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Restaurants and People Who Don't Eat

Restaurant house rules.  Don’t show up if not eating. 

Photo:  Nonqaba waka Msimang.
This is one of the rules on the wall of an eatery that opened in town beginning of April.  Very funny.  It isn’t, unfortunately.  It happens.  People want to lose weight, so they nurse a glass of water the whole evening, while friends or family tuck in.
We were collectively embarrassed some years ago when a friend did not even do that at a dinner party held in a posh hotel.  The boyfriend seemed to enjoy the buffet, so did we.

The restaurant in question has a reason for that rule on the wall.  It is bad for business. Simple and straight forward.  A table of four is taken, but only two people are eating.  If they had stayed at home, the waiter would have shown them a table for two.  The restaurant still loses money if a couple is having dinner and only one person is eating.
Eating out is also a social thing.  Diners enjoy the buzz: waiters rushing about with wine buckets and bread baskets, table 4 laughing loudly, waiters singing happy birthday at table 6, or a cabinet minister at a corner table caressing his daughter’s cheek.  Oh! Is it his daughter?

Self inflicted starvation is a right, but it should not affect folks who want to satisfy hunger pangs by going to restaurants.  They are not committing a crime and besides, eating out is part of going out, out of the house, to have a break from the mundane and to talk. Just talking.  It’s a human thing, done between biting food.
People who don't eat are related to Scrooge.  They don't tip waiters because they didn't eat, right?  Wrong!  You sat at the waiter's table, so leave a generous tip.

By:  Nonqaba waka Msimang.


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