Explaining the Unexplained

 All of us eat out at restaurants for one reason or another.

  • Maybe we are tired after a long day and don’t want to slave over a hot stove.
  • Maybe we have to entertain a client.
  • Maybe we are celebrating a ‘special’ occasion.
  • Maybe it is a family night out.
  • Maybe the team is meeting up after practice.

No matter what the reason, when we go to a restaurant, weird stuff happens and sometimes we can’t understand why it does.  Well worry no more.  I have identified a number of things that probably drive you crazy and will do you the service of explaining why they happen.

The restaurant business is a great business, second to none in my books. I managed restaurants for years and owned a couple as well.  I enjoyed being an owner/operator and delivering my special brand of product and service.

As an owner, every day you have the opportunity to improve on what you did the day before.  You can open your doors on a new day of business and:

  • You can deliver better service.
  • You can serve a better product.
  • You can be a little more efficient in the kitchen.
  • Your physical plant can be a little cleaner.
  • You can be more attentive to your employees.

That’s the restaurant business.  You can be better today than you were yesterday – if you want to be.  Unfortunately, most owners fail to capitalize on that fact and just live the same day over and over and customers, like us, have to put up with their ongoing ineptitude.

What I identify in this blog are some of the things that drive me (and you) nuts and are all correctable.  In each case, the ‘Explanation’ is so simple that you’ll be left wondering why the owner hasn’t changed things already.

I suggest that everybody who has ever been a customer at a restaurant read this and also give it to every restaurant owner they know.  Maybe those owners will change their ways.  If they do, all of us will benefit.

Strangely enough we have been putting up with this stuff for years.  That is also very weird.  When we enter a restaurant, we lose our backbone and tolerate stuff we never would tolerate in any other business.

For example, if we were left alone in a change room in a clothing store with nothing to try on or if we were given a shirt with only one arm attached to it, would we suffer in silence?  Heck no.  But in a restaurant when they neglect us or give us something different from what we ordered, we do.  Why?  Weird, isn’t it.

For the most part, it is because we think that the restaurant business is different, that it is difficult.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.

The restaurant business is actually a simple business.  The problem is that restaurant owners and restaurant managers make the business more complicated than they should.  They ignore the simple things and concentrate on the complicated stuff or what they think is the complicated stuff.  They don’t fix the easy stuff and it is the easy stuff that we all notice and it drives us nuts.

What sort of stuff?

Try these on for size.

READ FROM MYSTERY #1
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Mystery #16: You get your cold beer in a warm soapy glass

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Mystery #15: The lemon wheel with your cranberry juice is useless

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Mystery #14: The great special just sold out. 

Mystery:  The great special just sold out. Why is it whenever you want to order the shrimp special that you have been craving and you see it on the blackboard,
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Mystery #13:  The manager is unavailable right now. 

Why is it when you are having an issue and need the manager to help sort things out, he is nowhere to be found.  You catch the attention of your
11/20

Mystery #12: 5 minutes is never 5 minutes

Why do they lie to us? You ask the host how long for a table and they lie to you. “Oh about 5 minutes.” You ask when your meal is
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Mystery #11:  No one ever checks the bathroom. 

Mystery:  No one ever checks the bathroom. Why can’t the management find the bathroom a mess instead of you?  What do you find? Water on the floor – where does
11/14

Mystery #10:  The server can’t recommend anything

Mystery:  The server can’t recommend anything. Why is it when you go to a restaurant you haven’t been to before and ask the server: “What do you recommend?”  You get
11/11

Mystery #9:  Stuff is in the sugar bowls and it isn’t sugar. 

Mystery:  Stuff is in the sugar bowls and it isn’t sugar. When you sit down at your table, grab the sugar bowl and take all the sugar packs and sweetener
11/10

Mystery #8:  The customer has to cheer up the server

Mystery:  The customer has to cheer up the server. Why do you have to be served by someone who is having a bad day?  How many times have you gone
11/9

Mystery #7:  The ketchup bottles have hard stuff around the top

Mystery:  The ketchup bottles have hard stuff around the top. Why should you find ketchup bottles on the table in the first place?  Maybe you don’t like ketchup – I
10/28

Mystery #6:  The food is cold but the garnish is hot

Mystery:  The food is cold but the garnish is hot. How is this possible?  Your burger is barely warm and your fries are limp and what was once a crisp
10/25

Mystery #5: Teapots spill more than they pour

Mystery:  Teapots spill more than they pour. Why can you never get a decent pot of tea at a restaurant?  And then when you get the teapot, the water (and
10/15

Mystery #4: The music in the kitchen is different from the music in the restaurant

toronto-existing-restaurant-services
Mystery #4:  The music in the kitchen is different from the music in the restaurant. Why is the music originating from the back of the house not congruent with the
10/7

Mystery #3 : Everybody is a guy.

Mystery #3:  Everybody is a guy. Why is that? You could be over 50 but still everyone calls you a guy when you are a patron in a restaurant. It
10/3

Mystery #2: The Hostess Has No Common Sense

Mystery #2:  The hostess has no common sense. Why is it that when you and your date are show up at the door, you are greeted by someone with a
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Mystery #1: You walk into a restaurant and find yourself with a job

Mystery #1: You walk into a restaurant and find yourself with a job When you enter some restaurants, you sometimes have to act as the host or hostess.  Maybe you