restaurant kitchen horror stories don't be shy....share your with us!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eve T, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. Eve T

    Eve T Supporting Actor

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    Okay, I was reading up on my thread about being cursed by the restaurant gods such as poor food, poor service etc.
    This idea came to me after reading Jack Briggs post on how he would like to read about the horror that goes on in the kitchens of restaurants.
    I'll oblige with a few stories of my own. All of these incidents I have witnessed personally.

    Incident 1#
    I was an in store trainer for Ponderosa Steakhouse when I was 17 years of age. In my experience as far as work goes it must have been one of the worst jobs I ever had. I had to deal with a 79/21 percent ratio of crappy customers who would never tip despite the excellent service I tried to provide. Sometimes I would have the whole floor as other waiters/waitresses would not show up to work. Did the customers take any of this into account seeing I had the WHOLE floor? Naaaa
    Anywayz, I had about had it one table of jerkoffs and was at my wits end. One man at the table threw his baked potato at me and told me "I said extra butter!" as if I was the one who made the darned thing. I exited the table and went the kitchen to get his baked potato with "extra butter" Once I entered the kitchen I broke into tears, it had been such a long night and as kind and polite as I had tried to be this jerkoff just plain hurt my feelings. The cook saw I was in distress and asked me what happened. I relayed the story to him and he spit a big hocker into the guys new potato and then pressed it down with the tines of a fork and put extra butter ontop of all of that.
    Ashamed as I may be I delivered that baked potato to the man who threw his last one at me with a SMILE.
    That is the only incident I was involved in.

    Incident 2#
    I used to work at a pet store which had a Chinese restaurant buffet right next door. Our rats would always get out of the cages and dissapear....wonder where they went? It was not uncommon to see one speed across the kitchen floor.But anyway, heh I would go outside back and smoke on my lunch breaks and watch these trucks deliver the Chinese restaurants meat in..get this "hefty bags"
    Many a time we would watch in horror as the Chinese people would spit into the meals they were cooking, blow their noses with snot and whatnot into the soup etc. Needless to say we NEVER ate next door.

    Incident #3

    I worked at Hardee's fast food when I was younger part time. I would repeatedly witness the fry cooks and broiler cooks drop hamburgers on the dirty floor and pick them up and put them on the grill. I also witnessed a ticked off cashieer spit into the shake machine with the ickiest juciest hocker you ever did see come out of a female.

    Incident 4# Back to Ponderosa, it was a regular thing to watch the salad bar lady drop things and use them on the salad bar. Also they would mix week or two old food back into new food they would prepare for the salad bar.
    Also, you didn't want to tick the other waiters off because they would spit in your sodas EVERY time.

    Thats about all I saw but I know there are worse stories, so share them, or even confess to them!
    Give us your most horrific blow by blow on what you've seen in restaurant kitchens.
     
  2. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    I've seen:
    [*]Burger King: Drive-thru girl would spit in your soda if you were rude to her. Manager knew - thought it was funny.
    [*]Pizza joint: The "cheese guy" dropped an entire day's worth of unsliced cheese blocks on the floor, which hadn't been cleaned all day. They were covered with God only knows what. Since cheese was (and still is) the most expensive ingredient for pizza places, the manager instructed us to wash it off, slice it, and use it the next day. An awful lot of floor debris made it into the pizzas the next day, because it was next to impossible to wash a lot of it off.[/list]
    I've heard of:
    [*]A number of employees at the local Taco Bell were caught -- get this -- peeing in the meat. They'd do their business in it and mix it all up when they were done. This one made the local paper. I thank God every day that I wasn't into Taco Bell and thus never ate there.
    [*]Friend of mine worked at another pizza joint. They had a list of known non-tippers, and when you ordered, they'd do all sorts of things to your pizza. Their favorite deeds took place when one of them was sick - they'd have the sick guy sneeze all over the pizza in an effort to make the customer sick as well. To this day I tip pizza delivery drivers very well just to be sure. That is, on the rare occasion I actually order from any of those nasty places. I prefer take & bake, homemade, or pizza from a real Italian restaurant.[/list]
     
  3. Pete_S

    Pete_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Ten or so years ago a local Hardee's was shut down after some customers got Hepatitis (A or B, can't remember) from eating there... It was discovered that some employees had been urinating in the pickle containers.
     
  4. Sean P

    Sean P Agent

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    I've personally seen a lot of the 5 second rule. It was oficially frowned upon, but if you tried to throw away some hamburgers cause they were well paste time limits, you would get yelled at (at least) Kind of a damned if you do .... situation.

    As for scary other stuff...

