Six ways customers tick off chefs
October 11th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

If the name Ron Eyester rings a bell, it might be because we gave him and his @theangrychef tweets a little shout-out in our "Things we love" piece on Friday - right next to meat-themed shirts and pimento cheese.

Eyester is the executive chef and owner of Rosebud Restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia - and boy, do customers get his blood boiling on a good many occasion.

And while we might have promised Gripe Week was over on Friday, it is Monday - and we see that as reason enough to don our cranky pants and/or cranky apron once more for old kvetching time's sake.

Five Six Things Customers Do to Tick Off a Chef: Ron Eyester

1. “Do you like it when people come over to your house and move your furniture around? Yeah, neither do we. We especially don’t like it when you decide to put chairs where we normally have people (i.e. our staff) walking.

I’m sorry, but we haven’t been waiting around all day for you and your ten friends to pop in - moreover, there was actually some logic and planning that went into putting the tables and chairs where we have them, so leave them the f#@$ alone!”

2. “I love how a restaurant is expected to acknowledge your birthday like it’s a national holiday or something. Who invented the rule that you get a free dessert on your birthday in a restaurant? I guess we have T.G.I.Friday’s and Bennigan’s to thank for exploiting servers as they, the servers, clap their hands and chant a birthday cheer.

You don’t get free pair of gloves or socks from Old Navy when you buy an outfit on your birthday. I actually will kid with our guests and let them know that on their birthday, 'unfortunately, our mariachi band is off this evening' - and, people believe me!”

3. “One of my all time favorites: People’s utter disregard for hours of operation. ‘Oh, you all are closed? OK, well, I just get some food to go.’ No, I don’t think you get it - we’re closed. Not only can you not cash a check at the bank 30 seconds after they close - the old man locking the door actually takes pleasure in locking the door on you. In some banks, the tellers even have a nice panoramic window to gaze out of and laugh at all the folks who didn’t make it in on time.

What do restaurants have? We have that one guy - if you keep the bar open between lunch and dinner, as we do – who talks to you non-stop as you either try to grab a quick bite to eat, maybe enjoy some solitude or even get some prep work done. This guy talks about everything and nothing all at the same time while he nurses a single beer for a little over an hour and waits for the kitchen to re-open. It’s also worth mentioning that this guy is like a cat: feed him once and you get the pleasure of enjoying many a quiet afternoon with him."

4. “You know what happens when you’re late for a flight? You miss it! You know what happens when you’re late to the movies? It starts despite the fact that you’re not there. Why am I obligated to hold your table when you’re late? Oh, you hit traffic. What’s that? - I’ve never heard of traffic.

Also, when you show up thirty minutes before we open for brunch (yes, this happens all the time), I can’t open early because ‘your body is used to eating at 9:30.’ Yet, I’m obligated to offer you a cup of coffee while you wait and make sure that the staff and I don’t drop too many F-bombs while we’re setting up so we don’t offend you.”

5. “A chef really loves when you drop his or her name - especially when you don’t have a reservation on a busy night. Or even better, when these people refer to themselves as a ‘good friend.’ Here’s a rule: coming to eat at my restaurant once a month, while I genuinely appreciate the patronage and support, does not automatically qualify us as friends. I’m probably not going to ask you to baptize my next kid.

Moreover, if you were really my friend: (a) you would have direct access to me via my phone instead of having to negotiate through the hostess, and (b) you wouldn’t repeatedly ask your server for me to stop by the table so that I could essentially put on a dog and pony show for you and the person that you are sitting with (a.k.a. the person who you told that you and I were good friends).”

And for good measure...

6. “Why do people always seem to call the restaurant at the absolute worst time (i.e. between 12:45 and 1:30 p.m. and 7 and 9 p.m.) to inquire about our menu or make a reservation?

‘Yes, please tell me about your food’ Really? Do you not have access to the World Wide Web? It’s great when they request a verbal tour of the menu. And, why is it that all these people share an uncanny, common denominator - they all talk so slow!

