Dining and Restaurants

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Why Do Waiters Ask You if You Want a Drink First?

Let's be honest, even as we ask this question, we know that we probably don't want to sit at in a restaurant reading a menu without anything to drink. It gives us something to do and in the case of alcohol, it helps us relax, leading to a more pleasant evening as long as we drink in moderation. But, you can bet, if you respond to the question "would you like anything to drink" with "just a water, please," your waiter is going to be a bit disappointed. Even an upsell from tap water to a club soda or Perrier is better for business than plain water.

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Angus Beef Burgers: Why Quality Cooking Matters

It seems that just about every restaurant that serves burgers, including carryout and delivery restaurants, have at least one Angus Beef Burger in place of honor on their burger menu. Angus beef is supposed to be the best beef. It is not only well-marbled and tasty, it is economical for the beef industry. Yet, when I order an Angus beef burger, I am usually disappointed. If Angus beef is so great, why is my burger dry and tasteless?

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Should Restaurants Respond to Personal Attacks in Online Reviews?

It's true: How a restaurant owner or manager responds to negative online reviews can make or break a business. Even if the problems brought up are not real, and even if the problems are identified and fixed, a misjudged, defensive, or insulting response can do long term damage, sometimes spreading far beyond a single review in an online review community. There is an art and a science to responding to one-star and two-star reviews productively.

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What Does 'Auction It Off' Mean In Restaurant Jargon?

"I just had to auction off table four!" This is a strange thing for a waiter in a restaurant to say, isn't it? Are they saying they put the table up for sale and opened it up for bidding? Or, are they saying the incited a bidding war on the actual food?

Neither of course. To "auction something off" in restaurant language means that for whatever reason, the server had to verbally interrupt the guest to ask who ordered what dish. This usually happens because someone other than the person who took the order is bringing out the food, and the seat numbers were recorded incorrectly. If this happens often in a restaurant, its a sign of poor organization.

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Waiter Tip: How To Make Sure Your Guest Knows What They Ordered Without Insulting Them

One of the primary problems that waiters, especially in fine dining restaurants, face, is customers ordering items without understanding what they are, and then sending them back, or even becoming angry that they weren't informed of what they are actually ordering.

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How Is Restaurant Management Different Than Other Business Management?

Recently, I heard a cook complaining about how today's restaurant diners think they know as much about food as the chef. The frustrated chef blamed this on Food TV. People watch the Food Network, he said, and they think they know how everything should be cooked. So, not only do they send food back but they try to tell you how to make it. "They don't know what they're talking about!" he said.

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What Does "All Day" Mean in Restaurant Slang?

Even if you've never worked in a restaurant kitchen, you may have heard waiters or expediters shouting "all day" on some cooking competition TV show.

For example, you might hear "I need four salmon all day!"

What does all day mean in restaurant slang?

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Why Do Chefs Discourage Others from Becoming Chefs?

Chefs say pastry chefs are a crazy lot. Seriously, ask around. They do. Yet, chefs today often display a sort of schizophrenic seeming attitude toward their jobs. They love it. They get great satisfaction. It is thankless grueling work and no, you should not become a chef.

Why is it that we seem to come across so many chefs who actively discourage people from entering into a culinary career? Young people ask on various internet forums, "Should I go to culinary school?" and you tend to see at least one grumpy character pop up and say, "I've been a chef for a thousand years. Don't become a chef. You don't know what you're getting into."

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I Want to Go to Culinary School But My Parents Don't Approve: What Can I Do?

Most parents want two basic things for their children. They want them to be happy. And they want them to be happy. When you want to go to culinary school and have a career in the culinary arts, and your parents don't support you, it may seem like their goals have shifted. But, what do your think their reasons are for not wanting you to go to culinary school? Perhaps they think that you will end up unhappy! Maybe they don't understand your passion for food.

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What are Safe Temperatures for Foods in Restaurants?

Restaurant professionals know that bacteria responsible for food-borne illness can multiply by the thousands in very short period of time.

They also know that you cannot tell always tell that this has happened by the smell or the appearance of the food. Fresh chicken that was purchased in the morning and improperly stored can cause illness in the evening.

So, there is a golden rule, when it come to the temperature in restaurant kitchens: Hot food hot and cold food cold.

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What is the Difference Between a Personal Chef and a Private Chef?

Most people assume that personal chef and private chef are two different ways of naming the same career. However they are actually quite different jobs. Since becoming either a private or a personal chef can be a rewarding choice of careers for a culinary school graduate, it is important to understand the difference.

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What is a "Walk-in" in a Restaurant Kitchen?

Walk-in is the shortened or slang term for the "walk in refrigerator" in commercial restaurant kitchens. This is not to be confused with the term walk-in as used in the front of the house.

These are simply refrigerated spaces that are so large you can walk into them. Like a large refrigerated walk-in closet, they have shelves on either side and are used for the extended storage of bulk food items such as large boxes of vegetable or fruit, or for the shorter-term storage of batch prepared foods.

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Should You Work in a Restaurant Before Attending Culinary School?

Many of those interested in becoming a chef, or pursuing some type of culinary career, become interested in food, and perhaps develop a passion for cooking, at home. Then, they decide to enroll in cooking school, and pursue their dream job: Becoming the head chef at a big-time restaurant!

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Is It True That Waiters Don't Make Minimum Wage?

Many people complain about the "broken" tip culture in American restaurants. They argue that waiters don't make minimum wage, and only make anywhere from say, $2.13 (the federal minimum for tipped employees, called the tip wage) to $3.50 (more or less). They depend almost solely on tips to make a living.

Therefore, although it would be disastrous for waiters in the short term, if EVERYONE stopped tipping, then most waiters would leave the industry (while perhaps suffering poverty) and the country would have to "fix" the tip problem and pay waiters minimum wage, at least, so we could all enjoy dining out again.

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What is BOH and FOH in the Restaurant Business?

BOH and FOH are both common abbreviations used in restaurant jargon. BOH stands for "back of house" and FOH stands for "front of house."

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