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Meat temps

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
So tonight at work, somebody ordered a NY strip medium, now with his add-ons his individual meal was roughly 45$ with out booz.

Now i sent the steak out slightly above medium, because i knew it would cook slightly until it go to the table. The gentlemen proceeded to cut into his steak, saying in a quite sarcastic voice that this was no where near medium, so now i have the FOH manager barking down my throat, my chef didn't say anything but cook it more and send it back out. After my shift i got reamed out by the FOH manager because he lost a bigger tip and that we lost those customers forever because of that issue.

It in my opinion it was medium, the customer said otherwise, so am i at fault. I know "the customer is always right" , but what if the customer doesn't know what medium really is, what if there used to chain restaurants, where you order by the amount of pink you want compared to a real professional cooking a properly done steak.

Your thoughts......


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post #2 of 29
First of all, why is the FOH manager talking to you at all about that, and why doesn't your chef or expeditor deal with him? Secondly, if you truly KNOW it was medium, then don't sweat it. As long as your chef backs you up you have no problem. You aren't responsible for a guest's reactions. You just have to do what the ticket says in the proper way as quick as possible and then it's out of your hands. If it gets sent back to have something else done to it...do it and keep your mouth shut about it. Some guests are just never satisfied.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
well our FOH is also the head server and we don't have an expo, well not on weeknights.
post #4 of 29
Ok, well just make sure you are absolutely sure every time you cook a new york that it's the correct temp. New yorks are more dense and if you don't know about them, will be undercooked; ie: a medium new york feels like a well done filet or otherwise.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, i appreciate it
post #6 of 29
just wait till its after the shift and speak to your FOH manager... ask him if he can cook.... if his answer is no then tell him that you appreciate his loyalty to his customers, but if he ever yells at you in service because a customer says medium but means well done, hes going to find himself short of whatever finger he was pointing at you.

then walk away and leave the matter closed

only once was i yelled at by FOH... i simply walked out of the kitchen and asked the customer what was wrong with the meat... she said she wanted medium and this was rare, i explained that this was infact medium, and rare is alot redder in colour and how does she like it, without any red? she said yes i said ok, ill sort this out, next time if you order well done, then you will get it how you like... apologised for the FOH not knowing about the difference between medium and rare (she had heard him yell at me and felt bad) and i got a fairly decent tip from it.

now i know you cant always go out of the kitchen during service... but the point is... the customer is not always right... they must simply think they are always right

the real motto should be the customer always gets what he wants, wether hes right or wronger than a sideways leopard
post #7 of 29
I have put temp descriptions on the menu......rare/red cool center,
mr/warm red center, medium/warm pink center, mw/hot light pink center,
well/not recommended. Do your job....don't sweat it, sounds like unprofessional co-workers, what would the gm care about lost grats in the
first place. Good luck!! When in doubt....comp the meal....you know what
they say......customers that had a bad experience will tell 10 people, customers that had a great meal may only tell 2 or 3 people.
post #8 of 29

Medium whaa?

I think the steak should have been a little UNDER medium optimally, Iagree with the letting it finish scenario, plus sometines the servers are slow and it finishes in the window!
Next time get a thermometer and check, and /or show the chef before it goes out so he can make the call and get you out of the middle.
If it was me I would save that steak for a medium well order that you may get or well and re cook the steak!
A good chef will intercede on your behalf and would rather make the customer happy than having to comp more than a steak on the bill and tarnish his/ your/ the houses reputation.
Nate the Great
post #9 of 29

The spike

This seems like a perfect opportunity to spike the FOH manager's cranberry juice with a red pepper flake/vinegar reduction. He will have learned his lesson.
post #10 of 29
To bad visine doesn't work anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #11 of 29

Lobster gun

You could always send the FOH to the restaurant next door for the lobster gun or the Trout au Bleu because oh no! we ran out of bleu.
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

Empty the water out of coffee machine so it can be cleaned..i get them on that everytime
post #13 of 29
Send em out for a bucket off steam
post #14 of 29
good replies!

