Saturday, October 4, 2014

Don't Be A Rude Customer

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, a chef recently got a lot of press for walking out of his restaurant.  You can read more here:

Short story, he posted a sign in his restaurant that read:

"So ... Yes we use MSG.
  So ... We don't believe in organic food.
  And ... don't give a shit about gluten free"

What blew me away was quote in this article:

"The second guy came up to me and said, 'The rule is, if we don't like it we don't have to pay.' And as he walked out he started cursing at me and that's when I went poof,"
I don't know about other people, but this is mind blowing to me.  If you're not happy with a dish, I think it's fair to inform the staff and let them know, but to just refuse to pay is just being a dick about things.

I recalled this talk from David Kinch.  David Kinch is the head chef at a restaurant called Manresa.  It's a two star Michelin restaurant and ranked amongst the top 100 restaurants in the world.  At the 19 minute mark Kinch talks about picky eaters at his restaurant.

Short story, is despite Kinch being amongst the top 100 chefs in the world, people come to his restaurant and demand dishes completely randomly different than what he believes is best for that day.  In the video, he speaks to the fact that he understands and respects those with allergies, as those can kill you.  However, he gets such random requests, vegan, vegans with nut allergies, no shellfish, no red meat (except squab), etc.

For me, I find this sort of mind boggling.  Going to one of the top 100 restaurants in the world, I want to experience what the chef considers to be his masterpieces.  I don't want to go there and begin demanding random food.  I can go to a la carte restaurants and do that.  In fact, I can cook whatever I want.  I specifically go to restaurants to get what professional chefs think is good and what they can do better than me.

And ultimately, that is my feeling with all of this.  There are so many restaurants in the bay area that serve all sorts of meals to meet all dietary restrictions.  Why would go to a restaurant and complain that they do not specifically serve the dish that you desire.

Update 10/10/14:

On the heels of writing this blog post, I heard of this insane story here.  A restaurant that actively states on Yelp and other websites that it doesn't do takeout got a 1/5 review from a customer for ... you can guess it, refusing to give them an order for take out.

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