So You Want To Be A Waiter

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Warning the guest without dissing the chef, the kitchen, or the food

The other day, we had a soup de jour that had a very profound and prominent herb. To be fair, this herb was actually part of the name of the soup. To be additionally fair, it’s not one of my favorite herbs in and of itself, although I certainly appreciate the appropriate use of it. And finally, everyone knows what it tastes like, so it’s not like it’s an exotic ingredient or anything.

However, I thought it was way over the top, especially since it was the only obvious seasoning component other than salt and pepper.

So how does one communicate this without trashing the restaurant’s product? Here’s how I did it.

I gave the name of the soup and said, “The (X-herb) is very prominent in the soup. If you like (X-herb), you’re going to love it.  However, if you’re ambivalent about (X-herb) or dislike it, you should try our other soup. And, just so you know, I’m a little sensitive to this herb, so take what I say with a grain of salt”.

You notice that I haven’t run down our own product or questioned the ability of our chef or our kitchen. As a matter of fact, it might have been a really great soup for most people. But I did my due diligence by tasting it, I formed an opinion, and I was able to communicate that opinion my guests in an appropriate fashion and also cover my ass if they didn’t like it.

Things I considered (and discarded) were:

“Man, this soup sucks! It’s like chewing on a pine tree”.

“Are you kidding me? I wouldn’t feed this swill to Saddam Hussein”.

:sound of random gagging noises:

“It would make a good disinfectant”.

“It’s the smell of clean”.

“I hate the waste of a perfectly good chicken”.

shark-soup

One response to “Warning the guest without dissing the chef, the kitchen, or the food

  1. PurpleGirl July 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    I’m a corporate drone, so I don’t how to worry about trashing the cooks–no specials, it’s all forumla, etc. I’m glad I can just flat-out say “The alfredo sauce here is really bland.” There are certain menu items that just suck, and invariably those are the ones people ask me about.

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