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mgaretz

Asking "How was everything?" but...

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I hate it when your server asks at the end of the meal, "How was everything?" Then if you mention there was a problem, not doing a damn thing about it!

I was at a restaurant eating lunch with my family, a casual BBQ place. I ordered the fried chicken. It was very good, except that in the center of the breast, there was a frozen section about the size of a walnut. The breast was fully cooked (even the frozen bit) so I assume it was cooked before being frozen. But our server came by and I pointed it out to him. He felt the still frozen bit, agreed that it was frozen, shrugged his shoulders and left. No offer to reduce the bill, no apology, nothing. So what's the point of asking?

So obviously it wasn't a big enough issue that I would send the meal back in the middle of eating.

But several times at Chevy's (not the restaurant in the first example) I have ordered something like Chile Verde or Chile Colorado and only had two small pieces of meat in the order. Each time I call it to the attention of server right away and each time they do nothing about it. I'll never eat at Chevy's again.

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the server is not the person responsible for errors in the kitchen

they work very hard, work for tips and are dependent on all those above them

was the "service" good? thats what they do.

when these things happen, if it matters to you

1) if its a chain, politely ask to see the manager and explain politely the problem

not a chain? ask to see the chef.

if you dont feel they are interested in your ideas and patronage dont go back

if a 'manager' """blows your off""" take a pic of the issue with your cell / sm camera

AND go VIRAL!

remember most of the people at these chains are barely getting along.

they are not your servants!

send fear in the the Fat Cats that arent there and can't be bothered.

you would be suprised at the results for you and the next customer!

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I completely disagree with the above post by rotuts. The server doesn't cook the food but they are the link between the kitchen and the customer in most places. "Oh well, I didn't cook it" is not an acceptable way to handle the problem. I won't blame the server for kitchen mistakes but I will hold them responsible (and penalize via the tip if warranted) for how they choose to handle the situation when I mention it. If you're really just getting by on tips, doesn't it make more sense to try to keep the people giving you those tips happy? To be honest, I don't feel a tip is warranted by simply taking my order, handing me my food and giving me my bill. I expect that as a minimum when I walk in the door as part of why I'm paying more for it than I would cooking it myself at home. I will leave a tip in these cases if they don't give me specific reason not to because I realize in some places it makes up a part of the servers salary but it will be at the commonly accepted minimum. My real tips are reserved for those who do more than the minimum necessary to keep their job. Whether or not they actually care if I'm happy doesn't really matter, as long as they make me feel like they care.


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

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I think you might have missed the point:

in the first post it did not mention that the server said I did not cook it.

its very true that the server should be attentive to customer issues and suggest the manager would be helpfull

lets not forget being polite. chains grind away. servers are close to minimum wage

and yes you did not get "service" then you point that out on you tip

but you must mention this to the server.

but most of what you say is true: no mater what your wage and the issues of your life you need to understand you job and act accordingly

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I think you might have missed the point:

in the first post it did not mention that the server said I did not cook it.

Nope, I didn't miss that. The words may not have come out of the servers mouth but, when you tell them there is a problem with the way the food is cooked and they do nothing, they've effectively said "sucks to be you but I didn't cook it".


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

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... which is why I generally march right back to the kitchen and talk to the chef directly, bypassing the server completely, if there's a problem with my food that's kitchen-based. (If the server gets my order wrong, I take it up with him/her, but if it's something like I order a steak Medium Rare and it comes Well, I'm going to the kitchen.) It normally shocks the kitchen staff sufficiently that the problem is dealt with, either by replacing the offending meal or discounting on the bill.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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... which is why I generally march right back to the kitchen and talk to the chef directly, bypassing the server completely

Yeah, I've got a problem with that too... but that's another subject so I won't expand on it here.


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

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... which is why I generally march right back to the kitchen and talk to the chef directly, bypassing the server completely, if there's a problem with my food that's kitchen-based. (If the server gets my order wrong, I take it up with him/her, but if it's something like I order a steak Medium Rare and it comes Well, I'm going to the kitchen.) It normally shocks the kitchen staff sufficiently that the problem is dealt with, either by replacing the offending meal or discounting on the bill.

You have cojones!


Edited by gfweb (log)

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... which is why I generally march right back to the kitchen and talk to the chef directly, bypassing the server completely, if there's a problem with my food that's kitchen-based. (If the server gets my order wrong, I take it up with him/her, but if it's something like I order a steak Medium Rare and it comes Well, I'm going to the kitchen.) It normally shocks the kitchen staff sufficiently that the problem is dealt with, either by replacing the offending meal or discounting on the bill.

Disagree completely with you. You're out of order 'marching' into the kitchen. It's the waiters responsibility to deal with the guest; they are the link between the kitchen and if an issue arises it should be the front of house you discuss it with. Successfully dealing with it is what's worth the tip.


Edited by Tim6 (log)

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You've obviously never dealt with Latin American waitstaff in their own milieu, Tim.

I'd never invade the kitchen at a fine dining venue, but in a regular restaurant if they mess things up, I'm going to speak to the chef.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I find it more disturbing that the server touched your chicken breast at the table. I'm also hoping it happened at a chain restaurant, perhaps a "Famous" one, as I hate the idea of a local barbecue place using frozen, precooked fried chicken.

