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7 Restaurant Myths Most People Believe

There are pages and pages of food and cooking myths here on Culinary Lore. Not surprisingly, the restaurant industry is the subject of its own die-hard myths. Some of these are perpetuated by Food TV and celebrity chefs, especially those looking to stand out in the publishing world. Others are promoted by restaurant employees. Here are beliefs about restaurant dining that I've covered on this site.

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Is It Legal For Restaurants to Not Accept Cash?

I've noticed a lot of restaurants popping up with a peculiar sign in their window: Cashless. Yes, these restaurants will not take cash!. They only accept credit cards. Yet, right on your money, it says "legal tender for all debts private and public." Are these cashless restaurants legal?

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Is It True that 90% of Restaurants Fail in Their First Year?

Most restaurants fail. You will hear this claim on restaurant makeover shows and read it in various articles concerning the restaurant business. How many are most? Well, an article on CNBC in March of 2016 which claimed that "most restaurants fail" seemed to settle at around sixty percent. Bibliography item cnbc not found. Most estimates are even higher, and the most common claim is 90%. That is nine out of ten restaurants, folks.

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Never Eat Complimentary Bread At Restaurants?

I have long seen dire warnings against ordering or eating certain restaurant foods. These warnings come in two main varieties. One, the food is gross and dirty in some way and, two: it is a rip-off and of low quality. One of the most often heard examples is complimentary bread. Chefs, restaurant employees, and others say we should never eat it.

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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 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.

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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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