There are times when I can’t even believe the things that I say to customers that I get away with. I’m sure if I worked in a ‘normal’ restaurant, I would’ve been fired years ago, but fortunately, I work where I work, and you guys get to hear my silly stories.
Last night, I walked up to a table of four people and did my usual ‘hello and how are you’. There were two couples sitting at the table. One couple was in their late fifties and the other in their late seventies, maybe early eighties. All very nice, right from the very first hello.
When I came back their drinks and started to take the dinner order, the older, very sweet lady, started with me right out the gate. I never got her name, but let’s call her Sally.
Sally: Okay, I’ll go first, since I’m going to be the problem child.
Other Lady: She’s not lying.
Me: Thank you for warning me in advance. It makes things a little easier if I know what kind of situation I’m walking into.
Sally: I want a piece of seared salmon, but I don’t want this appetizer that you have listed down here. I don’t want all that stuff. I just want a seared salmon, but I don’t want the dinner size salmon. I want it seared, though.
I’m not going to lie, we have almost complete autonomy when it comes to the menu and making special orders. On a menu of approximately 150-180 items, there are less than 10 things that we can’t change or not allowed to substitute. Other than that, it’s up to us. Or more important, up to you, because if you’re an ass right out of the gate, you aren’t getting squat.
Me: So you want a smaller portion of salmon seared? I can do that for you. (She was really sweet, and a little spitfire to boot, I just couldn’t say no) I can do a half order of the entree salmon. That way, it comes with the veggies and a choice of sides.
Sally: Oh, that would be fantastic! And I want it seared. With beans and rice.
Me: Okay, I keep hearing you saying seared. Just so we’re on the same page, to us, seared is less than rare. It’s goes seared, rare, medium rare, medium…
Sally: Oh no! I want it cooked all the way through.
Me: Are you sure? Our standard is medium rare, but we can adjust that a little bit for you.
Sally: Really? Gosh I don’t know. I liked it cooked all the way through.
Me: Listen, you can do what you want, I just wanted to make sure you understood what it meant when you ordered it seared.
Sally: I’m so confused. What have I ordered again?
Me: Well, you’ve ordered a half order of over cooked grilled salmon with beans and rice.
Fortunately, (again) everyone started laughing, and she gave me a little pinch on the arm for being sassy.