When there is an issue, especially in a casual service restaurant, ask for the manager. I'm guessing the server saw you ate most of your meal and assumed it was no big deal. It is possible the server did let the kitchen know. Still, an apology and a promise to tell the kitchen would have been nice.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I find it more disturbing that the server touched your chicken breast at the table. I'm also hoping it happened at a chain restaurant, perhaps a "Famous" one, as I hate the idea of a local barbecue place using frozen, precooked fried chicken.

When there is an issue, especially in a casual service restaurant, ask for the manager. I'm guessing the server saw you ate most of your meal and assumed it was no big deal. It is possible the server did let the kitchen know. Still, an apology and a promise to tell the kitchen would have been nice.

Oh, it was while he was clearing the plates - no big deal about the touching at that point. It was not a chain. I don't suppose they have a "chef" - think diner type restaurant.

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I find it more disturbing that the server touched your chicken breast at the table. I'm also hoping it happened at a chain restaurant, perhaps a "Famous" one, as I hate the idea of a local barbecue place using frozen, precooked fried chicken.

I don't even like the idea of a BBQ place serving fried chicken. That's not BBQ. Heck, I'm suspicious of BBQ places and side dishes. Why bother? :rolleyes::wink::cool:


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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For improvement, I train my staff to ask the guest how's everything? we have a book where the staff writes the guest comments. FRom there we brainstormn how to solve the problem. We have also identified which of the cooks needs proper training and which cook is a good cook. It has solve alot of bad comments on the web and also increase on repeat business. My staff is train to let me know on even the smallest comment from the guest.

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... which is why I generally march right back to the kitchen and talk to the chef directly, bypassing the server completely, if there's a problem with my food that's kitchen-based. (If the server gets my order wrong, I take it up with him/her, but if it's something like I order a steak Medium Rare and it comes Well, I'm going to the kitchen.) It normally shocks the kitchen staff sufficiently that the problem is dealt with, either by replacing the offending meal or discounting on the bill.

Disagree completely with you. You're out of order 'marching' into the kitchen. It's the waiters responsibility to deal with the guest; they are the link between the kitchen and if an issue arises it should be the front of house you discuss it with. Successfully dealing with it is what's worth the tip.

Agreed 100% with your opinion that the service staff is the vital link between the kitchen staff and the guest. I f the waiter does not acknowledge your grievances in a proper manner then the restaurant itself does not deserve your patronage. If there is any online restaurant review sites such as what Tripadvisor is doing, then maybe you should highlight these lack of responsibility and courtesy so that they would understand that the customer is their source of paycheck and should be treated with respect.

About marching into the kitchen, traditionally chefs has always regarded the kitchen as their domain and are very sensitive about who comes into the kitchen. They might consider it as an insult if anyone goes in without any proper invitation. It must have been a shock to them to see a customer walking in and complaining about their food.

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Customers walking to the kitchen to complain is the one thing Gordon Ramsay handles quite nicely on Hell's Kitchen.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

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Customers walking to the kitchen to complain is the one thing Gordon Ramsay handles quite nicely on Hell's Kitchen.

I always thought he was too nice to them when they do that.


That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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I'm fine with being yelled at (and on one memorable occasion a knife was thrown), and if I feel the need to go into the kitchen I won't be going back to the restaurant anyhow. I find that there's no better way to make myself clearly and completely understood.

I also do write restaurant reviews for local media; most restaurants in Quito at least recognize me, and understand that if I end up in their kitchens there's something grievously wrong.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Well, me and mine are used to it (my father is a professional chef and he's the one who taught me the how and why of visiting the kitchen when something goes wrong with the meal) so there's no mortification there, but I have embarassed friends.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Disagree completely with you. You're out of order 'marching' into the kitchen. It's the waiters responsibility to deal with the guest; they are the link between the kitchen and if an issue arises it should be the front of house you discuss it with. Successfully dealing with it is what's worth the tip.

Agreed. I can't imagine anything more out of line a customer would do. I can also only imagine the things that might accidentally find there way onto the diners plate once the diner leaves the kitchen while they are recooking the dish.

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Well, me and mine are used to it (my father is a professional chef and he's the one who taught me the how and why of visiting the kitchen when something goes wrong with the meal) so there's no mortification there, but I have embarassed friends.

If your father is a professional chef he should know better.

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The server is more than a link between the diner and the kitchen. A good server actively advocates on behalf of the diner. You can tell when a server gets it by their genuine interest in the diners' comments, and their immediate taking responsibility for setting things right.

Very few servers below the high end understand this. The ones that get it put the diners at ease, and win their confidence and best tips, even if there was a problem with the meal.

Complaining directly to the chef is pure boorishness. No one in the kitchen even has time to look at you.


Notes from the underbelly

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... which is why I generally march right back to the kitchen and talk to the chef directly, bypassing the server completely, if there's a problem with my food that's kitchen-based. (If the server gets my order wrong, I take it up with him/her, but if it's something like I order a steak Medium Rare and it comes Well, I'm going to the kitchen.) It normally shocks the kitchen staff sufficiently that the problem is dealt with, either by replacing the offending meal or discounting on the bill.

Seriously? You make a HABIT out of going back to the kitchen? You don't even try to discuss it with the server? You might want to consider disguises when dining out.


"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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