Is attitude affecting your dining experience?
I know the answer seems obvious but.......
Let me start by saying that Chowhound has not failed me in the 4 or 5 years I have been watching and posting. And...I'll add that I'm a pretty positive person overall. So, when I do my research here to find a new spot or recommendation, I arrive with possitive expectations.
Last night, I experienced 2 separate instances where I think attitude affected 90% of the outcome.
First, I had made arrangements with another couple (she's a non-chowhounder and a Mayven) to try a new place that i have heard rave reviews about in San Rafael on the the SF Bay Area board (thanks rworange). We had to cancel but our friends decided to go anyway. I returned home to an email explaining how disappointed this couple was with this restaurant and what a poor choice it was to try a spot so new. She had not read the reviews, often comes off as an expert and frequently nit-picks and finds fault in experiences that I've enjoyed (other than that, this couple is a pleasure to be with).I can't help but think that if we had accompanied them, our experience would have been different. We would have gone expecting good things, not looking to be hyper critical.
Second, we needed to cancel this engagement because we needed to transport our kids into SF with 3 hours to kill around dinner. I did a search and decided that Plouf was a good choice. I was excited by the consistent positive comments. All who know the restaurant know that the tables are very close so you can overhear many conversations. We sat next to a group of 4 who were served by the same waiter and ordered some of the same dishes.
We Loved it! The service was fun and energetic (I'm not sure if it was standard practice or just our waiter's preference to determine if you spoke French so you could speak it the whole meal.......this from someone who does not speak French...it was presented in a fun/not snooty way). His recommendations were right on and food was wonderful. The table
next to us however, could not find a positive thing to say!This was too salty, this was too spicy, the portions were too large/small, the waiter was slow/not informative ....etc.
Here were two sets of diners having nearly the same experience and coming out with completely different takes on the situation.
Is all about attitude?????
Ok.....I don't want to make it seem like I'm fixated on this topic, but I had another experience with a bit of a different slant.
I started this post discussing how different people approach and respond to similar circumstances resulting in different interpretations of the outcome. The other night I witnessed the actual "Karma thing" where someone with a negative attitude seemed to be the magnate for unfortunate events.
We were invited to a office "reward" dinner at a well known restaurant the other night. It was not the whole office but a group of 30 in an intimate private room. It was obvious that the office's Manager (who made all the arrangements along with his/her spouse) put a lot of time and energy into making the evening a special one for those invited. They chose the menu and selected the wine with care and were obviously attentive to insuring that their guests (employees) felt appreciated for their work. My point is that even though it was an office function, there were real people behind it.
There is one particular invitee (& their spouse) that are well known, both personally and professionally, as just miserable.
Didn't like their table placement and demanded to be moved,
Didn't like the beverage choices and ordered something different
Could not find an entree that suited them (out of a choice of 3) and ordered off the dining room menu
Didn't like the deserts and had something special made up
The rest of us were perfectly satisfied with the offerings and enjoyed the company. The food was delicious and beautifully plated. Even if that had not been the case, I was raised that when someone else is the host, you accept what is offered gratefully and graciously. Although there probably could have added more servers, the service was a match for this high caliber establishment and was professional and attentive.
For everyone.............but this couple..................
Unfortunately (and I can honestly say it was not just their perception this time), almost everything went wrong for them. The wrong wine was poured, the wrong entree served, another entree was prepared not to their request, their other requests were forgotten. They spent the evening looking over their shoulder for the wait-staff for some reason or another.
Here's an example of a negative attitude (dare I say rude behavior) affecting not just your outlook a dining experience, but actually creating an energy that causes it to be a disaster!
My partner and I always dress nice, treat the staff well, smile, relax and enjoy. For this simple act of being 'good clients' we are consistently rewarded with free glasses of wine, a little taste of this, a salad 'we thought you might like,' on the house, etc. Being nice and enthousiastic pays off, and we have closed many a restaurant with the staff and/or owners over a bottle of wine.
Dh and I put the brakes on dining out with people who only go to criticize or find fault. If you can't find the pleasure, time and time again, why spoil it for others? Stay home and hone your culinary skills, invite us to your home for a meal and we'll be happy to provide a review.
It's more enjoyable to break bread with people who actually LIKE bread.
Yes. I once broke up with a man who was an awful restaurant customer partly because I hated dining with him so much.
