Saturday, October 1, 2011
While in college, I spent a couple of years working as a server for the Applebee's restaurant chain. During that time, I worked at least one shift at every non-cooking position. Hostess, server, prep-cook, and even once as bartender when the one scheduled was running late from class. But one of my favorite postions was expo. When we weren't incredibly busy, it was a very easy job - I simply stood in front of the cooks grabbed an order ticket, and gathered all the food for a specific table, added any dressings, sauces, or garnishes, then  called for a server or two to run the food out to the appropriate table. When the restaurant was busy, the expo was usually the person screaming the loudest, "encouraging" the cooks to hurry up with the steak that needed to be sent to the same table as the quick to cook chicken salad.

It's good that Jason has a full-time job here, because I'm pretty sure the expo position doesn't exist in India.

The process is much the same here in India - except for one small difference. Today we went on a brief shopping trip, and took the kids to their favorite restaurant (McDonalds). The boys and Jason ordered chicken nuggets, I got a fish sandwich, and we all ordered the meal, so we were expecting four orders of fries in addition to our drinks. Here is what we received.


Yes - we received one (1) order of french fries. Five to ten minutes later, the guys got their nuggets, and about five minutes after that, they got to watch as I finished my fish sandwich, which was the last to arrive. This happens all the time here - even at the nicer "sit-down" restaurants. Your food is delivered when it is finished cooking, regardless of what other food is on the same ticket.

I tend to waffle back and forth on whether I like this. On the one hand, when the kids' food comes out first, it's handy, especially if they're really hungry. It gives them something to do. But when daddy's coke float arrives before we have something to distract them with, tears and sad faces ensue. The thing that tips the scale into the "don't like" category is the fact that sometimes your food never arrives, and you're forced to ask your server for it multiple times, or in fast food restaurants, you have to fight your way to the front of the crowd with your receipt. Not fun when you have two kids to watch at the same time. On the other hand, the Indian people are always very gracious about this, and don't even blink an eye when you bother them multiple times. 

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