    I had a friend at burger king-he told me that to amuse themselves, thay'd add the various colors to the tops of the burgers to make them burn different colors as they were flame broiled. No one got sick that I knew of, but still ...
     
  5. Eve T

    Eve T Supporting Actor

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  6. Sean P

    Sean P Agent

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    Stupid thoughts not typing themselves out. ;( Anyways, they'd add different color cleaners. Floor, counter, sink. Some would burn blue, some red some green. I was never told of any bodily fluids, for whatever assurance that offers.
     
  7. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Those newer retaurants where the kitchens are in plain view from the tables are sounding better and better all the time.
     
  8. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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  9. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    These types of post just confirm my fears of eating out. My GF is even worse than I am about this paranoia.
    I've recently had an occurance at a restaurant that was in wide open view the patrons and I have heard that others have apparently had these same things happen to them at this same place.

    This restaurant was opened by a distant relative so I of course wanted to go down and show support as a customer. One day a friend of mine was doing some homemade chicken and dumplings dish for them to serve and I decided to pick this day to have lunch with them.

    The relatives were a distant cousin and his mom, and a neice. The cousin was a heavy, heavy smoker and was serving as the main cook during the first few weeks of opening. I already knew he simply had no business having anything to do with food prep since he was a slob with nasty habits all his life.

    Even so, I was welcomed and the mom made me feel good for showing up, and served me a wonderful homemade roll. This is where wonderful stopped.....

    1: Noticed both waitresses coming out of the kitchen sucking and licking their fingers. Although a hand wash station was located behind the main counter and in full view, neither EVER washed their hands during my visit. Same goes for anyone else during this time also. That sink was apparrently just to pass inspection... A few minutes later, my cousin the cook came out to talk with me and was licking his fingers too! Then his mom (kinda running around doing everything) came out of the kitchen, again licking HER fingers!!

    2: Noticed a waitress through a portal in the kitchen, appearing to be preparing something but couldn't really tell, she had mid length hair that she was constantly pushing back with her hand by mostly running her fingers through it. Then here she came with two salads. No prep gloves and noted no one else was wearing them either.

    3: Time to serve me.... this was a buffet attended by the mom... she prepped my plate as I mainly wanted just chicken and dumplings and brocoli. Then she noted the cheese wasn't out so she just sat my plate aside on a nearby chair and said she'd bring it to me when the cheese sauce came out. Served two more patrons before the cheese came out and she remembered where she sat my plate, added the cheese to now cold plate and brought it to me. As she had been serving me, she mumbled something about that dadburn bandaid just wouldn't stay on.... I had looked but hadn't seen one so didn't think much about it... but when she brought my plate, she once again mentioned she was gonna go change her bandaid and then I saw it.... it was on her hand that she was holding the plate with. Apparently she had cut herself earlier. She went to the counter in plain view of all, and proceeded to change the bandaid.

    4: I began eating and out of three bites of chicken and dumblings, I got three bones! Just after that, my buddy who was making the c&d, came out and told me this wasn't a good day to try this particular dish as the cousin didn't have any breasts and had used leg and wings for his meat that he used and the used a knife to debone.....

    5: My buddy later told me that when those salads mentioned above had been made, they were low on lettuce. The cousin had gone into the trash, retrieved browned lettuce, ordered the waitress to prepared the salads by trimming the brown off.

    Needless to say, I have not returned to this restaurant and heard the other day, that due to sat night drunken parties (after closing), the mom had quit helping and the place had fallen into no control whatsoever. The cousin, his new cook, and the waitresses all smoke and they do it in the kitchen. My buddy had been going out there sometimes to help but has quit due to some of the practices he witnessed with food prep. The restaurant is still open but I can't imagine why.

    I do believe that practices like has been mentioned in these posts are standard procedure these days. No one seems to have any respect for patrons since all of us continue to flock to reastaurants and fast food joints. I do know that we are extremely picky and will leave in a second at any suspicion of impropriety. I have left fast food sitting on the counter and left restaurants after being served without eating a bite. I do believe management tries mostly, but cannot watch everybody all the time. Pay just does not allow restaurants to hire the best of people and I can just imagine what happens when any of them have a bad day.
     
  10. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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  11. Andy_S

    Andy_S Second Unit

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    I noticed a lot of fast food restaurants now have cameras pointed at the food prep stations. I hope to God that these have curbed most of this kind of thing.
     
  12. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

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    I shouldn't have read this thread so close to lunchtime.

    Moe.
     
  13. Ari

    Ari Stunt Coordinator

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    Do youselves a favor and read "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain (chef at Les Halles). IMHO, it's not very well written but it's very informative and quite entertaining. Stuff that's too hard to believe apparently does happen in the kitchen....
     
