After reading the article by Besha Rodell about Ron Eyester, @theangrychef, this week, I felt I had to write and point out another perspective that was missed in the article. As a restaurant owner myself, I feel that Ron's gripes and venting, however justified, is doing the service industry a disservice by being publicized. As a restaurant owner, I am constantly trying to train my staff how best to deal with an upset guest. Usually it is fairly easy to fix most problems, once they have been vocalized by the guest. My concern is that chefs and restaurant owners seeking spectacle like Ron, will further dissuade guests from voicing their displeasure with a meal or experience. As restaurant folklore goes, we all know a happy guest will tell two people about their experience and an unhappy guest will tell ten. Increasingly I have noticed that guests are unwilling to complain or point out criticism.
I think there is a multitude of reasons for this reluctance, from feeling like they won't be heard, from not wanting to make a fuss, or embarrass the other guests at the table, but I would venture to say that chefs, restaurant owners and managers like Ron are contributing to the reluctance of guests to inform their server or manager when there is an issue. If you say "Fine." when I check on you as a guest and when I further ask, "Are you enjoying everything?" and the response is "yes." but the food is untouched, I feel robbed of the opportunity to improve my restaurant. I'm not saying every customer is right, or that customers have the right to be rude or verbally abusive, but those are extreme cases. I feel in the world of celebrity chefs, chefs like Ron have forgotten who is paying his paycheck. So Ron, while you might feel you have the "right" to vent all you want about your customers, please remember the rest of us in this industry are trying our best to hear that guest and improve their experience
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