I’m all for restaurants having the freedom to run their businesses as they wish, but one restaurant in Florida has used its freedom in an interesting way. The chef has decided to enforce his opinion that ketchup is only appropriate for children. And he does this despite having a section of the menu devoted to hamburgers! (This restaurant isn't the only one with this anti-ketchup view. One ballpark vendor got fired after arguing with customers who asked for ketchup on their hot dogs.) The restaurant believe in the no-ketchup rule so strongly that it's printed right on the menu: “Chef reserves the right to refuse service of ketchup.”
What kind of madness is this, you ask? Aptly named, the French chef-owned eatery that enforces this rule goes by the name, Mad Fresh Bistro. On the restaurant's website, you'll find this declaration:
“No ketsup for you! We know, we know. People love their ketsup. But honestly, be ready. If you’re over 10 years old, ketsup will NOT be provided. Similarly, salt won’t be making an appearance next to your meal, either. We simply ask that you trust us. We know what we’re doing! Part of the MAD experience is to trust the chef, and not have preconceived notions of what your dish is going to need."
So I guess you shouldn’t bother asking for salt either. Granted, in many fine restaurants it's considered an insult to the chef to ask for salt. It implies that the chef has not properly seasoned his food. The same logic could also be used for ketchup — that the request insults the chef by implying that his or her hamburgers are not sauced well. At Mad Fresh Bistro, hamburgers are served with their own sauce, and the chef says he feels that adding ketchup would ruin the flavor he works hard to create.
If you check out review of the restaurant, you'll see that not all customers are fans of this rule. One patron even tried to sneak in ketchup, and was kicked out, according to the chef.
What do you think: Is this rule helping refine customer’s palates, or enforcing an egotistical rule on others?
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