Customer Anecdotes

I have worked part-time at a restaurant every week for over a year now, and I’ve met some pretty funny people that I’m about to expose.

Literally last night a lady came in holding a chicken. She told me she carried this chicken everywhere because her other chickens bullied this one. Also, she ordered a chicken dish.

That same night a really tall, old guy came in and ordered yelling across the room, he was so loud. He had some kind of thick accent, so it was hard to tell what he was saying. After I asked him to repeat himself just once, he got just got fed up and stormed out. To be honest, I was relieved he left.

There are way more stories, eccentric people aren’t uncommon encounters when you work at a restaurant. Realizing that so many kinds of people just exist that are so different from what you’re used to is strange. It made me realize how sheltered I am.

PC: https://cdn7.dissolve.com/p/D145_42_319/D145_42_319_1200.jpg

On The Line

When I knocked on the kitchen door, I carried only clammy hands, a thin resume, and a fascination with a world that I had begged to be let into. Cory, my soon to be Chef, gave me the once over, pointed to a cashier, and continued violently tearing apart poultry.

A week later when I came to interview, he saw in me something from his teenage years. At least that’s what he told me as I signed the workman’s comp forms in the hospital after I rammed my thumb into the mean side of a mandoline.

I started small and assumed I would slowly be introduced to the kitchen, but Cory had other plans and a short staff, so one night I was thrown an apron and instantly I became a fixture of the frier. I played tetris with time, organizing chicken wings and okonomiyaki style tater-tots. 

What they don’t tell you is that short order cooks are prep cooks, janitors, singers, and comedians. 

When we ate cold food on milk crates, the cooks told stories of long nights in food service, they told me about forearm sized scars, crazy chefs, and what homelessness taught them. The dishy had a stutter and sometimes he needed a ride home, José wanted to teach art, Steven was overqualified, and I was hungrily learning everything I could.

Working on the line roaring with heavy metal and a hot range taught me that kitchens aren’t about food, they are about people. They are about stories.

Bubba Gump.

Speaking of restaurants in the United States, “The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company” stands out as one of my favorite. I love it not only because I am a seafood lover, but also is because of the interesting background. The “Bubba Gump Shrimp Company” is a seafood restaurant chain inspired by the 1994 film, also my favorite movie – “Forrest Gump.”

The first Bubba Gump restaurantt opened in 1996 in Monterey, California by Viacom Consumer Products. The Bubba Gump restaurant is named after the film’s characters Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue. In the film, Bubba suggested the shrimping business and ultimately Forrest pursued the idea after Bubba’s death in the Vietnam War.

The restaurants are fairly popular throughout the nation. And by September 2010, thirty-two Bubba Gump restaurants operate worldwide. I am not sure about people’s motivations of going to Bubba Gump, but as for me, I mistakenly thought that the restaurant was the real one in the movie.

The menu at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is primarily associated with shrimp dishes, but also offers a variety of other seafood. One main focus of the culinary style is Southern and Cajun cuisine, as the main characters in the film came from Alabama.

The atmosphere in the restaurant was really thematic – full of the quotes and posters from the movie. The waiters also ask questions about the movie.

I enjoy the restaurants with certain themes. They provide the customers various feelings and experiences besides just eating their meals. Such restaurants can always easily build profound impressions and make people want to return. This is actually a great strategy!