Michael 84

Restaurants Are Overrated & A Waste Of Money [Unpopular Opinion]

Wednesday, 26th September, 2018


More and more people are going out to eat, and there’s more and more places to eat in. But for me, restaurants are over rated and a waste of money. Yes, it’s going to be an unpopular opinion, but it’s a one which I’ve had for years, and firmly believe.

If you’re a foodie or someone who loves to go out to eat I’ll probably never change your mind, and it does seem like everyone loves to go out to eat, but I don’t see why.

My relationship with food is when I’m hungry, I eat. That’s it. I have some food I like, but mostly, I am a fussy eater, which I’ll get into later.

Here’s some of the reasons why restaurants are over rated.

How It Works: The Build Up & Planning

Imagine having to plan when and where you have to eat. Yes, you have to call them, and hope they have a table free, or eat whatever time they can fit you in. You may have to book days or even weeks in advance…All for a meal!

Next comes your prep; Shower and grooming is a must, you have to look the part and dress up (since I like fashion this is the only part I like) and wear your best smart casual outfit for a restaurant.

Then you’ve got to get yourself to the restaurant, probably by taxi since you’ll not want to feel cheap & be wearing your best clothes.

The reservation is for 20:00 so you arrive at 19:55, but of course your table isn’t ready, and you have to wait at the bar, and of course buy a drink. Once you’re at the table it’s time to order.

p.s. If you’re unsure how to dress and you’re out with a girl, check out my what to wear on a first date.

The Menu

If you go to an Italian restaurant, it’s Italian food. If you go to a steakhouse, it’s steak. Obvious? Of course, but the point is that you have to eat whatever they sell, not whatever you fancy.

A more general restaurant may have a bigger menu, but it’s still a piece of paper with a list of food. At home you can eat anything you like, and in any quantity.

It Takes Ages

There’s a lot of waiting around time. The time from getting ready to go out right up until the first bite of food can be hours, literally. Even once you order it can take a long time, depending on what you get. How long does it take in a restaurant to get your food?

If you know what you want and it’s quick, maybe 15 minutes, if not, you can easily double that to 30 minutes.

They Can’t Cook It Properly

I like my food cooked my way. It might be wrong, it might not be to a chef’s standard, but I know what I like.

Take a steak as an example. I like it well done, some may say very well done. A good restaurant (and lots of people too) will tell you this is wrong, Delish lists 5 reasons not to order a well done steak, because a chef well tell you it ruins the meat.

I ordered it, I’m paying for it, so just cook it how I like it!


They Say It’s Sociable – No It’s Not

Have you ever watched people eat? Have you ever seen people eat and talk? Is that honestly something you want to see, or even do yourself? No. People say the whole restaurant experience is not just about the food, it’s a social thing.

There’s nothing more undignified than eating, or watching people eat spaghetti Bolognese.

Before the meal you can be sociable, after the meal you can be, but while you’re eating, the actual main part, I don’t see how you can. Furthermore, I don’t see why you’d want to be. Call me crazy, but when I’m eating, I want to eat, not have a conversation.

Two or three people isn’t so bad, but when you’ve got a whole big group of people it’s just terrible. In some ways it’s better, because the more other people are talking, the more I can just eat and be happy.


Restaurant Ambience

Aah that infamous restaurant ambience I hear so much about. At home you are in your dining room with a few people at the most, people you know. In a restaurant you’ve got a huge room filled with people, strangers, all making noise.

Do you not like the people on the table next to you?

Tough, there’s nothing you can do.

It’s For Pretentious Grown Ups

People think that they’re proper grown-ups if they go to a restaurant, it’s almost a social class thing, they’ve done the bars and club scene in their younger days, they want to go out, so a restaurant is what grown-ups do, and that’s a club they want to join.

Kind of like those who think they’re better because they drink wine. I find it quite pretentious.

Don’t forget, these rules and etiquette on if you should take off your jacket while eating in a restaurant.

It’s Expensive

Now we’ve got to the cost. I am not too concerned with the cost, because almost any night out costs money. If you go to pubs, bars, nightclubs, a gig, or anything else, it costs money. You can almost replicate these things, but for those it is about the experience.

But that said, a restaurant is usually expensive. A meal at a reasonable sit down restaurant could cost you Β£100 when it comes down to it, just for the food and drink. Oh and don’t forget the tip.

You’ve been overcharged for a really expensive meal, but the restaurant only pay their staff minimum wage, so a tip is customary.

You might have that awkward who pays moment, too, which is likely to be you.

The Food Isn’t Necessarily Great

Now you’ll say, yeah but apart from all of the above, at least you’re getting some high quality food, right? Well, not really. There’s plenty of restaurants, big chains, smaller ones and general expensive eateries which don’t do exceptional food.

