Is this rude?

So I am going to eat lunch at one of my favorite Philly Cheesesteak places in town, it is in a strip mall, when a woman with a plate of quesadillas right outside the door. She asks if I would like to try a taste from the new restaurant X that opened that day in the same strip mall. I said no and coninuted on and thought that this was pretty low class to be trying to snipe customers away from right out in front. She didn’t camp out in front, mind you, but she was walking up and down the strip mall where there are other restaurants that I can only assume she was doing the same thing.

Sounds pretty standard to me. It’s not like she harassed you.

No, not rude. She didn’t harrass you, she let you be after you said no, and her employer is within their rights (I’m assuming) to advertise in that way. As are the other restaurants. It’s ballsy, yes. But not rude.

If customers are wooed away from the restaurant they planning to patronize by some free samples, then that the restaurant isn’t all that great then, right? The free market ain’t no kindegarten. They’ve either got to step up their game or hope their regulars hate Mexican. And if other people think it’s rude to parade around with free samples, then that restaurant will also get its comeuppance. The world has a weird way of working out like that sometimes.

I dunno. Maybe ballsy is the right word, but if I were in her shoes, I wouldn’t encroach that far on another restaurant’s business unless it was a condition of my job.

Nope, not rude. Can you picture this conversation?

Worker 1: Hey, I know a way we can drum up some business for our new restaurant! Let’s give out free samples around the strip mall!

Worker 2: Oh noes! That would hurt the other restaurants’ feelings! Boo!
Um, no.

No, I think it’s pretty common.

I’ve never seen that happen before. It’d raise my eyebrows, too.

Even if she couldn’t woo me away from a tasty cheesesteak that day, if the quesadillas were good I might patronize her restaurant the next time I was in the mood for Mexican rather than tasty cheesesteak.

So maybe think of it as her expanding your dining options, rather than trying to get you to switch right away.

I got that feeling, too. The lady was giving samples. It’s not like she set up a Mexican food stand in front of the cheese steak place.

It’s not a question of manners, it’s a question if this business practice is acceptable or not.

If I were the manager of the Philly Cheesesteak place, I’d complain to the mall management about poaching customers.

On what basis other than manners would it be unacceptable?

And, exactly how close do I have to be to a restaurant’s door before I am their property?

Just wondering.

I’ve seen people walk around like this- but holding actual trays of samples in an attempt to kick up business. Nothing wrong with it at all. They’ve always been friendly and polite, leaving me alone after I’ve said no. You’ve got a stick up your butt, bro.

If the quesadilla was good, I might go to the different restaurant - one of my favourite kinds of food is free food, and Restaurant #2 was serving it. :slight_smile:

Why would it be rude? I see this all the time at the mall food courts. Sometimes I even try the samples. “Poaching customers” my ass. :rolleyes:

Get over it.

Yeah, I see it as acceptable business practices, too. As you said, she wasn’t camped out in front of the cheesesteak place, but working the entire strip mall. As long as her employer was requiring her to do it as part of her job, no foul. And she was giving away the samples for free, not selling a competing product on the other restaurant’s property.

And if the quesadilla place had just opened up that day, it’s likely to be a short-term thing, probably only a few days. As the new business gets better-known, they probably won’t see the need to keep dishing up samples.

I do not consider it rude. But then I might be biased. I love FREE food.

I’m neutral about it I think.

The OP just needs to be more assertive. Just ask yourself: What would Robert Stack do?

“Excuse me Sir, I’d like you to try this flour…”
“Free samples from China Moon?”
gut punch
“…Cashews & Cheeses?”
"Try Jehovah’s Pitless…?
“…All Natural Food-ism?”
“Tin of Katydids?”
nose punch
“Cereal by Kashi?”
“More carb-free power?”
elbow-jab, karate-chop combo

Under the store’s property agreement with the mall that sidewalk area is likely considered public property. Since the quesadilla place had just opened they had probably also just read their lease and determined that their gonzo marketing was acceptable and within their rights.

Putting aside the question of whether they were allowed to do it, should they have done it? Of course. It’s not personal, it’s business.

I think it’s not very classy, she should be out in front of her store with a “FREE SAMPLES” sign and I’m pretty sure there would be no shortage of takers.