However, the final item on the list rang a bell with me:
Over order food they don’t eatBut, if half-full plates are constantly coming back, maybe you need to look at what you’re sending out in the first place. Are the portions far too big, or is the food pretty unappetising anyway? Or are you offering food in ill-matched combinations where customers don’t want everything lumped together? In which context, the previous gripe is also relevant:
This one came as a surprise to us at the Watford Observer, but it is worthy of feeling wound up. The head chef said plates coming back less than half empty is one of the most annoying things, wasting both food, stock, their time and your money.
Edit the menuI’ve written before about how people have all kinds of odd dietary preferences, ranging from those dictated by genuine medical reasons to simple faddiness. But, all too often, pubs (and other dining outlets) insist that you have specific combinations of items even if they’re not all necessarily to your taste. Yes, in general pubs will be obliging if you ask to omit certain items, but may not be too receptive if you ask for noodles rather than mash with your sausages. And people are understandably reluctant to stick their necks out and ask for combinations that the menu doesn’t specifically offer – otherwise they might end up on a list of gripes!
If you don’t like something, or have an allergy, the staff completely understand. However, when you look through the menu, pick out an array of ingredients from different dishes and then create your own dinner, making things difficult for both bar staff and chefs, then things get annoying.
I freely admit to being a distinctly fussy eater, and I sometimes find myself ordering dishes where I know that some of the components will remain mostly uneaten. I don’t really like doing it, and try to go for dishes where I know I can eat everything, but sometimes there’s no alternative. For example, I sometimes take advantage of the meal deals on burgers in Wetherspoon’s. I know the chips are pretty flabby and horrible, and I won’t eat more than a couple. But it’s still decent value even if I leave them.
So, if you don’t want to waste food, perhaps you should consider offering much more flexibility as to which items people want to match with others. At the end of the day, if you have lots of uneaten food coming back to the kitchen, you need to look at your own practices rather than blaming the customers.
And I thought menu hacking was supposed to be trendy nowadays!