slow news day ~ NYT list of What Restaurants Should Not Do.

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Ron says…

Wow, we here at Fork You are getting lazy. So lazy that today, I’m taking the initiative and “Going Rogue”. 

Posting some unapproved nonsense, and plagerizing from the New York Times.

But before I begin… rest assured Fork You has 25 draft posts in the hopper, and several ideas in our collective melons.

Back to my original post…

In the New York Times – (yeah being the world reader I am) I noticed an article on One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1).

Reading through this first list is like a cornucopia of dining experiences here in West Virginia – at least it is for my hilljack ass.

Take a look at some of these –  here’s four of the first five.

1. Do not let anyone enter the restaurant without a warm greeting.

–  Ron Says Well you would think this is common sense, but how often does it really happen.  Yes I get tons of “Hi, how are you”, “So nice of you to join us”..  insert lame ass greeting here.   – the problem is I don’t think any place ever actually sells it to me.  What I mean is I don’t believe it.  What I’m actually hearing is “Dammit, another costumer, I’ll never get out of here tonight”. 

Susan says One place that really did sell it was Hall’s Chop House in Charleston SC.

3. Never refuse to seat three guests because a fourth has not yet arrived.

Ron Says -GOD I hate standing in line at Applebees (or other establishment), and there’s seventeen empty tables just across the room.   I often make the comment that “we’ll take that empty table right there” only to be told, “we’re not serving in that section” or some other stupid excuse.  I would much rather wait sitting down than standing up.

Susan says – I hate what Ron hates in his above comment, too.  But I don’t think that’s the focus of item #3.  In some high-end restaurants, the party won’t be seated until all the members of the party are present and accounted for.  Since we don’t eat in a lot of high-end restaurants and most of the time it is just the two of us, that’s not really an issue.

What Ron mentioned IS an issue, though.  It is tough to be standing there waiting for a table and look around and see a dozen empties.   

 4. If a table is not ready within a reasonable length of time, offer a free drink and/or amuse-bouche. The guests may be tired and hungry and thirsty, and they did everything right.

Ron Says -“reasonable length of time”…. ok I know that West Virginia is the dining capitol of the world… just try getting into a Logan’s Roadhouse any evening between 5 & 6.  But what is a reasonable length of time?  I don’t know.. but I would settle for at least an estimate of how long I am going to have to wait.

Susan says – That would be super duper, but again, I believe we are talking about pricier restaurants.  Hell, does the staff at Logan’s even know what an amuse-bouche is???

5. Tables should be level without anyone asking. Fix it before guests are seated.

Ron Says I say this everywhere I go.  HOW FREAKING HARD CAN THIS BE!!!!  you would think that this is one of the easiest things to fix…  yet it just goes back to apathy.

Susan says – Ditto.

Here’s another favorite –

14. When you ask, “How’s everything?” or “How was the meal?” listen to the answer and fix whatever is not right.

Ron Says -not only fix it, but at least wait till I have a chance to taste it.  How many times am I asked how is everything almost immediately after it being placed on my uneven table?   Or better yet, I like it when they bring it out and they know it’s bad, the sever may point out that it’s incorrect – WHY BRING IT OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE?!  but this goes right along with #21….

Susan says – A lot of times the question is asked but no one cares what the answer is.  If you say they forgot to bring something out, you never got a drink refill, the vegetable was served cold, etc. what happens next?  Most of the time, I get that question at the end of the meal experience when it’s too late.  Another thing that irritates us is when something is wrong, wrong enough for us to speak up, and then they “fix” it by giving us a free dessert that we don’t want.  Take the cost of the messed up food off our bill – we don’t want to pay for something you screwed up.

21. Never serve anything that looks creepy or runny or wrong.

‘Nuf said.

This next one is good…

31. Never remove a plate full of food without asking what went wrong. Obviously, something went wrong.

–  Ron Says -DUH…. but if they asked what is wrong, then they “may” be compelled to do something about it.   We wouldn’t want that.

36. Never reek from perfume or cigarettes. People want to smell the food and beverage.

Ron Says My guess this even applies to the Blackhawk Saloon.   Just don’t do it.  If you have to go out and take a smoke break, clean up before you come back.

48. Do not ask what someone is eating or drinking when they ask for more; remember or consult the order.

 – Ron Says – lol, this always makes me laugh.  

Susan says – This one doesn’t really bother me, but I guess it might if I was spending a boatload on the meal.

Well there are several other good ones in there, and I guess next week sometime they’re publishing 51-100.  Check back.

Also comment on the places where all these apply.  Should be great.

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3 responses to “slow news day ~ NYT list of What Restaurants Should Not Do.

  1. This might be on the list, but what I hate is the practice of having specials that are not printed, either on a menu insert or or at least a blackboard at the entrance saying what the dishes are and what they cost.

    I get rapidly annoyed by having to sit through a server giving lengthy descriptions of the specials when I could read the same information in 10 seconds and ask any questions I might have of the server in 5 more. It’s especially bad when you have a large party and/or it’s a noisy place where it is difficult to hear.

    I also hate the practice of places making servers push certain wines because, I assume, those wines are included in some discount promotion from the distributor. Know the wine list and be able to describe the wine and maybe even suggest appropriate pairings if asked, but spare me the sales puffery.

  2. Concerning level tables, the recently closed Schlotzskys in Kanawha City often had wobbly tables. I would have to search for a sturdy table before placing a bowl of hot soup on it.

  3. Regarding # 14. I hate it when they bring the food and ask just after they place it in front of you if everything is ok then disappear until you are done eating. Give me a minute to figure out if I need anything. Go away for a couple of minutes to let me assess the meal, then come right back so I can tell you that I need something.

    Another thing that happens all the time that is really bothersome is when I sit down, they get the drinks out to me before I’ve decided what I’m going to order. The server asks if I’m ready to order or do I need a few more minutes. I say yes, give us just a couple of minutes. The “couple” of minutes really is all I need, but the server doesn’t come back for at least 10-15 minutes. My party and I may have had some sharing details to workout or I may have needed to narrow my choice down and that will take just a couple of minutes, not 10-15.

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