Everyone loves dining in restaurants, whether it’s to celebrate a birthday or just to relax with a nice bottle of wine and some gourmet food. However restaurants can be busy places, and in order for things to run smoothly, a lot of work has to be done in a short amount of time – and on the tightest budget possible too.
Although our food may look amazing coming out of the kitchen, we never really think about what it looked like before it was prepared. Did the cooks wash their hands? Was the meat handled properly? There are a number of questions that customers fail to ask when dining at restaurants, and surprisingly, many of the answers to these questions uncover some of the dirtiest secrets of the hospitality industry.
Late Dining, Worst Dining
Although restaurant staff complain about taking orders five minutes before the restaurant closes, it’s not the inconvenience that lowers the dining experience. Food that is ordered towards the end of the night is likely to be stale, un-fresh and quickly put together. Furthermore, a restaurant is in full clean-up mode towards the end of the night, and some chefs like to clean ovens and pans while they cook. You may find that ordering food just before a restaurant closes will get you a steak coated in cleaning spray, or rice that has been steamed in ovens covered in the accumulation of an entire night’s service!
Pests are attracted to food – fresh, uncooked, and everything in between. Especially in large towns or cities, when a restaurant’s infrastructure could be decades old, vermin will find a way to house themselves in the smallest holes and cleanest places – a kitchen for example. It’s not unusual for restaurant staff to battle against rats, mice, and many other infestations that come their way, but it’s inevitable that somewhere along the line, a customer is going to see one too!
Restaurants play a risky game when it comes to fish. Although most of the time it’s the distributor’s fault, restaurants mislabel fish, and end up serving something completely different to what’s on the menu. Furthermore, restaurants rarely get fish deliveries on the weekend, so if you order a fish meal on a Sunday, it’s very likely that it’s been in the cooler for the past few days.
Many restaurants may claim that they have high levels of hygiene, but in truth, many ignore sanitation rules and regulations in order to increase customer turnover. From not washing your hands after toilet and cigarette breaks, to using food that has been dropped on the floor, thousands of restaurant staff complain every year that sanitation guidelines aren’t be adhered to. For example, wearing gloves when preparing food is one of many state guidelines, however many chef’s only wear gloves on inspection day. Handling meat and fish with your bare hands is an easy way to transfer germs.
The doors of a restaurant kitchen hold back one of the busiest environments in employment, and there are many unsavoury elements of a kitchen that a customer would not like. These actions are not illegal or a violation of health and safety, but they are examples of a typical restaurant kitchen. Many kitchens refill ketchup bottles from giant plastic bladders, the floors are covered in debris, and dirty pans are stored next to clean ones.
This guest post has been written on behalf of rangecookers.co.uk. Image credit: here