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Six ways customers tick off chefs

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Don Draper

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Written by a chef but definitely applies to innkeepers too. I thought the comments were very interesting, it's amazing to me the sense of entitlement that some customers feel, as if by choosing to patronize your establishment they own your whole business during their stay. Article here.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Not only is this guy right on, but it's amazing to read the comments left about the article. You're right DD, the public's sense of entitlement is amazing.
 

Country Girl

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Wow, that stirred a bees nest. I can see both sides of those arguments. Going out to dinner is so expensive so when service is bad or the food isn't right it's very irritating. On the other hand, nothing feels worse than being treated like a servant.
 

HighMountainLodge

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I dunno. I tend to side with the guests/customers here. They're paying a lot of money for an experience, and if it isn't what they expected, then it is natural for them to be disappointed. And depending on their personality and how well they were "brought up," they can be unpleasant. Same applies to the chefs, cooks, and servers.
The thing that struck me most about the article (and the subsequent comments) was the mutual incomprehension between the two sides (if "sides" is, indeed, what they are). Some of the comments were just stupid, made by people who would never go to a "fine dining" restaurant. But after blowing all that chaff away, it is clear that an astonishing number of people in the service industry consider the people they are serving to be adversaries, and it is equally clear that their guests share that opinion.
We've had some PITA-wannabes at the Lodge, and--except for one frighteningly memorable one--all of their demands have been about food. They check in and, in the course of a casual conversation, we discover that they didn't disclose on their reservation all their "dietary issues" when we tell them what we're planning for breakfast the next morning. "Oh, really?" Julie or I say brightly. "How inconvenient for you."
People that self-absorbed don't pick up on the irony, but shoot, at that point, I'll cook 'em anything they want. After all, I'll probably be cleaning the toilet after they check out, and their oh-so-very-graphic-and-oh-so-very-embarrassing public description of what happens to them if they eat the Wrong Things just spurs me to unanticipated heights of culinary creativity as well as an ever-deepening gratitude to the Clorox corporation.
But I Digress.
Even our most demanding guests aren't our adversaries. They are our guests. And we will go with the flow of their demands and idiosyncrasies. Shoot, we never managed to house train our sons after 2 decades; we're sort of reconciled not to be able to paper-train a couple over a long weekend at the Lodge.
Tom
 

Breakfast Diva

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I dunno. I tend to side with the guests/customers here. They're paying a lot of money for an experience, and if it isn't what they expected, then it is natural for them to be disappointed. And depending on their personality and how well they were "brought up," they can be unpleasant. Same applies to the chefs, cooks, and servers.
The thing that struck me most about the article (and the subsequent comments) was the mutual incomprehension between the two sides (if "sides" is, indeed, what they are). Some of the comments were just stupid, made by people who would never go to a "fine dining" restaurant. But after blowing all that chaff away, it is clear that an astonishing number of people in the service industry consider the people they are serving to be adversaries, and it is equally clear that their guests share that opinion.
We've had some PITA-wannabes at the Lodge, and--except for one frighteningly memorable one--all of their demands have been about food. They check in and, in the course of a casual conversation, we discover that they didn't disclose on their reservation all their "dietary issues" when we tell them what we're planning for breakfast the next morning. "Oh, really?" Julie or I say brightly. "How inconvenient for you."
People that self-absorbed don't pick up on the irony, but shoot, at that point, I'll cook 'em anything they want. After all, I'll probably be cleaning the toilet after they check out, and their oh-so-very-graphic-and-oh-so-very-embarrassing public description of what happens to them if they eat the Wrong Things just spurs me to unanticipated heights of culinary creativity as well as an ever-deepening gratitude to the Clorox corporation.
But I Digress.
Even our most demanding guests aren't our adversaries. They are our guests. And we will go with the flow of their demands and idiosyncrasies. Shoot, we never managed to house train our sons after 2 decades; we're sort of reconciled not to be able to paper-train a couple over a long weekend at the Lodge.
Tom.
All this chef is doing is complaining about PITAS, just like we do here, but he's doing it in a more public forum. Maybe not a wise decision on his part to be so public about it. And just like us, we can complain about things that our guests do to annoy us, but it doesn't mean that we treat them with any less respect or customer service as anyone else.
 