He never sat at the same table through a whole meal. It was too hot, too cold, too drafty, near a neon sign that was bothering him (!). So he would screw up all the settings by messing with them, drinking the water, etc THEN ask to move.
He would quiz the server for 5 minutes on the specials, asking to mix and match the sauce from the fish special with the meat entree, etc. He would make them go through the list several times, "forgetting" what he had heard about.
And then of course he never liked anything. He once wanted to send back enchiladas that were covered in...enchilada sauce...because he didn't realize that he didn't like enchilada sauce. I put my foot down on that one.
It was culinary hell. My apologies to all the waiters out there.
I agree it is about the attitude of both diners and staff. Some diners come into my restaurant downright miserable from the off. You cannot make them cheery however hard you try, they don't like any table you offer them, it's too hot/cold/draughty/sunny in that position, they don't like their server, there is too much/too little ice in their glass, soup is too hot/cold. They think a menu is a list of ingredients that they can get the chef to create anything for them are are very disgruntled when you won't or can't.
They tell me what I 'should' do (do their customers tell them how to run their business?). They yell at me or my staff because we won't sit incomplete parties during season or for other reasons beyond our imagination.
However, my staff can also cause problems, if they mess up and put in the wrong order, forget to fire a table, take a long time to bring drinks or come across a bit snippy or disinterested. Chefs make mistakes and forget to make one of the dishes, salad guy is too slow, pizzas occasionally get dropped and have to be remade.
But sometimes there is just no pleasing the guests, they will find fault with the food that is almost never sent back and is our number 1 best seller, find fault with a server, or restaurant policy. They get irritated with the AC, ducks on the deck, kids at the next table, color of the napkins (yes had that complaint - they are black and reminded the customer of death apparently). They didn't listen to the specials, or read the menu properly and then complain about too spicey or too garlicky, or suddenly allergic to wheat, nuts or other things. They have expectations that we will buy back their dish because they changed their minds or forgot to tell the server they don't like onions or mushrooms or whatever. They think they are entitled to constant bread refills and small free appetizers and whine and whine.
Everyone needs to relax and chill a bit. As a restaurant owner I want to do my best to accomodate my guests but not at the expense of other guests or overload a server with too many tables in his or her section.
You just reminded me of a situation that happened earlier this week and how much worse it could have been if everyone had not had a good attitude. After a few days of warmer tempuratures the weather turned colder here. When we arrived at a local resturant we were asked if we wanted a window seat and we said yes. It was colder by the window but we didn't mind. A group of four that came in after us was also offered a seat next to the window and agreed but once they got there they thought it was very cold. The server asked if they would like to switch tables and they said yes. The table that moved told the server they were sorry for being difficult. When the server returned to our table she said she was sorry for not coming back soon enough because she had moved the other party. Since that party had been at the table next to ours, we knew why she had been gone and were not upset and told her so.
Can you imagine how this same set of circumstances could have been if even one party decided to have a bad attitude. If the cold customers got insulted for being offered a cold table. If they had demanded to moved. If the server had rolled her eyes or made comments about difficult customers. If we had decided we were being wrongly ignored because we didn't make a big fuss. It could have been a bad night for everyone. Instead each person chose to believe that everyone else was doing the best they could to be helpful and accomidating and even appoligized if they thought anyone might be offended by thier actions.
Attitude does make a difference but it always starts with your own.
That's exactly what I am talking about!
We had a similar experience flying this past weekend during the tough midwest/east storms. One flight had annoyed, nasty people on it. Another had people taking the inconvenience in stride. We all eventually got to out destinations the same...just that some of us still had our "vacation glow".
Oh..RW...I'm so sorry you read it that way!!! I was honestly thanking you. No sarcasm on my part at all! I respect and appreciate your reviews and was truly excited about trying this new spot.
If you sensed any annoyance on my part at all, it was
#1....WHAT was the purpose of MY friend emailing me something so negative within an hour of her arrival home....she could have not said anything or mentioned it in passing when we met next.... was she looking to blame me or just shoot down a recommendation I had made?
#2 I was annoyed that she might spoil my experience at what I still hope is a great new addition to the SR dining scene.
I still believe our experience would have been different as we do not focus on the negative unless it's truly awful. We just choose not to re-patronize those establishments that we did not enjoy.
And I guarantee, I will go to this spot with a positive attitude no matter what her experience was.
