[In response to “Polite Company: Asheville Service Industry Professionals Offer a Beginner’s Guide to Restaurant Etiquette,” Dec. 28, Xpress]: I appreciate the comments offered by restaurant/bar staff and owners about customer etiquette, which is (or ought to be!) common-sense courtesy. Honestly, I was shocked to hear some of the examples of bad behavior, but I’ve been a server and host in several area restaurants so it would never occur to me to be so disrespectful.
At the same time, the article offered the opportunity to voice my own request to eatery staff and owners: Please be mindful of the music you select for your establishment. I have too frequently left a restaurant I’d love to patronize because someone decided that harsh music was appropriate. I’m not asking for only soft, soothing, classical music — I’m saying, is this music happy or angry? What kind of mood does this set — antagonistic or welcoming?
It’s not just the food I’m taking in; the ambiance is made of the entire tone of a place. The attitude of the kitchen and servers is communicated in many ways to diners. Maybe I should just appreciate the early indicator: If the cook or waitstaff is irritated or pissed off about coming to work and chooses music reflective of their discontent, that’s sure not a place I want to spend time. Two steps in, and I’ll know to retreat and look elsewhere for a pleasant meal.
— Michele Drivon