'We don't take bookings and you have to share a table': Why are restaurants struggling?

RESTAURANTS are closing down in vast numbers. Is it because people are struggling with the cost of living or because eateries do these f**king annoying things?

Don’t accept bookings

What kind of tragic control freak wants to be certain that when they arrive at a restaurant there will be a table available with the right number of seats? If you genuinely wanted to eat at this expensive, overhyped establishment, you’d be happy to wait in a long, barely-moving queue and would not sack it off for the KFC next door. Call yourself a foodie? Pfft.

Make you share a table

You’ve made it through the door, which is when they spring on you the fact that you’ll be sharing a long, canteen-style table with three other parties. You wanted a pleasant catch-up with your closest friends, but now you’re swapping stories about your latest break-up in front of a family of four and a shitfaced hen party who keep chipping in with advice. Maybe they can manage this sort of thing in Europe, but it doesn’t wash in Basingstoke.

Only serve small plates

A meal out is a treat, so you want a big plate of something delicious all to yourself. However, the waiter says you each need at least four small plates, which cost £9 a pop, and when they arrive there is hardly anything on them, which leaves you feeling both hungry and ripped off. No, you do not want to see the dessert menu. You want to go and get a McFlurry.

Put a time limit on the table

When you sit down you’re told they need the table back in 1.5 hours, which puts an unpleasant time limit on your meal, especially as one of your mates is habitually half an hour late. You’re still finishing your coffee as the next party arrives so you swill it quickly back while a waiter hovers menacingly near you, which gives you heartburn and ensures you leave in a bad temper.

Expect you to pay a service charge and a tip

A lot of restaurants nowadays expect you to pay a service charge and add it to the bill automatically. Okay, you think, that’s fine, we all need to get paid. But then when the waiter presents you with the card machine with the message ‘Would you like to add a tip?’ emblazoned across the screen, you feel a bit antsy. You’d much rather leave a few quid on the table rather than feel railroaded into it, but you also don’t want to look tightfisted. So you tip, but with incredibly bad grace.

Sign up now to get
The Daily Mash
free Headlines email – every weekday

Man clearly making up his big shop as he goes

A MAN idly pushing his trolley round Morrisons and chucking in anything that catches his eye is clearly making up his big shop as he goes.

Tom Booker arrived at the supermarket without preparing a list beforehand, and as a result is stocking up on a bizarre assortment of ingredients that do not go together.

Shelf stacker Susan Traherne said: “Look at him. Adding Coco Pops to a haul consisting of jackfruit, lasagna sheets and Scotch eggs without a care in the world. Guy hasn’t got a f**king clue what he’s doing.

“Maybe it’s some kind of weird improv performance. Perhaps he’s waiting for me to shout out ideas he can work with like Chicago Town pizza or Old El Paso fajita kits. It would make more sense than these purchases being deliberate.”

Checkout worker Eleanor Shaw said: “It’s impossible to predict what he’ll pick up next. The deli staff reckon he’ll go for an apple pie, but my money’s on some mackerel fillets from the fish counter. They’re more of a curve ball choice and this bloke’s clearly a maverick.

“In a way there’s something strangely beautiful about his inconsistency. Kind of like listening to a free jazz player defy musical conventions. It’s not so much the items he does pick up, it’s the ones he doesn’t that intrigue me.”

Booker said: “Do I have an ironing board at home already? Better grab a couple just in case.”