If you've ever wondered why you've been seated in the back of the restaurant when there are empty tables near the front, wonder no more: it's because you're not attractive enough.
A new documentary, Tricks of the Restaurant Trade, is blowing the lid off the restaurant industry, and there's one grimy practice in particular that's catching people's attention. Producers conducted a social experiment to see if and how physical attractiveness affected the service diners received in London eateries. First, professional models were sent in, followed by the documentary's co-host, Adam Pearson, who, because of a medical condition, has multiple facial tumors. In nearly every instance, the wait staff bent over backwards to make sure the models were seated near the front, in plain view of the windows, while Pearson was continuously seated near the back. Even after the models left, and their seats were made available, Pearson was still unable to upgrade.
While it may seem kinda foul to base your treatment of someone on something as superficial and subjective as beauty, at least one food critic is sticking up for the well-known practice.
"Of course restaurants do this," said restaurant critic Giles Coren in an interview with Mashable. "It's widely recognized in the restaurant industry, and I don't see anything wrong with it. If I had a restaurant I wouldn't let ugly people through the door, let alone seat them near the toilets. Wouldn't you?"
Uh, no? Because I'm not a jackass?
"It's free advertising for restaurants. When people walk by a restaurant and spot good-looking punters, chances are they'll want to go there." Coren continued. "There are restaurants in New York where only good looking people and models can get tables. Londoners just aren't as good looking as their American counterparts. So, the people sitting at the best tables in Sexy Fish in Mayfair probably wouldn't be able to get a table in McDonald's in Santa Monica."
So there you have it. Look hot the next time you trek out to Applebee's for a cheap meal, or have fun eating your dinner near the bathrooms.