One refusal of alcohol should have been enough

(51 Posts)
LifeIsGoodish Sun 17-Jul-16 22:54:25

Not a big deal, but bugged me a bit.

I was eating alone in a hotel restaurant this evening. Because I was not staying there, I had to put my card behind the bar, and the waiter, making polite small-talk, asked me where I had come from. So he knew I was driving. When I placed my meal order, he asked if I wanted wine with my meal.

"No thanks, I'm driving."
"You can have it by the glass." (Or words to that effect.)
"No thanks, I'm driving."

When the main course arrived:
"Can I bring you a glass of champagne with your meal?"
"No thanks, I'm driving."
"Just the one?"
"No thanks, I'm driving."

And again with dessert wine and liqueur coffee. And each time I had to refuse twice.

I get that they have to offer. I get that he may have forgotten our earlier discussion. The restaurant was not particularly busy and the service was attentive.

It just bugs me a bit that someone says "No thanks, I'm driving." and yet they're encouraged to drink alcohol. Or am I being precious?

PurpleWithRed Sun 17-Jul-16 22:56:08

Not at all. Very irritating and irresponsible. Not unreasonable to email the hotel about it.

lilydaisyrose Sun 17-Jul-16 22:57:40

In Scotland, our newer limits are so low that one glass could put you over the limit, I doubt they'd dare ask here. I would complain.

Wolfiefan Sun 17-Jul-16 22:57:48

No. I was out recently with some friends. They tried to order me an alcoholic drink. I said no because I was driving. They looked at me like I was mad.
I don't drink alcohol and drive. Ever. No one should ever encourage that!

honeyroar Sun 17-Jul-16 23:19:28

Do you think he may have forgotten? I have little chats with my customers while serving them, but to be honest I don't take much of it in usually, and have the memory of a goldfish!

VestalVirgin Sun 17-Jul-16 23:24:57

Well, at least he asked. Don't get me started on the restaurants where you are given a round of alcohol on the house after the meal, and have to be rude and just not drink it if you don't want to ingest alcohol.

I agree it is annoying. However, I think it is even worse when people do that to their friends. People usually let me be because I have a no alcohol ever policy, but I have watched friends who did drink alcohol being bullied into drinking more than they wanted to.
It's disgusting, and the people who did this are no friends of mine.

avamiah Sun 17-Jul-16 23:35:44

LifeIsGoodish,
I don't know how you kept calm.lol
Firstly, you didn't need to say that you were driving or in fact anything at all apart from "No THanks"
For all they knew you could of been a recovering alcoholic or on a diet were your cutting out alcohol or for medical reasons.
I just wouldn't go back there again and maybe post a review.
I hope the food was ok though.

BillSykesDog Sun 17-Jul-16 23:35:47

It's probably not his fault. The company probably has guidelines on 'upselling' which he is obliged to follow and these usually are concerned with alcohol as they make their money there.

nocoolnamesleft Sun 17-Jul-16 23:37:37

Oh god, yes.

"No, really, I've never found an alcoholic drink I liked, and not for want of trying".
"But you must try this one. You'll like this one"
"No thanks"
"Here, go on, try it...why are you not drinking it?"
"Because now I've tried it I don't like it. I did tell you"
"Well why did you let me buy it then?"
"ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!"

HelenaDove Sun 17-Jul-16 23:40:58

VV We seem to live in a world where its ok to drink to excess and teetotal people are treated as weird. But woe betide you if you are seen eating a slice of cake especially if you are a woman.

I was brought up in a house where not drinking was the norm. So that is my normal. Im teetotal and have never been drunk. My DB drinks a fair amount though.

avamiah Sun 17-Jul-16 23:45:33

@VestalVirgin,
lol ,I have been to plenty of those restaurants but never returned, and the ridiculous thing is the food and service was great until the end then they force their local drink on you, (Turkish, Greek, in fact even Chinese.
It really annoys me, as I've seen friends drink it just to be polite and it's always when we are on coffees before we ask for the bill.
In my opinion it's all about securing a good tip.
Ridiculous

KissMyArse Sun 17-Jul-16 23:53:40

Reminds me of the Mr Creosote sketch

Maitre D: And finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin mint.

Mr Creosote: No.

