The Angry Chef serves up a second helping
October 29th, 2010
03:00 PM ET
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A few weeks ago, after the Eatocracy Editors discovered and subsequently guffawed over his “Angry Chef” Twitter feed, we courted Atlanta chef Ron Eyester into the magical land of 5@5 to share five six things a customer does to tick off a chef.

1,580 comments later, we knew the pot was a-stirring.

After reading every single comment, receiving a few hate e-mails (and one hate call) and numerous "huzzahs!" from industry folks, Eyester noticed that many of our readers' comments shared some very distinct themes - and we invited him back to serve up a response.

Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Chef Eyester back to the dance floor.

“The Angry Chef” is a persona; a character

Most of you who decided to comment have no idea who I am. "The Angry Chef" is simply an alter-ego to the guy who volunteers at local schools, serves on the board of a local farmer’s market, donates meals to firemen on Thanksgiving, is extremely active within his community and very much enjoys working in his restaurant, serving his guests and fostering a spirited atmosphere for a great neighborhood.

That being said, I am not denying the fact that I enjoy venting as the “Angry Chef.” I don’t stomp around the dining room, curse at guests, take their plates from them and kick them out the restaurant. But I can’t help that I witness frequent absurdities.

Considering the fact that diners have countless forums to express their opinions regarding their dining experiences (Yelp, Citysearch and OpenTable), why I can I not be afforded an opportunity to share my thoughts with an online community?

The simple fact is: if you don’t like what I’m saying, you simply don’t have to follow me on Twitter.

If some of you actually took the time to read some of my tweets, you will discover that I simply expose people’s dining idiosyncrasies (some more idiotic than others) and eccentric behaviors with a certain level of humor. My tweets address a very small demographic of diners. I can’t help it that their actions impact the dining climate of any given night more than that of a pair of diners who simply eat and who are a pleasure to serve.

Although I appreciate some of the advice many of you gave me regarding taking care of my guests and showing them the proper level of gratitude, my staff and I actually convey these sentiments through our actions each day. I think it would remain in my best business interest to keep listening to feedback of our guests, who incidentally are still continuing to patronize Rosebud.

The pot calling the kettle black

I truly enjoyed the fact that many of you were shocked and appalled that I actually accompanied my thoughts with my actual identity and even a picture. By the way, the “forehead herpes” is actually a birth mark - just wanted to clear that up.

I really am sorry, but I had a very hard time valuing the actual content of your comments because I was too distracted by the coy e-mail aliases and I couldn’t get past the image of some of you verbally assaulting me from the safety of your parents' basement.

How could anyone not appreciate the irony of many of you accusing me of slinging personal attacks on my diners while referring to me as “eyesore, fat boy, fat ass, asshat (my personal favorite), douchebag (multiple times) and arrogant prick?" Although many of you need a great deal of help with basic grammar and sentence structure, I must admit I truly did feel the rage of your tone.

The fact that I willingly revealed my identity confirms that I mean no harm as the "Angry Chef" - your reluctance to reveal yours simply makes your comments meaningless.

Money, money, money

I never gave money or the financial state of Rosebud any consideration before sharing my thoughts. Why does everything have to be assigned a monetary value? Don’t people have the ability to think beyond dollars and cents?

Some of the comments were absolutely ludicrous: I particularly loved the one about the guest “owning” us while he was in the restaurant eating. You would think considering the tumultuous nature of our current economy, people would be excited to occupy their thoughts with something other than money.

Restaurants don’t need everybody's business, nor do they want it. Many restaurateurs work very hard to establish relationships with their guests. Yes, you are guests - not customers.

Restaurateurs don’t want certain folks in their restaurant because of the detrimental effect that they have on the other guests that we actually value and appreciate. The few extra dollars are not worth the anguish difficult diners cause other diners. Some of you difficult guests actually annoy other guests as well the staff.

Moreover, some of you need to realize that when you do patronize a restaurant that you’re not "giving" us anything. In exchange for your money, you are receiving a meal and service - and by the way, the food that you are consuming did come at a cost to us. The profit margin for the average restaurant is razor-thin.

We choose to work in restaurants

Let's put the myth, "I work in a restaurant because I couldn’t do anything else with my life," to rest. Sure, the restaurant industry is a haven for misfits and cast-offs - a fraternity if you will. But, there are many people who choose to work in this industry and immerse themselves into what becomes a lifestyle. I know because I’m one of them.

Sure I’m a misfit, but I was also a misfit when I attended The Citadel and received a degree in literature. The level of commitment and dedication necessary to succeed in this industry is truly daunting. Most of you couldn’t imagine the level of intensity that many restaurant employees are subject to on a daily basis.

What is it like taking a break? We don’t. When’s the last time a server came to your table and informed you that your food wouldn’t be ready for about another fifteen minutes because the kitchen was on a union break?

To truly understand the restaurant industry and its many complexities and microcosms, one must dedicate a serious portion of their life to this cause. Sure, some restaurants are better than others, and some take food more seriously than others, but how can a guest dining in any decent one claim that they know more about food than the restaurant’s employees do?

Do you know more about cars than your mechanic does? We love food too - we enjoy telling you about our specials and we enjoy serving our product with pride.

Restaurant employees represent an extremely diverse demographic. Although this makes for an extremely interesting work culture, the ability to establish a successful level of work chemistry can be very challenging. However, when this chemistry is achieved, the results are remarkable and the impact that it has on your dining experience is infinite.

You know what I would most like to be heard? A gigantic thank you to my staff and all the people who work in this industry and make this whole crazy process inch forward every day.