I don't think it is *all* about attitude. It is sort of interesting that you mention Plouf, because actually, rather than the consistently positive comments that you mention, I've noticed that it gets rather mixed reviews on CH.
Palates and tastes do differ. (If they didn't, what would be the point of Chowhound?) Perhaps that other table really DID have a different experience than yours; (who knows? maybe their mussells were grittier than yours); attitude aside.
Certainly, attitude plays a role. But it isn't the whole story.
I'd actually been thinking about this tonight, even before seeing your post. I am currently in DC, and had two very different experiences yesterday and today, both at restaurants well regardied on the board, and where I spent very similar amounts on my dinner. I'll post on the food later on the DC board, but in both cases, there were glitches/issues when I arrived .
At the first, Blue Duck Tavern, neither my cab driver nor I were able the place or even the hotel it is in, due to lack of signage and street numbers, and then I couldn't find a host or check-in stand once I finally did locate the place with help from the doorman from another nearby hotel. At the second, Kaz Sushi Bistro, I was told I had no reservation and that I perhaps I was mistaken about the night of my reservation and then got nothing but a shrug when I showed the written Open Table confirmation for tonight, (which I only happened to have with me mostly because I was afraid I might have trouble finding that place too, and have to call...:-)).
Both instances were annoying and off-putting. However, In the first instance, the meal wasn't great either, and I left feeling quite disappointed. I did wonder at first how much of my experience was soured by the lack of welcome I felt: until I ate at Kaz Sushi tonight. At the later, despite feeling equally unwelcome upon entry, as soon as I was finally seated I felt comfortable, welcomed and, most importantly, my dinner was absolutely delicious! When the food is that good and the server that welcoming, it just isn't possible to hold onto attitude or pushback from the bit of attitude I got at the door, even if I had wanted to...
For me, ultimately it is about the food first, service second, and while an attitude can help if one or the other isn't perfect, it won't make the experience great if the food isn't!
Yeah, but not everyone is a chowhound and for a lot of people attitude does matter and not food.
I just mentioned this elsewere ... sometimes this happens here but not as often ... on yelp people will go on and on about how horrid a place is ... knocking it down to one star and the last sentence is ... the food was terrific.
In fact that's a lot of what yelp is often about, attitude rather that the actual food. Not really a negative comment, but for me I'm looking for info on food. However, attitude ... what people are looking for in a restaurant ... seems to affect a lot of people.
To MSK, you wrote ...
"a new place that i have heard rave reviews ... (thanks rworange) ... I returned home to an email explaining how disappointed this couple was with this restaurant and what a poor choice it was to try a spot so new"
So ... uh ... WHAT attitude was that thanks written with ... gratitude or sarcasm ... yeah, thanks RW, my freinds said dinner sucked.
Just joking ... I know what you meant ... I think.
As for me, a good attitude usually translates into a better dining experience. Like others have written, being personally positive can sometimes turn around what might have been an unpleasant experience. For the most part, a good attitude toward the restaurant staff comes back at ya.
I think sometimes we forget how lucky we are to be able to eat in a restaurant at all and for anyone who even barely follows politics knows that I'm not joking. I think the posters on this thread have hit the nail on the head- we need to lighten up! It pains us when our food arrives cold or tasting "off", especially if you're starving or having a craving, and if there is a serious problem your dining companions should not take issue with you if you point it out to the restaurant. (Sometimes I will "suck it up" with people I'm not too comfortable with or if I've had a string of bad luck but generally it makes no sense to do this- if you're paying for a service you should point out when there is a serious mistake, especially if the waiter is rude. Exceptions: if you asked for special accomodations and still are not happy, suck it up) However, if you walk in a restaurant with a chip on your shoulder you will not be happy. Period.
At the same time, the restaurant should behave in a similar manner. The waiter should be respectful just as the customer- do not be condescending or rude. If a customer asks for a special request in an appropriate manner the waiter and/or chef should try to be accomodating if possible. (Though a customer should not "fake" an allergy- you do a disservice to people with real allergies- I admit that my request for no cheese is based on a matter of taste, period!)
Yes, dining is largely attitude. (Is it _all_ attitude? I'm not certain, but it's _largely_ attitude.)
Anthony Bourdain talks about how much memory plays a role in enjoying what we eat. One has only to watch him eating and enjoying tuna casserole on-board a military ship leaving Lebanon to see how much attitude, memory, and (I would say) context play a role in food.