Maitre D: Oh sir! It's only a tiny little thin one.

Mr Creosote: No. Fuck off - I'm full... [Belches]

Maitre D: Oh sir... it's only wafer thin.

Mr Creosote: Look - I couldn't eat another thing. I'm absolutely stuffed. Bugger off.

Maitre D: Oh sir, just... just one...

Mr Creosote: Oh all right. Just one.

Maitre D: Just the one, sir... voila... bon appetit...

SolidGoldBrass Sun 17-Jul-16 23:54:50

Maybe he was tired of virtue signallers making a big song and dance about not drinking and driving?

LockedOutOfMN Sun 17-Jul-16 23:56:33

VestalVirgin I live in Spain where the complimentary after dinner drink is very common, however, non-alcoholic drinks are always offered as well as alcoholic ones. That way, everyone can join in if they wish, including children. (Having said that, I don't join in as I don't like any of those drinks, with or without alcohol!)

Offering only alcohol is irresponsible of the restaurant, and generally just thoughtless, particularly when the guests have previously ordered and paid for soft drinks with their meal.

LockedOutOfMN Sun 17-Jul-16 23:59:29

To the OP, you are being reasonable and should not have been offered alcohol after your initial refusal (and explanation). It sounds like your waiter was going from a "script" whereby at each point in the meal he offers every customer the same things.

Maybe the staff are taught that way and even told off if they don't offer something (a bit like the McDonalds, "Do you want to supersize that?" thing), just in case you suddenly change your mind, decide to order the most expensive champagne and get a taxi home - but you would never have decided it and they would have lost out on the profit if he didn't ask you(!)

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 18-Jul-16 00:00:50

That's bollocks SGB and honestly, I would expect that kind of crap to be spouted by a very heavy drinker who feels guilt at their level of drinking.

How the hell is it virtue signalling not to drink alcohol? No medals get awarded you know. It's neither good nor bad to drink alcohol so conversely the same can be said of not drinking it.

Non-drinkers rarely seem to have a problem with others drinking alcohol, it's always the drinkers who have problems with teetotallers and it's bloody annoying.

Bogeyface Mon 18-Jul-16 00:06:07

Its called up selling.

They try to get you to increase your order by offering you something that you didnt order but often people say "Oh go on then!" when its offered. McDonalds now say "is that a large meal?" because so many people will say yes, when otherwise they would have been happy with the standard.

They probably make more profit on wet, so its in their interest for you to drink a glass of wine that has been marked up 300% than a glass of water.

Bogeyface Mon 18-Jul-16 00:08:02

I should say that you are YANBU to be pissed off about it, but dont blame the server as its probably part of his training to a) upsell and then b) overcome objections.

LifeIsGoodish Mon 18-Jul-16 00:22:51

I get the upselling. I get that he might have forgotten between courses. I was not virtue signalling, I was giving him an out so that he could stop offering. What bothers me was the repeated offering immediately after I had said "I'm driving".

(And yes, the food was nice, thanks. Especially the summer pudding with clotted cream - no 'virtue' signalling there wink)

Bogeyface Mon 18-Jul-16 00:32:29

What bothers me was the repeated offering immediately after I had said "I'm driving".

But as I said, its probably part of his training. Every single time an item is delivered to you, its an opportunity to sell you something else, he would have got into trouble if his superior had heard him not attempting to get you to order. I used to work in a hotel restaurant and H was a food and beverage manager for a large chain, its a thing and its a thing that if you dont do it can lead to warnings etc.

Bogeyface Mon 18-Jul-16 00:33:24

And "I'm driving" is an objection he will be expected to overcome such as saying "Just one glass?" etc

HelenaDove Mon 18-Jul-16 00:40:55

Other ppl drinking doesnt bother me.

DB always offers to treat ppl to Chinese takeaways when hes pissed smile

kali110 Mon 18-Jul-16 00:57:30

I used to hate upselling angry

MauledbytheTigers Mon 18-Jul-16 01:44:02

This isn't just modelling though is it. It's consistently asking someone who is known to be driving alcohol....had his manager asked why he hadn't upsold he'd have had a good reason. I'm with you OP, I think it's irresponsible of the hotel.

MauledbytheTigers Mon 18-Jul-16 01:44:31

Upselling not modelling

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