Don’t Put It On The Menu If Your Staff Can’t Cook


Over the last few months I have started to return food in restaurants and cafes if it is not up to standard.

Having worked in the hospitality industry for many years this is not something I do lightly but I have decided that I am no longer paying for something that is not what it should be.   If I go out to eat, I expect to have my food prepared for me and for it to be as described on the menu.

There are no illusions when visiting chain restaurants and cafes that the food is frozen in bulk and heated on demand.  Nor is there an expectation of cordon bleu offerings in a small inexpensive café.  There is however an expectation that if an item is on the menu that the kitchen staff are capable of preparing it.

No more will I order scrambled eggs on toast as it seems that 90% of the time it is not as it should be.  From whisked eggs scraped off a griddle to balls of yellow rubber on some soggy bread, only twice out of over 15 attempts have I had what I would describe as edible scrambled eggs on toast.

This evening it was chicken alfredo, at least that’s what the waitress called it when she placed it in front of me.  The specials menu described it as linguine with chargrilled chicken in a creamy garlic and mushroom sauce.  The linguine wasn’t cooked through, the sauce was transparent and watery and the mushrooms so old they were chewy rather than succulent.

I tried valiantly to accept this offering as I had been taken out so I didn’t have to cook, and I had sent back scrambled eggs only two days ago.  However, it was just not edible.  I had to go to the waitress and ask her to return it to the kitchen and bring me fish and chips instead.  Well it’s not like much can go wrong with frozen stuff being deep fried is it?

No one expects a chef to be preparing food from scratch in a high volume high speed eatery, that’s why it doesn’t cost as much as a restaurant.  I don’t need a chef, I just need a cook who knows how to prepare simple food well at a cost that doesn’t break the bank, is that too much to ask?


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