Furthermore, how can one explain the fact that I like to eat chicken noodle soup with ketchup, other than to say that I learned that from my grandmother in Nebraska, and eating that always reminds me of my trips there to see my grandparents.
There's a little Cajun restaurant in San Luis Obispo, California that I've discussed before on CH. The service is really inconsistent, and yet my wife and I enjoy eating there so much, largely because the food tastes pretty good and also because we have good memories of eating there when we lived there about the time we got married. Others I've communicated with on CH pretty much refuse to eat there anymore because of the service, and I fully understand that because they don't have the same memories (i.e., another way of saying "attitude") that my wife and I have.
I'm certain that my expectations (i.e., attitude), created from reading about it so much on CH, also colored my first impressions of eating at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas.
whenever i dine out with my grandmother (thankfully not often) she sends back whatever she ordered because "it's ice cold." steam can be rising from the chicken, and no matter how gently i explain the physical absurdity of what she just said, the plate goes back. even if the server reacts with angelic aplomb, my gm's convinced she's being treated rudely.
my professional experience with this is some people just want attention. even if it's garnered through negative means.
Exactly. My MIL (who is a 'character') is like this most times when we dine out. If there is the slightest problem (she perceives that the service is too slow, she doesn't get exactly what she expects, etc.) she complains in a bossy, somewhat condescending way. It makes me want to shrink into the corner and disappear -- especially because most places we dine with them are the Red Lobster / Macaroni Grill variety where the waitstaff are 17 year old kids with little experience. I then kick into 'compensation' gear where every question is greeted with a huge, forced smile and I try to be extra nice to the server for the entire meal; it's exhausting. And I'm always worried that they're spitting in my plate in the back... Ugh.
As a former waitress, I can tell you that your servers probably see your discomfort and attempts to compensate. When you can tell that it's just one person, not the whole table, who is miserable, it makes the situation much easier to bear. That understanding compensation smile goes a long way.
The act of dining out has several different paths:
1 – You are buying a product – Does anyone go to the store hoping to be disappointed in the product. Going to a restaurant is no different. I look forward to new restos, old restos, and pizza and sometime while driving around lunchtime I’ll sneak into a BK or Wendy’s. When the product disappoints, either a shirt or a burger, it’s just that, a disappointment. How one handles disappointment is the key. If it’s not what you expected, you will probably not return, but you suck it up and move on.
2 – You are being subjected to service – Does anyone want to have bad service by a salesperson, a flight attendant, and the guy at the 7-11? No is the easy answer. But what can we do? We pay for the shirt, we order the cup of coke, no ice, and pay a buck for a Snickers bar. The business model for a resto is different. We, as the customer, do have a say in how we react to the service, and that’s called a tip. Some believe that there should be a 15-25% tip regardless of the quality, others do not and view this as a performance review. That’s the model we have.
3 – Education – I am a data sponge, I love to learn. When I dine out I want to see what professionals are doing with their food and presentations and learn from it. Mrs Jfood, although tries to convince herself she is not a foodie, has quite a sensitive palate and this past Saturday night wanted to try to guess what the marmalades were that accompanied the cheese platter. We were two for three.
4 – Critique – what are the five words you hear most often when the light go one in the movie theatre? “So what did you think?” Opinions of movies, political candidates, the War in Iraq, “W” in general, etc. is the basis for many discussions. Why shouldn’t the food and the overall dining experience be characterized and discussed like Dreamgirls and American Idol?
5 - Attitude – This goes both ways. When I show up at a resto, I’m like a kid in the candy store. On the way to my table I’m checking out the food on all the tables, trying to figure out what they are. While other guys are checking out the ladies, I’m looking at the duck and the pastas (I already have the best looking lady seated with me). Once seated, give me that menu and let me see what the choices are. Then the waiter arrives. Here is that ABSOLUTE make or break point. The waiter’s attitude will exude. Good, bad or indifferent, this is the moment that defines the rest of the meal. Frown at my Diet Coke and Pellegrino order and the mood is set badly, say “thank you” and “I will be right back” with that, yippee!!
So if you are looking for an excuse not to like a place, you will always be satisfied, if you are looking for a perfect experience, you will probably always be disappointed. If you are looking for a pleasant social experience around the dinner table, you will always enjoy the night, and in the car on the way home you can discuss the conversation and the food. Hopefully both made for a great and relaxing evening with friends.
