Chefs have made a reputation for themselves for having a bit of a temper in the kitchen and for being easily agitated by fussy customers. But equally customers are renowned for being easily able annoy a chef.
As customers with dietary requirements grow ever more demanding the strain on chefs to create dishes to suit a wide range of clientle is becoming more apparent. In an industry that is already full of competitors, chefs have their work cut out to keep their customers happy. Even so, chefs are only human and with their work as their art, it’s not surprising they get a little tetchy from time to time. Here’s a peek at the top 5 ways customers can and will annoy chefs.
Changing the menu
Chefs spend a vast amount of their time thinking about how a menu is going to come together, what foods are in season and which elements will come fuse to create the perfect mouth watering taste sensation.
They come along those pesky paying customers and start making ridiculous demands to swap the carbs for more veg, or more annoyingly try and make their one own dish created from bits and bobs from other dishes. It is of course at the discretion of the chef but more often than not they will refuse as ingredients are limited to those particular dishes only so all egos are left perfectly in tact.
Faking an allergy
A customer can claim at the beginning of the meal that they are highly/incredibly/seriously/deadly allergic to a a particular ingredient, causing all staff to go that extra mile. Staff are then on high alert during service, only to be spot the person who’s allergic gorging on their neighbours left over gluten fueled tart once they’ve downed their 5th glass of wine and are draining the liquor coffee. Restaurant staff will have watched the whole sordid encounter and will report back to chef who will be clearing down and sharpening his or her knives as you tuck into the food that will potentially kill you .
Ordering everything well done
Ordering a £20 steak “well-done” is the food equivalent of buying a Ferrari and never driving it faster than 50mph. It sucks the flavour from the meat and ruins the experience. Your chef will likely just sigh and proceed to burn the food as requested. That doesn’t mean he won’t hate you for it.
Asking for seasoning before even trying your food
Chefs spend hours crafting recipes that perfectly balance salt, acid and fat. A little piece of them dies every time you drown one of their beautiful plates in salt, but especially so if you haven’t even tried it first.
Eating everything except a morsel on their plates and then asking for a refund
Sometimes customers will try and pull the wool over the chef’s eyes by stating that they did not find their meal to be of a good enough standard, and ask for a refund- even though they have eaten everything on the plate. The meal couldn’t have been that bad if the food that they disliked is inside their stomach.
So that concludes our top 5 ways that customers annoy a chef. Are you a chef? Can you think of anymore things that rile you up during service? Do let us know. The customer/chef relationship will always be a love hate one as the industry is fueled with emotion and high energy. But remember to keep your calm and stand away from the knives until you’ve thoroughly chilled!