Or - how about when people call to make a reservation and the conversation actually turns into a conference call? This is especially entertaining when the person is in a car with a multiple talkative passengers, or the other people in the conversation are in another room of the house probably watching college football.

The person you are on the other end of the phone with is still conferring with the others: ‘What time do you want to eat? I don’t know. Is eight too late? How hungry are you? Do you think you’ll be busy at 7:30? They don’t have anything until 8:15.’”

Want to add more chef laments to the roster? Thoughts from the customer peanut gallery? Hash it out in the comments below.

Previously - Waiters even the score and Are you still working on that?

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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soundoff (1,642 Responses)
  1. Nozmo

    It kills me when a customer tries to "customize" a signature entree dessert. You know the drill – Wellington, hold the mushrooms or they order it "well, WELL done." Go ahead, order the Osso Bucco, NO ONIONS. Oy!

    April 27, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
  2. Shad Malawy

    go ahead and give you a shout out from {New

    http://3.12.13.co.uk

    December 1, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
  3. Gabriela Lissard

    Many thanks to the Fantastic Contest. Would like to win!!

    September 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  4. Mike

    Maybe you should take a credit card number when someone reserves a table so you can charge a preliminary fee and remove it when they show up. That way you don't lose out if there's a no show, and they don't lose out if they get stuck in traffic.

    July 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
  5. el chat

    Hola! I've been reading your site for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the great job!

    July 9, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  6. Sanctum 2 trainer HERE

    It's difficult to find knowledgeable people in this particular topic, however, you sound like you know what you're talking about!

    Thanks

    June 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
  7. Italian Food

    Italians love discovering new foods and new way of preparing familiar dishes. Every year there's more and more interest in the traditional cuisine of the various regions and in biological, environment friendly foods. Italian food for Italians is a reason of pride. You can recognize Italians abroad for their longing of typical dishes, pasta over every other. And you can see how dishearten they are when they try pasta outside Italy. Some upper class foreign restaurants have managed to master almost all the typical Italian dishes, but pasta still eludes them.

    February 26, 2013 at 4:58 am |
  8. cgrantstarr

    Re: # 5 – There used to be excellent restaurant called Bert's Seafood Grill in Greensboro, NC, about 45 minutes from where I live. It was notoriously hard to get a table there, and people used to call and say they were good friends with Bert, expecting to get a table. What these clowns didn't realize was that Bert was the owner's dog.

    December 17, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  9. ChelseaTrackedHer

    Christ, there are a lot of entitled people in the world.

    Yes, restaurants are part of the service industry (my, how people love that word). I think that if customers come in with an entitled, confrontational attitude right off the bat (as part of a mistaken notion that aggressiveness is the same as assertiveness) then right away everyone involved is on guard, there's no chance for a friendly connection, and it just makes for a difficult atmosphere. Remember that both the customers and employees have the same goal: for the customer to have an enjoyable experience. Don't get me wrong; I have no patience with waitstaff who get orders wrong, nor do I think I should pay for a $12 Caesar salad which comes to the table sprinkled with canned parmesan and fake bacon bits.

    Perhaps I'm wrong, but I interpreted the furniture-moving as follows: a group of 10 come in, look around, and start moving tables and chairs together without consulting a member of staff or considering that they might be blocking the flow of foot traffic, blocking an exit, wedging other diners in, or what have you. Maybe that table is already booked by someone who will be coming twenty minutes from now. There IS a sort of invisible organization to restaurant tables, even if it's not immediately obvious to patrons; it's not like walking into an empty movie theatre. I'm sure most restaurants are delighted to see 10 people come in, but a larger group is going to need a little bit of rearranging to make sure EVERYONE has a nice experience that night - them AND the other customers.

