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Old 08-07-2009, 10:30 AM   #41
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I order steak sometimes because of the markups on the food. Menus these days are designed totally for the bottom line. Pastas with a few expensive ingredients sprinkled around (shrimp, etc.) other fancy concoctions, names and presetations are hideously marked up.
I have read that roughly, food costs account for 1/3 of a restaurant's revenue. Labor cost is another 1/3, and the remaining 1/3 goes for fixed costs.

It is however harder to mark up a steak, like you said. So, some other dishes like pasta have to be marked up more. So, that $15 plate of pasta would cost you $3 to $4 to prepare at home, and that is about right.

About steak, I usually order it medium and wouldn't care if it comes out one notch too rare or too done.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:39 AM   #42
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So why did you take it out on the server? The cook screwed up.
Just as often as it being the cook's fault, it is the server's. Have you ever seen their writing? I have. Sure, a lot of stuff is computerized, but it is just as bad. It is easy to push the wrong buttons.

Another thing that some folks know but many don't is that in some restaurants the tips are shared between the servers and the cooks. It was that way when I was a server many moons ago. I have a few friends who are or have been servers who are also in the same situation. Its not everywhere, but enough to say it is this way in many places.

So, when I tip well, I am tipping the people who took part in providing my food, not the server as an individual. When I tip poorly, it is done with the same philosophy.

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Old 08-07-2009, 11:21 AM   #43
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I wouldn’t say anything unless it was undercooked, from medium rare to medium would be okay with me as I do waver between those two choices. But I think it is better to tell the waitperson because the cook might be inexperienced. I worked a summer making salads at a hotel. One day they pressed me into service flipping burgers, after minimal instructions. I learned very quickly when the first burger was brought back.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:04 PM   #44
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You should be tipping the server on their level of service. They did not prepare your food.
That's a good point that too many people don't understand. A waiter/waitress can't tell if your steak is medium as opposed to medium rare until you cut into it. But I do judge them on how they respond to problems. The server should spot glaring errors before you do (like getting chicken when you ordered steak) and should be able to effectively deal with problems you notice. If they can't do that then it will be reflected in their tip. But even then I still tip a decent amount for the rest of the service they provided, as long as that was done well.

If I get something that is obviously inedible and should have never left the kitchen then I consider it a major failing on the restaurant as a whole and I ask for the manager. Like the time I ordered crab legs and even before the waitress put the plate before me I could see that the crab legs were gray. This restaurant is one of those that uses any available server to bring the food to the table (which I think is completely contradictory to the service model) and the girl who brought the food was clearly confused about what to do when I asked, "is it supposed to look like that?" A manager was nearby and I had to call him over and ask the same question because the mystery waitress had wandered off without doing anything. He fell all over himself apologizing, yanked the food and I could see him chewing the kitchen crews' asses before returning with a much improved version of my dish (along with a comped meal and a card giving me a future freebie as well.) The waitress who did everything but the actual serving of the meal was great, so she got a decent tip because I wasn't going to trash her for something that she had no involvement with.

We keep going to the same place because my wife always manages to get great food and loves it. My experience varies, sometimes the food is great and other times it's just okay. And the place has equally varying service levels as well. Sometimes the server is an outstanding professional, and a couple of times the service was as if it was delivered by an inexperienced teenager on their first day (it may have been). I did give a significantly reduced tip to one girl who was horrible, but I gave her a hint when she presented the check. "You know, it's usually customary to ask people if they're done before you take their plate away. Especially when there's still food on it." Seriously, I turned my head to talk to the person next to me and when I looked back my food was gone and she was disappearing into the back before I realized what had happened.