There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s not something you couldn’t make yourself at home.

Are those skin on fries hand made, or are they from a freezer? Exactly how fresh are the vegetables? Gordon Ramsay restaurants were found to serve pre-prepared meals a while ago.

You’d be surprised at how much restaurant food comes out of a freezer, microwave or can.


Restaurant Dates

The times I may be forced into the whole restaurant deal would be on a date with a female on a date. This is only because that’s what is accepted as a social dating thing these days, and sadly I am powerless to stop it.

But as mentioned above, do you want to see someone eat their food, or a female watching you eat. A big no from me. Guys, Lady & The Tramp was an animated movie! πŸ˜€

The Fine Dining Experience – Hunger

Some people rave about the fine dining experience. If you go to what I’ll call a posh restaurant, it’s supposed to be a higher quality of food, and a real dining experience. But what you actually experience is a tiny amount of food which looks lonely on your plate.

You’ll need to go to a proper restaurant before or after, otherwise you’ll be hungry.


Quirky Crockery – We Want Plates

Remember the time when you’d go to a restaurant and they’d serve you food on a plate? That’s so last decade! The cool, hip, trendy way of getting your food is for it to be not served on a plate, but anything else; Literally.

That usually comes in the form of planks of food, chopping boards, bricks, shovels or my favourite, inside a shoe.

I get it – Some restaurants are trying to be cool and different or edgy, and it looks cool when you see it once; But there’s far too many restaurants doing this now, and it all seems just a bit too normal now. It’s not different when everyone’s doing it.

There’s even a dedicated We Want Plates Reddit for such things.

I have to say the best one I have seen is Fish & Chips served in a Ferris wheel…That’s something special! πŸ˜€

Communal Dining With Strangers

Communal dining became a bit of a trend, and it’s something I could never imagine doing. It basically means eating meals on tables with strangers. So now having a bunch of strangers in the room isn’t enough, you have to have god knows who on your table. No thanks!

Signs I’ll Not Like The Restaurant

There’s a couple of signs I’ve got to indicate that I’ll not like a restaurant. These are obviously tongue in cheek and a bit of fun, but basically:

  • If there’s more than one knife or fork
  • If I can’t pronounce what’s on the menu
  • If I don’t know what something is on the menu

Then it’s probably not the place for me! πŸ˜€

Fussy Eater – Foods I Don’t Like

When you hear people say they are a fuss eater, you’ll automatically assume that they just don’t like food which is supposed to be good for you. Well, I don’t like much of that, but I also don’t like foods others love.

Here’s a very shot list of foods I don’t eat (largely because I don’t like them)

  • All Fruit
  • All Vegetables (excluding potatoes)
  • Cheese
  • Pizza
  • Doughnuts
  • Seafood
  • Chinese/Sushi/Thai/Spanish/Indian/Most Italian etc.
  • Meat on the bone

And many more. When you take cheese and veg, seafood and most ethnic food out of the equation, there’s not much left in terms of a restaurant. Not great for me.


And there you have it, plenty of reasons why restaurants are over rated and a waste of money. Why go to all that trouble for something to eat, when you almost certainly have perfectly good food at home, and probably have a very capable kitchen, as most people do these days.

I sort of get it if people do it as a special treat, but more and more people are going more often, multiple times a week, and I can’t see why you’d do that.

So, restaurants, are they worth the hype, what do you think?

Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

  1. Samantha Rickelton Said,

    You’re definitely wrong on this one πŸ˜‰

    posted on Wednesday 26th September, 2018 at 10:18
  2. Michael Said,

    ? Which part? The part about food taking ages, spending fortunes on over-hyped & over-priced food or the ungodly sight of watching people (and people watching you) eat? ?

    posted on Wednesday 26th September, 2018 at 14:29
  3. Rosie Said,

    YES! I agree with this so much. I think that restaurants should be for a special occasion or a treat. Once a month or once every now and then is OK, but for the most part they are overrated. Some of my friends go once a week, sometimes more, which costs a lot and is a waste when most people have food in their house.

    Rosie x

    posted on Thursday 27th September, 2018 at 10:34
  4. Michael Said,

    Hi Rosie, thanks for reading, glad that you agree with some of the points πŸ™‚

    posted on Thursday 27th September, 2018 at 10:56
  5. Dustin Said,

    “I am not too concerned with cost” – then proceeds to whine about the cost.

    posted on Monday 1st October, 2018 at 16:07
  6. Michael Said,

    I guess you missed the “but”. Congrats! πŸ˜€

    posted on Tuesday 2nd October, 2018 at 13:11