    There seems to be a lot of hate here for "innovative" food. Why are people so hostile to the idea that a dish might have been designed with something a little out of the ordinary? For example, there's an upscale restaurant in my city which offers "mac and cheese" with lobster and fontina cheese. You *could* order that and demand that it be made with Velveeta, hold the lobster, but they must have had *some* reason for making it that way - why not try it? They didn't come up with that dish so they could piss you off, or to listen to you rage about "pretentious food". They want you to be delighted by it. If the notion of lobster and fontina mac & cheese offends you, you must be terribly insecure; it's a nice twist on an old classic. If you want noodles and Velveeta, make it yourself. Some people are quite happy to pay for the good stuff. (And I'm sorry, all you people who want well-done steak are missing out; the ones putting ketchup on it are unspeakable) A lot of you sound like you don't think there is any reason for restaurants nicer than Outback or Applebee's to even exist.

    As has been said before, chefs at more upscale restaurants are not actually back there chopping onions and grilling fish. They are more like managers who oversee operations and make sure everything comes together; the actual prep and cooking are done by people whose names you will never know.

    And no, I'm not in the restaurant business, nor am I even in the service industry...

    September 24, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  10. Festus

    Nothing like a giant portwine stain on a chef’s head to whet the appetite. Yum.

    January 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  11. Kevin

    I like how this Cook thinks he is the only one that has to put up stress of dealing with people. I mean really WTF, did you actually think that everybody your freeking robot? Are you really that retarded as to think that when dealing with people everybody is going to have a PHD in understanding the protocols of the restaurant business and everyone is always going to pretend are some sort of movie star? Do you think that Doctors only get patients who kiss there ass and never want to talk about there daily events, or better yet a cable guy who goes out in freezing weather all day long to is not going to get a customer that bitches or has furniture in the way of a cable connector? You just don't seem to get it do you? Most people that go out to eat at a place other than fast food are doing it for the Entertainment of it. This is why your restaurant has a bar. Otherwise they could just stop at a gas station or a store and pick up there booze much cheaper. We are not going out to eat and pay for your over priced food and tips to put up with your BULLSH(IP) and attitude. I mean are you some kind of idiot or something? Why would you take up a Job where you have to deal with lots of people if you don't like dealing with them? Any reasonable person getting into this sort of work, would be a person who enjoys working with people to the point that they can take the good with the bad, and guess what? Everybody has there bad days. Normal people who are Stuarts in the service industry accept this as a challenge and par for the course. Do you think a Fireman takes up the job as being a Fireman then expects only houses to catch on Fire when its on a warm and sunny day? You seriously need to grow up little boy.

    December 27, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
    • kenyonledford

      All the professionals you mention have their complaints about idiots too. Judging by your butt-hurt reaction, you probably are guilty of all the moronic traits mentioned.

      July 11, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
  12. LED Torch

    LMFAO is a good band, i like those hilarious MTV they make on youtube ~..

    December 2, 2010 at 2:00 am |
  13. Stanley

    1. How about no customers? Cuts down on moving the furniture, and hearing you whine about it.
    2. Yeah, cause you'll never make up the cost of that free desert in the extra drinks you charge 500% markup on.
    3. If you don't want to serve people don't work in the service industry.
    4. See above
    5. Mental note: never eat at the Rosebud, re Chef
    6. Won't be an issue, probably ever again.

    T-Minus 3 weeks to this guy never working again.

    November 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  14. ACG

    There's no reason for a chef to be a completely obnoxious diva, but I do understand some of his complaints. A good restaurant generally has a small, very carefully assembled menu of dishes that are cooked for a certain flavor–the chef will choose one ingredient over another or one cooking technique over another because the finished product will taste the way he intends. It's not just a collection of foods–it's a meal. When a customer starts making substitutions, removing ingredients or cooking them a different way, it changes the taste of the meal, and the chef can no longer really control the quality of the meal, because it wasn't built to spec.

    Maybe you really will like it better prepared the way you asked. Or maybe your requested changes will screw up the dish, and then it'll taste wrong and you won't like it, and then you'll tip poorly and badmouth the chef around town. Whereas if you'd trusted the chef to cook the dish the way it was intended, you might have found that you really liked it.