I've never not left a tip. My mom was a waitress and so was my wife at one time, so I just can't do it. But if the service was ever so horrible that I felt that way, it would probably be more justified to have a conversation with the manager explaining why I'm not ever coming back and why I'm not leaving a tip. If the service was that bad, the manager needs to be delivering the message to the server.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:19 PM   #45
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The wife of a friend of mine always finds something wrong when she goes to a restaurant. Bad table. Funny tasting water. The food too cold. Food not cooked right. I don't go out with them anymore, it is way past embarrassing. I am sure they have a local reputation and I would be surprised if there wasn't some subtle revenge being taken.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:38 PM   #46
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I wonder if some people may act fussy to portray a distinguished and superior taste. Are they so picky when by themselves at home?
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:06 PM   #47
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I wonder if some people may act fussy to portray a distinguished and superior taste. Are they so picky when by themselves at home?
My mother's companion in her last years (after my father died) was like that. Bill would complain to the waiter about something every single time we ate out. I think that his reasoning was just as you say, to portray a distinguished and superior taste. He grew up in a hideously poor and deprived environment and in his mind, I think this elevated him in some manner to a member of the upper class.

In some way I could sort of understand why he felt the need to demand special attention given his lifetime struggle to rise above his parents' station in life. Still, it was terribly embarrassing for all of us and ruined our dinners out with him. My mother privately asked him to stop. He managed to cut back on it and only complained about 1/3 of the time after that.

As for his behavior at home, he didn't cook and I did not know him before his wife died. When he ate my mother's cooking he would never complain.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:43 PM   #48
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I wonder if some people may act fussy to portray a distinguished and superior taste. Are they so picky when by themselves at home?
Nah...they probably eat three day old Kentucky Fried Chicken out of the bucket and throw the bones on the floor....

DH does not complain about the food he eats since I'm the one that does most of the cooking. Any complaints will mean he can cook the next time. I wish he would complain every once in a while...
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:21 PM   #49
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I remembered this recent story about a man who simply stated that his steak was not cooked quite right when asked by the restaurant manager at the end of the meal. He was not asking for a "comp" but the manager insisted on giving him another steak to take home. See what happened next in the link below.

Next time you are asked about your steak, remember to say "Please pass my compliments to the chef."




Chef sacked for pubic hair steak | Metro.co.uk
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:58 PM   #50
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The more of this thread I read, the more I wonder why I would ever go out to eat, beyond Mickey's or Jack in the Box, or a student dive or some place where if the meal doesn't poison you, you feel like you got your money's worth.

Or Happy Hour. Happy Hour never disappoints. If the snacks are good, it's great. Otherwise, you are getting smashed anyway so you won't notice.

I've been doing Happy Hour for almost 50 years. Only a few other social things I have enjoyed that long.

Ha
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:03 PM   #51
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Which all goes back to my previous post within this thread. First, you order your martini....
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:20 PM   #52
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My uncle always asked for a female waitress, if there were none, he went elsewhere. If he liked a waitress, he asked for her by name. If there was a salad bar with the meal, he would ask his grandson to put a salad together for him. He was a wonderful host at Christmas but never set foot in the kitchen. He outlived his DW by about 10 years, no housekeeper was good enough; did I say he was my favorite uncle? WhoDaresWins, he knew the rule about ordering the Martini first; of course that might have had something to do with being out with the in-laws.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:21 PM   #53
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The more of this thread I read, the more I wonder why I would ever go out to eat, beyond Mickey's or Jack in the Box, or a student dive or some place where if the meal doesn't poison you, you feel like you got your money's worth...
Ha
What a great opening for posting the link to this site... snopes.com: Grade D But Edible Meat

Re Jack-in-the-Box, I can assure you that the tacos made at the Jack-in-the-Box in West Haverstraw NY
in 1975 were perfect. Other than that, you're on your own.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:49 PM   #54
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My uncle always asked for a female waitress, if there were none, he went elsewhere. If he liked a waitress, he asked for her by name. If there was a salad bar with the meal, he would ask his grandson to put a salad together for him. He was a wonderful host at Christmas but never set foot in the kitchen. He outlived his DW by about 10 years, no housekeeper was good enough; did I say he was my favorite uncle? WhoDaresWins, he knew the rule about ordering the Martini first; of course that might have had something to do with being out with the in-laws.
Your Uncle sounds perfectly charming! Isn't it great to have such good memories of people? I, too, had a favorite Uncle. He was a bachelor math teacher who used to bring us all kinds of puzzles and games and take his two nieces on woodland hikes, pointing out flora and fauna. He died young, in 1961. I still think of him often. Named my son after him.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:52 PM   #55
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Jack in the Box has had some problems:
Jack In The Box Ignored Safety Rules - About E. Coli
Jack in the Box E. coli Outbreak - About E. Coli

The company’s reason, according to documents filed in court: “If patties are cooked longer ... they tend to become tough.” That comment appeared in a company response to an employee in a Jack In The Box restaurant who was concerned that cooking to the company’s standards left burgers underdone. That memo, obtained from company headquarters by plaintiffs’ attorneys, was written in August, four months before the epidemic.

