There’s a good reason for saying that these two men are the first and the last people that you want to see in your establishment. The bottom line is that if you have a celebrity like Gordon Ramsay critiquing your food, there’s a good bet that you’re going to be the butt of a few jokes and you’re going to be taught a lesson on how your food is absolutely disgusting or looks like something you scraped off the bottom of your shoe. But the fact is that a lot of people don’t want to be told that they’re doing something wrong, or that their place of business is absolutely horrible, but despite the fact that these are reality shows there are times when a business owner needs to be given a swift kick in the ass to realize that there’s a reason why they’re losing money.
The sad thing about this is that some of these shows, despite the fact that they might be scripted to create drama and excitement, are a little too real since the reactions are hard to fake. Plus, even if they’re absolute teddy bears when off-screen, Ramsay and Taffer are absolute demons when they’re doing what they can to help others.
The funny thing is, some folks have spoken up and said that he was a lot of help and that Ramsay is actually quite nice when people actually listen to and work with him, but if someone wants to refuse to work with Ramsay or get aggressive in return, it’s about to be hell on earth since it’s well known that Ramsay is one of the best chefs in the world, and he’s able to explode like napalm since his influence is going to spread throughout an establishment and change more than one mind in the process. Why? Because he’s been through the shit and earned his respect, which is how it works in a restaurant and a bar. A lot of people might think that these are easy places to work, and there are places where it is exceedingly easy, especially if you manage to get along with your coworkers, your bosses, and yes, even the guests
Working in a restaurant, or a bar, or a combination of both, can be exceedingly tough, and there are a few reasons for this, not the least of which is the quality of the food and drink that is the reason for owning such an establishment. If the food, and the drinks, are phenomenal and consistent then people will often come back even if the place isn’t entirely clean, or the workers are surly and not friendly. But if the staff is friendly, the place is clean, and the atmosphere comes together in a way that people enjoy, then they’ll come back often, and they’ll come back without a single complaint in the world.
The reality shows that are run over and over again and created to show people the inside of one establishment after another are rather entertaining due to the fact that there are still plenty of peopel around the world that don’t realize what really happens behind the bar or back in the kitchen of any given establishment. But for those that have never worked as a waiter, a bartender, or had any position in a restaurant, these clips you’re seeing are why it’s important to not only be kind to the people that are attending you, but to be wary of any establishment that you might walk into since the truth is that what you see isn’t always what’s really there. I know, that doesn’t sound like it makes a lot of sense, but it’s extremely easy to make a place look great and operate on the cheap to give people something that tastes good but isn’t really on the up and up.
It might sound kind of redundant, but if you’ve never worked in a bar then it’s a good bet that you have no idea what goes on behind the bar. One thing that is kind of obvious that working in a bar is bound to be a lot more stressful for one reason and one reason alone: you’re getting people drunk. A lot of people will become different individuals when they’re intoxicated, and it becomes a very different ballgame than one might experience in a restaurant. The moment a person gets drunk, the moment they become incapable of making the same rational decisions that they would when they’re sober, things can and usually do become a lot more difficult.
The reason why Jon Taffer is so entertaining, whether the show is scripted or not, is because he’s right most of the time. The only downside of this show is that it’s been revealed that the producers of the show occasionally ramp up the drama and the conflict, since if not for this it might actually be a boring show with brief moments of action that people wait to see. But the moment that someone gets to see what’s really, what lies behind the bar. The things I’ve seen, the thigns that people do, are a little too real, and while this show might appear to be over the top, the truth is that Taffer tells the truth quite a bit of the time, and while the bars that are showcased aren’t always going under or in as much trouble as they appear, the truth is that what you see on this show does happen quite often.
This show might actually make a person wonder how a bar or a restaurant works, and if either show really has an idea of what they’re doing. The truth is: they do. No matter if things are scripted, no matter if they provoke certain situations, this is the life in the food and hospitality industry. It’s not always going to be easy, it’s not always going to impossible, but it is going to be a rollercoaster that will tear a person apart if they’re not paying attention, and aren’t willing to change when they need to. This is why individuals like Jon Taffer and Gordon Ramsay are valuable in their industries, since they know what it takes to make it work, and they know what it’s like to work in the tough situations when it feels like there’s no hope.
Personally, I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and apart from the kitchen and management roles, I’ve done just about everything that it takes to help run a place. Starting out in the role of busser, moving to dishwasher, then host, then server, then occasionally taking a turn in the kitchen as a helper, it’s been a seriously tense time in the food industry that at times, I kind of miss. The business keeps you on edge, it keeps you dancing from foot to foot at times, and from greasy spoons to fine dining where everything comes ala carte, this industry is something that will tear your ass up if you’re not ready, and will bore you to tears if you happen to find a place that does little to no business.
Working in a bar is only vastly different if there’s no food, but then again, if you work in a bar without food you might be working in a tavern where beer and wine are about all you have, along with packaged snacks and a few items that can be kicked out the kitchen window in under ten minutes. But working in a fully-functioning bar as a barback, a bartender, a supervisor, and occasionally as a cook’s helper, I am one of those that can tell a person that the standards of many bars tend to differ depend on who’s running it, how much the employees care about their workplace. Taffer and Ramsay are popular figures on TV, but for those that have ever worked in either business, it’s kind of obvious that they know what they’re talking about no matter what part of the business they bring up.
For anyone that thinks that Taffer and Ramsay are ridiculous and that their heavy-handed methods on screen are out of control, I’d like to extend this:
:in your general direction. The food industry is not for the meek, nor is it for the indecisive, since there’s simply too much at stake, and not just in terms of the money that one has to put into a business and hope to recover. If you serve anything that people consume, your reputation is on the line whenever a dish or a glass of something goes out. Between the appearance of something that a person will eat or drink, the appearance of the place in which they’re being served, and the professionalism that is exhibited by the people doing the serving. Ramsay and Taffer might come off as abrasive and even rude, and they kind of are, but their words are generally a kick in the ass to those that need them.
The food industry is not a place where you get to screw up continually and make money. It’s not an industry in which anyone can provide less than satisfactory food that makes people sick can last for that long. And if anyone even attempts to throw fast food at this argument they can take a long walk off a short pier since fast food is not only addictive, but it’s cheap (at least it use to be) and quick and convenient, which doesn’t always equate to good. In a restaurant, a bar, anyplace that requires skill and expertise in preparation, the best will almost always come down to the type of care that an owner, a chef, a bartender, and those that work with them take in their preparation and presentation.
There are a lot of secrets to this business, but learning them takes time and experience.
WTR? (Why’s That Radass?)
After spending nearly a decade in the food industry, I do believe in it’s importance, and would hope that the lot of you would see the sense in it. Be good to your servers, chefs, and other restaurant and bar workers, and do yourself a favor and listen to guys like Gordon Ramsay and Jon Taffer, since they’re more than TV celebrities, they’re wise individuals that have been there and done that know what they’re talking about.