I have to confess to watching part of Kitchen Nightmares last night, and there was a complaining whining customer incessantly bitching about the new menu food... Ramsay told her point blank she was talking out of her butt, and then when she proceeded to continue to complain to him in front of other customers, he said to the other customers right in front of her "sorry about the old bag." :D

Even Stephen I like that your menu says "not recommended" for well done. I'm thinking "not in this restaurant" or how bout "a capital offense."
post #15 of 29

Special Sauce

My dream response(besides when driving, a rocket launcher on top of my car) is to suggest my special sauce!!!
I call in De- Greaser Buerre Blanc, for the FOH manager...I also like the idea of bleach in a squirt gun to squirt at his back of his suit/sport coat....ooh a little too evil huh??
Why is the guy getting tips, he's a manager.
Your chef should still intercede and cover your ***...thats kitchen politics 101, maybe he doesnt deserve your loyalty, plus if one customer ruins everyones day it will be a short lived career for all involved.
If this is a chain place ask huiman resources about the greivance procedure or policy for handleing customer complaints, the pecking order and ...suggets sharing some of the tips to the FOH manager to give you guys charring the flesh and incentive to collaberate , not incinerate!!

(sounds like shoe makers in the front of the house to me!)
Nate the Great
post #16 of 29
First of all customers are rarely right. I have never seen any one group turn so stupid after walking into a restaurant than customers. And that's not just my need to know more about food. Believe me when I meet a customer who knows more about food, or **** anything about food, I get so excited, I do a dance, kiss their hand and force them to be my best friend.

I try to never let the customer get away with insisting their wrong information is right. I try to say my nicest, I am here to help you voice " I am so sorry sir, when I probed the meat with my instant thermometer it game up at x degreees which is 1 degree above what the USDS defines as medium. Many chain restaurants are known to cook steaks to at least 7-10 degrees above medium for safety sake and call it medium. Would you like to try a steak at Medium-well or well -done that is cooked to x degrees?

Who cares if I am lying or being childish. I don't mind when I need to fix a genuine mistake but it pisses me off when people walk in and suddenly think I don't know how to do my job.
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
post #17 of 29

Oyster Story

How's this. My wife an I went to a restaurant in Brooklyn one night after seeing a terrible movie. My thought was that a tasty meal could help to salvage the evening. I ordered an Oyster poboy. The first and second bites were fine. But, upon chomping down on the third, I immediately noticed a bad oyster. I called the waiter over, and explained to him that I had bitten into a funky oyster. He told me to hang on and I saw him walk over to the owner...someone I later found out was a ******lunatic. The owner came over and rudely asked me... "Funky? What do you mean funky?" To which I responded, aside from being a chef, I think that anyone lay person with half a palate can recognize a fouled piece of shellfish when they get one. He proceeded to tell me that he sells 40 of these a day and had never had a complete. The real kicker came when he went back to the kitchen, and returned to the table with a quart container filled with shucked oysters, slammed it down in front of me and said "smell this". Needless to say, he is no longer in business.
post #18 of 29

You said it

Hey, Me again,

I had to re read your piece...

You admit the steak was above medium, you over cooked it, the rest is history.
You probably lost the customers because the FOH manager is a dip stick anyway...one over cooked steak will not ruin a restuarants rep unless there were other factors, like poor management, managers projecting thier greed...groveling for a tip, chewing out the workers...
He should lose you too!!!
Lifes too short , find someone that appreciates your drive to do things right and be accountable...

