Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is Gordon Ramsay Subject to the Laws of Physics?

Thanks to the beauty and efficiency of the The Google on the Internets, I came across the following illustrative gem on a Twitter archive whilst trolling around for links to my site:

"An hour for fish and chips is not good, gordan ramsey[sic] would ducking explode on the cook here"

There were some other comments of a less than flattering nature directed at my kitchen staff which I will refrain from posting here, but apparently the individual was upset at how long it took for his/her food to arrive. That would be fine if it were justifiable. It isn't.

Now, just why people would allow their off-the-cuff conversations to be posted on the Internet I have trouble understanding, but there is a problem here that I need to air. First of all, unjustifiable attacks on my staff irk me. 'Nuff said.

More importantly, there seems to be a general lack of understanding on the part of a large number of patrons as to the capabilities of a particular kitchen at any specific time. We are clear here at the pub that we are not a restaurant, and that busy nights illustrate the physics of cramming a gallon of output into a quart jar. Not only do our menus state the philosophy of our pub, but there is sufficient clarity as to our limitations when we are really busy, also stated verbally at the point of sale by our really good and capable staff.

I'll leave the following exercise up to the reader:

1) Let's assume Mr. Fusspot (not his real name, but close) arrives and places his order at the bar. He demands fish and chips. He is informed as to the approximate duration of his wait, based on past experience under similar circumstances. The line is straining with a dozen tickets. There are three people, including the chef, working the kitchen.

2) The kitchen has two fryer baskets, one for meats and one for veggies.

3) The veggie basket can hold 3 orders of tempeh sticks, or 3 orders of fries.

4) The meat basket can hold 3 orders of fish, or 1 order of wings.

5) Amongst activity on the grill (2 ft. x 2 ft.) and other orders such as salads and desserts, there are 2 orders of wings, 10 orders of fish and chips, 6 orders involving fries, and 4 orders involving tempeh.

6) Let's say it takes an average of 10 minutes per fryer basket.

Q1: How long will it take our kitchen to prepare Mr. Fusspot's order?
Q2: How long would it take Gordon Ramsay to prepare his order?

Q2 might be a bit unfair, as I would be unlikely to permit Mr. Ramsay in my kitchen as he often behaves like a pillock on the telly. 

Unfortunately, the Twitter post makes no mention as to the quality of the fish and chips once it arrived.


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the fish-n-chips. Twas I who ordered the food and here is my side of the saga...
My friend and I arrived at 4:55pm on Saturday. It was not busy and I ordered a pint and a plate of the fish n chips. The bartender said it would be about half an hour and I thought no problem, I'll have a pint and relax while waiting. I loved the pint and after about 20 minutes I ordered a second one. After about 45 minutes or so, I noticed it getting busier and people around me were getting their food. After an hour, I went up to the bar and asked if the fish n chips were still coming. The bartender asked me my name and then spent some time digging through the pile of tickets he had near the register. He finally found mine and looked up with a wide eyed "Oh crap, I forgot to put your order in" look. "Ten minutes" he said.
It was now 6:05 and I went back to my table. I re-read the part on the menu about how all the food is hand prepared. Maybe they make their own beer batter I thought. Yummy.
Unbeknownst to me, my friend was using his iPhone to twitter on the interwebs about how hungry I was and how slow the kitchen was. He liked the place so maybe his Gordon Ramsey comment came out wrong.
At 6:25 I gave up and figured I'd cancel the order, grab a bite at the DQ and come back. As I went up to the bar I finally heard the waitress calling my name. The fish-n-chips had arrived!
On the plate were two odd looking cylindrical things that were covered in a batter and obviously deep fried. They looked like no fish I have ever seen. There were a few fries on the plate too.
Upon biting open one of the cylinders, I discovered there was indeed fish inside. Yes, I ate it all. It was ok but not worth $11.
Final verdict, the beer is amazing but next time I'll eat before I go.
I spent many years in the restaurant industry, all of it in the kitchen, so I know how hard it can be when things get busy.
Both of us liked the place and we will be back. I'm sorry if you were offended my friend's comments.
BTW, Gordon Ramsey is a wanker.

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

Now that's an honest and measured comment - the kind we like.

You didn't take on the quiz challenge.

It is unfortunate that your experience with the food might cause you to consider patronizing DQ for what could marginally be referred to as sustenance. It's akin to taking the derivative of a point, if you know what I mean. We consistently receive glowing reports about the quality and consistency of our fare. Try us on a slower night.

... which will probably be the night when I get the finings wrong in the cask and you end up with a pint of swill.

The Woolpack Inn said...

Well, you wanted to run a pub....

Don't you know you could extend the kitchen, employ a couple more chefs and buy more cooking equipment? It would only cost you $110,000. What's that? That's only 10,000 portions of Fish and Chips.

Oh, no, wait, there would be the chefs to pay. OK, so lets assume you pay the chefs 20% of the price of the meal. That's now 13,750 portions. Oh, but electric to heat the fryers, lets see, lets say anouther 20% of the meal price.

Oh dear we're up to 18,333 portions now. Ah, but there is the price of the Fish and the Chips, out of a bag or not, it still costs. Maybe 35% of the cost of the meal? Now we're at 44,000 meals to pay for your improvement.

No, you're right, there is the extra waitresses and dish washer chemicals and the napkins and the floor polish and......oh and taxes.

Oh damn, 95% of the price you charge has gone.

You now need to sell 220,000 portions to pay for the improvements to enable you to get your customer waiting time down when it starts to get busy.

Pity the rest of the time it's too quiet eh?

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

But... but.... you didn't solve my math problem.

Dave A said...

Assuming that the 12 orders in front are utilizing the fry baskets as you described, it would be 120 minutes or 2 hours before the order in question would hit the baskets. So 2 hours and 10 minutes is your answer.

Just enough time to quaff a few pints I'd say!

I like your fish and chips by the way.

Dave A said... would take quite a while as I would imagine chef Ramsey proably doesn't actually touch food in his kitchen anymore. But wait we are talking about your it would be never.

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

Quicker. Check statement number 4.

Unknown said...

Seems to me that "Anonymous" is not a wholly unreasonable fellow, perhaps maybe a bit misguided though. Seems to me his iPhone toting friend is the real wanker though. If these fellows were at the Pub on either last Friday or Saturday night, Mr. iPhone could maybe have put down his phone (or left it in the car!) and enjoyed some of the great music being played and enjoyed his evening. Too bad Anonymous did not try something else, maybe a Rueben or a burger, less money and a whole lot better. Maybe next time he'll stop at Long Shlong Silvers and get his ocean-strip-mined-heavy metal-laden-South American-whitefish-bit Fruits of the Fry-O-Lator for a $1.99! Next the Numpties will be asking for ice cold Coors Light! Kudos to Ted and his hard working, if imperfect staff!

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

Like I mentioned in my first post, I'm glad the unfortunately named Anonymous commented. I just wish that would-be reviewers are more careful with their commentary and collect more than one data point before going public.

We had it happen again last night, when that group of 18 skiers from Idaho and three other parties all showed up at the same time. The ticket belonging to a nice couple at the end of the bar got misplaced. The awesome thing, though, is that the couple had come down from Corvallis and was staying in town for the weekend for the main purpose of drinking real ale. We set things straight finally, and they didn't mind their food being late because they were enjoying their talk and ales.