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shamelessrestaurants.com


Joanne212
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From today's NY Post about "Unsavory Restaurants" re: shamelessrestaurants.com

"As a restaurant goer, these are things I want to know," says Di Petroff, a frequent eater-outer who feels the site could become as valuable a resource as Zagat. "Angry waiters will affect the service."

I know I find this site a guilty pleasure. Has some of the informatoin changed my dining choices? As a restaurant "insider", I would have to say it definitely does. They say "Knowledge is Power." Is the power now in the hands of the employees?

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For those who do not know me: I am a former line cook and pastry chef in NYC restaurants, with a culinary degree (among others). My first professional cooking gig was at Le Bernardin, and I also worked for Drew Nieporent. The chef for whom I worked most (at several different restaurants) received three stars from the NY Times for his current place. I also have close to 20 years' experience as a consultant on organizational behavior and performance improvement.

I do not give any credibility whatsoever to the posts on anonymous bitching websites. There is the stink of the schoolyard to them, with the same desire to hurt others as much as possible, truth be damned. Venting one's spleen does no one any good, if the only reason is to make someone/something else look bad.

The only site I regularly read that is remotely of that type is On the Rail, but even there the focus is not simply bitching, but FOH and BOH people advising each other on how to fix what's wrong at their establishments, or at least how to put up with what cannot be fixed (but is not downright illegal).

The power could always have been in the hands of the employees, if we/they would only use our brains; those sites are NOT an exercise of power, but one of assumed powerlessness. What a sad waste of talent.

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From today's NY Post about "Unsavory Restaurants" re: shamelessrestaurants.com

hahahhahahaa i was in that article too !

but i'm glad they cut me out of the online version because they made me sound like a total douche

I do not give any credibility whatsoever to the posts on anonymous bitching websites. There is the stink of the schoolyard to them, with the same desire to hurt others as much as possible, truth be damned. Venting one's spleen does no one any good, if the only reason is to make someone/something else look bad.

aw come on don't you think that's a bit harsh ?

sorry, but i don't think for a minute shamelessrestaurants was built to "hurt others as much as possible." i think it's there to give a voice to a group of peoples who, as of now, have no other way of being heard. it's not like they can just hire a publicist like their employers can.

if people "look bad" maybe it's because they ARE BAD. and frankly, i don't see any of these so-called "shameless" places defending themselves in any articulate or convincing manner, even though the site provides them ample opportunity.

all i've seen in refutal so far is a lot of whining because now all their dirty laundry is hanging up in the breeze.

"shut up, stop complaining... if you don't like it, leave." ?? THAT'S the response?

yeah sure, we should all just quit our jobs and go on welfare instead. because our places of employment are run by unprofessional, egomanical, just-plain-derisive jerkfaces.

hmmmm imagine instead a fair, efficient, harmonious work environment where everybody treated each other with common courtesy and decency why that's just CRAZY TALK

and frankly let's be realistic here. anyone who has worked in the NYC food industry for any significant amount of time isn't surprised by any of this "new" information. no one i know is gasping in shock that certain companies are being outed as "shameless"-- they're all just laughing their butts off it's out in public and that it's getting so much attention.

The power could always have been in the hands of the employees, if we/they would only use our brains; those sites are NOT an exercise of power, but one of assumed powerlessness. What a sad waste of talent.

a sad waste of whose talent ?

i really wish you'd elaborate a bit more on this "power always having been in the hands of the employees" concept because i just don't get what you mean.

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Of course sites that allow anonymous posts are going to attract some wackos with axes to grind. But they can also allow meaningful patterns to emerge.

There are Net boards like "shameless" on every major employer in the country at this point. The issue of their worth goes way beyond the restaurant industry.

Employment is often based on the reality that there are tedious and/or heartless bastards & bitches in this world with whom a rational person wouldn't spend five seconds if money weren't involved. Any forum that tends to expose these people to public scrutiny is a force for good in my book.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Abbe will you share their trash talk? What did you think when you saw it?

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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Yes Abbe, I saw you in the article, which is what attracted me in the first place.

LOL! I don't think you sounded like a "douche", but your part didn't seem to make much sense, especially since they titled it "Diary of a Waiter." But I guess they wrote it that way to make it fit in with all the rest of the article.

Suzanne F, you don't give any credibilty to the gripes on SR? I can understand you not approving of the bitchiness or the anonymity, but don't you think most people realize most of the complaints are posted in anger?

When I read the posts on that site, I look through the bitchy part to the underlying message. Yes, maybe certain people are very angry but it doesn't change the context of the complaint. I will be honest, I know people who are employees at a number of the restauransts mentioned. Even though they aren't the ones posting there anonymously, I know they are glad when they see others voicing the same complaints they have.

If a restaurant has just one person complaining, then it's likely they have one "bitchy" unhappy employee, but when certain restaurants get several complaints, and those complaints are corroborated within the industry, then there must be something to it.

As a former employer, I know I personally worked hard to create a fair and efficient work environment with common courtesy. Honestly, there were many times I felt frustrated because I felt all my efforts weren't appreciated by my staff.

Now I realize the appreciation comes in the form of knowing with confidence that no one who has ever been employed by me will ever have anything to bitch about, anonymously or otherwise, in print, on the internet, or elsewhere. I admit I get some smug satisfaction knowing that certain notorious restaurateurs in NY are finally getting some comeuppance.