Nate the Great
post #19 of 29
I think what s/he was saying was that it was undercooked (MR) so that the carryover cooking would hit Medium when the customer got the steak, not that it was overcooked. Regardless, the customer sent it back becuase it was not cooked enough for his liking.
post #20 of 29

The way I see it

When the customer is in the house, the customer is always right. The FOH people usually would not be able to cook themselves out of a paper bag, and more often than not are narcissistic actor types who when working, care only about 1 thing, and that is tips. The kitchen always has 2 things on our minds, getting the food out right, and getting it out fast - clearing the board is always the goal, but doing it so that everything is perfect, and nothing gets sent back. In their lack of understanding of food and cooking, the waitstaff often demands things that are rediculous because of their inability to sell the customer with finesse. A waiter/waitress is a salesperson. Nothing more. It is their job to understand the capabilities and habits of the kitchen and sell the menu and the items on it accordingly to the customers. If a customer wants something a certain way and the kitchen cannot oblige, it is the narcissistic actor/server's job to act and sell the customer on the idea that while the customer is right, the kitchen is more right. It is called hospitality. Service is service. Hospitality is a dialogue between FOH and BOH, and FOH and customers. (The thoughts of the great Danny Meyer) Once the last customer leaves. I urge all to drink together and in a fun and joking way complain about annoying customers and each other.
post #21 of 29

I beg to differ


I am almost done with this story but...:lol:

The writer said they sent the steak out just above medium which means medium well, the customer order medium.

Lets move on...drinkings a good idea:beer:...but what happens when the same problem re surfaces?

Ventilating is one thing, not tripping over the same rock is another!!:chef:

Joy be with you
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
just above medium....sorry i meant that the other way meaning undercooked not overcooked
post #23 of 29
Forget about the "overcooked" steak or whatever the issue with the food was.....The biggest issue I saw in your story is that your "chef" let some FOH bozo ream you out....sorry dude, that is unacceptable in my book.....if he is worth his Danskos, he should have had your back....at least publicly.....
post #24 of 29

Rock on


Thats the issue.

I still think that a little more focus on whats up and down, over and under in cooking terminology is an issue with our young line cook.

If you cant verbalize, in writing what the issue was correctly, there is a need for some work on mental acuity regarding steak cookery.
If the steak was undercooked it could be remidied by a little more heat, ...over...its over!

Its frustrating for me to offer a solution or counsel on an issue that was not presented correctly.:eek:

(Where have I heard that name...Van Halen??):D


post #25 of 29
i had a similar situation a quite a few years ago involving a medium eye fillet. it got sent back to the kitchen so i cooked up another one and triple made sure it was spot on. to my surprise the customer asked to see me, so i went to his table. he started to rave on that hit eye fillet wasnt medium and that his aunty was a chef. big ****ing deal your aunty is a chef i was thinking. i invited him into my kitchen, handed him the tongs, pointed out where the eye fillets were and said now you show me how to cook a medium eye fillet. he soon realised that he had no idea what he was going on about, i then told him to get the **** out of my kitchen.
it felt good but i got drilled for it by the manager the next day.
customers are NOT always right. we dont spend many years training, then perfecting the art of our trade to have some ****wit come in and try to tell us hoe to do our job, clearly when they have no idea themselvs.
it all come down to what chef stands for
C cant
H help
E every
F ****er
post #26 of 29
Some people like to complain, either because it makes them feel like a bigger person, or because they want a discount or free food.

There isn't a whole lot you can do about it, and it most likely had nothing to do with the steak.

post #27 of 29
What I suspect happens is that each place does temps a little different so customers accustomed to one places style of "medium" might send back steaks that fall within an acceptable range of "medium", but are not what they are used to.

Then we have people that like to complicate things further (Medium rare to medium... medium to medium well).
post #28 of 29
If all chefs have the same guidelines and temps to work to then that should not be an issue, I believe the problem is that everyone's interpretation of med/med rare/med well etc. is different. One person may say I want medium with no pink another may say medium with pink. Chefs are in a no win situation when this happens and they need accurate communication with FOH. I have orders sometimes which border on the ridiculous, something like medium to medium rare but more on the medium side of medium to medium rare!!! Only kidding, I would not accept an order like that but you can bet that if I did...they would.
post #29 of 29
Oh and another thing.....THE CUSTOMER IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT... that is something that all FOH people need to get their heads around. The only communication that the kitchen has with the customers is via the FOH people. They really need to provide accurate information and keep instuctions clear and simple, a chef needs to look at a ticket and know instantly what is required and not have to dicipher a load of irrelavent rubbish.
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