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Is it Ok for a restaurant owner to kiss an unfamiliar customer?

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This morning a friend of mine and I were talking about how our respective weekends went. One of the things she mentioned was that she and another female colleague stopped for dinner at a restaurant on their way home from work on Saturday.

They had never been to this restaurant before but enjoyed good service and food. The restaurant owner even introduced himself and was checking with each table to see if patrons were pleased. That is a good sign in my book.

But she also said that as the two of them were getting their coats, the owner came over to them with a big grin and bid them farewell and kissed both of them on the cheek. It was not a (for lack of a better term) European style cheek-to-cheek "kiss" he gave these ladies, but his lips pressed firmly on their cheeks kisses.

My friend thought that was weird, creepy and inappropriate. What are your thoughts?

  1. My own thought is that was weird, creepy and inappropriate. Emphasis on inappropriate. I'd cringe and probably not return. A handshake and a "thank you for coming" would have conveyed his pleasure at your presence well enough.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gio

      Yes. And I like your icon, Gio.

    2. Um yeah, weird and inappropriate.

      1. I was expecting to read about a kiss on the lips. On the cheek, late in the evening, maybe after all had some wine, not creepy or weird....may inappropriate but it's not like he groped them.

        2 Replies
        1. re: escondido123

          Lips touching my face, unwarranted, un-asked for, would constitute "groping." No hands involved, but worse. Lips on my face, ewwwwww. gross. and very creepy.

          1. re: wyogal

            Agreed. I don't care if "he had some wine." That doesn't mean it's ok for him to get touchy-feely with me (or anyone). Someone putting their lips on my face in an inappropriate situation IS groping.

        2. I agree with your friend. That would put me off. However, there are some people who are just very effusive and touchy-feely. I don't like such people as a rule, but I don't take their inappropriate hugs personally. I would just dine elsewhere in the future.

          1. I have to go with weird, creepy and inappropriate.

            Was the owner native French or Swiss? Or otherwise European? (The French and Swiss are the nationalities I most associate with gratuitous kissing, but in truth I don't know many other Europeans).

            Was there an extended conversation in which first-name introductions were made, or multiple table visits? Or was the visit more a brief check-in?

            1 Reply
            1. re: babette feasts

              One of the first times I dined at a Parisian restaurant (had the same dish that sent Julia Child into ecstasy) I gave the maitre'd a hug and a kiss. I was young and tipsy and he didn't seem to mind.