In 2023, every diner is an amateur restaurant critic. From Twitter to TripAdvisor, they are free to air their opinions, with chefs and owners expected to field feedback gracefully, no matter how ill-informed.
Today, we are turning the tables. It is time to talk about how a minority of diners regularly infuriate, irritate and bemuse restaurant staff – not with outrageous acts (although there is plenty of drunken vomiting), but with mysterious foibles, awful manners and low-level thoughtlessness. Is it time for diners to up their game? Here are the behaviours that grate the most.