Don't Hurry that Curry

You can always tell a lot about a person just by the way they order their food at a restaurant. Their life, personality, mindset and even education can manifest its self as they place an order. I’m sure this is no surprise to those who have gone on their first dates with a person and can quickly determine within the first 5 minutes whether or not a second date is in question. When I’m working with my dad at his restaurant, I can’t help but notice the way people walk in, contemplate their appetite, and place their trust unto us to satisfy it. While working this summer I’ve found the restaurant business to be like a game- one that requires you to quickly figure out your players and their moves. Mannerisms and social interactions give away everything. The adventurous type will always try something new and bold. The tame and lame will order the least spiciest item and return only to eat the same thing, refusing to try anything else. The leaders will walk in and order for everyone at their table. The followers will always “get what he’s getting”. The Pakistanis love the beef. The Bengalis adore the fish. The Indians like the buttermilk curries. The Africans love goat. The Asians love, love the Biryanis (this one makes me laugh the most). I love meeting non- South Asians who know Indian dishes. It really impresses for me for some reason just because I wouldn’t even call myself a connoisseur in Indian cooking. Noticing all these things is necessary if you want to maximize your sales and customer satisfaction, I promise I’m not uselessly being a creep.

The Worst Customers:

Non-white females- Oh, my, GOD. Probably the most indecisive, demanding, and pickiest eaters you will ever encounter in your life. I’m going to guess they come to America with the mindset of “Give them nothing! But take from them everything,” because they will refuse to either order enough or pay enough. Note to women: you are not freaking Spartans! Furthermore, women tend to endlessly ask questions- of all kinds. I was once asked what shape our ice cubes were. Really? Was that necessary, you woman?! Of course, I’m making generalizations here because I have met very interesting, well-rounded foreign females while working. But as a group I would like to say that this holds true- they are the center of their own little delusional worlds.

Shout out to white girls: thanks for being not so difficult.

The Best Customers:

No surprise, males. Of all backgrounds. To sum it up, I’ve concluded that they are more daring, determined, and well, nicer. When guys walk into a restaurant the purpose to them is very clear- they are there to eat. They need, they want and then they get. It’s that simple. The funniest (and probably the saddest) observation I’ve made is that men are a lot more cheerful when they come out with their guy friends rather than their wives. One guy came twice in the same day and the difference in his mood was beyond significant. He first came with his wife timid with a few occasional smiles. He seemed like a normal nice guy. A few hours later he came in laughing and completely unrestrained with a bunch of “his guys”.

Note to these guys: Grow a pair. Don’t ever let her push you around. She’ll eventually respect you more.

I know it’s borderline wrong of me to categorize our customers by gender and race but running a restaurant is a complicated game you have to learn to quickly master. My dad and I can admit that we shamelessly make fun of a lot of people and their awkward behaviors or demanding tendencies. These laughs, however, come with the heavy price. Forget the food and forget the upkeep- the amount of toleration and patience needed to run an Indian restaurant is tremendous. Although playing the game can quickly become taxing on my nerves, I do somehow, enjoy it.

Yeah, I’m pretty self-conscious at restaurants now.