How has working in restaurants changed how you eat out?

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How has working in restaurants changed how you eat out? Some things can never be unseen, and knowing industry secrets can change how you approach things (like knowing that $8.99 fried pickle app cost .50 cents to make). So, what's changed for you since you started working in a restaurant?

I'll start. Since working in restaurants, I eat a lot more ethnic food. Every day, I'm surrounded by burgers, steaks, wings, etc. I eat a burger or wings for my lunch at work. When I eat out, I want the complete opposite - Indian, Chinese, Maghrebi - anything but burgers and wings. I also am a lot more partial to seeing my food cooked (hibachi, rodizio, omlette stations, etc.) or places with an open kitchen plan. Maybe I've just worked in a lot of bad places, but like I said, some things can never be unseen.
 
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TLDR: My position in the food service industry hasn't really changed our eating habits. We're just happy to go out anywhere when that rare opportunity arises.

Honestly, since I started working in the industry, i haven't eaten out as much. Period. Just finding free time to take my family out is a challenge. When we do go out, the fact that I work in kitchens doesn't really come up, and it hasn't altered our eating habits. We still avoid bad fast food (McDonalds, BK, etc.) and too much red meat, but we've always done that. And of course we're fans of seeing our food cooked in front of us, but more for the sake of enjoying the show, not because I don't trust the sources or anything.

I will say that recently, when the planets and stars align just so, and I get a dinner out with my wife alone (no kids), she's been alright with trying more ethnic foods. (She used to be a bit sheltered, food-wise). It's great, but I don't think it's directly because of anything I'm doing.

Interesting topic though, I can't wait to read posts from others. Maybe I'm the odd one out. :emoji_beers:
 
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How working in this industry has changed my eating habits? Well, I don't do fast food. I don't go out to eat unless I know the chef or the owner personally. I definitely don't touch the bread and I'm always looking at my servers hands and nails (occupational hazard - I despise dirty hands and nails anywhere near my food).

When I'm traveling, I avoid the tourist areas and follow the locals. I go where they go.

Other than that, I have fun cooking for my wife and trying to teach my grandkids the joy of food and how much fun cooking can be. Right now, my 7 year old grandson makes a pretty mean omelette. :)
 
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I'm locationally challenged, so going out to eat has to be planned in advance.
I am not a picky eater but the food better be prepared and named correctly or else I won't return.
I rarely eat out, because most of the food choices in my area are for tourists. Burgers, wraps, sandwiches, and salad.
Whitefish is big up here, if they only knew how to prepare it. Pasties are popular here and come in many different preparations.
Trying to get the flaky pastry of a pasty correct eludes most.
Meat and potatoes only here.
I have had the opportunity to eat in a few Michelin starred restaurants, but I still enjoy my comfort food.
What working in the industry has shown me is how poorly trained most BAH and FOH employees are. In order to get good service, you have to pay a high per plate price, and this is just so wrong. Service is service, and has nothing to do with the prices on the menu.
Employees, I have found, either don't care or were trained poorly.
 
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Service is service, and has nothing to do with the prices on the menu...

Umm, not in my opinion. COMPETENT service is a commodity, and you have to pay for it. A good server will automatically go to a higher range restaurant to earn more in tips—just like I will go to a higher paying restaurant to work.

But then again, the making of a good server in N.America is even more mysterious and strange as the making of a cook,we have culinary schools for that. But servers? Where do they learn?
 
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Great question.
I reserve the right to alter my statement upon further reflection as being objective may be challenging. Lol.
I think I am definitely more critical of the overall operation. I've learned to overlook most small things in order to enjoy the experience. Things happen and we all have off days.
On the other hand, make an effort to do it right, whatever it is. I expect a restaurant to have overcome it's major flaws after being in business for awhile. If a place survives for longer than six months, I have higher expectations. Both FOH and BOH should have been trained well and management needs to show continual efforts at having and keeping standards up.
For the sake of the company I'm with, I'll eat at a chain but will typically choose independent places on my own, depending on reputation and how long in business. A small independent serving standard fare done well is better for me than paying top dollar for pretentious small portions.
Reputation is no guarantee. Too many places in this area are constantly busy but I've experienced poor food and/or service and don't get the attraction.
PS. Smaller menus please. The bigger the menu I know the worse the food will be.
 
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The longer I do this, the less the critic attends and controls the dining out experience. For a long time, he ran amok and the experience took a backseat to massaging his ego. By the same token, i eat out less these days, although it is one of my favorite things to do when the stars align, because it is harder and harder to justify spending money for non star aligning experiences. :~)
 
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Umm, not in my opinion. COMPETENT service is a commodity, and you have to pay for it. A good server will automatically go to a higher range restaurant to earn more in tips—just like I will go to a higher paying restaurant to work.

But then again, the making of a good server in N.America is even more mysterious and strange as the making of a cook,we have culinary schools for that. But servers? Where do they learn?


I am suggesting "service" in general terms where even the basic tenants of service are being overlooked through inadequate training and carelessness.
 
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Perhaps too many Heady Topper from the Alchemist. LOL with you not at you :~)

Lol I can hardly ever get it! They don’t even sell it near me where I live, I’d have to drive an hour to get to a place that sells it....and it sells out so fast
 
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I eat out less otften than I used to. But my standards of quality and service have increased. As such, I am willing to pay more for a quality meal when I go out. Many foods can be prepared / cooked better for the price at home with my own skills compared to most chain restaurants (perhaps with the exception of unque / hard to find ingredients). I do think the point made by foodpump about “learning service” is a good one.
 
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With me not so much changed my attitude of restaurants in general, more
like specific places. For instance I did a stint at IHOP once.
Id eaten there semi regularly. Now...I dont eat at IHOP, ever.
Aside from pulling so much product out of bags delivered by
supply truck, specific things turned me off to that dish in general
at other restaurants, unless I determined how they were doing it.

The fried half chicken for example. At IHOP....
Sysco (or like) delivers a case of pre breaded, pre cooked, frozen
chickens divided into parts. In prep, a batch is bagged into half chickens
(1 breast, 1 drum, etc) and stored in line fridge. Upon order, theyre
deep fried (uh-gain) for 6 mins, then placed in microwave for
2 or 3 to "get the middle hot). So the breasts in particular are a challenge
to eat in a reasonable time--youre typically still chewing when your table
companions are ready to summon the check.
So there you have it.... our delicious breaded, cooked, frozen, thawed,
fried, microwaved, half chicken dinner for 12 US buckeroos.
 
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