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General Health, Wellness, & Spirituality Questions Hey.. are you new to the health & fitness lifestyle? Then this sub-forum is for you. Inside is a slew of pertinent tips and explanations to speed you on your way. Enjoy! The forum has been dedicated to the memory of a now deceased friend of the NarkSide: David "Mavsluva" Lowe. He was an inspiration for many of us here in the community. This forum serves to continue the work which David started: To unite the Spirit, Mind, and Body... in the pursuit of the improvement of self. R.I.P. David. We love you man. You'll always be with us.

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Old 04-14-2010
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Default Restaurant Secrets: 5 Things Your Server Won't Tell You

by Divya Gugnani Chef; financial consultant


I should preface this article by saying that overall, most restaurants abide by health regulations and do everything they can to provide their guests with the best experience possible. However, like every other industry, restaurants have a few dirty little secrets under their belts that they try to hide from customers. Of course, we've all heard stories about disgruntled waiters spitting in the food of the rude customers or cooks serving food that has been dropped on the floor -- but I've honestly never seen any of that. Annoyed servers aside, there are things that customers should know about the restaurant industry so that they can have the best dining experience and get freshest, cleanest food possible. Having worked my way through restaurant kitchens, catering companies and culinary school; I've seen it all when it comes to food preparation and service. So here is a firsthand look at what really goes on behind those swinging doors.


1. Avoid ordering seafood or raw fish on Mondays.





Most commercial fisherman don't go out on Sundays, so there are rarely fresh deliveries available on Monday mornings. Since the fish is usually four to five days old at this point, I try to avoid ordering fish (especially if it is raw or undercooked) on Mondays. Of course, there are exceptions, so look for things like Day Boat Scallops, which are caught and sold on the same day.




2. Think twice before ordering all that fruit in your drinks.





We've all seen those people who ask for lemon wedges and sugar packets to make their own lemonade in restaurants. The servers, albeit annoyed, are probably silently laughing at these people though, since they know that the bar fruit is rarely washed before being cut, has been touched by the bare hands of multiple employees and is often left out in an uncovered container for at least a few hours. Do yourself a favor and order a real drink next time.


3. Don't walk into a restaurant 10 minutes before they close.





Although the reluctant hostess told you the kitchen would be open for a few more minutes, this is a lose-lose situation for everyone. Not only will you hold up the cooks and wait staff (who have spent the last 8 hours on their feet and are anxious to get home), but you will most likely feel awkward sitting in the restaurant while the bus boys eye your table for empty plates.

Tip: It can take up to 2 hours to fully close down and clean a kitchen at the end of a night, so you can bet that as you're picking away at your Caesar salad; your entrée is already cooked and drying up under the heat lamps back in the kitchen while the cooks start the lengthy closing process.

Next time, either find a restaurant that serves late or simply ask for your food to go.



4. Yes, it's true what they say about the bar nuts.



As much as we all love to have snacks to munch on over our cocktails, don't fool yourself into thinking that those little bowls of crunchy snacks are doing you any good. Unfortunately, since these snacks are given free of charge and usually inhaled by tipsy bar-goers who don't want to order off the menu, most restaurants don't go out of their way to replace them often, and the remaining pawed-over nuts are usually dumped back into the container until they are poured back into the bowls the next day. And since the restaurant can't control who properly washes their hands after using the bathroom and who doesn't, these snack bowls are the culinary equivalent of a Petri dish.

Trick: Best play it safe and order a small appetizer to enjoy with your cocktail.

5. Restaurants remember you (for the good, the bad and the ugly).



Thanks OpenTable, maître d's, hostesses, servers and managers can now keep permanent notes about customers in their online reservation systems. Most of the time, employees use this tool to make your experience more enjoyable by doing things like remembering the table you like, noting anniversaries and birthdays or letting the staff know about any food allergies in advance. But these notes also act as warnings to the waiters and staff, who are aware of customer records, highlighting anything from someone being a stingy tipper to tending to drink too much and make a scene.

One friend of mine who works in an upscale French restaurant (that shall remain nameless) even said that there is a note in their computer instructing the staff not to address a certain gentleman's blonde date as "Mrs." since it is not his wife (who happens to be a brunette). So be aware that your server probably knows more about you than you think, and that their service may be a result of these handy little notes.


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Old 04-16-2014
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Old 06-15-2014
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It's really great for me that I am able to know and learn about these things. This is really helpful. And because it is I find it worthy to be shared and necessary also. Now, I know how I would be able to make the most of my experience eating in a restaurant.
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Old 06-22-2014
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I have heard all of these on multiple occasions so I think that there's proof behind them. I have also heard, but have no clue if it is just a tale or if there's any truth behind it that diners should be wary of croutons in their salads. Supposedly restaurants take the leftover bread from tables and use them to make the croutons.
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Old 10-28-2015
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Good tips. I was scared to open this at first. It definitely wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be!
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Old 11-12-2015
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I think it is important to check the restaurants as some may not have a good reputation and check the grades in New Zealand A is the best grade and B is a good grade and a restaurant which is worth your money and time any lower grades, are not a good choice as it can be a restaurant with lower health standards and that can be something which can cause some concern for some people. It is a good idea to book early if going in big groups or go in earlier so that you don't miss out on any specials they have from time to time and can get a deal sometimes which is good and can save you some money and I have seen some specials when I go to the restaurants near my home when I am in the mood to eat out. Sometimes you need to check when it comes to seafood as it could be from a few days ago or the fruits which may not be really be fresh and the presentation of the food can show you how much passion has gone into making the food, which you are going to eat and want to enjoy with friends or family and will make you think about returning again or not..

Last edited by vegito12; 11-12-2015 at 12:17 AM.
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