5 Secrets of a Chinese Restaurant

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By Jenny Bui / March 23, 2017

Shhh! I grew up with my parents’ Chinese restaurant and have worked as a waitress for ten years and will tell you about some of the little tricks and secrets that only waiters and restaurant staff know.

  1. Why are the menus of Chinese restaurants so big? (Our menu for example has over (800 dishes)

Answer: I asked my parents this question when I noticed that some customers were struggling with the sheer variety of dishes. My dad smiled and said: “We offer so many dishes so that people think that we are skilled chefs who are able to cook a variety of dishes and have a successful business. It’s all about size”. Actually, the main ingredients for each dish are the same (rice, noodles, vegetables and meat), you just alternate the sauces.  Sweet and Sour Chicken, Thai specialty Chicken, Kunpo Style Chicken, Vietnam Style Chicken…You get the idea.

While customers read through the menu, it also gives us time to cater to the customers who have just arrived.

  1. Why is my takeaway food not ready when I arrive? You said 20 min!

Answer: First of all, I said 20-25 min. If we are really busy, it can take up to 35-40 min. In most of the cases, we are perfectly aware of how long it will take, the thing is, when you mention this on the phone, people think it’s too long to wait for food and change their minds. This is way, we ensure that people order food, arrive and wait a couple of minutes longer if necessary. And sometimes, we forgot your order or the chef overlooked the tiny piece of paper with your order on it. But it will be ready in 10 min if you don’t mind waiting here…

  1. Why does this table say it’s reserved when nobody sits on it for the whole evening?

Answer: It’s not actually reserved for a specific person or group. We just put the sign on the table to keep the table clear for when large groups of people come in. 

  1. Why we don’t like having dogs in the restaurant.

Answer: I love dogs. But not if they are in the way, suddenly rocketing up from underneath the bench and causing you to trip over when you are already having difficulties balancing three plates with hot food. Therefore, please understand that we prefer if you sit with your dog on designated tables in the restaurant. Another thing to remember, when we say “Dogs are not allowed on the benches”, we mean exactly that. Even when you cover the seat with your jacket.

  1. What happens with the leftover food?

Well, what was on your plate goes into the bin. I will take the duck meat home for my cat, though. We don’t like to waste food. Firstly, because it is a waste and secondly, because we have to pay extra for the food bin, so please consider taking it with you if you can’t finish it in the restaurant.

About the author

Jenny Bui


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