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All Your Food- and Drink-Related Pet Peeves


Saffy
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i know this topic started with hangers...we're actually pretty good about keeping all of the hangers neat and organized. it's the towels! ughh...not so much the towels themselves (although we always have way too many) but the strings that hold the bundled towels together! i must pick up a dozen off of the office floor every day. there are 8 trashcans in our kitchen!

and consolidating...another big one. do we really need to keep 4qts of black rice in a 22qt container?!?! i realize the hotline is busy with prep before service (i'm pastry) but seriously? we have more than enough containers to consolidate, and it will only take you an extra 30 seconds. instead, i spend 2 hours of my day each week consolidating the hotline's mise.

and as far as servers go...ours are really pretty good. they will make mistakes, everyone does...but if you have a special request then you need to check with the kitchen to see if it's okay (at least, that's how it goes here!) also, if you're a server just because you need a job and don't care about the food, it's time to explore yourself to find what the hell you want to with your life instead of having a job you dislike, and in return, having a kitchen staff that dislikes you!

Irishgirl Posted Aug 15 2009, 10:18 AM

Total disrespect for house equipment! Or any equipment.

ughh...equipment! we all know how expensive it is. just because the money to purchase or fix the equipment doesn't directly come from your pocket doesn't give you the right to be disrespectful. this year we've had to replace 3 spice grinders, a kitchen aid, paco jet and robot coupe. eventually, that money wasted WILL effect you.

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My peeves are pretty mundane.

Can't stand call-in-sicks. When they do, and show up next day, I insist on a doctor's note. If they're that sick and make a miraculous recovery, it must be something serious, and I, my staff, and my guests want no part of it. Not even the most militant union shop steward can argue against such logic.....

What really gets me red hot is cellphones. I have been known to ask to "See" a phone (after an elaborate series of questions about it's particular features) only to remove and pocket it's battery, hand the cellpone back and tell them the battery is avialable after shift. Most usually smarten up, the ones that don't, quit. And that's not such a bad thng afer all.....

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What really gets me red hot is cellphones.  I have been known to ask to "See" a phone (after an elaborate series of questions about it's particular features) only to remove and pocket it's battery, hand the cellpone back and tell them the battery is avialable after shift.  Most usually smarten up, the ones that don't, quit.  And that's not such a bad thng afer all.....

I also have a big cell phone pet peeve. Cell phones and personal calls should not be part of any work environment.

But I hope you at least give them a warning first, like, "Mark, cell phones are not allowed if you're clocked in and working." Because I really think your approach is a bit passive-aggressive, and withholding their cell phone batteries is discipline appropriate for middle-schoolers.

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Your concern is duly noted.

1) As a parent, I learned that to get what I want involved some serious in-advance warnings, ie: "In ten minutes you have to turn off the TV and go to bed", and then a subsequent 5 minute warning, then a 1 minute warning.

2) All my staff have been informed NOT to have cellphones on thier person while at work. They can call all they want to on lunch breaks, but the phones must be in the locker while on my time. Most readily accept this, some hard won converts even actually realize that their phone bills go down.

But the hard cases? In spite of multiple warnings, they refuse to accept my policy. Some have even gone to the Labour Board to complain, and wonder of wonders, the Labour Board does not wish to investigate. So, it comes to a point where you see an employee sneak behind the walk-in or go to the bathroom, to have a long conversation or text session. They get their required breaks, and like I said, they can call or text all they want to during their breaks. But on my time? So as an employer, I have given fair warning, and now my choices are either to fire or to remove the battery.

I choose the battery first, then if that doesn't work, to fire.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can't stand it when someone pokes a hole in plastic wrap rather than just taking it off. It's just sloppy. I say "If you got time to poke it you got time to pull it."

Cheers,

Bradley

"'Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers."

Shakespeare

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  • 1 month later...

I hate when customers:

-Get offended when I ask them (nicely) not to touch the fruit.

-Try to get my attention in the service well by coming behind the bar...and then wonder why I yell at them.

-Tell me to "make it good." Why not just call me an asshole too.

-Tell me they'll "take care of you" if I "hook them up." I think our views differ on both those topics.

I hate when bartenders:

-Would rather talk to/text their friends than serve drinks on a slow day.

-Don't acknowledge good tipping. I'm not looking for a nobel prize...just a thank you.

A little one-sided, I know, but I guess we all know which side of the bar I spend most of my time...

Red Bull/Vodka is the downfall of civilization...

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Menus with small lettering and poor contrast between the type and the background (say brown letters on tan paper). It's bad enough to have to use reading glasses but combine that with bad menu design and dim mood lighting and I might as well be illiterate :sad:

Places where you talking is frowned on because you are supposed to be listening to the music with rapt attention - especially if the music is someone at the piano playing sing-along or a whiny folk singer. I'd rather go to a concert then for drinks after and even a good jazz bar is still a bar.

Lousy food; expensive unsubstantial food; expensive unsubstantial lousy food.