    November 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
    • Jenrose

      You know, when I ask a chef to change a dish, I don't do it on a whim. 1. I have a lot of food allergies. 2. The taste of black pepper is horrible to me. So the option is either that I ask them to make changes, or I don't eat there. The VAST majority of restaurants are happy to accommodate. The best chefs see it as a fun challenge. At our favorite restaurant, my husband will say, "Here are her food issues, and I've got $25 (or whatever makes sense based on the cost of other menu items) towards something delicious."

      And not only do they do it, but they do it tableside, so we can watch the preparation and make sure everything is safe. THAT is service, and that gets us coming back and tipping very, very well.

      September 16, 2011 at 1:54 am |
      • Chris R

        Many chefs do *not* see your special requests as a 'fun' challenge.

        First off, the people *cooking* your food in the kitchen is not likely to be the chef. They are likely to be line cooks. The chef position is the person in charge of the entire operation of the kitchen (creating the menu, ordering food, handling schedules, etc) – if they are spending time on the line responding to your requests then they aren't doing their job. So you are now expecting the line cook – who makes less per hour than your appetizer costs to think that your special request is 'fun'.

        Second, the job of the kitchen staff is to push out as much food that meets the standards of the chef as quickly as possible. Special requests, especially during peak serving hours, can throw a line off and delay a number of orders. This makes everyone mad. This is not fun.

        September 18, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  15. J.W.

    I've noticed that in this day and age, many retailers at least imply that the customer is in charge of the restaurant or store. This is completely false. The owner of a business starts it in order to make a living for himself. He or she hires help and accommodates customers as a means to that end.

    At worst, customers thinking they own the place leads to government regulation. If people think they own the place, instead of the owner, they incorrectly find it OK to ban everything from smoking within a restaurant, even if the owner chooses to permit it, to dictating what type of oil a chef can use while cooking food (I've been to cities where such a law is on the books).

    Even without such laws, people think they have the right to tell an owner what to do. In actual fact, no one has the right to enter a restaurant at all. The owner extends an invitation–which is a different thing altogether–to people, in the hopes of making a profit off them. Entering a restaurant still is a privilege, though. On a side note, the only businesses I have a right to enter are my bank, for purposes of accessing my money per my contract with them, and my gym, with whom I also signed a contract.

    Once you enter the restaurant, it is a further privilege to remain well past the time you have finished your meal, or to have the cook alter the dish for you, or to move the tables. This, many restaurants will do, in order to make your experience more pleasant. However, it is important to show respect and appreciation for the restaurant, especially when they have to delay serving other customers, whose privileges are equal to yours.

    It also is important to show respect to the cooks and wait staff. They perform highly physical and mental tasks (remembering what customers yell at you between the kitchen and the far table isn't easy!), and have much more "in-your-face" pressure than most of us at our jobs. Everyone who is doing an honest job deserves a certain measure of deference. I hate to think of how many people who are rude to waiters would react if people would yell at them that way while they are at work.

    Lastly, it absolutely is a person's right to eat elsewhere if dissatisfied with the rules at a given restaurant. I suppose that the great thing about owning a restaurant with outstanding food is that if one customer leaves, there will be more to take that customer's place.

    November 19, 2010 at 10:58 pm |
  16. Steve D

    Chefs: you are not artists, you have a job. When I was in the Army Reserve I actually encountered barbers who were OFFENDED that I asked for a military style haircut. Similarly, some chefs seem to be offended at being asked to serve ordinary food. Some things that tick me off as a customer:
    1. When did I sign a permission slip to have all my food heavily spiced? If I wanted Southwestern, I'd go to a restaurant that specialized it it (My problem with airline food isn't that it's bland, it's that it's overly seasoned. Can I please just have a plain ham and cheese sandwich?)
    2. Why is is I have to go to a fast food joint to get French Fries without pepper, paprika, or a batter covering? Cook them decently and they'll be crisp without batter. And properly cooked means light brown, not pale yellow.
    3. Do you know how to make any desserts that don't involve ice cream?
    4. I don't like waiting unnecessarily for a table. I equally don't like waiting unnecessarily for my food to cool down to the point where it doesn't burn my mouth.
    5. Since you bother to cut up the lettuce, why don't you cut it into sizes that actually fit into out mouths? And give us enough dressing.
    6. I like butter on my bread. Please serve it without me asking. I don't care how proud you are of your olive oil and basil.
    7. Can I please have my entree not sitting in a puddle?
    8. Have you ever heard of corn, string beans, peas, or anything other than broccoli, cauliflower and carrots?

