Self Realization and Fulfillment

I have found in my life that many times I have changed paths of attaining happiness. Some paths were spiritual, Some were physical, and some were mental. The problem I had in my youth was the fact that I listened to the people that had different views of what was important to them. This however was not what was important to me. The “Question” then becomes what is important to you? Well…. I thought, when I was younger, that career was important, but that can be confusing when you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. (not sure I’m there yet) I spent my youth going from One job to another, and college was a waste of time for the most part. Colleges need to streamline their curriculum to only include the courses you need to get your degree and quit adding bullshit courses that have nothing to do with your area of learning. Its just a waste of time and money.

As I got older money , I was told was the most important thing, and the ability to acquire money was the path to happiness. In my search for the almighty dollar I meet a lot of like minded people and came to the realization that I wasn’t happy and I was constantly stressed and the people I met weren’t happy either. As I got older most of these people are now trading in their wealth to try to regain their health and happiness. Seems a little backward to me, trading your youth and health for money that you will then use to pay to try to heal all the medical problems you got from the stress and long hours you had to give to attain your money. Does anyone else see the problem with this, or is it just me? On a side note I always found this study interesting. This is a chart of diminishing return for money spent vs. happiness

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As I got older and got married, started a family, I realized I was spending less and less time with my family and more and more time at work. This was not the family model I wanted for myself or them. Growing up in a family were my father worked a lot and was gone for days at a time I remembered what that was like. I would have gladly given up all the nice things we had for a better relationship with my father. With both parents working it becomes even harder for a child to have a healthy relationship as they grow when all they see growing up is two parents chasing their careers and fighting over money when they were home at the same time. I didn’t want that as my son got older than four so my wife and I talked about it and came to the conclusion that we would choose happiness over wealth.

Now that being said I am not suggesting anyone live in poverty, no what I’m suggesting is scale back your life style, cut out the extras that don’t mean anything to you. Spend more time with the ones you love and build strong positive relationships with the ones you love. By doing this we discovered that we could cut back our hours at work by almost half. This is huge! My wife was able to cut back to only 20 hrs a week from forty plus and I could cut back to forty five hours a week from my usual seventy two hrs a week. We still had more than enough money to pay the bills and money for retirement and vacations. Our marriage was stronger and we had more time to spend with our son.

Now I want to touch on the spiritual side of my journey. I was raised an Irish Catholic and consider myself recovering Catholic now. I realized at a very young age that there might be more than one answer when it came to spiritual happiness. So I embarked on a journey of self discovery of spiritual realization. And yes I dabbled in mind altering psychedelics in the seventies. I lived in the Haight- Ashbury district in San Francisco for a while I dabbled in other religions and beliefs, and ended my journey realizing that everything I needed was within me. I settled on Buddhism as a belief system because through the years I saw that life gives you back what you put into it. I wanted to have a happy, positive existence so I figured I had to put happy, positive thoughts and actions into my life. Buddhism seems to be the closest thing to this belief system. So when someone asks I simply say Buddhist and wait for the look of disbelief on their face. I’m not going to get all warm and fuzzy here I just wanted to explain my position.

My physical journey began when I started buying slip on shoes so I didn’t have to bend over to tie my shoes. Some times something so small can be the trigger you need to make a life changing decision. I made the decision to try to reverse the damage I had done trying to attain some imaginary dollar amount before it became a medical issue. I embarked upon a journey of physical health through proper diet and exercise. I also found a sort of spiritual peace through this fitness program centered around Martial Arts.

Now, lets pull all this together into something that makes sense. Three things had to happen for this to work.

  1. Focus on whats really important to you. Family, relationships, etc.
  2. find a spiritual belief system that works for you.
  3. Make a commitment to take care of yourself through a proper diet and exercise.

You will find if you can pull these things together you will have a life filled with love and possibility. You will also have time to pursue your passions what ever they may be. You stress levels will go way down, you wont try to control every aspect of your life and the lives of the people around you. Also you will have time to give to others that need your help because for what ever reason their life is out of balance. There is no greater joy in life than being of service to others. So live your life with purpose and joy and it will positively affect everyone around you.

