Chef Ron Eyester is known around the nation as “The Angry Chef” -- not because he’s actually angry, but because he’s opinionated and he’s not afraid to make his opinion known.
The owner of three Atlanta, Georgia, restaurants, including Rosebud and his newest project, Diner, Eyester knows a thing or two about how to behave in a restaurant (high-end or not). He’s been a household name in Atlanta for almost a decade: See what he thinks about bringing kids to a restaurant, tipping and splitting checks.
On making a reservation:
There’s this crazy thing -- it’s called a telephone. Everyone in your party is going to have a smartphone, so look up the restaurant and call and make a reservation.
On waiting for a table without a reservation:
Be willing to sit at the bar. Sitting at the bar can be some of the best experiences at a restaurant, as opposed to sitting in the dining room.
On waiting for a table with a reservation:
People come in here with an 8 o’clock reservation, and if they’re not seated by 8:01… I mean again, if we lost our minds every time an airplane was one minute late, we would not be a society at that point. “I’m going to tell the captain: What’s going on? This flight was at 8:47 -- it’s 8:49 and we’re still on the tarmac!”
On moving tables after you’re seated:
Things happen in restaurants that happen nowhere else. I mean, you can’t get on an airplane and say, “I just don’t like this seat -- I’m not sitting here. Can somebody get the captain?” But people in restaurants are notorious for saying “I don’t like this table -- I want to move.”
On splitting checks at the dinner table:
It’s usually not a problem. It’s much easier to tell us ahead of time.
On splitting checks at the bar:
There’s nothing more annoying than when a bartender has to split out six people individually who each had a $5 drink. Somebody just pick up that tab! And then when you guys split the check at the table, when there’s more time to actually split it, then we can make that happen.
On bringing kids to a restaurant:
All for it. I get a really bad rep about it, too, and I don’t know why.
Rules for dining out with kids:
If you choose to take your kids out to dinner, I suggest that you start doing it when they're at a young age, because kids have to learn how to behave at restaurants.
If you bring kids to the restaurant, it’s your responsibility to engage with them. Our servers are not day care workers. The sugar packets are not toys.
I hate it when people simply bring iPads for their kids and just proceed to have their own conversation and ignore their kids.
We don’t care that your kid doesn’t eat “green stuff” -- then don’t bring them to a restaurant.
Kids are more willing to try things at a younger age because they don’t know any better. You just do this (does spoon airplane motion) and they open their mouth -- it’s that easy.
If your kids do make a mess, either help clean it up to a certain degree or tip appropriately -- 15% for us to sweep up 1,000 Cheerios off a rug is not acceptable.
And if your kids cannot behave in restaurants, then they can’t go to restaurants. Behaving means sitting -- in a chair, on your tushy, straight -- and eating. It doesn’t mean getting up and circling the table and running around. That’s not acceptable behavior. I’m not afraid to discipline a child in here, because I have children. So I’m not afraid to say, “Hey young man, it’s time to sit down. Let’s go meet your parents and explain the rules to them.”