Please leave me alone to look at the menu! Overseas restaurant touts counter-productive.

Rome, The Colosseum

I’m just back from having managed to sneak in a weekend in Rome with Mrs MSE. It’s a beautiful City, the Colosseum is breathtaking, the food sublime, but why do so many eateries feel the need to bludgeon you inside?

It’s a completely counter-productive strategy with me.  I remember one particularly nice looking (and decent value) trattatoria we were walking passed. We walked up to take a look at the menu, which was equally appealing, when the man pounced and started trying to hard sell.

Waiter: “Hey you wanna eat, come inside, fantastic food.” and almost trying to jostle us.

Me: I tried a, “I just want to look at the menu.”

Waiter:  “So come in sit down have a look, we got everything you want.”  

I wanted to scream: “I’m looking at the menu, do you really think badgering and disturbing me will make it more attractive!”

Of course, in reality manners prevented it, I didn’t say anything just looked, shook my head, smiled and walked away.   

The menu itself was fine and I would’ve gone in there unprovoked. Yet the pushy sales put me off, and the instinctive thought that if they need try so hard to sell their wares, maybe it wasn’t so good after all.

Is this a peculiarly British thing?

Am I alone in finding this hard pushy sell very off-putting?

Presuming not, perhaps it’s just something we Brits are particularly averse to.

I’ve been abroad before in a shop, browsing and found sales staff unwilling to leave you alone – I’m sure they’re tasked to do so, and that can only be because it’s a generally productive strategy. Yet with me it’s just an open invitation to leave the store there and then.