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This is a question Restaurants, Kitchens and Bars... Oh my!

Many years ago, I went out with a chef. Kitchens are merely vice dens with food. You couldn't move for people bonking and snorting coke in the store room. And the things they did with the food...

My personal vice was chocolate mousse - I remember it being very calming in all the chaos around me. I think they put things in it.

Tell us your stories of working in kitchens, bars and the rest of the nightmare that is the catering trade.

(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 9:58)
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Meezban Tandoori
I used to live above an Indian / Pakistani restaurant in Finsbury Park. Two fond memories spring to mind:

The toilet in our flat was right above the tables and there was a hole in the floor. When taking a shit it was quite possible to see exactly who was in the restaurant below.

The most memoriable moment was when my flat mate was looking out the window at the back of the flat down on to the garden where many of the vegetables were stored. He quietly whisphered that I should come over to the window and check out the strange lady out the back. I wonder over to see a woman of African origin pulling up her skirt and squatting right by the onions. She was there for quite some time, until finally she stands up and walks off leaving behind a steaming hot turd! We never ever ate in the restaurant.

(For those of you who live in North London - it is on Stroud Green Road)
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 19:11, Reply)
Not that long ago given how new Air is. ;)

How long ago?

Used to go to Uni here a while back and now have a GF in Uni at Dundee. Guess I will be avoiding Air!!!
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 18:47, Reply)
I used to work at a student union in Dundee.

Like bar work, hate students. Doesnt matter how prompt, polite, smart you are, the tips are shite.

Near the start of my empoyment there I was working Freshers Week, and the Union was packed. As a newbie, I was working my little socks off trying to be prompt and polite to the never decreasing droves of sports union idiots waving £20 notes in my face. I was worried that I wasnt serving people in the right order, so I spoke to a manager about it.

"Ummm... people are saying im not serving in the right order, what should I do."

"Well, if I was you, I'd tell them to go fuck themselves."

I took this to heart and have told many a drunken sports wank to go fuck themselves since.

Oh, and the dishwashers in Air bar have maggots. That is all.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 18:43, Reply)
I've never worked in a cafe!
And i don't think i'd want to.

Someone i know though apparently lost his dog to a resturant!!
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 18:32, Reply)
Blackurn Rovers - Pukka pie division
i work in the dreaded position of pie master in the Blackburn end (points in the direction of Blackburn town centre and is the main stand)
anywho half time is mad and is basically a contest between those who can push hardest and those who can shout loudest.
whilst serving someone i politily asked " what would you like sir?" to which someone behind him muttered "some faster staff!"
needless to say he got served last and got the crappy pies at the back of the oven and missed the first 10 minutes of the match!

apologies for girth..or length, depends how you like it baby ;)
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 18:31, Reply)
Restaurant- Kittens and Barms only?
I used to run a bar that catered specifically to Kittens and Barms, but I closed it down after getting cataracts.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 18:28, Reply)
cheap pizza and kopping off
I never worked there but an old school friend moved back and started at a pizza place run by turks, him being the only white english bloke. used to do large 'the works' pizzas for the price of a small job, fiddling the till e.t.c. some how.

I used to work at the chef that is quite small a longtime ago when at college. Usual stuff i should imagine, waitresses going through the waiters, you know ;) taking it in turns over time, back out in the storage area. Locked a jobs worth muppet in the walk in freezer, nearly caught hypothermia.

met someone to cop of with behind the scenes and out back by loading area, used to take it in turns to wait and serve, used to get 2 bills, one for the customer, the other with what i should expect later, found any excuse to change the coke mixtures and so on :)

i was 17 she was 23, great

was a right result after being in school for so long trying usually unsucessfully to poke a stuckup/frigid girl the same age, only cracked it once back then before college, what a mess, thought id been stabbed, anyway i digress, thats another QOTW...
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 18:25, Reply)
Famous Customer
It was when I was working at McDonalds. I was on front counter one day, on the tills, and it was a busy Saturday afternoon. I'd finished serving a customer, said 'next please' and slowly a man wheeled himself up to my till..........it was none other than Stephen Hawkings.

As I went to get his order together, the person on drive-thru booth 3 just got there ahead of me, so I shouted over to chicken side 'How long's a veggie gonna be?'