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Looking in the Mirror

I woke up on this birthday morning I took inventory of my progress during this whole process. Diet, Check, Fitness, Check. Hair, yep nothing there. Moving on… Skin? What is going on with my skin? I know I’m Fifty Two but, Wow! looking a little rough around the edges.I noticed when I went on my vegetable dominated diet my skin is softer and more supple. OK guys don’t give me any grief about this. skin is the largest organ in the body and is a really good indicator into what is going on with your body. A lot of us, especially those who grew up in the sixties and seventies, Spent our summers out in the sun. Sunblock didn’t exist and we wouldn’t have worn it anyway. If you were like me you did a far amount of smoking and drinking, and maybe other things,when you were younger. And drinking water to stay hydrated was for camels. All that being said we probably did some serious damage to our skin and your skin is, shall we say, the window to your health.

Our skin is a big part of our appearance and the good news is we can do something about it. Over the next few weeks I will be delving into the world of male skin care, Some of the things I will be dealing with are exfoliating (removing dead skin cells), Moisturizing (using a skin moisturizing products to keep the skin on my face smooth and supple and trying to repair some of the damage I have done to it in the past. The good news is most of the damage we have done can be reversed. This isn’t about looking younger, this is about taking care of what you’ve got so that it will last longer and in good condition. Think of it as putting a good wax job on your car to prevent it from being damaged by the elements.

On a more serious note your skin can be an indicator of some serious health issues ranging from diabetes to cancer. Deep and numerous wrinkles around the face and neck can be an indicator of low bone density. Velvety brown-grayish patches are an indicator for diabetes.Dull dry skin is an indicator that your body is ;ow in Omega-3 fatty acids. These Omega-# fatty acids are important they regulate brain function, and lower the risk of heart disease, arthritis and and cancer.Low Omega-3 can also cause dandruff. Persistent itchiness that feels like something is under the skin in conjunction with rapid weight loss, shortness of breath, and loss of energy is a strong indicator of cancer. Discoloration and swelling in your lower limbs could be a venous insufficiency.  There are numerous other diseases that manifest in the skin, too many to list here. But if you would like an honest assessment seek out a dermatologist. The Dermatologist will let you know if there are any serious problems and can make recommendations on treatment.

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It is important to note that the best thing you can do for your skin is diet. Diet affects all of the organs that aid in the production of new skin cells and blood flow. These organs if fed and nourished properly will begin the healing process in your skin almost immediately. A proper diet will give your skin the nutrients it needs to repair.  Look for foods high in vitamin A, dietalso foods high in antioxidants such as berries and plums, Omega-3 oils from Salmon,walnuts, flax seeds. Oils are important, look for oils that are cold pressed, or virgin as these contain the highest amount of essential nutrients your skin needs. If you have been paying attention or read some of my other blogs you will see that this is also the diet recommended for weight loss, Heart health, Arthritis, Diabetes…. It’s all connected.

Next you need to start a regular regimen of skin care that includes washing exfoliating and moisturizing. Remember this isn’t about extending life. I am attempting to improve the quality of life in my seventies and eighties. I’m betting on the long game, but why not enjoy the here and now while doing it.

 

The Baking Gene

It seems every year I have this unsettling urge to bake around the holidays. I don’t know when this started, I don’t know where it comes from, But it begins when the temperatures start to drop here in central California around the first of December. I will bake on an almost daily basis right up until the week before Christmas then it just stops. My family has gotten to expect this bounty of sugary delights every year and begins stock piling flour, butter, sugar (brown and white) and of course eggs. There will be a stock pile of other things like nuts and fresh fruits also but not for healthy reasons.

I don’t make the same things every year, and I don’t take requests, although they try, because this is a compulsion. I never know which direction my whimsy will take me, so I never know what I will be baking from one day to the next. I usually start slow, Banana breads and assorted cookie dough.  and work my way into candies petite fores and pies. by the end of the three week binge of sugar and flour confections drizzled in chocolate and caramel and butterscotch. I don’t want to see a cake or pie for months. I think the trigger is Thanks Giving, I always start baking a few pies for the holiday and about a week later I have worked my way into a baking frenzy.

Now I have to inform my dear drooling readers that I have trained and worked as a pastry chef. I’m not talking about the person that decorates your birthday cake at the grocery store, I’m talking professionally trained Pastry Chef. Years ago I worked in a Michelin starred restaurant as the pastry chef and even got mentioned in an article in Gourmet Magazine. But, I left that life a long time ago and now find myself with a compulsion that pops up once a year. (like a really sweet smelling Aunt that shows up to visit for the holidays). So I have come to the realization that it happens and started thinking, “Hey maybe I’m not the only one”. If this is true and there are others out there then I am here to help.

