Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Rude Restaurant Behavior

Omelet with Raisin Bread and Bananas - Tangeri...
Omelet with Raisin Bread and Bananas – Tangerine drink with key-lime half (Photo credit: Dan Zen)

Today my friend and I went to breakfast at a local Tucson restaurant that I enjoy frequenting now and then. I love their breakfasts. We arrived around 9:55 and most but not all tables were taken. Several of the people had computers and were working or having meetings with 2 or 3 people.

We ordered breakfast and ate and talked about some events we’re planning. Although she has an iPad, it stayed in case.

Two women and a toddler were sitting behind us and they were also planning an event — on a speaker phone, a LOUD speaker phone with a booming male voice.  Since we’re sitting nearest to them, it became bothersome because we speak in normal voices.  Nobody seemed to mind this but us or if they did mind, nobody said anything.

My friend turned around and said in a pleasant voice, “Please turn it down. We’re trying to have a conversation.”

When I got up to use the restroom, I noticed the toddler was close to my chair and actually had her foot on it, kicking it. I don’t blame the toddler but politely moved my chair further away and said, “Please don’t kick my chair.” The kid was bored even though she had crayons. The mother obviously had no manners so didn’t teach them to her kid.

The speaker phone was turned back up. The wait staff ignored the whole scene.

We sat there for about 1 hour 15 minutes and the same clusters of people on computers were still there when we left.

It was getting to be lunch time. I don’t know their policy but I think I will inquire especially about speaker phones at full blast.

It just reiterates how rude people are and think the world revolves around them.

Now my question is to restaurant owners — what say you? How do you handle this type of situation?

And to you customers, what do you think is restaurant etiquette these days? Who uses restaurants as libraries and work rooms?

Update: I contact the restaurant owner and here is the response: Ugh! I’m sorry: (I don’t have a “policy”) but had you said something, or had I noticed, I definitely would have handled it, and asked them to continue their conversation elsewhere. People are truly oblivious sometimes. It’s certainly not behavior we condone.








  1. Eesh, that would have been annoying!

    I think it largely depends on the place: if they cater to the location independent crowd and don’t shoo off folks having lengthy convos, then they must be of the opinion that it fosters repeat business. I’ve hung out across two meal times at an eatery before, but it wasn’t busy and the friend I was with an I kept to ourselves & left before the dinner rush got into full swing. I can’t imagine having a speakerphone convo out in public like that, though. If nothing else, get a pair of earbuds and each hold one, lol.

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