    November 16, 2010 at 7:33 am |
  17. Greg

    Most people that become chef's/cooks are artist's. They supremely enjoy preparing the best product they possibly can and then sharing it with others. Doing so requires great attention to detail. With food, this is multiplied exponentially, as it can be destroyed in seconds.

    The food industry is repressed. Nobody wants to pay for food. Farmers face bankruptcy each time they don't have a bumper crop. Grocery stores are constantly in battle to deliver the lowest prices on the market. Most restaurants fail in short order. Chef's and cooks are among the lowest paid professions and have been determined to be the most stressful occupations, and actually suffer the shortest life span expectancies. The folks in the kitchen from the time they punch in until the time they punch out are working at top speed to get the job done. The amount of things required in preparing a service is unfathomable by most, ramps up to fever pitch delivering service, and continues on to the end to clean up and close down without going well beyond the hours of a regular shift. It is physically and mentally draining. Perfection is near impossible. Every little request or nitpick only adds to the overload. Just because it is a service industry, it is ridiculous to assume them to bend over backwards for you. They already have. Any further and they will snap. In my kitchen I regularly have people at the door while I am preparing food, wondering if I could help them because they have perceived that the waitress isn't getting it done quick enough for them. Get a grip. You are there because you can't or don't want to do it yourself.

    November 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
    • Stanley

      Greg, that's all well and good but an article like this doesn't help the servers, cooks, or head chef do anything but be another restaurant that fails. Also, I'm pretty sure farmers get government subsidies.

      November 23, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  18. Lauren

    People in the food service industry complain more than anyone I know. A lot of their complaints are legitimate, but everyone has things that they don't like about their job. And I have to say, most waiters/waitresses have *terrible* attitudes. They expect you to tip them 20%, even when your food came forty minutes after you ordered it, cold and overcooked. The least you can do is offer me a refill on my drink. Most of the world works hard without the promise of a tip. This is one reason why I stopped eating out. That, and your average Education-Management Corporation-educated chef can't cook worth a damn...

    November 10, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  19. Mike

    Wow. As someone who has worked in the food service industry in the past, I hope you are kidding with this article. Either that or you wont be in business for long. You show a complete disdain for your customers. You are not a bank, and you are expected to be more flexible.

    Yes, when i show up with friends, I might need to pull tables together. Just be happy I showed up with friends to your crummy restaurant.

    Yes, when it is my fiancee's birthday, it would be nice if the servers sang a birthday song. It takes freaking 15 seconds. Otherwise, I am happy to take her to a place where they do that and I will be happy to make sure that place receives my patronage for the rest of the year as well as my recommendation to my friends.

    If I call and let you know I am running a few minutes late, it would be nice if you held my table. You don't have to and I certainly don't have to eat at your restaurant.

    As for your comment about friends, connecting with people is basically the best way to build up a loyal customer base. If you don't know that, you really are horrible at your job. And if you aren't willing to tell me what is on your menu, by all means, just curse and hang up the phone. It allows me to know early on what a prick you are so I don't have to show up at your restaurant.

    Thanks

    November 9, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
    • James Van Der Beek

      Do you seriously need grown adults and strangers mind you, to sing your fiancee "Happy birthday"? Seriously are you five, are you dining at chuck e cheese? Seriously grow up. Your an adult, not the last emperor of china. Its just another day, not the 4th of July. Celebrate it like a normal way, with friends and family who cares its your birthday, not paid servers who couldn't give a flying flip when you were born. Seriously mike, grow up!

