Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Don't send your food back!

Restaurant employee spitting in your plate of food--Is it only a myth?


Because my dad have worked in the restaurant business for all his life, I am privy to the "insider" view on this topic.

My dad always tell me a story of this co-worker that he once worked with. He tells us that this co-worker was just an all-around mean person with bad temper. Whenever customers send food back and ask for a replacement, this person would spit into the replacement for revenge.

But don't be scared, this sort of things rarely happens, as my dad said. Of all the people whom he encountered in the business, this was the only one; even he was shocked that such disgusting person exists. So chances are you are fine.

Why would this kind of act happen?

Aside from the fact that some people are just born bad, there are other reasons.

Restaurant business is hard work. Servers have to walk, or even run in some cases, all the time, especially in low-staffed restaurants. Staffs who work in the kitchen have to withstand hot temperature and lot of running and rushing as well. Most of the time their pay is quite low.

Spitting in customer's food usually happens in low-staffed restaurant with low pay. When workers are not satisfied with their working conditions (but they cannot switch work due to various reasons), they become grouchy with bad mood. Then if the customers cause more trouble for them (ie. asking for a replacement), there's no way to tell what they would do.

But like I said, it rarely happens, as most of us have a fairly decent character.

How can you avoid it?

I think this has to do with karma more than anything else. If you are an arrogant, demanding, rude, think-you-deserve-the-best-because-you-are-spending-money type of customer, start changing your view today.

Think of it this way, when you eat at a restaurant, you are basically asking someone else to do the work for you (prepare, cook, serve, clean). Restaurant workers work together to provide you with a pleasant dining experience, they provide their expertise for you to enjoy your meal, you should be filled with gratitude. They have the right to refuse customers; they don't have to serve everyone who comes into the place. They don't owe you because you pay for your meal at the end. Other customers pay for the worker's labor too; it's not like you are any special.

My advice:
  • Just be nice to the waiter/waitress.
  • When you eat out, don't ask for a replacement unless there's something really wrong about it.
  • When you do need a replacement, be polite.
  • Try not to ask for a replacement when the restaurant is busy. Be considerate.

Don't worry, if you don't cause trouble for others, they won't cause trouble to you.

The Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

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