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Abbe will you share their trash talk? What did you think when you saw it?

hi, handmc

will i share their trash talk ? heeheee believe me i share it every day :raz:

no seriously though

a lot of the complaints on shamelessrestaurants are pretty well known and widely pervasive as far as i know. if what you are asking me for is elaboration or more detail-- WELL i just happen to have this little book thingie out now called "PX This" it was also mentioned in the very same NY-Post article and in it i think you will find more than enough "trash talk" to make your head spin

kind of like this---> :wacko:

but to answer the rest of your question: what did i think when i first saw it ?

well my very first thought was "hahahaa oh WOW some people are gonna be PISSSSED."

and then my very next thought was "oh that's brilliant i wish i had thought of it first."

overall i'd have to say i think it's great. there is always more than one side to every story and lots of "shameless" restaurateurs have reaped ample reward from their glossy polished publicist-spun image-enhanced versions.

i mean really what else did they expect ? did they really think it was okay to go around being horrible obnoxious malevolent creepfaces and they would never ever suffer the consequences ?

and what are the consequences anyways? some angry people are bitching on a website SO WHAT. will their businesses suffer will they lose their shirts will they stop opening restaurants I DOUBT IT. these places are still very well protected by complex laws and powerful PR and strong connections.

hahahahhaa in the end it's all quite silly. it's the Empire vs the Federation it's the Matrix vs Zion it's marie-antoinette vs the peasants. who will control The Force ??? STAY TUNED

whew

that'll teach ya to ask me what i think

:smile:

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I think it's a good website. I want to know if a restaurant where I might spend a lot of money is screwing its employees. To give you a similar example - we went to a high end hotel on the west coast of Florida for a weekend. Right after Hurricane Ivan had departed. Business was horrible (hotel had 30% occupancy and most of those people were insurance adjusters and FEMA people doing Hurricane Charley work in the Port Charlotte area). Several employees told us that the hotel was having them come in in the morning - and then having them leave at 10 am or 11 am if there wasn't anything for them to do. Paying them by the hour (so what they were paid barely paid for their gas). I was still paying over $200/night for a room in lowest season. So I was not amused.

At the other extreme - the Breakers in Palm Beach continued to pay all its employees during the weeks it had to close after Hurricane Jeanne. How do I know this? I'm on the hotel email list. I sent back email to management - "Thank you for taking care of the people who take care of us." So guess which hotel I'll continue to patronize? And I won't mind paying a few bucks more - because it's expensive to close a hotel down - even for a few weeks.

Anyway - that's my point of view as a customer (and I especially hate businesses that go under and steal employees' money by not paying FICA/income taxes that have been withheld to the government). Robyn

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  • 3 weeks later...

This website has been around for a few months, as far as I know, and certainly fills a need for disgruntled restaurant workers. As you browse through the posts though, you realize most people complaining about the "horrible" working conditions are FOH, servers, hosts or managers. I still have to read a realistic story coming from a kitchen employee or a Chef. The FOH in any given restaurant, whether in NY or anywhere else, is often treated as leeches or vermins living off the hard work of the kitchen, making way more money while the customers praise is often on the food rather than the service. While you will find mostly professionals in the kitchen, even dishwashers, most waiters and managers are working to make a quick buck and go back to whatever their primary interest is.

I believe a lot of restaurant owners come from kitchens, have been trained since they were really young and are used to being treated like worms (e.g. Burke, Hanson, Page and a lot of guys mentioned as the worst). They yell because they were yelled at by abusive managers and chefs. In a way, it's an accepted lifestyle...

Servers are quick to complain about not making $200 a day (this is an actual post) on their first week at work and being fed pasta for family meal. They have no clue the pastry chef is making $350 a week and does not have time to eat: they don't care and they don't talk about it. Meanwhile, that pastry chef, if smart and talented, will eventually make a good living out of the profession while the disgruntled waiter will go back to art school without ever having had a clue about the food business.

I am not a restaurant owner and I do respect and understand the stress of the FOH but PLEASE stop whining.

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Yes, there is a lot of hot air, but for certain restaurants and groups, there is enough convergence to provide real information. I know that I've now crossed off a few restaurants, but not many. There are also interesting questions raised re JGV's restaurants, although not enough info yet to reach any real conclusions.

What I find most interesting, and am convinced is true, is that many restaurants are abusing the tip pool, by using it as a way to partially compensate their managers. The waitstaff is essentially paying the salaries of people that should be fully compensated by the owners. This is illegal, and could become the subject of a grand jury investigation, if it were viewed as being of high enough priority. With the importance of the restaurant industry in this city, it probably should be.

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Numerous complaints from the FOH about staff meal quickly discredits many of the posts. "We ate pasta and butter in the locker room, while the kitchen ate filet at a table."

Give me a break! First, why would two seperate staff meals be prepared? Who has time for that? Second, who in the kitchen sits down? Hell, the kitchen rarely eats staff meal.

I think Franky2Times has got it about right; most of the complaining comes from FOH who are miserable working at a restaurant instead of being on stage or working on their novel. For most of the BOH, working in a restaurant is their novel, so worth the "suffering".

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If anyone had the time to research all of these complaints, it's likely that some of them would turn out to be valid. The trouble is, the majority seem to be just sour grapes, and there's no way to find the useful content amongst all the garbage. Overall, the site comes off as a bunch of disillusioned people griping because life done them wrong.

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