      January 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
      • kenyonledford

        I strongly concur about the birthday bit. Anybody who desires a bunch of working strangers to take time out of their shift to sing happy birthday to them or a friend is an idiot, or should be on the couch of a shrink. You are basically forcing people you don't know to come and sing to your idiot girlfrined. You sound like that "Wish them into the cornfield" kid on Twilight Zone. Grow up. Singing happy birthday to people should end after the age of 12.

        July 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  20. Donna

    So...having spent the better part of a few hours of my day reading ALL of this blog and remarks here is a summary:
    Diners Who Tick off Chefs–
    1. Asking questions- Sadly not all folks can be well versed in cusine of all types therefore they need to ask; more importantly when a dish is named BUT discribed vaguely or the original dish is NOT actually made/named as such...SO chefs/owners/staff...Make it clear.
    2. Substitutions- are bothersome yes...for both sides of the table so to speak but sometimes it can truly mess up a kitchen which has prepared for 20 servings of carrots and 20 servings of roast potatoes and mnay diners choose to opt for one or the other.. Why not just leave the unwanted item on your plate and be done with it. If i can not or do not want to eat something I usually say I don't care for a baked potato , thank you....MORE TIMES than not I am asked if I would care for something else..Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't..I imagine I am asked because I said thanks and did NOT ask to substitute it! Kindness does pay off!
    3. Celebrations-are important , yes but more times than not the diner does act like it is an entitlement of an acknowlegment from the resturant. This should never be assumed..if something is offered make your appreciation known and the kitchen will be more 'loving' for the next one! If nothing is forthcoming and you would like a torte then quietly ask the server to bring one and put it on your bill. It most likely will NOT show up on it!AND I do not think the staff should have to stop and sing. Your friends and family are there to do that for you!
    4. Hours of service- ARE CONFUSING TO ALL. Chefs/owners/staff should all understand that hours of service mean just that. If it says the kitchen closes at a certain time remember what it is like on a Friday at the office and someone comes to you at 4:50 and asks you to do a project from start to finish..NOW...before you close down your PC and head home!! Be tolerant for both sides..Sometimes your late diner is a traveler....AND sometimes the kitchen does not have what you want...compromise folks! AND AGAIN be clear about hours-open 11:00am-3:00pm- Kitchen closes at 2:00–Dinner served from 5:00-11:00 last order accepted 10.00. Pretty simple if ya ask me..(not that anyone is!)
    6: Calling to ask questions during busy time–yep, aggravating BUT easy to fix! again it takes understanding on both sides but the bes way to handle the situation is get the name and number of the person, tell them the resturant is happy they callled but are a bit busy and please can WE call you back in a bit when things calm down! AND make sure ya call them back! And as the customer....you do know the resturant may be busy at that time so why call? Chances you will not get an easy going person like me to have the forethought to ask for your number!!
    7. Loud diners--This is a touchy one for all sides of the table! While we all enjoy a party we all don't like it when we are not included so be kind to others..If you would not like to be bothered by someone laughing out loud or what ever then make sure you let your host know prior to being seated or when making the reservations that you would prefer an out of the way table! The loud diner is really not there to make you mad, they are just having a good time. Having said that we, as the loud diner should excuse ourselves when we get too loud..Or even ask the servers/other diners if we are being to goofy...And apologize! And then quiet down a bit! There is, once again, always a compromise!
    ALL of the REST – put yourselves in the postion of others and modify! I could nitpick about each and every 'gripe' in this blog but would take days!!! Tolerance and patience should fix most problems..And most of all RESPECT for one another..

    Things Chefs/Owners/Staff do to tick off customers...

