Monday, October 25, 2010

Apron Strings: More Food

This was my first full weekend of work in three weeks. It was good to be back on all weekend, but WOW Saturdays are becoming a waste of time if you want my honest opinion. I drive 40 minutes each way, am inside Applebees for 9-11 hours, and when it's deathly slow (as it has been) I come home almost empty-handed. Gr!  But Sundays almost always pay off (and then some), so I can't whine.

Anyway. You're ready for some more juicy insider information aren't you ;)  Here goes.

Food. It's the whole reason you eat out, right? Maybe you don't want to cook, or maybe there's something specific you crave that only your favorite restaurant can give you. Maybe it's just the whole experience, but either way, the food is the star of the show!  That is one area I don't have a lot of control over, and I'm about to tell you about it!

Things you might not know:

I don't cook your food.
A server will order your steak right 99.9% of the time. It's habit. We don't forget. If your steak is not cooked to your liking, it's because the person cooking it misjudged (or doesn't know how to cook steak). I will attempt to fix it the best I can, and I'll tell the manager. I know it makes you angry, because it makes ME angry. When I serve and when I eat out. If you order a steak, you want it right the first time. I get it. I sympathize. When I say I'm sorry, I TRULY am. Please don't walk out and leave no tip, or leave a few pennies to "punish" us for your horrible steak. The guy who cooked it still gets paid the same, and I just lost a good part of my Saturday night wage.

When it comes to food quality, you can pretty much figure out where the infraction occurred. Is the temperatuer wrong? Cook. Is the pasta mushy? Kitchen. Did you ask for ranch and got Caesar? Server. Is there a hair INSIDE your food? Cook. Is there a hair on top of your food (that matches that of YOUR server?) Server. Is there a fly in your salad with dressing on it? Kitchen. No one MEANS to screw up your food, but try to understand that it's not always under my control, so there's no use punishing me for it. Speak to the manager. He or she can make it more right than I can.

Servers screw up.
Aside from the steak screw ups now and then, the cooks almost ALWAYS cook and prepare the food EXACTLY how they are told. They read the screen and they do a really good job of sending your food out correctly. Once in a while they'll overlook something, but not often.

It is your server's responsibility to communicate your order correctly to the kitchen. You want your food a certain way, and we are supposed to be sure you get it. I won't lie, when you ask for thirteen modifications to a plate it DOES irritate me, but I do my best to get it all right. However, the more modifications YOU make, the more chances WE have to screw it up. Just saying.

Anyway, if you asked for no mayo, or you wanted extra chicken and it's not there, don't let your server pull the "the kitchen must have sent it out wrong" bit on you. Chances are she didn't enter it into the computer.

Some servers are honest.
If I made a mistake, I'm going to tell you. I might not think it's my fault (because sometimes people think they said something they didn't say), but I'm going to tell you. I'm so sorry, I didn't get your appetizer entered. I overlooked that modification. I misread my writing. I misunderstood what you said. I got busy and forgot your drink. I don't like doing it, but I do. And most good servers will. We aren't perfect, we do make mistakes, and we don't mean to neglect you (unless you're being an unruly bitch).

So next time your food is awful, think about WHY it is bad. Remember that your server only orders and serves your food, and chewing her out only hurts her feelings (or pisses her off). Rate your server on her service, and if the food isn't worth paying for, talk to a manager about that. Have a great week, and eat something yummy :)

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