You have identified the situation exactly. Your happiness is determined not by what happens to you but by how you react to what happens to you. The dining experience is what you make it.
Like Fuser I will look for the humor in even the worst service. I also rejoice in the unexpected. I went to a chain resturant recently for the first time. The server approached my table and asked in a bored and uninterested manner if I had ever been to the resturant before. When I replied no she turned into a total different person, telling me about the resturant, fhe menu, the food, etc. I loved that she felt this way and tried to encourage it the rest of the meal by asking quesitons and engaging her in conversation. However if I was a negative person I could have spent the entire evening complaining about how she would have given me disinterested service if I had not been new to the chain.
I have an aunt with who I go on vacation to the same place each year. Each year we eat at resturants that are old friends and those that are new. I have found that my aunt upon entering a particular resturant decides what she thinks the food and service "should be." If the food or service differ in any way at any level of magatude from what she believes she complains that the food or service is bad. At the same time some of our old favorites are in my opinion are starting to show thier age and the food or service is no longer meeting the standard set when we started going there. She is completely blind to the flaws of those resturants. There is nothing I can do to change her mind in any instance but I do enjoy going to those same places with others and comparing thier reactions.
there do seem to be people who come into a restaurant determined to have a terrible time. i can only assume they're miserable about everything in life, so i know better than to take it personally. however, i've worked with plenty of people who can't grasp that concept and react badly when confronted with an irrational guest. or worse still, with a guest whose complaints are justified. indignation is never the tack to take!
knowing how many variables go into accomodating guests, i never get upset when out. whether by myself or with friends. thankfully most of my friends are also in the business, so we can make fun of something for days afterwards.
it's just dinner. it's not brain surgery.
Sometimes I don't know how you folks in the restaurant business deal with some of the arrogant customers I've seen at nearby tables who seem intent on showing that they know ever so much more than you and the chef do.
I've heard them ask for changes in a dish for which the chef is know only to complain that it's doesn't live up to what everyone had told them. The cork-sniffers who send back two bottles of wine before settling on one that they still whine about. Those who argue something ought to be comped because it's not what they expected also seem to pull out the pocket calculator to figure the tip.
I'm exaggerating of course, but there are customers who seem incapable of being satisfied. I think they're really insecure people who have to act this way to feel that they're better than others.
Funny, I was just talking about this topic with a co-worker last night. Often times, people will come in to the restaurant automatically on the defensive. No matter what table you bring them to, they are convinced it is a bad one. You offer them something to drink, they look at you suspiciously like you are trying to sell them something they don't want. I look at these customers as a challenge. No matter how surly or difficult, I always approach and leave the table with a smile and a cheerful demeanor. 9 times out of 10, MY attitude wins them over and by the time they leave, they are smiling.
It is amazing how people let silly things get in the way of their good time. Like when people say, "the waiter addressed us as 'you guys' and it ruined our evening". Come on. Irritating, yes. Evening ruining, only if you let it.
I think you're right about some people being on the defensive. Maybe letting their insecurities get in the way of having a good time, a good meal and expanding their horizons.
We recently overheard the conversation at a nearby table as one diner explained to his companions, at excruciating length, his choice of the wine to go with their meal. It was downright goofy. He was obviously on a steep learning curve and might have been better off - not to mention having learned a good bit himself - had he asked for the advice of the waiter or that restaurant's very able sommelier. He would have saved some money too.
He had quite a number of pissy little complaints that night, constantly pointing out flaws to his companions, never to the waiter, as if to show them how knowledgeable he was. I wonder if they enjoyed the meal at all.
i had a table of 3 gentlemen one night. the one with the wine list was awkwardly trying to impress his guests. but it was like he was living in "opposite land" because everything he told them was just plain wrong. he wasn't asking me for help, so i kept my mouth shut, smiled, opened, poured.
on the 3rd bottle he finally asked me if i agreed with him on a particular point. given how he phrased it, i could admit that no, i did not and whipped out some facts for attribution. "clearly we read different books," he sniffed. "yes, sir, clearly we do." my tone was light, and he and his friends took it good-naturedly. at the end of the meal one of them pulled me aside, admitted he dreaded dining with this guy and thanked me for setting him straight!
I, too, wonder sometimes how waiters/managers etc are so patient with demanding customers. Maybe it's because once you get rid of them, you probably don't have to worry about seeing them again, so they shouldn't ruin your day.