And my number one peeve, especially because I'm usually too wimpy to call them on it, beer poured short. The top inch in a standard 16 oz. pub glass is 1/4 of the volume.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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great topic, here are some top of mind:

- "hey, wine is for that pasta-salad crowd" - wow, took me back to the '80s in a flash

- "no, we don't have any Rye" from three J.Beard nominated venues, no excuse (and given the drinks served, food in beard)

- "you really want gin in that?"

- "are you really from Cleveland?" and a well bruised Browns fan too, I'm long used to it

- "well, no one cares about vermouth" uh-huh

- "you really wish we had corn-nuts, dontcha?" mean cruel tease

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Like Gary, I think it's possible to talk about things one doesn't like or that could be improved in a positive way.

For me, there are two pet peeves I have when it comes to bartenders, and I guess they both come down to attitude:

1. When the bartender won't listen to me or condescends to me.

I am reminded of an experience I had in a very good and no-I-won't-name-it NYC bar: It was a slow night. I was in the mood for a Sidecar and told the bartender I liked them at around 2:1:1, which formula I had been drinking at the time under the influence of Dave Wondrich. The bartender said something to the effect of "I've been making Sidecars for 20 years, and I know how to make a Sidecar." He proceeded to make me a 2:2:1 Sidecar, saying "this is how we make them here." And, here's the thing: The Sidecar sucked. Now I've had Sidecars in many different formulations (3:2:1, 2:2:1, 2:1:1, 1:1:1), and liked them all. I don't even mind the suggestion that I might like a drink a different way. So that wasn't it. It was more that his attitude was equally reflected in his response to my request and his care in making the drink (which in this case was watered). But even if it had been great, my mood was broken.

Yeah, gosh I hate that. A couple of friends and I stopped by one of Melbourne's supposedly premier cocktail bars a few months ago and the bartender was pretty much scoffing at us as we entered and read the menu. Not to mention the undissolved sugar at the bottom of my Mint Julep, and the unwieldy and stale looking fancy lemon peel garnish in the French 75... haven't been there since.

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As a bartender I hate when:

- people asks for the menu, keep flipping it's page for 2 full minutes before asking for a JW Red Label or a "Bud" type of beer.

- when I know that a girl wants to ask for something different and her date/boyfriend/husband ask a vodka+red bull for her.

- People ask for little ice wishing I would pour more booze.

- People think that asking for "making it a good one" would also earn them more booze.

- People keep calling you "pal" the hole night but forget our "friendship" when the tab arrives.

As a costumer I hate when:

- The bartender thinks I would like more booze instead of a well balanced drink.

- People brag about their work experience and don't know how to make an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan

- Bartenders/waiters don't know how to explain their menu

- Bartenders/waiters wait until you order something from the menu to tell you thay don't have it right now

Paulo Freitas

Bartender @ Bar do Copa (Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil)

http://www.bardocopa.com.br

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  • 2 weeks later...

I hate when customers:

-Tell me they'll "take care of you" if I "hook them up." I think our views differ on both those topics.

That is perfect!

For me, I hate when people talk about the quality of the ingredients in their food then order an appletini (or something along those lines). God forbid some bovine growth hormone should pass your lips, but you want high-fructose corn syrup and FD&C blue #1? And I'm the jerk who's insulting your tastes by not carrying these products?

Guests who order another drink by pointing at their glass. Use your words. Have some respect.

Small Hand Foods

classic ingredients for pre-prohibition era cocktails

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The one thing I'm bothered by the most in bars (and maybe this is just my problem--no one else seems have trouble with it) is when every stool is occupied and it is nearly impossible to approach the bar to order a drink. You have to squeeze in somewhere between two people (often receiving annoyed looks), reach over someone's tip money/ash tray/drink/snack, etc., then hover there until the bartender can take care of you. I find this whole process to be very intimidating. Every bar has a server's station, so I don't see why there couldn't be one more slot without a stool for walk-up orders. I can't imagine the one fewer stool would make that much difference in sales.

Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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The one thing I'm bothered by the most in bars (and maybe this is just my problem--no one else seems have trouble with it) is when every stool is occupied and it is nearly impossible to approach the bar to order a drink. You have to squeeze in somewhere between two people (often receiving annoyed looks), reach over someone's tip money/ash tray/drink/snack, etc., then hover there until the bartender can take care of you. I find this whole process to be very intimidating. Every bar has a server's station, so I don't see why there couldn't be one more slot without a stool for walk-up orders. I can't imagine the one fewer stool would make that much difference in sales.

Where I've seen this done, it doesn't seem to work quite as well as you'd think, since someone inevitably camps there, deafeating the purpose.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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You can certainly learn more by listening to the don't likes... :biggrin:

Living in Umbria, we've had to scale back our expectations quite a bit, no rye, no limes, usually no bourbon...just generic 'whiskey'. But, what's the deal with no nibbles in the States? You needto nibble something when you sip a cocktail, alcohol without food isn't a good thing. We've had this discussion on and off around the apperitivo table, but, is it a legal thing not to offer something to go along with the drink?Bar Syrah nibbles (1).jpg Photo is from Syrah Bar in Citta di Castello.

