*pictures taken from a great tasting menu at Sky Room under Chef Luke Johnson. Full set here
Now, blatant negligence is one thing; otherwise don’t be an ass. There’s nothing wrong with offering feedback on likes and dislikes, that’s a way to ensure quality or make things better. It’s even okay to be critical so long as it’s meant to be constructive, not insulting.
So here are a few things to keep in mind before giving your thoughts on that restaurant, meal, dish, or component that wasn’t quite to your tastes. At least, if you’re planning to offer them to me.
You’re not the only diner in the restaurant
-As much as I’m sure the chef would love to provide a custom tasting menu accommodating your 17 different dietary restrictions in the middle of rush on a holiday weekend, it’s not always feasible.
-The waitress at the neighborhood bistro let your water glass stay empty for an entire minute?! That shit would never happen at Per Se…but you’re not at Per Se, and you’re not going to die of thirst.
Nobody is trying to serve you bad food
So don’t act like it. You won’t like everything, and mistakes will happen, but I promise you the Chef isn’t scheming in the kitchen to figure out ways to piss you off.
There’s more to a menu price than ingredient costs
Oh you know the wholesale price, or saw it for less at the farmers market? You’re also paying for labor, skill, the setting, and the cost to keep the lights on. If you’re expecting to eat “at cost” than you’re going to have to cook it for yourself at home.
Your actions reflect on your entire party
So if you act like a douche and you’re sitting at my table, I end up looking like even more of a douche by association. That’s like the last thing I need.
Being an asshole isn’t funny
It’s not hard to be clever and cutting. No one is impressed with your witty simile comparing the food to something inedible, especially not the waiter. It takes a lot more skill to cleverly describe something you liked than be insulting.
Check your ego
-For all the talk of chefs with big egos, there are diners out there with bigger ones.
-I don’t care if you’ve eaten all over the world, or had better in LA, Copenhagen, or Spain for that matter. That doesn’t make it okay to belittle. If your palate is so refined, mention a few things you like. Every dish doesn’t have to be exquisite for it to be enjoyable, and your incessant nit-picking is killing everyone else’s good time.
Treat others like..
You know the rest of this one. If you’re disrespectful to the service team, you’re more than an asshole, you’re missing out on an opportunity to have a really enjoyable experience.
…and if you really don’t like it, don’t go back. There’s a natural cycle to these things, if it’s that bad then the place won’t last. You can save yourself the effort of trying to ruin reputations with your personal vendetta. End rant.