A new smart alec new starter shouted over 'Between 3 and 4 inches'.

The Floor Manager shouted over 'The same length as the last one that came in'.

and the Store Manager shouted over, in his best Hawkings robot-esque voice, 'A-bout 2 and a half min-iiiiites'.

At least Mr Hawkings showed he had a sense of humour by saying, or rather his voicebox saying, 'ha..ha......ha, stopp-it, you're cripp-ling meeee'.

PS. We did try to get him to do the Crouchie, but he made his excuses and left
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 18:19, Reply)
Peter Sutcliffe's right bollock...
Why on earth did you take that picture?!!?!!

Why oh why did I click the link??!!!

I need to remove that image, somebody pass the memory eraser ("do you mean the revolver sir?")
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 18:02, Reply)
Ever bother with complaining at a Burger King/McD's/Whatever the brand of filth you've decided upon, spit and the occasional man mayo will be waiting. You piss off 16 year olds getting paid minimum wage - you are gonna get a whole world of hurt.

luckily I'm a lot more mature now...
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 17:55, Reply)
I lost my sausage
because i was late to the hospital.

No worries about length anymore.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 17:51, Reply)
I used to work in a pub...
A customer sheepishly came over to the bar and tried to inform me in the politest way possible of a 'foriegn object' floating in the urinal. I marched into the toilet expecting said foriegn object to be an empty bottle of WKD or another banal item.

Therefore, I was quite shocked when it turned out to be an actual human shite.

(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 17:50, Reply)
used to be a kitchen porter
which is a posh name for chefs slave and buggering item

there was a game we used to play called hot or not, we'd pick up random pots and pans and throw them to each other across the kitchen, having to catch them by anything other than the handle

kitchen staff would also have eating competitions, like who can eat the most birds eye chilis gets all the kitchen staffs tips (birds eye chilis being the hottest upon this green earth i believe) and who can put the weirdest thing in a peice of food- this category was won by the dessert chef- he managed to somehow burn his cock through his work pants on the hot plate and a couple of day later when it scabbed over he took the scab and put it on a pizza under the sauce

mind you when your 14/15 £5 per hour + about a tenner in tips is a fuckin job and a half so i never complained, and neither did the customers
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 17:08, Reply)
Punter Fun
Not actually worked in a kitchen myself but my wife used to be a chef in a well known restuarant. When she left she was called on from time to time to take over the odd "Cook out" which involves the chef taking over a punters kitchen and creating a gastronimic feast using the equipment in the average kitchen (snack'n'sandwich toaster, microwave, EZ-Cook deep fat fryer). The very last one of those she did (before marrying me and concentrating on having my dinner on the table at 7pm sharp) involved cooking an 8 course meal at a terraced house in Bedfordshire where this couple had won the meal as a raffle prize. They had invited their friends round and as the prize did not include the waiting staff that job was down to me.

The day starts well with my other half being shown the kitchen she'll have to work in and basically doing a reverse "Changing Rooms" and demanding that all the furniture that wasn't directly involved in food preperation had to go, as did anything that could get in the way or annoy her....so no pirelli calander, no cute little tea cosy, no welsh dresser, No children, no pets, no irish....the usual sort of thing. That was of course down to me as the staff.

Next job was to be her Kitchen Porter while she prepped. I wander to be her sous chef or something but apparently I was a useless f*ck in the kitchen and if I wanted to be called a chef I could f*cking work my way up through years of grime and sh*t just as she did rather than just call myself one for a laugh. Apparently I was lucky to get the job of KP rather than "T*sser getting in my way" Several hours on I started to wonder whether marrying her was a good idea. The words you hear Gordon use were nothing compared to the swearing and general abuse handed out to me as her KP.....anyway, moving onto the fun bit. Having been KP I then had to be somallier, waiter, maitre thingy, hat check girl, all rolled into one. After taking it seriously for nearly ten minutes I thought that it would be jolly to embellish the descriptions of the dishes being served.

