Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Respect and Responsibility (A Rant)

I just wrote a Yelp review. I don't usually do that because Yelp is such a free for all kind of review site. Any old dumb ass can write about your restaurant and scare away other guests or write great things about their friend's sucky restaurant. Anyway, I wrote a review because I was outraged by an experience Loretta and I had at a place downtown on 1st and Hope (not to mention any names). The service was beyond terrible and the food was...deep breath...I'm so mad...the food was disgusting. Complacent, inhospitable service in a tacky, over done setting all for about 50 dollars per person (that's with one beer)...Grrrr.

If I've learned anything in this industry I've learned respect. Respect for my guests, for my coworkers, my bosses, their bosses, the facility, the product, the equipment, my tools, the community, the environment, and myself. What I've seen, and still see far too often is complete disrespect for everything I've just mentioned and then some. I'm so tired of working in places where all I learn is what NOT to do rather than someone really showing me respect and responsibility. I'm lucky to have had a few people in my experience who have shed a little light on these things. I've seen so much bullshit from not paying living wages, overtime abuse, sexual harassment, sexism, physical intimidation, lying to customers, cheating customers, printing lies on your menu, grabbing food from the trash and placing it on a clean cutting board with the intention to serve it, filling bottles of top shelf booze with bottom shelf booze! Yes, there's more...drug use, cockroaches, rotting moldy food, no call/no shows, blood, puss, burns, spit, dirty cooks, and lots of jaded, cold hearted people who love to make your life hell..I'M SICK OF IT!!! It makes me sick. And half the time the customer doesn't even know all of this stuff is going on...that's the worst part. I want to be able to sleep at night knowing that I put out a clean and honest product at a fair price that just happens to be incredibly delicious. I see that as my responsibility as a chef. I am not trying to change the world or reinvent the industry, as cheesy as it sounds, I'm just out to do the right thing. I'm glad to have a partner who feels the same way, who has seen the ugly, greedy faces of the industry and has chosen to take a different path. So what does that mean? What are we all about? We have an idea, an outline, a skeleton of a menu and business plan but where does that put us? I think that right now we are little specs of life on the right track to rapidly evolve into a creative, intelligent, progressive entity with the innate ability to always choose right over wrong and perhaps grow up to be revolutionary.

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