Don Draper

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It is a volume issue, the busier you are and the more people you see, the higher probability and number of PITAS. I have to say, I love that this chef is willing to put it all out there on a public forum, it shows a lot of confidence in his product.
I think it's interesting how many people point to the "lot of money" perspective as an excuse for poor behavior. People should not spend outside of their price limits, and in the process put impossible to reach standards on the people who are simply trying to provide a service to them. It's a meal, or a vacation, not a life changing event. Relax already.
Rudeness has become an epidemic in this country, people feel it will help them get their way the quickest. I take a lot of pleasure in proving them wrong when they try to do that here.
 

gillumhouse

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I dunno. I tend to side with the guests/customers here. They're paying a lot of money for an experience, and if it isn't what they expected, then it is natural for them to be disappointed. And depending on their personality and how well they were "brought up," they can be unpleasant. Same applies to the chefs, cooks, and servers.
The thing that struck me most about the article (and the subsequent comments) was the mutual incomprehension between the two sides (if "sides" is, indeed, what they are). Some of the comments were just stupid, made by people who would never go to a "fine dining" restaurant. But after blowing all that chaff away, it is clear that an astonishing number of people in the service industry consider the people they are serving to be adversaries, and it is equally clear that their guests share that opinion.
We've had some PITA-wannabes at the Lodge, and--except for one frighteningly memorable one--all of their demands have been about food. They check in and, in the course of a casual conversation, we discover that they didn't disclose on their reservation all their "dietary issues" when we tell them what we're planning for breakfast the next morning. "Oh, really?" Julie or I say brightly. "How inconvenient for you."
People that self-absorbed don't pick up on the irony, but shoot, at that point, I'll cook 'em anything they want. After all, I'll probably be cleaning the toilet after they check out, and their oh-so-very-graphic-and-oh-so-very-embarrassing public description of what happens to them if they eat the Wrong Things just spurs me to unanticipated heights of culinary creativity as well as an ever-deepening gratitude to the Clorox corporation.
But I Digress.
Even our most demanding guests aren't our adversaries. They are our guests. And we will go with the flow of their demands and idiosyncrasies. Shoot, we never managed to house train our sons after 2 decades; we're sort of reconciled not to be able to paper-train a couple over a long weekend at the Lodge.
Tom.
Shoot, we never managed to house train our sons after 2 decades; we're sort of reconciled not to be able to paper-train a couple over a long weekend at the Lodge.
Truer words were never spoken. As I always said about the situation with our 6 - neither of us read the other's script.
Parents have a "script" in their minds of wat the kids are going to be like, what they will do, and what they will become. The kids, however, each have their OWN "script" and usually they are not even close to matching. When discussing trips we took with them, their memories make us wonder where we were on that trip because we have NO recollection of what they are talking about and THEY do not remember the things WE thought were the high-lights and most memorable things.
Guests expect us to be Karnak but we lost our crystal ball.
 

HighMountainLodge

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It is a volume issue, the busier you are and the more people you see, the higher probability and number of PITAS. I have to say, I love that this chef is willing to put it all out there on a public forum, it shows a lot of confidence in his product.
I think it's interesting how many people point to the "lot of money" perspective as an excuse for poor behavior. People should not spend outside of their price limits, and in the process put impossible to reach standards on the people who are simply trying to provide a service to them. It's a meal, or a vacation, not a life changing event. Relax already.
Rudeness has become an epidemic in this country, people feel it will help them get their way the quickest. I take a lot of pleasure in proving them wrong when they try to do that here..
"Rudeness has become an epidemic in this country, people feel it will help them get their way the quickest. I take a lot of pleasure in proving them wrong when they try to do that here."
How's that working for you, DD? Are folks queuing up to stay at your place once you have learned them manners?
 

HighMountainLodge

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I dunno. I tend to side with the guests/customers here. They're paying a lot of money for an experience, and if it isn't what they expected, then it is natural for them to be disappointed. And depending on their personality and how well they were "brought up," they can be unpleasant. Same applies to the chefs, cooks, and servers.
The thing that struck me most about the article (and the subsequent comments) was the mutual incomprehension between the two sides (if "sides" is, indeed, what they are). Some of the comments were just stupid, made by people who would never go to a "fine dining" restaurant. But after blowing all that chaff away, it is clear that an astonishing number of people in the service industry consider the people they are serving to be adversaries, and it is equally clear that their guests share that opinion.
We've had some PITA-wannabes at the Lodge, and--except for one frighteningly memorable one--all of their demands have been about food. They check in and, in the course of a casual conversation, we discover that they didn't disclose on their reservation all their "dietary issues" when we tell them what we're planning for breakfast the next morning. "Oh, really?" Julie or I say brightly. "How inconvenient for you."
People that self-absorbed don't pick up on the irony, but shoot, at that point, I'll cook 'em anything they want. After all, I'll probably be cleaning the toilet after they check out, and their oh-so-very-graphic-and-oh-so-very-embarrassing public description of what happens to them if they eat the Wrong Things just spurs me to unanticipated heights of culinary creativity as well as an ever-deepening gratitude to the Clorox corporation.
But I Digress.
Even our most demanding guests aren't our adversaries. They are our guests. And we will go with the flow of their demands and idiosyncrasies. Shoot, we never managed to house train our sons after 2 decades; we're sort of reconciled not to be able to paper-train a couple over a long weekend at the Lodge.
Tom.
All this chef is doing is complaining about PITAS, just like we do here, but he's doing it in a more public forum. Maybe not a wise decision on his part to be so public about it. And just like us, we can complain about things that our guests do to annoy us, but it doesn't mean that we treat them with any less respect or customer service as anyone else.
.
Well, it's a little more than that, BD. This chef did it on a CNN blog, and the responses he got indicated that, well, he wasn't exactly feeling the love from his readers.
Perhaps the guy was just writing what everybody in the hospitality industry thinks, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case.
Make no mistake: yeah, we all complain about PITAs, and the things they do to annoy us, but this guy was complaining about things his patrons did that annoyed him, and he did it in a national venue THAT IDENTIFIED HIS PLACE OF BUSINESS.
How's this guy gonna repair his reputation? It's like TripAdvisor on steroids.
I still think the rage of his customers, and their comments, is most telling. Regardless of how good his food is, if his staff treats the patrons like dirt, then the place isn't going to fare well. And anybody who has ever worked in any customer service venue knows that the attitude communicated to the customers/guests/patrons is just a trickle down from the highest echelons.
And when *you* are the highest echelon, well, then, QED.
 

