Monday, December 14, 2009

Disgusting olden times.

So Bitchy Waiter has a post up now about disgusting ketchup practices, and it reminded me of a ketchup story from my first restaurant.

My current restaurant uses red plastic ketchup bottles that can't even be opened, and have a little rubber value. If somebody were really determined, they could probably force something in to it, but they're fairly sanitary. When they get low, we toss them and that's that. We also don't marry the steak sauces, thank goodness--or the Tabasco. I worked at Perkins years ago, and we had to marry the Tabasco there by shaking the sauce in to a disposable ramekin and then using it as a funnel to pour it in to the other bottle. Think about the tiny little opening in those bottles and imagine how long that takes. (That's the only job I've ever quit without notice, because they just pushed me too hard. I should write about that sometime.)

Anyway, I don't see disgusting ketchup issues any more, but my first restaurant was a different story. We had short, squat glass bottles of Heinz ketchup there, which customers were always squealing over--"It's so cute!"--before stealing them. They were wide mouthed bottles, so we didn't have the nasty knife-inserting suction breaking crap going on, but people still found a way to be disgusting. The nastiest thing ever was when a young mother and father were there with their 18 month old baby. The baby was fixated on the ketchup bottle, so they gave it to him and let him slobber all over the lid.

Once their food came out, they opened the nasty sticky ketchup bottle ... and then gave it to the kid. The kid spent the rest of their meal drinking ketchup right out of the bottle and drooling in to it. When they were finished, they put the lid back on the bottle and left. They didn't warn the server or do anything to stop the bottle from being put back on the shelf and served to someone else.

Luckily, their server told us all so we knew to discard that bottle of drool soup. From that day on when I used ketchup at work, I broke the seal on a new bottle.


LW said...

Gross. People are amazing.
I remember having to marry Tabasco. It is a pain. We would pry off the plastic pour spout.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Oh God. I forgot about having to do that at one place I worked. Not the Chinese place ;)
At the end of the night all the ketchup bottles would be lying on their sides waiting for half an inch of ketchup to make it up the side of the bottle and all the caps would be soaking in a bowl of hot water. OY VEY!

purplegirl said...

LW, we were told not to do that because it might pop out again later and pour too much sauce on the guests' food or some such. They were total fascists. :)

Mary, isn't it nasty how we do that? It's such a tiny amount of ketchup, so not worth it!