I eat out relatively often. The accommodations may run from fancy to dive, but there are a few things I will not tolerate: dirty conditions and/or poor service.

I try to be patient. If the restaurant is especially busy, I will allow waiters/waitresses some extra time. A small apology along the lines of “Sorry for the delay, we’re a little short-staffed today,” goes a long way. On the other hand, if no one comes by my table at all…

Sunday afternoon my girlfriend and I went to the Savin Rock Roasting Company in Stratford, CT. It was a new place for both of us. This restaurant is part of a small chain and has been at this location under a year. It’s a lovely location, alongside the water with indoor and outdoor seating. Entering the front, there is a small vestibule where a hostess greets you and asks if you would like indoor or outdoor seating. We chose indoor. We were seated near the grill area/waitress station and could see into the kitchen and watch the different dishes as they made their way to diners. The dishes looked good.

The menu had a nice mix of surf and turf. There was a nice selection of sandwiches and platters, good for lunch and dinner. We scanned the menu for a little while, discussed our selections and got ready to order.

…and got ready to order.
…and were ready to order.
…and were waiting to order.
…and desired a chance to order.
…and wondered whether we would be allowed to order.
…and greatly hoped to partake of the privilege of giving someone our order.

Perhaps we were doing something wrong. Our menus were down on the table, we had our napkins in our laps, signifying that we expected to have some sort of food. Our eyes were filled with hope each time a waitress would pass. We were next to their station. They passed us as they delivered other orders. They saw us as they stood by the cash register making idle conversation.

Was the place too busy? No. In fact there was more staff than there were filled tables. Am I easy to miss in a crowd? I don’t think so… and THERE WAS NO CROWD!

Was I being unreasonable? Am I expecting too much? I don’t think twenty minutes displays a lack of patience. Yes, I’m sure it was twenty minutes. I checked, and double checked. It was twenty minutes after we put our menus down.

Our patience was exhausted. We left.

I don’t complain with people that serve me food. I would hate to be the victim of someone’s revenge. I am passive aggressive. I flipped a quarter onto the table on the way out. I believe a tip of a single piece of silver is enough to say, “I was here and this small token is a way of saying your service sucks.”

How would you handle this situation?
Was my reaction warranted/appropriate?