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Do they really want to know (feedback)


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6 replies to this topic

#1 BeeZee

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 12:34 PM

I won't hesistate to tell our waitperson if my dish is cold (please take it back to the kitchen)...but last night I had something that was poorly executed (and frankly not really matching the menu description) and I thought about telling the waitress as "feedback for the chef". I decided to just leave it half uneaten and depart, figuring that it wasn't going to mean anything if I told her to tell him.

The question at hand...does the chef want to know if he's really missing the mark?

If our waitress had been the one to clear my plate (half uneaten) I really thought I was going to tell her why...but a busperson who only asked if I wanted the leftovers wrapped to go had come to clear.


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

#2 Lisa Shock

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 01:07 PM

Tough call. I am always very interested in negative feedback; positive feedback is ok but doesn't help me refine dishes, or grow. That said, if the place was a greasy spoon and the staff was just trying to get through the night, maybe they wouldn't care one way or another. It's kind of a crapshoot. I've had employees who would push out anything, just being lazy until their shift ended, and showing them their mistakes did not make any sort of impact on them. Showing the owner in these cases was very enlightening, especially when decisions were being made about who got more or fewer hours.



#3 Twyst

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 03:59 PM

I'm a giant hypocrite when it comes to this topic.  

 

I want to know about the food Im putting out.   If something is not properly cooked/seasoned etc I definitely want it brought to my attention.

 

However, when I go out to eat I NEVER complain, especially to the chef if he asks how everything was.  Even in large cities, cooks are a fairly tight knit group,  everyone kind of knows each other and I am just polite and sometimes force down some bad food.


Edited by Twyst, 19 May 2013 - 04:16 PM.


#4 BeeZee

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:24 PM

If this were the menu description: Pan seared sea scallops, shrimp, mussels, in a white wine lemon butter sauce, with spinach and cherry tomatoes served over linguine.

And what you got was overcooked pasta literally swimming in a thickened gravy-like lemon sauce (to the point that in the shallow bowl, it wasn't even visible) rather than a nice, light clear sauce...and no spinach or cherry tomatoes in the dish...worth a mention?

I'll usually give them a pass on seasoning, unless it's so salty I can't eat it. But this just missed the mark on so many levels, it really made me think about saying something. It's not a "greasy spoon", it's a small family-owned BYOB with entrees $18-$28.


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

#5 Tri2Cook

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:41 PM

If this were the menu description: Pan seared sea scallops, shrimp, mussels, in a white wine lemon butter sauce, with spinach and cherry tomatoes served over linguine.

And what you got was overcooked pasta literally swimming in a thickened gravy-like lemon sauce (to the point that in the shallow bowl, it wasn't even visible) rather than a nice, light clear sauce...and no spinach or cherry tomatoes in the dish...worth a mention?.


Something like that is definitely worth mentioning. In fact, that would have been sent straight back if it were me. I want to know about my mistakes (although your example can't be written off as a mistake, it sounds like plain old sloppiness to me). I'd much rather have a customer let me know about something I did wrong than have them leave unhappy. There's a big difference between what you described and something like "my spinach wasn't the shade of green I prefer" or "the cherry tomatoes didn't match my tie" or "one of the shrimp was 1/16" longer than the others". Unfortunately, it's more common for the second type of person to be the one that says something.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#6 ScoopKW

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:33 AM

I've never understood why people will leave a restaurant unhappy or feel uncomfortable about sending food back.

 

Maybe they're afraid we're going to spit in their food? Not happening where I work, not a chance. Even on a day when we're getting crushed, we all recognize that the chef isn't paying our paychecks. The guests are. Guests get what they want. And if we can't make the dish the way they want it, they deserve to have something else instead.

 

We'd never send out a sloppy dish like the one BeeZee described. The cooks would be afraid to put that in front of the expediter. The expediter would never give that to the food runner. And the food runner would never accept it from the expediter. Everyone's paycheck depends on that dish going out right. The food runner's pay is DIRECTLY affected. At least three people screwed up -- the person who prepared the dish, the person who put it on the tray with the other orders for BeeZee's table, and the person who put that dish in front of BeeZee.

 

That tells me that there is more going on than simply a "sloppy cook." I agree with Tri2Cook -- sloppiness. Probably on more than one person's part. Unless this "mom and pop" is a very, very small place where pop is the "chef/expo/cook" and mom is the "server/busser/hostess."


Edited by ScoopKW, 20 May 2013 - 09:38 AM.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

#7 pastrygirl

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 01:08 PM

Yes, I want to know. Of course I prefer positive feedback, but I do want to know if something can be improved and if I am delivering on the expectations that the menu creates. One person complaining won't necessarily make me change a dish, sometimes I will re-taste it and decide it is the way I want it and the guest just has different taste. Sometimes I will adjust the recipe or re-word the menu for clarity. There is only one dessert that I remember getting multiple instances of negative feedback on, it was a bay leaf flan. I liked it, but at least a few people didn't, so I ended up taking it off the menu.