The Chef Really Does Hate You

Beastie Feastie mask via

And your waiter, the busboy, and probably even the guy who parked your car.
They read Yelp. They know what you’re saying about them. And they’re sick of getting dumped on by customers.

Turning the tables on you.
Servers have been having their say for years on blogs like Bitter Waitress and Waiter Rant; the bashing of bad tippers is an industry unto itself. But recently, the chefs have been speaking up.

The oven mitts are off.
According to Ron Eyester chef/owner of Atlanta’s Rosebud Restaurant, who tweets this subject @theangrychef, this is why the chef hates you:

Your birthday is not a national holiday.
Old Navy doesn’t throw in a free pair of socks if you shop on your birthday. Nobody’s going to serenade you as they ring up your prescription at Walgreens. Why do you expect freebies and hoopla when you walk into a restaurant?

There is a good reason why that table is there.
Do you want people coming over to your house and rearranging the furniture? Neither does a restaurant, and its furniture placement is much more deliberate and studied. There are health and safety codes, considerations for sound, comfort, service, refuse, and storage areas, and clear paths for the waitstaff to circulate. A high chair in the aisle, tables pushed together, pulling up extra chairs; it can be an inconvenience or a downright hazard. Ask first.

The menu is not a shopping list.
It’s not a launching-off point for customization. A dish is composed not just for its taste, but also with considerations for the cost of ingredients and kitchen work flow. Food allergies are taken seriously, special diets are reasonably accommodated, but there are limits, often intrinsic to the integrity of the dish and the menu. When there are serious dietary limitations, the burden is on the diner to choose the restaurant accordingly. Otherwise, trust the chef. And for the love of god, taste before you salt!

Your phone etiquette is better when you call Comcast to complain that the cable’s gone out.
The staff just might be a little busy at lunchtime. And dinnertime. They don’t really want to hear how hungry you’ll be at 8:30, give you a verbal tour of the menu, or hold on while you confer with the gang.

And about that reservation…
You do know that the time was assigned to accommodate the next group of diners as well. You hit traffic? Quel surprise! Drive much? Do you think Delta will hold the flight if you’re late to the airport? I hear there’s traffic there too.

Customers who name drop, show up too early, stay too late, or camp out at the table over a couple of iced teas; the list goes on. Read the complaint forum on ChefTalk for more pet peeves.

Look who else hates you:

Five Reasons Your Sushi Chef Hates You

Five Reasons Your Waitress Hates You

Why Your Busboy Hates You

Why Your Starbucks Barista Hates You

Why Your Cocktail Waitress Hates You

Why Your Pizza Delivery Guy Hates You

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16 Responses to The Chef Really Does Hate You

  1. So true- no one likes entitlement- in the restaurant or elsewhere. Be nice- to everyone- it works so much better than being an entitled annoyance.

  2. Janice says:

    I never saw it, but will add it to the Netflix queue. I love food on film.

  3. Did you ever see “Last Holiday” with Queen Latifah and Gerard Depardieu in it? She’s a woman who LOVES food and ends up at the resort where this world famous (Depardieu) chef cooks. She orders everything on the menu….as is. He’s so shocked, happy and impressed that he comes out to meet her. There’s a whole scene regarding how he feels about people who mess with the dishes. It was priceless.

  4. Sara says:

    Yelp has never been relevant for any gourmet. If it did, I think it lost it’s relevancy when they discover businesses paying for good reviews.

  5. Janice says:

    i agree, that most of these faux pas are unintentional. As restaurant customers, we do have the right to expect certain considerations (and accommodating allergies is definitely on of them), but as guests of the chef and owner, we also have the responsibility to give them certain considerations as well.

  6. G Martin says:

    Interesting post, and some of this is just good common sense, such as not calling to chat during dinner rush. However, I honestly don’t think most customers intend to offend anyone.

    You don’t take your buddy to Walgreens or Old Navy to celebrate his birthday–you take him to a restaurant because it’s a special occasion. and you to have a good experience. It may not be a national holiday, but your friend’s birthday is certainly a big deal to him.

    I agree, it’s up to the host or hostess to arrange the tables to accommodate a large party or to place the high chair. Perhaps the customers simply thought they were trying to help. And Mom knows best when it comes to baby. She wants that high chair placed where she can best take care of her child.

    I have food allergies myself. Of course, I’m going to try to avoid the foods I’m allergic to, such as cheese. But since when is a simple request, such as asking to omit the cheese on my burger, such a big flipping deal? I’m not demanding steak and lobster because I’m allergic to cheese.

  7. I agree with Belinda, respect is the key-by all parties… Great post!
    And pretty funny too 🙂

  8. Janice says:

    I think sites like Yelp give an additional sense of customer empowerment.

  9. Janice says:

    And in all the bashing, the chef is untouchable. And often arrogant and temperamental. Should we be surprised?

  10. Great to see places for them to vent in public, most times they just take it out on each other in typical BOH vs. FOH bashing!

  11. This is priceless!!! I absolutely love it, especially about rearranging the furniture in your house!! I actually had a customer walk in to my kitchen with her baby one time…..who knew why she was just walking around, I could see if I did that in her house!

  12. Really interesting, fascinating, good post! Thanks for reminding us that we’re all in it together and we need to be respectful.

  13. Yesim says:

    tx for sweet post:)) i should be more carful to resettle up the chairs 😀

  14. Janice says:

    I think chefs are used to everyone kowtowing to them, because of the kitchen hierarchy. And it runs up against customers believing the old adage about always being right.

  15. elisabeth says:

    That is so hilarious…and so true. I’ve been in the shoes of the other receiving end, as the Chef, for a lot of years… in a lot of places, but not every customer hates the Chef. As a matter of fact, if they want something special, or some “freebie” then they “schmooze” up to you. I’ve had people sneaking tips to me from “so-and-so” just to ensure them for their perfect meal, and special attention.

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