From a basic gravadlax and salsa to start we had instead lean cut Tibetan Fresh Water Bell Fish with mixed icelandic wild pickles served with an accompanying wine pressed from only the third grape from the westernmost tip of each vine (first two get too much sun you see, takes away some of the sweetness to create a slightly drier finish) right through to the Impala Milk cheese which is made from the milk, oddly enough, of the Thompson Gazelle rather than Impala's. Impala's being difficult to catch carrying a stool and a bucket. At first I thought I'd be sussed but no...... they thoroughly enjoyed it and the charity who ran the raffle got back rave reviews about the quality and diversity of the food.........makes you wonder whether thats what they do anyway and in fact all the fish on the menu at Ramsay's is cod but just folded differently.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 17:04, Reply)
A waterfall of roaches
I started out as a dishboy in an Italian restaurant and developed a tendency to use wooden spoons as makeshift drumsticks. Those who have been inside kitchens know that many have splash guard panels up and down the walls of food prepping areas. I tapped to Rush's Red Barchetta on the stainless steel panel behind our meat slicer and literally thousands of roaches poured down the bottom and onto the floor. What was even more disturbing was the chef telling me not to step on them lest I get their eggs on my shoes and track them home.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 17:01, Reply)
Celebrity Chefs
Come on,
some one must have some funny stories about that twat Brian Turner.

He's a right royal cnut.

(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 16:52, Reply)
nycmstar mentioned bad tippers. I nominate the members of Lloyds Luncheon Club for the award of all time penny pinching mean frigging bastards.

LLC was (as the name suggests), a small luncheon club for ‘Names’ at Lloyds, i.e. very rich underwriters with vast personal fortunes. It was set up by, reputedly, an ex-good time girl who used to provide services to many of them until she saved enough to open the club. The staff were a good lot, two on the bar, me and head barman, few waiting staff, wine waiter, few kitchen staff, ‘hostess’ and manageress, 12 in all. Food was pure nursery/boarding school food, which went down a treat. Drinks were all doubles, most members had a couple before lunch, a couple of bottles with lunch, a couple of brandies, then back to Lloyds to insure ships and whatnot. Most came two or three times a week.

It was a private members club and there was no cash. Tips were really rare, the odd guest buying fags, the odd drunk member needing a cab hailing.

At last, Christmas came round and a list was pinned up in the bar for members to put down how much of a Christmas box they were giving to the staff, remember a staff of 12. Remember, most came around 100+ times per year. I think the biggest tip was £20, most put down £10 or £15. I won’t tell you what went into their spotted dick that week.

Still, I could tell people that I used to work at Lloyds in the City (lies on c.v.). Also, I got a taste for Armagnac working there – nectar of the gods, I’d smuggle it out in ginger ale bottles stuffed down my pants.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 16:43, Reply)
Eddie the bar monster
This year I was working in Grand Old Wombledon, was disappointed at the severe lack of Wombles, but I digress...

I was based in the food village section as a Team Support staff, basically all the stock/cleaning, dogsbody stuff. There's also a bar there, and this bizarre creature worked behind it...

Eddie was the name, and Greek may have been the nationality, this thing was about 5ft, perhaps shorter...but he was a few feet wide as well, could not run, but shuffled along slower than your average penguin (hence : The Eddie Shuffle) and sang really old songs in a vey shrill voice while working, I remember hearing Frere Jacques at one point...¿?!

Bar staff said he scared them, but even they missed this little gem...

One of the other team supports comes running over to me and this happens...

Him: Quick! Go into the guys toilets!
Me: Why?
Him: Just have a look!
Me: What? Has someone shat on the floor or something?
Him: Just go! Before it's over!

So me and another guy who was listening go in, and just walking past the cubicles I catch out of the corner of my eye none other than Eddie, sitting trousers down on the toilet, door open and looking out of breath...

We carried on round the corner and just completely creased up with slient digusted laughter! What the bloody hell is this creature?!!!

Rest of job was fairly mediocre...
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 16:41, Reply)
nycmstar, if the bar is slammed and you have fuck all to do maybe you could serve some customers...
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 16:40, Reply)
Santioned Theft Of Sorts
Me again, sorry...

In the bar I manage sometimes there is fuck all to do except walk around or stand at the bar. On Friday nights when its slammed, sometimes I'll stand by the bar entrance with my arms folded on the bar killing time.

Usually there are people all around me trying to get a pint, and the bartenders aren't very fast so they can wait awhile. I'm dressed like anyone else so theres no real indication that I work there at all.