First lets talk about setting yourself up so you can fulfill your addiction to baking without giving up hours of your life standing in a kitchen. “Mis En Place” is everything! Some of you are saying whats Mis En Place? well Mis En Place is the ingredients you will need to make your master piece. We, however, are going to take it a step further. For most cooks and chefs,

Mis en Place looks something like this.images (11)

But I am going a little further because there are certain things you can make ahead of time and all you have to do is bake them off or assemble the finished ingredients.

Cookies are a perfect example most of the time spent making cookies is in the baking, what I am suggesting is make your dough ahead of time, wrap it in plastic in a long two inch round tube and refrigerate until needed. By doing this when the urge to bake hits you just have to cut the cookies to the required size and bake off a batch. Easy Peesy! so instead of all the cleanup of baking from the beginning you just have to clean one pan. This will cut your kitchen time in half and you can make an assortment of different doughs so that when the need strikes your in and out in twenty minutes.

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The same can be done with sponge cake. With a little preparation you can bake off several sponges at once the freeze them until needed. some of you are asking what the  hell am I going to do with a frozen sponge? well sponge cake can be very versatile and you would be surprised at all the different and creative uses for sponge cake.

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You can roll it with fruit our cream filling.

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You can make one of my favorite delicate petite fors. You can also make cakes. One of my favorite is a Chantilly Cream and fruit compote filled naked cake.

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With the proper time spent setting up your Mis En Place you can be a rock star in the kitchen. Once you have the basics down try something a little harder. Remember though baking is not cooking, baking is chemistry with a delicious outcome. Weights and Measures are in the recipe for a reason, these are not suggestions, these are chemical equations. Do not deviate from the recipe or you will pay the price. Soundtrack: “Evil Maniacal Laugh” Just remember this is about creating not killing yourself to make others happy. Pastry is art!

Arthritis Homeopathic Treatment

Several years ago I noticed that my hands were sore and stiff in the morning. I thought maybe I had just over stressed them while at work. Being a chef I use my hands constantly and constantly moving them between hot and cold my hands are often numb from working with refrigerated food items all day. The problem was the feeling in my hands began to spread to my elbows and shoulders, and my feet were becoming affected, as well as my lower back and hips. The question became what the hell is going on with my body and what can I do to stop it?  It was quite disconcerting to realize that my body was attacking itself from the inside.

So first I wanted to know what was going on. Not being familiar with arthritis I had some research to do so I turned to the usual source for my questions these days, the Internet. First I looked at symptoms, Pain, Stiffness, Swelling, Redness, and decreased range of motion. Then having verified that yes I might have early onset arthritis I paid a visit to my doctor. My doctor looked at the symptoms and did some tests and yes I had the beginnings of arthritis. Its always nice to have someone tell you your fears are justified. So my next question was what type of arthritis? was osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis? and what were the treatments?

That’s a  lot of questions and the doctor said it was probably rheumatoid based on the symptoms and from what he saw or didn’t see on the x-rays I had early onset Rheumatoid Arthritis. Well great, I started my research and found that family history is a great place to start. So I got on the phone with my mom and asked if arthritis ran in the family? “Oh yes , She says your grand mother had it I have it and your sister has it”. Well that seems strange, just the women? and then she goes on to tell me that she has been diagnosed with Lupus and Gout! Wait, what the hell, these are auto immune diseases! I thought heart disease ran in our family, what the hell was going on.

I was shaken to the core and not ready to give in to this future, so I was faced with the question what can “I” do to stop this. Well the doctor said that I could take a over the counter pain medication. (Taking Tylenol every day for the rest of my life was not an option)

Options:

Analgesics: reduce pain, no effect on inflammation

Non Steroidal anti inflammatory: Reduce  pain and inflammation

Counter-irritants: stops immune system from attacking joints

Biologics: Targets protein molecules involved in immune response.

Corticosteroids: Reduce inflammation and Suppress immune system

That all sounded fun! but none of them treated the disease just the symptoms. I was looking for a way to stop and possibly reverse the damage that had been done already. I started looking at immune system health and how this affects the body. I started noticing a trend in the causes of autoimmune disorders . Bacteria or virus, drugs, chemical, environmental, and hereditary. OK now this is getting interesting my Immune system can be affected by external influences. This I can do something about and If I can change my immune system I can change my symptoms.

Now before I go on, I am not a doctor, lets get that clear. Other than the medical training I had in the military, I don’t have a medical background. What I do have is a food and nutrition background with and unlimited amount of personal drive to affect my condition. I decided to attack this on all fronts. First I had to eliminate the possibility of a viral or fungal infection. With that ruled out I started looking at the other factors and came up with a plan to effect my environment, diet, any possible chemical toxins, and exercise. I realized this is a lifestyle change and I had to have the right frame of mind to accomplish this monumental undertaking.

