Chronicle: The flying menu – Voice with three forks


I have the greatest respect for the restaurateurs and the employees.

Having worked in a Mexican restaurant for a few years in college, I got to see a couple pouring their hearts and souls into the business with countless hours of hard work. At that time, I learned that waiting tables were a stressful position.

At the same time, I still had a lot of fun and could eat world-class green chili daily, which was never bad. The restaurant I worked in was like a family, and that’s something I see locally, and I love it.

In last week’s edition, I had a column about visiting my hometown, but I didn’t mention any real negatives for the trip. I’ve seen behavior in a restaurant that wasn’t justified, and sadly that’s something that’s happening a lot more than it should in 2022.

I’d stayed up Friday night a little too late with my friends, and when Saturday rolled around, I wasn’t in the mood to get off the couch, let alone put on an apron and grill some steaks. Instead it was decided that I would have Chinese takeout. I was definitely not dressed to impress for the trip for some of the best Chinese food I have eaten.

It was only about 4:30 p.m. when I made the short trip to get the food. As I was leaving on Sunday morning, I filled up before going to get the food, which put me in a bad mood. Seriously, it’s time for gas prices to come down.

With my much lighter wallet, I walked in to get some food and was glad there was no one I knew. Usually I meet someone I knew at a stop in town, but there was a restaurant full of strangers.

While waiting for my food, I fiddled with my phone, probably looking for something stupid. Suddenly I heard someone getting angry and I looked around to see what was going on.

A customer was furious because her waiter told her she could have soup or rice, not both.

She was shouting loudly that the menu said you could have both. With each word that came out of her mouth, it grew more intense, and finally, she picked up her menu and tossed it to the waiter.

Another waiter told him they were training a new person and he had made a mistake, but the lady kept screaming. She took the menu back and started showing the other customers that it said she could have soup and rice. I had a lot to say when she showed me, but I stayed quiet and hoped my food would arrive soon before she tried to burn the place down.

Having served tables for a few years, I had seen this behavior before and it always upset me.

There’s never a reason to get upset about a simple mistake. All these years later, I’m starting to see people upset like that.

There are plenty of places that are understaffed and don’t just throw food in a microwave and serve it to you. It may take time. It’s like that. Employees and owners don’t need to be treated like this.

I’m tired of seeing him.

If people are going to explode over a minor thing, maybe they should stay home. Or better yet, open a restaurant and see how hard it is. I love going out to eat so I don’t miss people who get all pissed off.

I have also noticed that many people who may have waited a while to eat get angry and leave a review. They will give the review one star saying I have been going to this establishment for years and have always loved it, then discuss how they had to wait ten minutes longer than usual. If you like going to the place, don’t put it down online and risk hurting the business.

Be patient. Sometimes good food takes time, especially if it’s busy.

And stop throwing menus.

I hope this lady has rice or soup, but not both.


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