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May 30, 2006

Comments

johng

You asked so here's my 2 cents:

Issue #1 - allergies. We live in a amoral culture where increasingly people care about nothing but getting exactly what they want without any regard for what is right or for the rights of others. Lying and cheating are expected. Heck, if the president of the United States acts this way to satisfy his whims, why shouldn't everybody else?

Issue #2 - walking out without ordering. You're right. That should happen 2-3 times per week, not per night. I think that it usually comes from sticker-shock, which really should not be a factor in your case, or fear of the unknown, which also should not be a factor. But maybe it is. Maybe if you gave them the fried shrimp they want and maybe gave them a regular Caesar they wouldn't be so afraid.

Issue #3 - Dog tired. Ha! Wait for 4AM feedings after a night in the weeds, pal. You don't know what tired is yet.

Richie

I get this at my work too...every backwards diner in the world seems to cruise into my place too. My top three?

-people who order their kobe steak med rare and send it back for a well done re-fire

-people who are celiac, or wheat allergic, but order the chocolate cake for dessert

people who send back ahi tempura rolls because theyre undercooked

Kudzu

I'm perplexed about the problems you listed in this post. Are you sure the tacky characters aren't one group of actors showing up in different costumes? And what's with the allergies -- worse than usual?

Dang. It's hard to understand, but then given the news of the world this week, everything is.

Your menu is hardly frighteningly esoteric and your prices seem mighty fair. (My daughter took her kids to the DeYoung Museum on Saturday, ate a light lunch in the cafe there, and the total was $80 for two adults and three kids. THAT'S expensive.)

Don't let the pressure-filled weekend deplete your good energy from the trip to Tullum. I know: easy for me to say.

The good news is that you have a space in which to vent!

haddock

johng- I WANT people to get it their way. That's why I'm here. I just don't want them to lie. On issue #2 you're right and this is exactly the dance we go through with every menu. How far down the lowest common denominator do we wish to go. The truth about this business is that unless you're a waiter there isn't much money, so you better get something else out of it. Because there are a lot easier ways to make this little money. So, I try to balance the creative aspect with the tried n true, give 'em what they want aspect. On issue #3, I'm working on sleeping right on through and letting the person with the milk take care of the 4am feedings. A joke, a joke.

Richie- sorry they find your place too.

Kudzu- not to fear, the energy is still there. As for the allergy thing, yes, worse than usual. I, of course, being the perpetual interpreter of signs and omens am trying very hard not to read this as a portent of an hyper-allergic child on the way. After all the last time we were being asked by the universe to consider our stances on an issue, we found out the GM was pregnant (and the issue in question seemed to be how do we feel about children).

jsp

The reason we had more sit-down and get-back-up-agains was because I spent less time scrutinizing people and... ahem, GUIDING them elsewhere (or holding their hand and giving them knowlege before being seated). Our crew was doing more of the seating and they don't want to send people away for a few reasons. One, they want us to be busy and make money because they like and/or love us. And two, because they want to make money themselves.

Maybe we could do the fried calamari again. Is that stooping too low for you? They were very popular and delish.

Our prices and choices are fine. It is the location that puts us in an awkward state. A lot of summer tourists are looking for Applebee's. They want cheap, low quality fried food. They are afraid to try something new and closed minded. They order what the tv commercials tell them is good. Good riddance I say. Leave the tables open for the foodies and tippers and regulars.

The Universe already gave us a dog with allergies instead of a child with allergies five years ago. That is not the issue. Learn to deal with people who lie to get their way. If you know they are that puts you in the lead. Let them THINK they are getting away with something. You just know they are liars. Knowlege is power.

Hey how 'bout when they want the chocolate cake, after saying they are allergic to wheat, refuse to serve them chocolate cake! "oh I am sorry maam. You can not have chocolate cake. Your allergy, remember?" Liars don't get dessert. While everybody else at the table licks their dessert plate (yum yum) miss fancy pants with an "allergy" gets to sit and watch. Maybe they'll learn not to lie.

And finally - I'll make the milk and feed at 4 a.m. if you make the money.

Kudzu

Brava, Ms. GM

KT

As for the allergy thing, I think there's three possibilities:

1. They really are allergic (I know someone who is allergic to strawberries - random! - and almost died because a restaurant she ate at put strawberries in their water pitchers and didn't bother to mention it).

2. They really really dislike an ingredient and after 1000 times of telling servers they don't want it, and 980 times of getting it anyway, have decided to resort to saying they are allergic. I admit I have done this a few times with tomatoes at restaurants that are repeat offenders. I can't help the fact that I really dislike an ingredient that is on almost everything. And I still only ask for it left off if it would be easy to do. And I try to order dishes that don't have it in the first place.

3. With the heightened sensitivity to nut allergies, etc., people say that in order to make sure they don't get it.

As for why someone would walk into a restaurant and be seated without bothering to look at the readily available menu, especially when they know exactly what they want, well, that one escapes me. I have absolutely no explanation for that one except utter vapidity.

Patrick

I'm with johng on the allergies. There's a certain class of people who get very weird, rude, and dramatic when they eat out. For whatever reason, they think that because they're not eating at home and paying for food to be made and served to them, they think they can get away with anything they want, which includes making up hokey food allergies. If you've ever been on a plane with someone who compulsively has to buzz a flight attendant every 5 minutes, you've spotted one. Disgusting waste of oxygen, they are. /End Rant

Joy

Oh dear Lord. Sounds like you guys need a visit from me and the Mr. right quick. My 2 cents? People are babies. They become bigger babies in restaurants. And you have the added issue of being in a tourist destination, which always brings out the best AND worst in people.

As for the allergies? What the hell? Folks should try "I don't eat _____." No further explanation needed. Making up an illness is their way of trying to save face so they don't look limited. But *almost* EVERYONE is limited (myself majorly included in that one). That's what makes us individuals.

Sorry you have to deal with all this.

xoxo

shuna fish lydon

Oy Vey.

Try to breathe. Maybe that town doesn't deserve you!

I agree that people have sticker shock a lot of the time. But it can be weird-- like they'll pay $8 for a martini but not $20 for an entree or $8 for a composed dessert. It's about perception and preconceived ideas. Like the idea that "ethnic" food should be cheap but French food can and should be hundreds of dollars.

Also it's rare that the chef is so in tune with the FOH. Kudos to you for being so.

Perhaps you could train your waiters to tell the icky customers that your restaurant is allergic to them!

{Remember the line, "when I drink alcohol I break out in a nasty rash called jail."}

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