My top restaurant peeves from a diner's perspective
1) Clearing plates and offering dessert when one diner hasn't finished their main course (that's usually me). That is my absolute number one peeve.
Most people don't feel this way though (regarding removing plates), so it's hard to know whether or take the empty plates or not. Some people will sit with their empty plate in front of them, then ask why you haven't taken it away. It's hard to know. What if the people have pushed their plates to the end? The only time I've ever offered dessert before someone was done is when another person was already asking for the check (requirement to offer dessert).
3) Putting MY dessert that I ordered in the middle of the table with extra forks. essentially offering on my behalf to share. Especially when everyone else specifically declined a dessert.
19 times out of 20, a single person will order a dessert for the whole table or after bringing the dessert, I'll be sent back for more spoons/forks. Or the person who ordered is trying to get the other person to share, so an extra utensil is brought just in case. There are numerous reasons a server might do this, most of the time it's not a bad decision.
Probably better to ask the person ordering, "Shall I bring extra forks?" But I was once out with two other people, and both other people said, "Nothing for me, thanks" when offered dessert. I ordered a dessert, and it was put in the middle of the table with extra forks. That puts me in the awkward position of feeling like I have to offer everyone a bite before moving it to its rightful place in front of me.
As for the removal of plates, I guess everyone has a different preference but I was taught to never remove plates until everyone is finished with that course, so that the remaining diners don't feel rushed. And also that it's rude as the person dining (or at least violates some kind of etiquette code) to push your plate away when you're done.
I can accept plates being removed before everyone's done, even though I don't like it much, but it really really bugs me when the server offers other people dessert while I'm still eating main course. Different scenario if everyone's just casually grabbing a bite on their lunch break, and one person needs to get back to work, another just joined in, etc, ie everyone's on a different schedule. But when you're all out to specifically get dinner together, if the server does this I am tempted to write to management and mention that their staff needs more training.
I am also uncomfortable with this when it's someone ELSE in the group that hasn't finished eating, not just when it's me.
Another thing I find off-putting is when they whip your plate away just as you're chewing your last mouthful and still holding the fork (yep, this happened) and asked if you want anything else. Sheesh, I know you want to turn over that table but it doesn't make for an enjoyable meal.