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  3. OyVey

    I think what we're seeing here is a half-assed attempt at a public apology, only dude's passive-aggressive bullshit kicks in every so often and he reverts back to being a dick.

    What kind of delusional, grandiose little world are you living in where you've assigned yourself an alter ego? And a really weak one at that...?

    "RAWR!! I'M THE ANGRY CHEF! ME HATE CUSTOMERS! RAWR!" *STOMPSTOMPSTOMP*

    "Wait a sec, guys. I didn't mean that. I almost forgot you pay my bills!"

    "RAWR! FUCK CUSTOMERS! ME ANGRY CHEF!"

    Seriously, dude? Pick a friggin' personality and go with it. If you were as much of a badass, ballsy guy as you make yourself out to be, you wouldn't have written this "response" to begin with. I guarantee Eatocracy didn't approach you. It was probably the other way around because you realized how bad you screwed up and figured you could fix it with an explanation. Surprise – you wrecked that, too.

    And I find it funny that you casually mention your philanthropy. Um, and? Should we roll out a parade because you've volunteered? People who truly care about their community and help out usually don't feel the need to boast or brag about it unless they're fishing for a pat on the back.

    I especially like how you point out that you're not rude to customers in the restaurant – yet you run to the internet as your alter ego to whine like a little girl when someone/thing irritates you.

    And if you were wondering, I'm the one who called you an asshat....ASSHAT.

    November 3, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • Ron Eyester

      I am so glad that I had previously chosen to restrain my thoughts and not respond to any other comments except yours, which was indeed the most entertaining, yet clueless...You sir are a fuckin' idiot.

      November 3, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
      • curt

        classic

        November 3, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
      • OyVey

        Actually, sweetheart, I'm a chick.

        I'm really digging this exchange here, Ronnie. First I ruffle your feathers with the "asshat" comment and now I'm the *only* person you respond to out of everyone who posted?

        I'm starting to think you have a little crush on me, Eyester.

        (P.S. I'm gonna follow you on Twitter today, if that will help narrow down my identity)

        November 4, 2010 at 9:19 am |
    • Sweet!

      Sounds like you have the crush on Ron. Don't worry everyone is always fascinated when they find someone who can do something they can't. Cooking for example.

      November 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
  4. Sndp

    Why is the restaurant industry getting so much press? Aren't they just another service industry? Aren't there unhappy workers who deal with their share of arrogant clients?

    November 2, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  5. AlisonNoelle

    Bravo!

    November 2, 2010 at 2:50 am |
  6. Jill

    Quite frankly, I agree with everything Chef Eyester says! He's honest, forward and a "straight shooter." I also appreciate his feedback because it provides people with a better understanding of what people in the food industry actually experience on a day to day basis...and I find this blog objective, not subjective. At the end of the day, he is telling the facts.

    And the person who referred to Chef Eyester as the man who has "forehead herpes" must be really upset because they probably have herpes on a place other than their head.

    November 1, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
    • Donna

      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 2, 2010 at 2:23 am |
      • wailua chef

        "Some of us just may know more than you and your kitchen!" Tell you what princess. If you don't pretend to know more about cooking than I do , I won't pretend to know more about being a waitress at Hooters than you. Deal?

        November 2, 2010 at 5:19 am |
      • Heather

        Donna – If you have spent "the better part of a few hours of my day reading ALL of this blog and remarks" and have the time to type up a summary, you have far too much time on your hands. Get. A. Life. The rest of us have read this as well (in a few minutes or less) and hardly need your poorly-written summarized invective.

        Your poor grammar and extensive use of ALL CAPS and exclamation points is a perfect indicator of your subpar level of intelligence. It reads like a letter to the editor written by a delusional paranoid shut-in warning us all of alien abduction.

        November 2, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
      • Donna

        To wailua chef & Heather
        .WOW! Struck a nerve, did I?? First, never ever even been inside a Hooters! Fine dining is more my style, not American trash version of good foods. I am actually a fully certified chef! So, many times I do know a bit more than those who are in the kitchen..not that I think they are slack-offs, just that I know something which they may not.
        And Heather! I actually read the article before this one which had more than 1500 remarks and then this one. Get A. Life.. Well, I do have one fortunately but can not walk, drive, cook, go out any more due to medical condition! So sorry that it bothers you I have time to read these things blogs. I in fact, am happy to have the internet and to be able to express my views with someone other than a nurse I see 3 times a day. I sure did not intend on the time I spent reading would have been taken as a complaint! I have a feeling I also hit a few nerves, and not just the bad writing. I was passionate about all of the many remarks I read! so sorry I do have emothions left in me! YES! Anyhow, I was just trying to look at both sides.helping both customer and 'chef'.
        Please do have a nice day

        November 5, 2010 at 5:55 am |
  7. Jo

    Beautiful comeback, Ron. Well done, well said, well played. Good on ya. Keep on rattlin' those pots and pans. ;)

    November 1, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  8. Devilchef01

    Eyester,

    You're a Chef, that's right up there with that other clown's cardiologist, I send my doctor a $30 invoice every time he misses a reservation btw.

    What you said in both posts stands. You have nothing to explain nor anything to regret.

    Be true to yourself, if we're good, there's always more guests than seats, always has been, always will be.

    November 1, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
  9. ChefAxxgrinder

    If I get the chance, the moment I travel to Atlanta I will make rosebud my first stop.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  10. RichardHead@Truth

    Goodone. Please find your underwear for tomorrow or Rick Sanchez will be taping you from some small Miami T.V. station.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
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