Recently I've caught myself lying repeatedly at restaurants. It doesn't matter how bad the food is, I still feel compelled to lie to the staff when they ask me "how is everything?" Why don't I tell the truth. "Actually the chicken is rubbery, the lettuce is rusty, and the beans are burnt." That's what I should have said last night at our company gathering. And I know I'm not alone because as soon as the staff retreated we all talked about the sub-par quality of our meals.
Perhaps this is why Americans are overweight and why big chain restaurants are flooding the landscape. Too many people have become complacent (lazy?) and willing to accept poor quality in the interest of not offending or challenging the establishments we patronize. Too many Americans prefer the safety of a familiar menu or greasy spoon from one town to the next. I don't make a habit of visiting chain restaurants (Subway and burrito joints excluded) when given the choice. I usually find myself at one of these sub-par spots as a result of the desire of others or the result of being in "Anywhere, USA" and not having other options.
The truth is, it is not the waitstaff's fault that the food sucks but they are the faces the customers see. Since I am in the mindset of making changes to my behavior, I am going to change the way I respond to the sub-par food I too often receive. I'm going to be honest and tell them what they don't want to hear. If the cooks never get negative feedback about their food, they are never going to improve, right?