The Shocking Secrets Every Diner Should Know
Diners at restaurants unwittingly eat the chef's saliva and are tricked into ordering food which is about to go off, according to a new book by an industry insider.
There are things every diner should know before they visit a restaurant, including a marking system used by top restaurants to weed out difficult customers, according to the book.
Unsuspecting customers are unwittingly paying for tap water and are tricked into eating the food the restaurant is desperate to get rid of, it says.
Using anonymous insider information from the country's top restaurant owners, chefs and sommeliers, Restaurant Babylon warns that restaurants, concerned only with their Michelin star, employ a number of dubious techniques to ensure the customer is satisfied and the till is full.
In one revelation, author Imogen Edwards-Jones said: “The chef has tasted and sampled, picked and tweaked, gobbed and regobbed into everything on your plate.”
They re-use the sampling spoon, and employ the “lick and stick” method to perfect presentation.
“How else was that little violet flower petal ever to stay on the plate?” Mrs Edwards-Jones said.
Next time you sit down to contemplate the specials board, you may do well to remember it could be a trick to get rid of food which is about to go off, and only indulge yourself if the ingredients do not appear elsewhere on the menu.
Alongside practising questionable customer service, restaurants also use a number of tricks to make sure they are making as much money as possible, the insiders claim.
For example, when it became socially acceptable to order a jug of tap water, they implemented cover charges of £2.50 per person just to sit at the table or began charging for bread to make up the shortfall.
The quickest way to get ripped off is not to pay hundreds for a meal at a Michelin star restaurant, but to order pizza or side dishes which cost pennies to make and are put on the plate at grossly inflated prices.
Although the revelations may leave customers feeling cheated, they should remember their manners, or risk ending up in the little black book of rudeness.
Some trendy establishments such as Nobu, where the black book is computerised, will simply make excuses and refuse to give a table to anyone who upsets their staff.