A positive attitude is everything! Get your brain into the game, stress and a negative outlook will destroy all the positive things you are trying to accomplish. Remember you are fighting a war and you cant win a war unless you believe you are going to win. Stress directly affects your immune system. Exercise: find an exercise program that increases blood-flow and flexibility and muscle growth to support the joints. Diet: What you put in your body directly affects the health of your body. Environmental. Reduce the amount of chemicals your body is introduced to.

With this plan in mind and being a chef I first addressed diet and found that there are foods that can positively and negatively affect your immune system and affect your symptoms. Foods that will help your overall immune health and treat  your symptoms, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, fatty fish (omega 3), garlic, tart cherries, turmeric, vitamin C.

Foods that negatively affect your immune system and symptoms Night Shade plants (Tomato, eggplant,potato,most peppers) foods high in trans fat, red meat,fried foods, prepackaged baked goods, soda or high sugar drinks i.e.energy drinks, High fructose corn syrup.

This is also true for gout sufferers which is caused by the bodies inability to process uric acids crystals causing swelling and pain in joints. The diets are almost identical for arthritis, gout, type one diabetes, heart health and obesity. There is a definite  pattern to all of this and it was glaringly obvious to me that the solution was so simple. The question then became why are we not seeing this on the news, in government publications, and its only being talked about by the fringe of society and in the deep dark corners of the web. The answer was less than sinister and so obvious. Money! the medical machine cant make money off healthy people. The food companies where not willing to cut profits in order to make the food healthier and the government doesn’t get millions of dollars from the food counsels to tell people not to eat meat. It’s up to the consumer to decide and vote with the all mighty dollar.

Here is the food pyramid recommended by the Government circa 1970

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Here is the average Americans diet

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And here is the modern recommendationimages

But I was trying to go further, I needed to repair the damage I had done and rebuild my immune system and body to fight the disease that had taken hold of me. First I wanted to clean out my body and get rid of as much of the poison I had accumulated over the years. I decided on a strict vegan diet would be the best option because I wasn’t doing this for 24 hours, I was going for the big game, my life! One month was my target to get as much of the toxins out of my body and rebuild my immune system as much as possible. I also started an intense exercise program that included martial arts training and body conditioning. When I began I was 20 lbs over weight (according to my BMI) and I had other things like tinnitus, high blood pressure and chronic sinus issues to deal with. I held back for almost 6 months to start the diet because I was convinced that I needed to eat meat to be healthy for exercise. I had lost about 5 lbs from exercise but I had gained muscle at the same time so I thought I was doing well.

Diet is 90% of the Battle

When I started my diet I had a plan in place for meals and plenty of recipes to choose from including some of my own. There are a ton of cook books out there so I wont bore you with a list, just know the information is there for you if you decide to try this. One foot note Herbs and seasoning are your friends. The first week I lost 5 lbs, the second week I lost 5 more by the end of the third week I noticed I had not only lost 15 lbs and reached my goal BMI I noticed a distinct change in other things as well. My skin was softer and more healthy, My Tinnitus had all but disappeared, my joints were no longer stiff and sore, my blood pressure was normal, and my testosterone levels were climbing.  It was all connected, all of it. that’s when I had my “Ah Ha moment ” and set out to keep improving my quality of life. I am very careful about what I put in my body. I found I had an allergy to dairy ( not a lactose intolerance but an allergy) that caused abdominal bloating, Sinusitis, dandruff,skin irritation, and IBS. Gone! don’t miss that stuff or the dairy at all. I don’t drink sodas or eat food that has been processed. ( I found croutons in the store that contained high fructose corn syrup! Why?)  I read labels and wash my fruits and vegetables well, (Chemicals) I don’t use heavy chemicals to clean. Plain old soap and lemon juice work just fine. I make my own weed killers and organic gardening techniques. Like I said earlier this is a “Lifestyle Change” you cant go half way it doesn’t work like that, its all or nothing. Remember its a war with the battle being taken on with no quarter. I have added 3 oz of meat a day back into my diet but stay away from red meat completely. I eat vegetables as 90% of my diet and also add Beans, fruit, and nuts as much as possible. If you reduce the money spent on meat and buy vegetables instead you will have so much more food. I eat constantly but gain nothing in weight. I have gone from large meals to multiple small meals and my body processes food much better. Drink lots of water to help your body process your food and keep hydrated. Good luck on your journey but remember its all or nothing there is no half way when your life is on the line.