If the two bartenders on that night are pre-occupied and not really looking in my direction I'll walk behind the bar and pour myself a shot of top-shelf tequila or whisky, and return to my spot at the bar.

You should see the looks I get from the bewildered customers. Priceless.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 15:56, Reply)
If You Plan To Do Drugs, Be Nice
In any bar in NYC (or anywhere else for that matter) its inevitable that people do coke in the restrooms.

I manage a bar on Friday nights and there was a group of 6 or so guys celebrating a mates birthday. Some of them were nice enough but most were just assholes. Obnoxious, bad tippers (not a good thing in USA), and despite our polite requests kept getting in the way of the barback who's running back and forth keeping the bar stocked etc.

I should have kicked them all out once I found that the sneaked a bottle of Jack Daniels in. I didn't. Instead I took the bottle and poured it down the drain.

Later on I went to check on the mens toilets. And there is the biggest asshole of the lot snorting coke off the toilet (which is fucking disgusting as toilets go anyway).

Generally I don't care what people do, but I do care that they do it when I'm working, and are dumb enough to get caught.

I reach for my mobile (the battery is dead but he doesn't know that) and tell him he has two choices (1) He can wait here for the cops, or (2) He can flush the entire stash down the toilet and get the fuck out of the bar.

Poor bastard must have had the entire groups coke for the night. It was a big enough baggie. He whimpered a little as he emptied it into the toilet ("You're so UNFAIR") and seemed really flustered. Fucking drama queen.

Once flushed I dragged him by the arm out the door.

If he'd been a nice customer though the night I'd just have asked him to leave, but he'd been a complete prick.

What cracks me up was that I had no intention of holding him until the police got here (and probably no legal leg to stand on). He could have just left at any time.

Dumb bastard.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 15:46, Reply)
Refreshingly clean story: at the end of the night in a busy 'Brewers Fayre' style pub restaurant, my sister and I were carrying large towers of gateaux boxes back from the sweet counter, through the kitchen, to the fridge. My sister, carrying a pile of empty boxes, happened to drop hers. No harm done. I was a few paces behind. The pot-washer, assuming my boxes were also empty, leapt in to the air and with his best Karate Kid squeal, karate-chopped the boxes I was carrying. Stunned silence as about £100 of gateaux exploded out of the sides of boxes and all over the kitchen.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 15:42, Reply)
Dear Darth Munki
Us chefs generally are cunts, true.

But we slave our arses off all day cooking, have to spend a further hour & half cleaning at the end of the night & only get shit from the waitcrew and customers all day. So we deserve to dish it back to anyone in our path.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 15:41, Reply)
Insane Maniac's managing stories...
Anyone leaving or entering a large restaurant very early or late on their own will know it can be scary as fuck. There was a ghost that used to set off the handdryers when no-one was in the building.
Then he moved round to the bar & knocked over glasses.
Then he'd set off taps.

Complaints are fun, especially when you know a customer is in the wrong.
"This isn't a sandwich, it says 'sandwich' on the menu and this isn't in bread!"
"Yes it is ma'am, it's in a rustic bread"
"I work in the Sandwich Deli 2 towns over, and that is not a sandwich!"
"Yes it is ma'am and it clearly says 'rustic bread' on the menu."
"Well I expected it to be between sliced bread!"
"Why would you expect that, that's not what it says on the menu, it says 'rustic bread'"
"Don't you know who I am? I'm Mrs. Brown, owner and manager of the Sandwich Deli!"
"And I'm Mr. Maniac, manager of this restaurant"
"Well aren't you going to subsidise my meal?"
She didn't get it taken off.

There was a bank holiday monday that had Harry Potter released at the cinema over the road at the same time. I told a customer there was a 40minute wait on the door. He waited 25minutes, then told me his family had to get to see the film in an hour. I told him that that might not be possible if he wanted to eat here. Then he punched me. Is Harry Potter really worth that?

Also, the obligitory sleeping with staff members in various parts of the restaurant. There's a booth that's quite concealed that's been used by most of the staff, & I still giggle each time I seat someone there.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 15:32, Reply)
Revenge of the Barman: Part IV
Some moons ago I was working in an estate pub, a spit and sawdust affair with plenty of local characters.

