Monday, June 06, 2011

Is Anything Minor?

Two scenarios:

A new cook decides to add diced olives to a dish that a restaurant has served for years. One member of a family of four who has loved the old recipe doesn't like the change which cannot be easily undone since the olives are mixed in with a bunch of other ingredients. As a result, that person has less of an incentive to visit the restaurant for that dish. Since the family dines together, if another restaurant is chosen, the old one has lost four customers simply because the new chef decided to add some olives.

Another family. One member loves the addition of the olives. As a result, the dish becomes a favorite. The other family members go along to the restaurant because they defer to the one member's preference on the issue.

With either scenario, the decision may add up to hundreds of dollars lost or gained in the course of a year.

It can be difficult to determine just what is a minor decision.


John said...

After five or six years in the food business I finally went to work for a big outfit, a cafeteria serving about two thousand meals a day. The manager burst one of my balloons when he said with perfect seriousness, "We don't want creative people here. We want people who can read and interpret a recipe and do it exactly the same every time, in accordance with the company standard."

Turns out he was right. Fresh foods fresh, hot foods hot and cold foods cold will be enough to keep you busy every minute without worrying about uniformity of flavors, appearance or hidden secrets.

Michael Wade said...


Good point. Executing the basics can be hard enough. I think the food biz is one of the toughest out there.