 

 

Excuse Me , Are You The Manager?

201501_1253_gidbe_sm The simple phrase Excuse me are you the manager? can trigger the fight or flight instinct in any young manager. I have seen restaurant managers hide, cry, sweat, act like a heavy weight getting ready for a fight. These are reactions from years of verbal and physical intimidation at the hands of restaurant guests. I was lucky, I was raised in a military household and spent six years in the military myself, I also had worked with some pretty explosive chefs so by the time I started working in the front of the house I had a pretty hard outer shell. But most restaurant managers for the most part, don’t have the years of experience I had. With this in mind I look at confrontation with customers a little different than most and carry a sense of humor that borders on the slightly warped,( Thank You! Monty Python and Dr Demento )

  So with that in mind I’m going to share some of the funnier confrontations I have had with customers. Id like to start with a little story I like to call The Mercedes. The  story starts when a woman walked into the restaurant to pick up her take out order. 11282133_420126578166597_186207448_nShe claimed that she had been waiting outside for over an hour, even though we had only had the order for 20 minutes, The order was ready for her but she felt she shouldn’t have to pay. I was working expo about 10 feet from the exchange between her and the manager on duty and even though it wasn’t my fight I saw the young manager starting to cave so I stepped in. I walked up to the woman and offered my assistance. She made her claim again at which point I pulled up her order on the computer and explained to her that from our records we had only had the order for twenty minutes and that it had been ready for the last five. She then proclaimed that she was not some low life and that she drove a Mercedes. I smiled and told her congratulations and that she still would not be comping her food at this time being that we were well within acceptable service time. (My face totally dead pan). At this time she pushed the issue insisting it had been well over an hour that she had been outside waiting. I then asked if she had called upon arrival like we had asked her to, so that we would know and be able to bring her food out. She said “No” she had not and that we should have been able to find her because she drove a MERCEDES. I than asked if she had pulled out front of the restaurant like she had been instructed so that the valet would let us know she had arrived. Again the answer was “No” she informed me she was parked out in the mall parking lot but she told them on the phone that she drove a MERCEDES, so she would be easy to spot.  Again I congratulated her on her choice of vehicles, and informed her that because she failed to follow any of the instructions given to her at the time she placed her order and the fact that we were well within the time we quoted her over the phone that there was nothing I was willing to do for her at that time. I thanked for her business and even offered to carry the order out to her Mercedes. She declined my kind offer.

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  This next tale of customer relations I like to call Reverse Psychology, One sunny Southern California afternoon I was working the front of the restaurant, my General Manager Roy was working Expo and it was a nice busy lunch everything was going well and I was making my rounds of the tables when I was stopped by a table I had already been to by a woman asking me “Excuse me, are you the Manager”.  I smiled and reintroduced myself and asked how I could be of assistance? The woman informed me that their food was cold and wanted to know what I was going to do about it? I asked her if she would rather have me heat her food for her or remake the dish which would take a little longer. She looked me right in the eye and said” The food was brought to us cold and that I should be buying them lunch and offering them something else. I smiled and informed her that their food was delivered hot twenty minutes ago because I had delivered it myself, seeing that their waiter was taking an order at another table. Roy , my General Manager, was only about fifteen feet away and watching the whole exchange with interest. She then suggested that her food had sat on the counter of expo getting cold because the waiter was busy. I than informed her that the gentleman standing behind the counter at expo was the general manager and that he had asked me to run the food as soon as it came up. She then called me a liar and informed me that she new the food was cold when I brought it over. I asked her at that point if she was suggesting that the General Manager would allow someones food to sit in the window until it became cold and pointed at Roy. At this point Roy, unable to hold back, informed her from across the counter that the food came out of the oven and was brought straight to her table. I then suggested that the food was brought over hot, but in their enjoying their conversation and wine that they had allowed the food to become cold, and reiterated my earlier offer to re-heat or re-make the food. She looked me right in the eye and said “OH NO! Your using reverse psychology on me”. I stood up from my kneeling position next to her table and said I would be happy to re-heat the dishes, no longer offering to remake them, or box up her food for her so she could take it home and reheat it herself. Realizing she had offended every person that would be handling her food she asked for the boxes, boxed it herself paid her bill and left. Moral: Sometimes reverse psychology works!