    1. The water thing!!! Seems to be the worst thing EVER!!! How about saying "Would you like water? Yes?? Bottled or tap? Easy!! Takes two seconds.
    2. Expecting a tip-is understandable but sometimes it is not justified! I have upon occasion been un-attended to by staff because I am a woman, at a table with women and FOR WHATEVER reason waitstaff assume that women do not tip. AND when I notice this lack of interest I do tell them I tip well if service is good...If they make a mistake I let it go...sometimes...but with a laugh I say 'uh oh...there goes your tip!´ That sure gets the staff on their toes! If not, then NO TIP for sure and note made to owner of establishment... having been in the industry for years I sometimes quietly let them know what may be the problem and give a small suggestion on how to rectify the issue!
    3. Getting upset at 'campers'- is understandable but unreasonable. There is and can be a common ground. IF we are camping ask them if we plan to stay much longer and let us know why you ask, NICELY! Sometimes we are just catching up, having a meeting or even discussing something tragic so please let us know if we can move to another section of the place or even better, keep the service coming!!! For some diners this is an outting so if there is a time limit put on the table please let the guest know but PLEASE give a solution! (the same goes for malfunctions in the kitchen tho-keep us posted so we don't get angry with you!)
    4. Food orders 'messed up'- again, it happens! The kitchen is like any other place and mistakes are made. I understand this as should most but when YOU get MAD at ME for sending back something make sure you do have the right reasons! If the person has ordered a steak well done then make sure you ask them are you sure? not medium perhaps? if you know for a fact the chef will send it that way anyway!! Some folks just like eating shoe leather! Leave them be or try to educate them without being rude! I always order my steaks Blu which is pretty rarer than rare..At a very swish place I got a hunk of meat which was burned on the outside and COLD not cool on the inside. I had three bites...put my fork and knife down on the plate at 5:25 (which is the proper way to lay your untensils down when FINSHED eating) and the waiter, being on his toes, LOL, asked if i was full! I told him no, the meat was burned on the outside and it was what I asked for! I said No, I'm sorry I asked for Blu...Not black and blu. He had no idea I knew what I was talking about and had ordered the meat cooked as such. I now tell ALL from the beginning that if it is over cooked I will be sending it back! Never have had to..Do not think all diners are stupid or pretend to be critics..Some of us just may know more than you and your kitchen!
    5. The wine list and check–should be placed on the edge of the table if no one has let on they are 'in charge' and asking who would like to choose the wine...And inform the guest that the list or check is there..Pretty simple once again.."Ladies and gentlemen, I will put the wine list here if someone is interested." AS FOR THE CHECK-i myself always let it be known quietly in private that I will be picking up the check. I do this upon walking to the table or when making reservations, letting the host know to speak to the server about it. If it is a group situation and again no one has 'taken charge' upon delivery of the check you should say, "ladies and gentlemen, I am putting the check here and will come back when you are ready." If only two diners still do that! SIMPLE! No offence to anyone!
    6. End of meal malfuctions-–for me, to many to count but aside from the above regarding wine and check i have a few peeves on this myself. I am embarrased by people who are in the trade and do not know manners; people are still eating, do NOT start clearing my plate off the table just because I have finished. This is not a dorm mess hall. If unsure, keep an eye on the plates when you walk by. If things look untouched for several minutes ASK THE ENTIRE table if they are done. If no one pipes up then start to remove the plates. Do not ask if you are 'done with that?' It just sounds rude and unpolished. Please do NOT put the check on the table when A) I am still eating and B) before me asking for it unless you have asked FIRST "will there be anything else? Nothing? Ok I wil be back with the check" simple, easy and respectful to all.
    7. Be rude about moving furniture-If it is unsafe tell us so. Not to many folks understand the danger in it nor do the understand that that table which has 6 chairs will actually be used before they leave! If this is such a bother to your establishment let the customer know that you can not accomodate the re-arranged table and once again, offer a solution! KINDLY! Blame it on the law if need be, more than not,YOU will be in the right on this one!

    As for this ANGRY CHEF blog. As I have said several times above...tolerance and patience but the most important thing is communication! The main problem is that folks just don't have the education about social behaviour any more and there is only one way to teach it and that is to teach it!! Not to yell about it! I understand the 'alter-ego' side of this blog but once again I say 'put yourself into the shoes of others' and imagine how diners felt when reading this attack! As you and yours felt when reading diners attack on you!!!

