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Friends of Eater Share Their Biggest Restaurant Grievances of 2015

Nothing's perfect.

Anna Roth, Eater contributor, SF Chronicle columnist

Menu prices seem to be creeping up everywhere but that's more of a symptom of San Francisco 2015 than any restaurant's fault. I keep hearing that it's never been harder to operate a restaurant in the city with the labor shortage, rising rents, and other issues. Whether that's true or not, I hope that the next years bring some relief to us all.

Allie Pape, Hoodline editor, former Eater SF editor

Poor service. I know that good help is harder to find in such a tight housing market, but given the combination of a high minimum wage and lack of a tip credit, I'm pretty shocked that front-of-house treatment in SF is nearly always frosty and sometimes outright rude.

Eloise Porter, Eater SF contributor

That it's nearly impossible to make a reservation at most of the hot restaurants (and even some not-so-hot) without at least two months notice.

The Dapper Diner, blogger

The lack of consistency with the "tip included" restaurants is bothersome. 15%, 18%, 20%? It would be nice if the restaurants that have gone tipless would get together and settle on the same number. Also, a valid grievance for every year and in most cities is the imitation game, where a concept or dish gains popularity and it explodes and infects every other restaurant menu, be it burgers, English food, ramen, fried chicken, or most recently for 2015, the large format steak in a non-steakhouse setting. You're better than that SF!

Paolo Lucchesi, food editor of the SF Chronicle

It is 2016. Is it still that difficult to put hours of operation on your website?

Rebecca Flint Marx, San Francisco Magazine food editor

The seemingly eternal scourge of gender and racial discrimination in the restaurant industry. And, on a lesser scale, the word "program," which needs to be deprogrammed. Ditto "handcrafted." Also, it's maybe time to let pickles go back to being pickles instead of $7 menu items. And juice bars and boneheaded press releases, duh.

Daisy Barringer, Eater SF and Thrillist SF contributor

I sound like an old person, but everywhere is too loud and too dark. That's two. Sorry, not sorry.

Peter Kane, SF Weekly food critic

Places that sink a lot of money into dazzling you at every turn yet invest nothing into soundproofing. And jerk patrons.

Marcia Gagliardi, Tablehopper

I wish the tip-inclusive model would stick. Hats off to all the restaurateurs who keep trying.

Luke Tsai, East Bay Express restaurant critic

How the East Bay seems to keep losing the small handful of decent barbecue joints we have. Also, that for all our culinary riches, we still don't seem to have a real-deal steakhouse.

Noelle Chun, Eater SF contributor

Wait, so am I supposed to tip or not?

Jay Barmann, SFist editor

I guess it's going to have to come down to price, and I know this is the last thing that restaurant owners need to hear right now. But there's no getting around the fact that it hurts to spend $100 on a weeknight meal, and more established restaurants like Zuni and Frances have the advantage of having locked in leases before the most recent boom so they don't have to charge north of $35 for an entree. I wish there were more solid neighborhood spots like Alamo Square Seafood Grill or Chow or Emmy's Spaghetti Shack where you can still get out of there, with wine, for $30 or $40. I say this knowing that it's probably too much to ask given the current economic climate, but there it is.

Stefanie Tuder, senior editor, Eater SF

The fact that a restaurant delivery order total practically doubles with added fees — and that's money that the delivery driver never sees. Despite all the apps and tech solutions this city offers, I still don't think San Francisco has figured out restaurant food delivery.

Ellen Fort, editor, Eater SF

I'm so tired of shouting over everyone else's conversations as they ricochet off of subway tile. Also, I realize that we're in a drought but when I finally guiltily ask for some water (that will surely be what pushes California over the line into complete drought-driven chaos) can I have a glass that holds more than one drop?

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