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There are so many stories I have yet to tell but it will have to wait for next week.

Food for Thought

Restaurant Survival 101

I have been in the restaurant service industry for twenty five years and I have noticed a trend over the last ten years that is worthy of mention. In the last ten years or so I have noticed a shift in the attitude of customers that has become quite alarming. People have started walking into a restaurant and become overly demanding of the establishment, almost as if they were owed something. There is a sense of entitlement that goes with this attitude that I find particularly distasteful. It used to be when people would come into your establishment, they were a guest. They were treated as a guest and acted as a guest. A guest doesn’t walk into your home and make demands and expect you to meet all their demands no matter how trivial. A guest walks into your home and accepts the fact that you will do the best you can to accommodate their needs. There is a level of respect that is agreed upon between you and the guest when they arrive.

I have actually seen people walk into a restaurant and treat it as if it where their living room, shoes off feet up, allowing their children to run around (I’ll touch on that subject a little later). They don’t acknowledge you as a human being let alone as their host and the person who will be responsible for meeting their needs. This coupled with that sense of entitlement I talked about earlier creates a sense of broken trust and resentment. Do these people realize that by their actions they will receive the minimum in hospitality from the staff. And nine times out of ten these are the cheapest people you will meet.

Complaint

  I will let you in on a secret, If you show respect you will receive respect. If there is ever a problem with something in the restaurant and you talk to the manager in a polite tone and demand nothing, you will find that the manager will go out of their way to not only fix the problem, but will go out of their way to make sure the rest of your visit is above your expectations. If you are demanding and short with the manager and wait staff they will do the bare minimum to get you out of the restaurant. I have personally seen restaurant managers avoid a table because the table was acting like a bunch of self important, demanding, rude guests. Remember if you are rude to the server the first thing they do is go in the back and tell the manager and the whole kitchen what an asshole you are. service2

If you are polite and patient the server will come back to your table more frequently. If you have a bad server, It’s OK to talk to the manager if the server is not doing their job well, but, do it with respect, don’t be aggressive, don’t tell the manager how to do their job, and unless you are a professional restaurant manager, Don’t offer your opinion. We don’t care that you were once a waitress or waiter( you probably weren’t that good at it). We don’t care that you are sure the customer is always right (Your Not), and we don’t care that you are going to call and complain about us. I’ll let you in on another secret, We rarely ever get in trouble for complaints to the call center or corporate head quarters, or the owner. They just pass the complaint back to us for an “Action Plan”. That is code for Bull Shit! Most Managers are more than happy to fix whatever they can while you are still inside the restaurant. I have had people call a week later to complain about something that occurred while dining in the restaurant and expect me to do something about it. Really?

images (5)  Now I would like to touch on something that as a parent I find really deplorable. If you feel the need to bring your children with you to a restaurant, realize that unless your children are very well behaved and have manners they are not appreciated for being the “Little Darlings” you believe them to be. We are not your child’s caregiver, Nanny, babysitter,teacher etc. Would you allow your child to yell, scream and run around at your bosses house? Of course not. Why then would you subject everyone around you to your little hellion when these paying customers have just as much right to a positive dinning experience as you do. If you are not adept at teaching your child how to behave, then stay home! If your child has special needs, please let the server know, they will do everything possible to accommodate you.

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There are good and bad restaurants , just as there are good and bad customers. If you experience one of these “Bad Restaurants” you have the option of never going back. The worst thing you can do to a restaurant is never return. Restaurants live and die by the repeat customer, so they want you to return. The average restaurant can only last a few months on new business before word gets out that they are bad. This is why restaurants open and close so frequently. What the industry refers to as Mom and Pop restaurants are a dying breed, which is too bad because some of these restaurants are real treasures. The Chain restaurants are fine if you like that kind of food, but there is no creativity in the kitchen and they don’t attract the best of the culinary world. If you love restaurants like I do, give the independent restaurant a try once in a while. You might be surprised at how good these places can be. The other upside is you are supporting the local economy, these restaurants supply their food locally and for the most part hire locally. There are even restaurants that specialize in the “Farm to Table” mentality so often times local farms and ranchers are used. You get better quality food that is going into your dishes. Another hint, Chain restaurants get there food shipped from a central location that mass produces the products and gets their meat from large factory farms that use mass feeding and slaughtering techniques to keep up with the demand for the restaurants. This practice is bad for the animals, the environment, and the quality of the food you are eating.

Chicken nuggets anyone
Chicken nuggets anyone