Restaurant 101: Biting the Hand That Feeds You…

A comment on the Angry Chef Ron Eyester’s “Six Ways Customers Tick Off Chefs”.

Since the thing was posted on CNN.com’s Eatocracy, Monday 10/11, the Angry Chef’s words have caused a firestorm of commentary in my dining room as well as on the web.

The most disturbing part of the post is not, however, the chef’s rant; it is the melee in the comments section below it.

It is fairly obvious that the article is done with humor, part of the growing oeuvre begun by the Phoenix NewTimes regular Reasons Why your *Blank* hates you (insert: yoga instructor, housekeeper, cocktail waitress etc.). The chef is not serious, he wouldn’t throw a plate at your head for singing Happy Birthday is his dining room; he is venting. And hoping that, through humor, his comments will educate potential restaurant-goers about what it takes to run a restaurant.

In the comments section, however, a scary group-think has appeared. Posters who insist that people who work in the “SERVICE industry” are there merely to “SERVE ME!” Some gems:

“For you folks that CHOOSE to work in the service industry, your job IS to serve. If you don’t want to be treated like a servant, find a different line of work.”


“…Service industry personnel always have a story of how they got stuck doing “fill in the blank” these stories are as original as your local pole dancer “working her way through school”. People make bad decisions in their youth and pay for it as unhappy adults….a chef who serves sandwiches…has to be a University of Phoenix grad…another $10,000 and they will call you DR. CHEF.”


“…Take a good look at your $40K education and then take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Repeat to yourself. “I am a cook”. That’s what you are…They are the customers, you are the cook. They pay you to cook. If you don’t like that job, get another one.”


“Oh, pleeeze. You’re chefs and you work in restaurants…for the pleasure and whims of the customers.”

Umm… Ouch.

All of these comments miss the mark completely. True Hospitality has no resemblance to the “servant-master” relationship, whatsoever. Sadly, people that buy into the set of beliefs listed above are missing out on some really incredible experiences.

It’s hard to see sometimes, but most people who choose to work in hospitality do it because they are passionate about food… and because they like people.

Dr. Chef has an interesting ring to it, though… I wonder if the CIA has thought about adding a PHD program…?

 

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