What do I mean by that? Well, RCs, let me break it down. My restaurant has a pretty lenient policy as far as tasting before you order. We’ll let you sample the soup, any of our salad dressings, any of our sauces. That includes our bbq sauce, the sauce we serve with our salmon, the sauce we serve with shrimp. You can sample any of our draft beers, and any of the wines we sell by the glass.
However. The salad guy is not going to whip up one of our signature side salads, which feature a good 7 to 10 ingredients each, just so you can have a couple of bites to see how you feel about it. The grill guy will not cook up one or two bones of ribs just so you can decide for yourself whether or not they are as tender as I claim they are. And the bartender is not going to whip up a mai tai for you to sample to determine whether she can make them as good as the guy at your neighborhood bar does.
There are a couple of reasons why restaurants do not have a “taste everything before you order” policy for RCs, and here they are.
Reason One: Refer to the title. There are taste festivals several times a year in most big cities, so check those out if you want to experience an abundant variety of taste sensations for free.
Reason Two: We let you taste the things I mentioned above, the sauces and whatnot, because it is convenient to do so. Our prep guys make up the sauces for the whole day each morning, we have a big, huge pot of soup at all times, taking a smidgeon of beer from the tap is no problem, and the bartender can pour a bit of wine and re-cork the bottle. However. Our ribs are cut in half racks and full racks. We cannot cut a couple bones off for you, because it compromises an entire piece! The bartender cannot make up an entire cocktail for you to try a shot’s worth, because liquor and mixes are rather expensive to waste like that. And we’re not going to open a bottle of beer because you’ve never had that kind and have been dying to try it. Sorry.
This next set of scintillating expository is directed at the Diva RCs, and you know who you are (men can certainly be divas too, by the way). If you ask me how the wings are, and I say they’re very good, and you ask are they spicy, and I say yes, the sauce is spicy, and you ask are they really spicy, and I say yes, they are quite spicy, and you ask are they super spicy, and I say that it’s a matter of taste, I wouldn’t call them super spicy but perhaps someone else would, and you inform me that you will go ahead and try them, but if they’re super spicy then you’re sending them back- well my response to you is that it is quite possible that you will find them super spicy, and therefore, rather than take the risk, I suggest you order one of the many, many other items that are on the menu. If you insist on ordering them, then those are your wings. I’m going to inform my manager of the conversation we just had verbatim, so that when you try to concoct some other reason to send them back (and you will) then he knows what time it is.
Case in point. We have a dish that features a portion of thinly sliced steak. As a result of the thinly sliced nature, the steak is slow-roasted to medium, and that’s it. If it’s cooked any further, its going to be tough. So when people order this dish, we explain to them that it comes medium. If they want it well done, we explain that we don’t recommend this because of the toughness issue. If they insist, then we tell them that the grill guy will cook it up for them, but they cannot send it back regardless of how inedible it has become. I had a chick insist upon the cook up. So I went through the spiel, and she was like, “yeah, yeah, I understand! That’s how I want it.” So that’s how she got it, and of course it was too tough, and she said this is too tough, and her dinner companion informed her that I had told her just that, and she said “I know, but I don’t want it, because it’s too tough!” I mean, I’m sorry, but at that point it has become your personal problem.
Here are the lessons we’ve learned today. A restaurant is not a smorgasbord for you to sample and taste to your hearts content. And, your server knows what s/he is talking about! I have had pretty much every dish my restaurant has to offer, and if I haven’t, I’ll be honest about that to you. If I tell you its spicy, its spicy! If I tell you that the thinly sliced steak is too tough when cooked up well done, it is indeed too tough at well done. I know my restaurant. You know the law, or how to teach seven-year-olds, how to deliver mail, or whatever it is that you do for a living, right? Well, I’ve got this. It’s what I do! I’m just saying.
You can grab my ebook at http://www.amazon.com/How-Better-Restaurant-Customer-ebook/dp/B0043RSDY6/ref=sr_1_1?s=gateway&ie=UTF8&qid=1285080570&sr=8-1 on Amazon! Follow me @marta_daniels on Twitter.