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You can certainly learn more by listening to the don't likes... :biggrin:

Living in Umbria, we've had to scale back our expectations quite a bit, no rye, no limes, usually no bourbon...just generic 'whiskey'. But, what's the deal with no nibbles in the States? You needto nibble something when you sip a cocktail, alcohol without food isn't a good thing.

Wow! How civilized! :smile: I don't have a good answer to your question, though. I think U.S. bars used to have free food.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've given up hoping for quality drinks at most bars outside of the urban centers where one can expect knowledge and execution. I assume the ice is warm, the vermouth is old, ... on and on. So all I ask -- really, the single thing -- is that when a bartender asks me what I want, s/he will listen to the answer. It's never lengthy, but it is usually specific, and I guarantee that I spent three or four minutes figuring it out.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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You can certainly learn more by listening to the don't likes... :biggrin:

Living in Umbria, we've had to scale back our expectations quite a bit, no rye, no limes, usually no bourbon...just generic 'whiskey'. But, what's the deal with no nibbles in the States? You needto nibble something when you sip a cocktail, alcohol without food isn't a good thing. We've had this discussion on and off around the apperitivo table, but, is it a legal thing not to offer something to go along with the drink?

Local bars around here often serve free popcorn - woohoo. I think they feel the salt will make you thirsty. The local dive that I frequent does have a kitchen and makes surprisingly good burgers & steaks, but nothing fancy. Are the nibbles in your photo on the house? If so, I'm jealous.

I don't expect much from most bars, especially after enjoying drinks at the Velvet Tango Room. Once you have that kind of experience, only the best will do :) I find, though, that if I am at a bar that is not totally slammed, most bartenders are willing to take gentle direction. In actuality I do most of my drinking at home. I'm usually the designated driver when we're out since I'm so "picky" (my husband's word - I prefer "discriminating"). To think that I used to swill Boone's Farm straight from the bottle!

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- Definitely not a fan of the boyfriend bullying the girlfriend into drinking a redbull vodka when she clearly wants something else. (secretly I do take pleasure in making what the girl wants, and subtly making the boyfriend look like an ass)

- "What beers do you have on tap?" (I rattle off 14 tap beers) "I'll take a bud light."

- "Can I get a Grey Goose and vodka?" (seriously this happens ALL THE TIME!!)

- Waving me down to take your order when I am obviously very busy, and not being ready to give me your order when I am ready to take the order.

- Common courtesy goes a long way. Please and Thank you. :D

- Ordering a drink that I don't know how to make because your buddy made it up last night at the frat house. If you tell me what is in it, I'll happily make it for you. But if you don't know what is in your drink, I think you shouldn't be drinking it.

Striving for cocktailian excellence and always learning.

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I hate when customers:

-Tell me to "make it good." Why not just call me an asshole too.

I can understand this especially if it is code for "strong", but there are times you get a feeling... Like when I was a the bar in a restaurant and the bar tender gave me a kind of blank look when I ordered a Capirinha off their menu. I asked him if they made a pretty good one there and got a withering look. Then I watched him look up the recipe...

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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- "Can I get a Grey Goose and vodka?" (seriously this happens ALL THE TIME!!)

I've heard that Grey Goose order several times, too. Yikes.

- "What beers do you have on tap?" (I rattle off 14 tap beers) "I'll take a bud light."

That seems like an opportunity to ask, "14 different ones, so what do you like?" Bump 'em up to something better (and pricier) with a targeted suggestion, and cut down on the annoyance at the same time.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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- "What beers do you have on tap?" (I rattle off 14 tap beers) "I'll take a bud light."

That seems like an opportunity to ask, "14 different ones, so what do you like?" Bump 'em up to something better (and pricier) with a targeted suggestion, and cut down on the annoyance at the same time.

Yes. The names of 14 unfamiliar beers is intimidating and offers little to help guide a choice, especially to someone who is willing to settle for Bud Light in the first place (unlikely to be well-versed in beer). In the face of so much uncertainty, they will pick the safe choice, almost every time. This doesn't just go for draft beer, either--there is a certain group of folks who react that way to any kind of menu choice ("Gimme a Cab" or "I'll take the Ribeye").

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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A recent article in the Philadelphia Weekly entitled The Bartender Hates You covers a lot of this ground, at least here in my fish bowl. But I suspect the complaints are fairly universal. And before any of you jump down my dear friend Phoebe's throat, if you read it carefully, her bitch was about the last guy in the bar saying "when you have a minute" sounding snarky, not anyone else. Think about it. If the bartender is standing around waiting for you to finish then saying "when you have minute" sounds more like "I see you standing there with your thumb up your ass, so when you have a minute, I'll take my tab..." I know that's what she meant.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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