Don Draper

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It is a volume issue, the busier you are and the more people you see, the higher probability and number of PITAS. I have to say, I love that this chef is willing to put it all out there on a public forum, it shows a lot of confidence in his product.
I think it's interesting how many people point to the "lot of money" perspective as an excuse for poor behavior. People should not spend outside of their price limits, and in the process put impossible to reach standards on the people who are simply trying to provide a service to them. It's a meal, or a vacation, not a life changing event. Relax already.
Rudeness has become an epidemic in this country, people feel it will help them get their way the quickest. I take a lot of pleasure in proving them wrong when they try to do that here..
"Rudeness has become an epidemic in this country, people feel it will help them get their way the quickest. I take a lot of pleasure in proving them wrong when they try to do that here."
How's that working for you, DD? Are folks queuing up to stay at your place once you have learned them manners?
.
They sure are! As they are at this chef's restaurant. That's the whole point, when you're as busy as you want to be then you don't need to put up with the rudeness/lack of respect of idiots who think they can push and push to get their way. You're doing the same thing according to your post, but in a different manner "Isn't that inconvenient for you" sure sends a message!
It's a fine line, most folks don't get the distinction between pushing back and rolling over. Trying to please everyone will burn you out faster than anything else.
 

Don Draper

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I dunno. I tend to side with the guests/customers here. They're paying a lot of money for an experience, and if it isn't what they expected, then it is natural for them to be disappointed. And depending on their personality and how well they were "brought up," they can be unpleasant. Same applies to the chefs, cooks, and servers.
The thing that struck me most about the article (and the subsequent comments) was the mutual incomprehension between the two sides (if "sides" is, indeed, what they are). Some of the comments were just stupid, made by people who would never go to a "fine dining" restaurant. But after blowing all that chaff away, it is clear that an astonishing number of people in the service industry consider the people they are serving to be adversaries, and it is equally clear that their guests share that opinion.
We've had some PITA-wannabes at the Lodge, and--except for one frighteningly memorable one--all of their demands have been about food. They check in and, in the course of a casual conversation, we discover that they didn't disclose on their reservation all their "dietary issues" when we tell them what we're planning for breakfast the next morning. "Oh, really?" Julie or I say brightly. "How inconvenient for you."
People that self-absorbed don't pick up on the irony, but shoot, at that point, I'll cook 'em anything they want. After all, I'll probably be cleaning the toilet after they check out, and their oh-so-very-graphic-and-oh-so-very-embarrassing public description of what happens to them if they eat the Wrong Things just spurs me to unanticipated heights of culinary creativity as well as an ever-deepening gratitude to the Clorox corporation.
But I Digress.
Even our most demanding guests aren't our adversaries. They are our guests. And we will go with the flow of their demands and idiosyncrasies. Shoot, we never managed to house train our sons after 2 decades; we're sort of reconciled not to be able to paper-train a couple over a long weekend at the Lodge.
Tom.
All this chef is doing is complaining about PITAS, just like we do here, but he's doing it in a more public forum. Maybe not a wise decision on his part to be so public about it. And just like us, we can complain about things that our guests do to annoy us, but it doesn't mean that we treat them with any less respect or customer service as anyone else.
.
Well, it's a little more than that, BD. This chef did it on a CNN blog, and the responses he got indicated that, well, he wasn't exactly feeling the love from his readers.
Perhaps the guy was just writing what everybody in the hospitality industry thinks, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case.
Make no mistake: yeah, we all complain about PITAs, and the things they do to annoy us, but this guy was complaining about things his patrons did that annoyed him, and he did it in a national venue THAT IDENTIFIED HIS PLACE OF BUSINESS.
How's this guy gonna repair his reputation? It's like TripAdvisor on steroids.
I still think the rage of his customers, and their comments, is most telling. Regardless of how good his food is, if his staff treats the patrons like dirt, then the place isn't going to fare well. And anybody who has ever worked in any customer service venue knows that the attitude communicated to the customers/guests/patrons is just a trickle down from the highest echelons.
And when *you* are the highest echelon, well, then, QED.
.
HighMountainLodge said:
I still think the rage of his customers, and their comments, is most telling.
I believe these are the comments of anyone reading the CNN blog, not necessarily this chef's customers.
 

