Waiting a long time for a table or receiving the wrong order are both frustrating dining experiences, but customers’ biggest pet peeve may surprise you. According to Zagat’s latest National Dining Trends survey, which was released Tuesday, Sept. 13, the top dining deal-breaker is a cash-only policy.
Thirty-eight percent of the 10,000 avid restaurant-goers who took the survey chose this as their top pet peeve, followed by communal tables and a no-substitution policy (both 33 percent), reservation-only policy (20 percent), no-reservation policy (19 percent), no photos allowed (13 percent), or none of the above (25 percent).
It comes as no surprise that more than 10 percent of restaurant-goers are frustrated by a no photo policy, considering that 44 percent of diners nationally say they take food photos at a restaurant to share on social media, according to the survey. In fact, more than half prevent their dining companions from eating until they get their perfect shot, and five percent even go so far as asking another table if they can photograph their dish.
To avoid the no-substitution policy, 14 percent say they have or would fake a food allergy in order to modify a dish. And while diners are still digging avocado toast, they're fed up with food mashups (such as the cronut and the ramen burger), and one-fourth of respondents were also over the trend of putting fancy ice in cocktails (50 percent didn't mind, or had no opinion).
For more results, including whether diners would charge their phone in a bar, check out the full survey.