Things that Cafés & Restaurants do that get on my tits.

by Iain Fergus

Generally speaking I love cafés and restaurants, but there are a few things that many of them do that really get on my tits.

1. Ketchup.

Go Heinz, or go home(made). Don't try and pass off cheap bulk bought catering ketchup in Heinz bottles. I can tell the difference… it's like thick red vinegar. It's generally middle-rung restaurants that do this, which is why it's so annoying. Greasy spoons usually have the good stuff, so there is no excuse. If you don't want to offer ketchup on principle that's fine, don't offer it at all.

2. Mayonnaise.

Unlike above, don't go Heinz. Please for the love of condiments don't go Heinz. It's rank rotten. Hellmann's at the very least, but preferably home-made please.

3. Napkins under food.

This is mainly a café crime, as it's generally done with cakes, but please please please stop serving food on top of napkins on plates. One place did this when I ordered a waffle with maple syrup. Why the hell would I want a soggy syrup soaked napkin under my waffle? (Wow, that sounds wrong.)

It's even annoying with cakes and tray-bakes, the napkin gets greasy and most places that commit this crime don't provide an extra one.

4. Cold cakes.

This one is heinous. Stop putting scones and sponge cakes in the bloody fridge or cold cabinet. They taste best when at room temperature. Dicks.

5. Terrible menu designs.

Now this one is of course subjective, but I find a large number of eateries have awful looking menus. They're usually cluttered, and have hideous colour schemes. Sometimes the best ones are simply an A4 sheet with a dozen items on it typed out in-house, so it's not about budget. The worst are when some cowboy who happens to have a copy of Photoshop goes to town on a menu with a free font like Bleeding Cowboys…

6. Salad dressing.

This is probably just me, because I hate Honey Mustard Dressing, but it seems everywhere uses this stuff on salads. I can't stand it. It ruins perfectly good food with it's evil stench. Either state on your menu that it's the dressing of choice, or put it in a jug so I can choose whether to use it or not. In fact, you should be doing this regardless of the type of dressing. I'd ban the stuff personally. Seriously though, what's the appeal, does Costco sell gallon bottles for 20 pence?

Isn't mustard an allergen anyway, so should be highlighted as such?!

7. Plates.

I like a nice looking plate, but not at the expense of practicality. See if the bloody thing slides about or if it doesn't have a rim to stop the gravy/sauce/syrup (delete as appropriate) from pissing all over the table then don't use it. Oh, and while we're on this subject, please quit it with the bits of slate and wooden chopping boards!

8. “How's your meal?"

I think we can all agree that it's nice that wait staff check up to see how your meal is, but not ten-bloody-seconds after they sit it down in front of you. I'd like the chance to at least taste my meal before you ask. This is usually followed by two other staff members asking the same question in quick succession. Then when you do want something, like another drink or the bill, no-one is there to be seen.

9. Not taking my order.

This is probably the most annoying. If you seat me in your restaurant and you don't take my order for twenty-bloody-minutes, I'm getting up and leaving. To hell with you, and your food.

A Final Word…

Despite everything I've written above, I really do love restaurants and cafés. I love the different types of food and the effort that goes into producing it and I know I couldn't hack working in that environment. So to all the good guys, keep up the great work!

Please don't spit in my food!

Iain Fergus

Posted by: Iain Fergus

I'm a Web & Print Designer based in Ayr, Scotland. This blog is a collection of my personal ramblings.

Feel free to get in touch with me on Twitter @darkflare or drop me an email iain[at]iainfergus.co.uk

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