    BE CLEAR from the start on both sides and dining out will once again be a pleasure! I could go on and on but i am sure they will not print this so...Just needed to respond! FOR BOTH SIDES OF THE TABLE!!

    November 1, 2010 at 5:57 am |
  21. Morton

    I take issue with the point about not coming in 5 minutes before closing and expecting a good meal because you are in the midst of cleaning up–why are you cleaning up if the restaurant is still open? It seems like such a simple concept. Wait until closing time to clean up. Sure it sucks to stay late, but trust me, when I finally leave my ER shift 2 hours after my shift ended because somebody came in in cardiac arrest 3 minutes before my shift was over and I stayed to care for the patient–I will be very grateful that you took the time to serve me even though it means you may only have to stay 30 minutes over your shift. And no, I don't get paid overtime. And yes, something of this sort happens almost every single shift so I rarely if ever get to leave "on time." And yes I chose this field, just like you chose yours.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:53 am |
    • scott

      If you ever worked in a reataurant you would know this. If the cooks are there too long it could jack up labor cost, sometimes getting cooks wrote up or fired. See the time after close is down time with no revenue coming in to cover cost per hour.

      December 7, 2012 at 7:52 am |
  22. RestaurantIndustry

    HA. Rule of thumb: Never be rude to those who serve you food and beverage. Just sayin' ...Happy Dining!

    October 31, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  23. Dave

    I've worked in the business a long time, if this guy doesn't like the fact that he is in the hospitality\ restaurant business, I suggest a new career choice. We are paying to be in your place, you are not paying us, people, by nature are just going to do whatever they feel, deal with it, stop bitching about moving chairs around, calling at a time when the business is open to ask a question, no matter what time it is, we want to spend our money in there, we are trying to figure out what time to do this and we have to confirm what you have works for us, sorry. I wouldn't drop this guys name because he sounds like a little primadonna who doesn't even have friends anyway. Oh and that red mark on his head, that's from getting smacked all the times he runs his mouth. Buddy, GFY.

    October 31, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  24. Medoc

    Hey Chef....if you can't take the heat, then get out of the kitchen....just saying. Everything you list is expected norm from the entertainment/food industry. You sound like you're burned out and need a career change. If you were truly passionate about your food and cooking, then you would have the time and money to hire competent front of house staff to take care of these front of house issues. Your attitude disgusts me.

    October 31, 2010 at 9:49 am |
  25. b

    i used to intern at a magazine that would call restaurants to fact check blurbs about them. i would probably call between those inconvenient times because it fit my work schedule. i didn't even come in until 11, and like you, I had other stuff to do; i can't shift around my work schedule just to accomodate you. Bad reviews aside, what always struck me was how annoyed and ungrateful idiot chefs sounded to be wasting their time on the phone with me, considering the FREE advertising we were giving them.

    October 30, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
  26. nikki

    the only one that really annoys me is #6 “Why do people always seem to call the restaurant at the absolute worst time (i.e. between 12:45 and 1:30 p.m. and 7 and 9 p.m.) to inquire about our menu or make a reservation?

    There shouldn't be an "absolute worst time." Isn't there someone who was hired to answer phones? When I go to a nice restaurant usually there are two or three host waiting. Even if two or one other is greeting or seating customers, the other is answering the phone. Also, the time you mentioned are the times that people are either off work or on breaks from the jobs that they currently hold so that they can pay for the expensive food that you serve.

    October 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  27. Dr Phil's In The House

    Group Hug! Nothing will change by all these opinions or facts even! Find a place that YOU feel treats you right and eat there!

    Lets instead save the world with all this energy released here!! :)

    October 30, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  28. Andrew

    Food for thought....when a customer is rude to me they get a nice big jug of iced toilet water brought to the table.....

    October 29, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
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