4.19.2014 lets talk about brunch

Chefs hate brunch.  That goes for the majority of the restaurant industry as well.  Why, do we hate brunch?  We'd rather be enjoying brunch than working brunch.  But, it goes deeper than that.

People are most picky about how their breakfast food is prepared, especially eggs.  There are at least 8 popular ways to serve made to order eggs: scrambled, poached, over easy, over medium, over hard, sunny side, omelet, basted.  And there are more variations from there. 

Unless a restaurant is open everyday for breakfast, the brunch menu is totally different than the regular menu.  That means more prep, more ordering, more storage space and more opportunities to miss something. 

As a dishwasher, there is nothing worse than trying to clean plates and silverware caked in dried eggs and syrup.  Nothing.  Except when all the omelet pans and the other pots with dried egg, grits and grease come back to your station.  That's why dishwashers eat better than anyone else in the restaurant.

For food runners, they have the pleasure of dealing with the FOH (front of the house) and the BOH (back of the house).  So they deal with the Chef encouraging them (yelling) to get the food to the table before it gets cold and then the customers needs (complaints) once they get to the table. 

And, what about the gatekeepers?  How do you think a hostess/host feels when a group comes in with no reservation and asks if there is room for 18?  Or, when a 6 top shows up and says that its now going to be 12?  And people are almost always impatient about the whole process. 

There is a dark reason why we hate brunch too.  One that most people don't realize.  Wait for it... A lot of restaurant employees are hungover on Saturday and Sunday morning.  BOOM  Cats out of the bag meow.  (See what I did there?)  After a Friday and Saturday night shift slinging food and drinks nothing tastes finer than a frosty beverage, or six.  Add to that only a few hours of sleep and you get a grumpy staff.  And some of the time, that goes for the customers as well.  And 1 + 1 = F&@K BRUNCH

I learned early on that I belonged in the kitchen and not out dealing with customers.  I just don't have the patience.  "I didn't order this."  "This has cheese in it, I'm allergic to cheese."  "I have a gluten allergy, but the wheat bread is OK."  Seriously?  I couldn't take one second of it.  I would constantly get into shouting matches with people, tell them how much of an idiot they are, and then get fired. 

But I love GOING to brunch.  That's what's so weird.  Knowing what I know, I still enjoy a nice brunch.  And, I'm kind of THAT guy at brunch too.  I'll have a water, coffee, mimosa and a bloody Mary please!  Not so much with the food though.  And, I'm not in a rush.  And, I tip 20-30%.  That's how I justify it to myself.

So the next time you decide to go out for brunch: make a reservation, be polite, be patient, read the menu, have a drink, and tip heavily.

-s-