Like many, probably including you, I dig going out to eat. There are people at the restaurant who are trained to make much better food than I can cook, someone else actually brings the food to me (as well as any other thing I ask for), and I don’t have to clean up a damn thing when it is over. But, dining out can also be a terrible experience. You can have bad service, crummy food, it can end up being pretty expensive, and, worst case, you could actually end up dying. But there is a way to limit the bad experiences you have dining out: if shit just does not look right early on, GTFO!
Seriously, if you get a vibe that the restaurant you are in is not going to have good food and/or service, just get up and leave. It will save you, your night, your belly, your sanity, and your pocketbook.
I have not started doing this until recently. I guess, like many, I just felt obligated to eat at the restaurant once I entered it. But, over the years, I noticed something. If I got a bad vibe about a place early on, it was probably because the restaurant wasn’t going to be very good.
In the past, I would just sit there anyway – which is so dumb. If you walk into a Best Buy and do not see the headphones you are looking for, you don’t get embarrassed to walk out or feel obligated to buy another pair. No. You just walk the hell out and go find the headphones you are looking for (spoiler: they are these headphones).
Same thing goes for throwing down your hard earned coin on grub. If you look at a menu and don’t like anything, just politely tell your server that you are leaving. The key here is, you have to do it before you start ordering things – as once you do that, you have made a commitment, both to sticking around and financially.
Now sure, even places that give off a good vibe early on might, in the end, still be terrible. That’s going to happen. There is also the possibility that you might have misjudged the place and will miss out on a great meal, but probably not.
Most restaurants, all in all, are pretty decent. That’s why I don’t get up and walk out all that often – I think I have done it maybe 3 times in the last year and, if it happened to be your place, I am not sorry or embarrassed at all about it.
Also, and this is important, I am married and not on a first date – if you are, you should probably should have scouted the restaurant beforehand, which is a Cactus Hugs post for another day.