  14. Andrew Chong

    Andrew Chong Supporting Actor

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    Reading a few (frankly can't stomach continuing to read more) of these horror stories makes me feel queasy and has put me off eating in any restaurant.

    I've heard of people smoking in kitchens, food preparers handling food without washing with soap after handling cash, but I never knew it was as bad as some have witnessed.
     
  15. John Stone

    John Stone Supporting Actor

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    I'm a cleanliness and freshness freak when it comes to food. I love to cook (I'm not bad, either!), and I prepare 90% of the meals I eat myself. My wife does not like to cook, so she prepares about 9% of our meals. I eat out MAYBE once a year, and I'm always VERY nice to the server (plus I'm a big tipper by nature). I never ever, ever, EVER eat fast food. I just don't trust most people, and with good reason it seems. [​IMG]
    As for my horror story, I have to go all the way back to the late 80s, which was the last time I worked in the food service industry. I was 19 years old, and the GM of a local Pizza joint (I was friends with the owner of the chain). I told all of my cooks that if I ever caught any of them doing anything to purposely "foul" any of the food, I would fire them on the spot. Well, sure enough one day I caught MY OWN YOUNGER BROTHER (who I had hired as a cook just days before) spraying WINDOW CLEANER on the dough of a pizza before he sauced it. He did it because he saw that the order had been placed by a someone he disliked. I'm glad I caught him before the pizza went out. I was really pissed but I didn't fire him (should have). He's grown up a lot since then and would never do something like that now.
    One time at the same pizza place, I was working on a Saturday morning, which is a pretty slow time. There was no one there except for me and a driver. So the driver takes an order and hands me the ticket so that I can make the pie, when I notice that the person who placed the order was a guy who stole some stuff from my house while he was a guest there, and also tried to steal my friggin girlfriend. It was VERY tempting to do something to his food, but I'm proud to say that I didn't succumb and I prepared his pizza without doing anything unsanitary to it. "Do onto others..." and all that, I guess. [​IMG] I'll bet he would have shit if he knew that I prepared his food, though. [​IMG]
     
  16. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

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    I have two that I have witnessed and have far too many I have heard about from friends who used to work in the restaurant business. The first one I witnessed was at a Chinese Restaurant. There was a buffet and it was time to change the pork fried rice. The gentleman proceeded to drop the tray and about 1/4 of it spilled out on the floor. Well, in plain view of everyone and no qualms about doing so, he proceeded to scoop the rice off of the floor with the serving spoon and dish it back into the rice vat.

    The second one was at a breakfast establishment. We had frequented this place once a week and would always sit at a table. Well on our last visit, my son decided he would like to sit at the counter. My wife got to see the cook preparing the dishes. On several occasions he would wipe the back of his hand over his nose and then wipe his hand over his apron. If this wasn't bad enough, the best is yet to come (in plain view mind you). As most men have to do on occasion (but usually do so in private) the cook had to adjust his "boys". No, it wasn't done from the outside of his pants. He proceeded to "adjust" himself by sticking his hand down his pants until his "boys" were perfectly positioned, took his hand out and then proceeded to cook as if nothing happened. Safe to say we haven't been back.
     
  17. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Eve,

    It's one thing to retaliate against a customer who personally assaulted you with a potato (using the word "assault" loosely), but another to spit into a shake machine where shakes would be dispensed for presumably innocent customers. If a co-worker of mine did that, I would demand that he/she be fired, or just flat out quit.

    I worked at a Burger King for three years during college and despite having to work the "bar rush" (Midnight to 4:00 a.m.) many times and dealing with a lot of people who were annihilated, I never witnessed any despositing of bodily fluids or cleaning solvents on the food. Sure, we'd have an occasional complaint about an accidental strand of hair being found on a burger, but the stories I've seen here thus far are really sickening.
     
  18. JoshF

    JoshF Supporting Actor

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    I could be wrong, but it seems to me as though some of you need to exercise a bit more discretion as to where you're eating. Some rules to live by that I've learned from this thread:

    1) Don't eat at buffets. First off you don't need to eat "all you can eat," Second, they're proven breeding grounds for all sorts of disease. That's food sitting there all day. Not good.

    2) If the food seems too cheap to believe, it's probably because they're using sub-par ingredients, not because they're "the nice guys next door who just want to pass on the savings."

    3) Avoid fast-food. I know it can be difficult, but c'mon. The stuff isn't good for you even if it's cooked right.

    4) If you piss off the waiter or cook, perhaps it's a good idea to cancel your order and go elsewhere.
     
  19. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  20. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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