Dutch Service a Dutch Chef Strikes Back!

Dutch Service has been a running gag on the Shallow Man page for years. I’ve written posts and created MEMES about it and for good reason. Dutch service is often indifferent, incompetent and frustrating. However, after my latest MEME on the subject, a Dutch chef has written to me with their own unique perspective of the behaviour of a lot of customers. So here we have the following guest blog post, Dutch service, a Dutch chef strikes back.

The things I do for my readers!

dutch service explained

Confessions of a Dutch Chef

I’ve been working in kitchens for a while now and I’ve seen some pretty stupid people asking for some pretty stupid stuff. The guests can have some weird demands, but the waitstaff who don’t immediately plug the stupidity leaking from the guest’s brain is ultimately to blame for when I start throwing stuff at them while cursing with diseases and calling them pisvlek.

As with any chef that isn’t a breakfast/lunch/Argentinian steakhouse chef, I take my food seriously. The chef who taught me how to cook properly told me that there are 4 things important about serving food:

  1. It has to be cooked the way it should be.
  2. It has to be the temperature it should be.
  3. It should taste as it should.
  4. It shouldn’t look like a penis.


So when I get complaints like these I start to facepalm myself with a spatula:

“My food is raw” after ordering steak tartare.
“It’s not how my oma used to make it, can you change it?” Because their grandma used to boil everything to shit.
“My food is cold” after taking 20 selfies and asking the wait staff to take 4 pics. Adjusting the filters and thinking of a witty caption and hashtags #etenendrinken #nogmeereten
“My food is cold” after ordering a gazpacho.
“My food is too cold” after ordering ice cream. Trut, go to a dentist.
“My soup is too hot” someone who knows how to suck but not how to blow.

selfies at restaurant

After taking 27 selfies, getting the waiter to take some and then uploading them to Instagram, the food was cold

I usually just blame it on the old saying “wat de boer niet kent dat eet hij niet” which translates to: farmers are ignorant and stubborn like a potato.

Dutch gierigheid

Dutch “gierigheid”, (stinginess) is playing up when people are trying to get stuff for free. Telling the waitstaff that “There’s a long curly red hair in the food” after they ate everything and when everyone in the kitchen has short hair or is bald happened to me more than once. I’ve also heard “I’m allergic to gluten but can we have some extra free bread?” and “Can you sub the veggies for extra meat.”  If it was up to most Dutch women wine glasses should be filed all the way to the top and the extra whipped cream on a saucer next to your apple pie shouldn’t cost extra.



I demand superstar treatment

Just like on a bike, Dutch guests feel privileged when on a phone call with a restaurant. I’ve heard numerous allergies and special requests, which nowadays are happening all over the world but the next conversation was quite memorable and quite Dutch.

Guest:” Do you have erwtensoep on the menu?”
me: “No, sir we have a soup of the day which is pumpkin cream soup”
Guest: ”Are you sure you do not have erwtensoup?”
me: “I’m absolutely positive sir, I made the menu myself.”
Guest: ”Oh, ok… and no rookworst either?”
me: “No sir, I’m terribly sorry. I know it’s the season right now but we don’t have it on the menu. If you’d really like I can maybe put it on next week.”
Guest: “No, no, no it’s fine. I have to throw up when I smell erwtensoep and rookworst but now that I know you don’t have it on the menu I would like a table for two please.”


The denseness of waiting staff

Guests aren’t always the smartest bunch in the drawer but in all fairness, waitstaff can be sukkels too. I don’t blame them since for most it’s just a temp job to get some free beers and a free meal. They usually don’t even know what half of the words on the menu mean.

“Table 4 with 3 steaks well done and dessert needs to leave in 30 minutes, can you make it a spoedje?”
“I know  you’ve started to clean down because it’s 5 minutes to last order but I just sat down four people on table two and they want a 6-course tasting menu”
“the lady at table 5 is allergic to seafood can you substitute the oyster mushrooms for something else?”

Waitress: “Chef what’s the dessert of the day?”
Waitress: “okayyy thank youuu”

The good thing about working in a restaurant in Amsterdam is that at least I get to get a “kopstootje” when I’m closing down, a shot of jenever chased by a beer. Proost!

No sukkels were hurt during the writing of this post.

A big thank you to Joppe Zaat. 

Until next time, “laat maar”.