Had the company in 1992 followed state regulations, which mandate that hamburgers be cooked to an internal temperature of 155 degrees, the epidemic would have been prevented, health experts say. State officials say a state law superseded a federal guideline at the time of 140 degrees.
“Either they didn’t believe in science, or they didn’t read the literature,” said Bert Bartleson, technical expert for the state Department of Health’s food program, in an interview. “If they followed the standards ... no one would have gotten sick.”

“Foodmaker made a conscious decision to disregard Washington law,” one of the attorneys - William Marler of Seattle - wrote in a declaration to the court filed in his and related cases. He also asserted the company showed “total disregard for the health of its customers.”

Diana Nole of Gig Harbor, whose 2-year-old, Michael, died in the epidemic, agreed.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:13 PM   #56
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I would definitely try the steak before I did anything. Just cutting into it and seeing that it is cooked more than I would have liked says little as to its taste. If I tasted it and it was reasonably good prepared the way it is I would just eat it for the sake of eating with company and not having to wait for another. Then when asked if everything is ok, as often you waiter will do, I would comment that the steak was not the way I ordered it but i am eating anyways because i don't want to wait for another. Often they will discount the check for that.

If it does not taste good the way it was prepared then it goes back.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:48 PM   #57
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Someone who worked in the industry once told me never to send food back to the kitchen, the staff will do nasty things to the next plate. Even in upscale restaurants.
I'll second this... Not all places are like that, but some definitely are (I have seen it myself) and I am not about to take chances.

The food has to be pretty atrocious for me to send it back to the kitchen. I have done that only a handful of times with a request to keep it there, clear the charge on the check and get me a(nother) drink.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:29 PM   #58
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A good waiter and check should be able to tell how a steak is done without cutting it. The less cooked a steak is the more it flexes when you push on its surface. I like chef Gordan Ramsay's explaination: rare is like your cheak, medium like your chin, well is like your forhead. If its a steak house, there's not much excuse for the staff not knowing the basics about cooking steak.

Send one back though... never. I have a friend who worked in the field for years. If you know what tea-bagging is... that's what they did to food when they weren't happy with a customer. .....shudder.......
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:39 PM   #59
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What a great opening for posting the link to this site... snopes.com: Grade D But Edible Meat

Re Jack-in-the-Box, I can assure you that the tacos made at the Jack-in-the-Box in West Haverstraw NY
in 1975 were perfect. Other than that, you're on your own.
Until animal rights groups shut it down I bought a lot of horsemeat from a local slaughterhouse. The box was labeled-"Unfit for human consumption, illegal for sale in the US." I asked the owner where they sent it- to restaurants in France. Last I looked the French were human, so I learned to prepare horsemeat. Very rich!

I told him it was for my pit-bull.

As far as fast food, I have never gotten sick from eating US fast food. The same cannot be said for some places that cost a lot more.

Ha
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:05 PM   #60
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The more of this thread I read, the more I wonder why I would ever go out to eat, beyond Mickey's or Jack in the Box, or a student dive or some place where if the meal doesn't poison you, you feel like you got your money's worth.
I agree but my wife doesn't. She has to go out at least once a week to feel like she's getting away from cooking. Can't imagine why as I really like her food .
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Or Happy Hour. Happy Hour never disappoints. If the snacks are good, it's great. Otherwise, you are getting smashed anyway so you won't notice.

I've been doing Happy Hour for almost 50 years. Only a few other social things I have enjoyed that long.

Ha
Ha, hope you have a designated driver.
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