Once, I was in a restaurant and the table next to me was discussing wine with their waiter. He had suggested quite a few nice wines to accompany their dinner, when the one woman (and I am not exaggerating) lifted her nose in the air and exclaimed, "Oh, I do NOT drink Australian wines." Then, her husband asked the waiter if they could return the bottle of wine if they didn't like the way it tasted.
I couldn't help but giggle. Fortunately, they liked the non-Australian wine the waiter picked for them, but darn if they didn't complain about one thing or another through the whole meal.
I always say that some people just aren't happy unless they have something to complain about. Me, I'd rather enjoy my life and my food.
Attitude is the most important part of a dining experience and if you're not going to be positive, don't go out to eat. Stay home and make it yourself the way you like it. I've also found that even when the service is horrible, terrible, disasterous, you can still have fun if your relax and go with the flow. Over Christmas my two daughters, their husbands, a baby, my husband and I went to a local Chinese restaurant. I quickly became convinced our waitress was seriously impaired in some way. She disappeared for long periods of time -- 25 minutes was her personal best. She delivered the food a dish at a time as it came up in the kitchen. It took forever to get tea. The entire dinner took three hours -- no joke. And this was with a 9-month-old. But it was one of the happiest dinners we had. We just made fun of the whole situation and sat around talking to each other. We were busting up. We started to try to anticipate what our waitress would do next and how long it would take her.
Sure, we can get uptight and we have on occasion -- the entire pitcher of Coke dumped on my husband's lap with no apology and no offers of comps or anything got us a bit riled, and we ended up with a free dinner.
But why go out ready to pick a fight? A lot of people confuse complaining and negativity with "high standards" and "discerning tastes." They're not the same thing and rudeness, under any circumstances, is tacky and low-class.
I live to be delighted when I dine out and I like to focus on the things I enjoy. It makes it so much more fun that way.
I have been thinking abut this exact subject for about a week.
My fiance' and I consider the process of eating to be a "dining experience", and a necessary part of our life; and I mean necessary like sex and breathing. We approach a meal with a purpose, whether it's in our favorite 24 hour diner, a noisy pizza shack, our usual breakfast or dinner place, or a white tablecloth room. The purpose, cut down to it's most basic element, is to provide energy for the machine. But consider the dining experience beyond the molecular level, and you delve into, what Making Sense just mentioned above, a Social Experience.
The individual experiences have their own unique beauty and depth. The loud, fast, down and dirty-lets-throw-our-jeans-on-and-grab-a-pepperoni-pie is a fun end to a busy day. After we have been house-hunting all day (which is a demoralizing process in Southern California), our favorite pizza house is a place we can just sink into like a down comforter. The experience is casual, delicious, and simple. On a more regular day, we will take more care and time to get "dressed for dinner". We will dine late at one our local haunts. This experience is quieter, slower, more conversational; a necessary moment of carving another nuance into the road. And the new places! We dress appropriately for the room. We arrive ready to soak up a new menu. We ask questions. We eat slow. New restaurants have provided us with mostly delicious meals and excellent service; the few bad places have given us hilarious stories. Whether excellent, good, or mediocre, each dining experience provides another stitch in the fabric.
This ritual of dining, is as much a part of us as our skin. It is part of the act of living. I suppose this is why the majority of our dining times are positive. We dine to feed the body and mind, not to torture the waitstaff and rip into the chef. This is not only about attitude, it's about ritual, good manners, being social and creating living framework.
With you all the way! Dining - out or in - is a social experience. We're always out expecting to enjoy ourselves. Maybe it shows because we generally get good tables and service. The food being great takes it over the top.
I hate eating - notice I didn't say "dining"- with people for whom it's all about nit-picking the details of the food. My kids say I'm as detail-oriented and precise about food as anyone they've ever know and, believe me, I could out-nit-pick the best of them, but it destroys the overall pleasure of the experience.
Like hrhboo, we've had disappointments and some downright bad experiences, but, we were in them together, and got over them pretty quickly. None of us ranted on about them. Some of them turned into good, funny stories later.
It's all about attitude.
I'm with you on this! My SO and I dine out a LOT and I can honestly count the bad experiences we have had on half a hand. We always get excellent service and have a great time. Every so often the food may not meet our expectations (we are Chowhounds, after all) but the experience itself is pleasant. I think attitude plays a large part in this. We dine out to have a good time and that is exactly what we end up doing.