Although officially a barman, I also heated up bar snacks such as chicken burgers, beef burgers and hot dogs in a funky little halogen oven type thing (I hadnt been promoted to Saturday cheese and onion baguette chef yet).

One regular customer was a real source of irritation for me. He would be the person that knew everthing, had to be centre of attention and spitefully picked on some of the older blokes trying to enjoy a quiet pint. This loudmouth had some kind of ongoing liver disease, and had carried on drinking despite warnings to the contrary.

He and I sparred quite few times until turning to confrontations, they hit a hiatus one day and he royally pissed me off.

A couple of days later he came in and ordered a cheeseburger and a pint of Carling. The burgers usually needed defrosting before being put in the halogen oven. I didnt bother this time, so when it seemed hot enough I added ketchup, along with some optic cleaner, greasy unidentifiable black scrapings from the bottom of the halogen oven, some cigarette ash and a slice of Lidl's finest processed cheese to finish.

I brought the burger to the bar, and proceeded to pour a pint into the glass i had kept under the bar especially for him as it had a small dash of optic cleaner in it. One of the chemicals in the cleaner had laxative effects if ingested so the more the better. He drank, ate and left early.

I didnt see him for three long weeks during which I had some terrible thoughts about liver disease/chemical reactions. He was normally in the pub come rain or shine - at one point I convinced myself that I'd killed him.

But the bastard returned with a vengeance, complaining to the landlord that a dodgy burger had given him viral gastroenteritis. He recounted how he had been shitting blood at one point and had been taken to hospital in an ambulance. Despite being forty something, he still lived with his mum and the whole episode had given her a chronic fear that he was dying of liver failure. Which he did in the end.

Not guilty your honour.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 15:27, Reply)
Staff parties
I used to work for a bar in the north east, sadly been taken over now and therefore nowhere near as much fun to work for.

All sorts of fun and amusing things happened, some of which are below :o)

one of the chefs falling asleep on the stage and us sellotaping him to the floor

my boss getting pissed, taking off all of his clothes and relieving himself against one of the big windows - inside!

my boss drunkenly falling asleep, again naked, on top of the hot plate in the kitchen. as it was cold he switched a few burners on on the cooker

riding around the function room on a member of staff's little electrc scooter

a female memeber of staff getting very drunk and copping off with a regular who has a jeremy beadle arm and a face like an egg with teeth. she was packaged off in a taxi, but returned a couple of hours later covered in curry.

moving the untaxed car of one of the regulars by bouncing and lifting it, and balancing it on some concrete steps (the office next door rang the police the next morning as they thought it was stolen and abandoned - they police towed it!)

a chef falling asleep in the bosses chair so having his ears painted with tippex

regular monday night staff beer-mat throwing wars in the bar

i know i've got more stories but my mind has gone blank! apologies for the size of my portion
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 15:24, Reply)
Insane Maniac's chef stories...
These are the best. One of my fellow chefs used to deal crack whilst at work! He'd regularly go out into the yard for like 10minutes at a time, & knowing he was the druggie type we just asumed he'd be out there toking & let him get on with it. It wasnt until we had more 'colourful' members of the public walking into the kitchen through the back door asking us if we "Got any sniff?" that we cottoned on.

Deep Frying body parts is painful. Deep Frying fingers after recently lopping off the end of your thumb whilst chopping lemons is killer. Having bastard's of mates force your recently cut thumb into the deep fryer at 350ºC is worthy of revenge. So I won over his girlfriend (a waitress) only a week later. HA!!
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 15:17, Reply)
Insane Maniac's bartending stories...
Oh, that little red button behind the bar? No one had told us what it was for.
"Shall we press it?" "Yeh, go on!"
Skip forward 2 minutes and 4 cops in a meat wagon with body armour charge through the front doors asking us barmen where the trouble was. We told them it wasn't us, but you could tell they didn't believe us.

Being bartenders we'd also be designated "Machine watching", by which we'd tell staff members exactly how much had been fed into or won out of the fruit machines, but cutomers were always told "Yeh, about £20's just gone in & no-ones won". Regularly walk home with a couple Jackpots in the back pocket.
Failing that though, some of the crapper fruit machines would tell you the last win amount if you used the refill key. Which was nice.
(, Fri 21 Jul 2006, 15:11, Reply)

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