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3. a salty preservation

20 years have been taken off my life. doubles. 3,000 dollar saturdays on hot ass patio's with "can you refill my tea"..yes b, i have your cup in my hand" ... "walking in"... plates flying, sticky ass salt shakers, did i cut enough limes? ohhh yeah, i still have to role 60 silverwear. why the heck did you schedule me on my day off? serving, bartending, cooking, managing, and everything in between.. I did it all; do i miss it? no. I continue to observe the sounds, the smells, the service, the tastes, and arrive to engulf my fatty fix of local foods.

what f is the point of all this? this is an avenue for me to rant and rave about every dining experience i have and hopefully you will conserve a few pointers. #1 always have a salt shaker next to you.

i am the opposite of hoity toity, i am down to earth and kill for an amazing dive bar. you know, PBR in a can for $2.00, darts, dimly lit, probably a cig machine charging $8.00 a pack and a middle aged, slightly frumpy bartender who maybe overly rude... awesome. i will never go into one expecting a five out of five. no dive bar will ever match up to Willies RIP, but your fryer better be set to the right temp, your ipa's must be ice cold, and if there isn't a patio i'm absolutely not coming back.

on the opposite end. if you don't appreciate a great dive bar... that's bizarre. (clearly you didn't grow up in lfk) if i want amazing food i know where to go, i do expect amazing service... and if i order an old fashion i expect a real Maraschino cherry (Luxardo, $33.49, 2 pack deal) sysco and us foods will not deliver these.

for those in the industry being analyzed, this may come across as coarse. remember, people are always watching. i always tried to train and manage employees to the best of my ability. i knew what customers wanted, i knew what i wanted and took pride in that delivery. most important ... I knew how much a bartender or waitress could make if they didn't mouth breath.

everyone EATS, everyone DRINKS, you should enjoy those experiences. management make your staff passionate about this! We go out to eat and over indulge to get away, so fing do your job, be great and you'll make that 20%. Keep my drink full, don't evesdrop too much and try to appear busy and that just went to 25%. offer me a sake bomb, knob creek straight up, most likely went up to 50%.

management was the best. the obvious requests and straight up fing dumb questionsvwere mind numbing, "sloan i can't come in today, im going to the ER because i don't feel well"... the f. "can i take off friday, saturday and sunday?" oh ya we will accommodate you and whatever you need, the schedule hasn't been posted on the door for a week. best of all, "do i get free food for working a double?" "ohhh... you mean in addition to pound of fries and pub chips you have been eating during your shift, why don't you just order a bill self mac and cheese add bacon with a side of bread pudding?" "ya dick... go ahead and put a top shelf long island on it."

this is what i have learned. the service stems from your management. Your staff will only do 1/2 of what you do. Set the example, give them some guidance, don't be that manager that just collects a paycheck and doesn't attempt to inspire. "every customer should leave loving you and the restaurant" matt llewelyn. thank you. you taught me right. don't come out of the kitchen eating whatever mess up you all were knawing, put your cell phone away and don't grab my lemons with your grimy fingers that were just in your mouth... fing disgusting. oh, and don't mouth breathe while entering my order in aloha or micros.. (its going to take at least 4 minutes because of my modifications.. rare, extra spicy, add zucchini, extra egg) { cafe asia 2, roanoke, incredible-ill expand later}. if my water glass is empty... fill it, don't ask and yes if my plates empty take it. no seriously, my plate is empty... it makes room for my next course, ummm ya probably another cocktail. (if i order a tequila sunrise cut me off)

the years and experience i have in the industry are preserved. salty of course, how can you not be? most sundays i wanted to cry and punch someone in the face at the same time. i literally contemplated throwing myself into oncoming traffic that hour and a half before my shift ended. i had to keep my composure, nearly impossible for me... while always remembering... i was always being watched.

so now I'm watching my former self and putting those actions on blast... i have now been removed from the industry for two years but always take notice. You better believe I will look you all around and the tip will reflect that. your kitchen guys hopefully aren't two sheets to the wind on their shitty weed & free beer. i HATE to be let down by food and beverage. but most importantly the service...sandbar or cafe beautiful... be on your game as the two establishments always are!

pay attention to details, love food, love drinking and don't settle for corporate. your dining and drinking experiences should be worth your money and memories, preserve these & take everything with a grain of salt.

i'm off my salt block aka soapbox. i may sound coarse and make make you thirsty, but my passion for f&b is engrained.

in the proceeding posts I will be describing my disgestion of food, consumption of beverages and overall analysis of my experiences in these places we love and hate at the same time. I hope you will be become a regular (if advised) of these local watering holes, dive bars, deli's, farm to tables, sushi spots, greasy pizza joints and one of the best buffets I have ever been to. please, encourage yourself to think.. was it worth? how was the service? did it smell funny? how was the ranch? would I go back? My goal is to educate you in your happy hours, brunches, late night snacks, sunday fundays, most of all everyday dining mishaps or short term vacations.

#food #photography #salad

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