One Day

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It is a volume issue, the busier you are and the more people you see, the higher probability and number of PITAS. I have to say, I love that this chef is willing to put it all out there on a public forum, it shows a lot of confidence in his product.
I think it's interesting how many people point to the "lot of money" perspective as an excuse for poor behavior. People should not spend outside of their price limits, and in the process put impossible to reach standards on the people who are simply trying to provide a service to them. It's a meal, or a vacation, not a life changing event. Relax already.
Rudeness has become an epidemic in this country, people feel it will help them get their way the quickest. I take a lot of pleasure in proving them wrong when they try to do that here..
"Rudeness has become an epidemic in this country, people feel it will help them get their way the quickest. I take a lot of pleasure in proving them wrong when they try to do that here."
How's that working for you, DD? Are folks queuing up to stay at your place once you have learned them manners?
.
They sure are! As they are at this chef's restaurant. That's the whole point, when you're as busy as you want to be then you don't need to put up with the rudeness/lack of respect of idiots who think they can push and push to get their way. You're doing the same thing according to your post, but in a different manner "Isn't that inconvenient for you" sure sends a message!
It's a fine line, most folks don't get the distinction between pushing back and rolling over. Trying to please everyone will burn you out faster than anything else.
.
Don Draper said:
Trying to please everyone will burn you out faster than anything else.
A way of life I live by....
Though I do try to perform my duties to everyones satisfaction...I can't be all things to all people...If I were...i'd be a god.
Patience has also been lost with todays public....
 

Emily Spiers

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I dunno. I tend to side with the guests/customers here. They're paying a lot of money for an experience, and if it isn't what they expected, then it is natural for them to be disappointed. And depending on their personality and how well they were "brought up," they can be unpleasant. Same applies to the chefs, cooks, and servers.
The thing that struck me most about the article (and the subsequent comments) was the mutual incomprehension between the two sides (if "sides" is, indeed, what they are). Some of the comments were just stupid, made by people who would never go to a "fine dining" restaurant. But after blowing all that chaff away, it is clear that an astonishing number of people in the service industry consider the people they are serving to be adversaries, and it is equally clear that their guests share that opinion.
We've had some PITA-wannabes at the Lodge, and--except for one frighteningly memorable one--all of their demands have been about food. They check in and, in the course of a casual conversation, we discover that they didn't disclose on their reservation all their "dietary issues" when we tell them what we're planning for breakfast the next morning. "Oh, really?" Julie or I say brightly. "How inconvenient for you."
People that self-absorbed don't pick up on the irony, but shoot, at that point, I'll cook 'em anything they want. After all, I'll probably be cleaning the toilet after they check out, and their oh-so-very-graphic-and-oh-so-very-embarrassing public description of what happens to them if they eat the Wrong Things just spurs me to unanticipated heights of culinary creativity as well as an ever-deepening gratitude to the Clorox corporation.
But I Digress.
Even our most demanding guests aren't our adversaries. They are our guests. And we will go with the flow of their demands and idiosyncrasies. Shoot, we never managed to house train our sons after 2 decades; we're sort of reconciled not to be able to paper-train a couple over a long weekend at the Lodge.
Tom.
HighMountainLodge said:
People that self-absorbed don't pick up on the irony, but shoot, at that point, I'll cook 'em anything they want. After all, I'll probably be cleaning the toilet after they check out, and their oh-so-very-graphic-and-oh-so-very-embarrassing public description of what happens to them if they eat the Wrong Things just spurs me to unanticipated heights of culinary creativity as well as an ever-deepening gratitude to the Clorox corporation.
But I Digress.
Not sure why, but this just struck me as so funny. I laughed out loud and reread it just to laugh again. :)
 

Joey Camb

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The comments have grown dramatically! Having worked in restaurants there is nothing worce than people who just won't leave. We even turned all the lights out and stood there with our coats on once and they still wouldn't GO!
 
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