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Johns Hopkins Medicine defines a phobia as an uncontrollable, irrational, and lasting fear of a certain object, situation, or activity. If you manage or work in a restaurant, there will times when customers may have seemingly extreme reactions to certain stimuli. After all, restaurants are bustling social landscapes of people, smells, flavors, textures, objects, and experiences.

Take our compelling quiz to discover 10 phobias your customers might “bring to the table”.

What is deipnophobia?

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Deipnophobia, from the Greek deipno- meaning dinner. Although deipnophobia is associated with dinner, mealtime, or eating, it is not the actually eating that is the phobia. Rather it is the fear associated with social interactions during mealtime. Individuals experiencing this type of specific fear may intentionally avoid dinner or other mealtime social gathering altogether.

What are people with geumophobia afraid of?

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Geumophobia, from the Greek geumo- meaning "taste". An aversion of unfamiliar tastes.

What are people with halophobia afraid of?

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Halophobia (from Greek hals, "salt") is the fear of salt and salty food. Halophobia is often triggered due to effects of salt intake, like making the foods to taste unpleasant, make them thirsty, and long-term health effects like kidney disease. Halophobes would not have salt shakers on the table and would only eat foods that have no sodium in them, like fruits and vegetables. Symptoms of halophobia include sweating, heart palpations, shaking, and urge to flee.

What is one object people with argyrophobia will go out of their way to avoid?

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Argyrophobia (from argyros, from the Greek word for "silver") is the fear of silvery things, especially silverware. This phobia is usually triggered back in the early childhood, like getting poked by a fork. This phobia is hard to manage since silvery things are abundant. Sufferers would simply avoid seeing or getting in vicinity of it, like near vents. Sufferers may avoid using silverware and instead eat food either using hands or with non-silvery utensils.

What is mortuusequusphobia?

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Mortuusequusphobia, from the Latin, "boy playing with food." A student diagnosed has been a rare condition called mortuusequusphobia, which leaves terrified by the sight of tomato ketchup. The condition leaves sufferers horrified when they see tomato-based condiments, including Lauren Dodd. The 21-year-old student, who studies at Newcastle University, almost fainted when a friend accidentally squirted some on her. She said: "I don't know what's wrong with me, but tomato sauce absolutely terrifies me. "Whenever I see it, I just start gagging and feel genuinely afraid for my life."

People with cenosillicaphobia can't stand the sight of what?

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Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty glass. The adult beverage industry has taken a particular interest in helping people with this phobia.

What is servitorphobia?

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Servitorphobia, from servitor meaning "a male servant". A fear of waiters and waitresses.

If someone suffers from thermophobia, which food would frighten them?

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Thermophobia, from the Greek thermos meaning warm or hot: An abnormal and persistent fear of heat, including hot weather and hot objects. Sufferers from thermophobia experience anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. To avoid heat, they may live in a cold climate, wear light clothing, stay indoors on warm days, and avoid hot water and hot foods.

People suffering from paruresis will avoid which room in a restaurant?

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Paruresis, from para- (“abnormal, defective”) +‎ uresis (“urination”), is the phobia of public bathrooms. Paruresis is believed to be a common type of social phobia, ranking second only to the fear of public speaking. Paruresis is often first experienced at school.

What common grocery item do people with turophobia avoid?

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Turophoba, from the Greek turi meaning "cheese". For some people, the smell, sight, taste or even thought of cheese is enough to send them into a cold sweat. Some think that it can be related to a traumatic experience associated with cheese, although there are links with those who are lactose intolerant too.

Foodservice Phobias
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