was sit with his feet on the seat.  Rude enough, as it's something that should be reserved for home but he went one step further.  While the server was taking their order, this kid actually sat and picked at his toenails or his feet.  Mom either didn't notice or didn't care and apparently hasn't taught her son that it is not only gross but extremely impolite to play with your feet in public.

Customers #4-9 are women and girls who sit at our outdoor tables and remove their shoes and then prop the up on the empty chairs.  I have to look at this for the duration of their meal since my hostess stand is right up front across from the window to the patio.  Occasionally I do get to see a fun pedicure but I'd prefer not to have that privilege.

Customer #10 is a construction worker who sits at one of our outdoor tables.  He doesn't take off his shoes, but commits the next worst crime...he puts his dirty booted feet on the table while he is waiting for his food and often after he finishes eating.  They remain in that location until he and his buddy are finished with their sodas and iced teas.

People often think it is just fine to rest their feet on the outdoor tables and chairs but I think it's quite rude and also disrespectful of the restaurant's property.  I don't have a problem asking people to take their feet off the table but I still can't make myself mention the bare feet.  I know I probably have 'health department codes' and other 'codes' backing up my request but I am always fearful of offending a customer.  

It's the second week of August, perhaps I can deal with it for another month...

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