A ? about roaches and restaurants
- Mark M
Last nite while dining in a very popular nyc restaurant a cockroach crawled across the wall next to my companions shoulder....not a particularly pleasant experience. We discretely stepped away from our table, called over the closest restaurant employee (a busboy) and he disposed of the critter into a linen napkin. We had not received our entrees yet and decided to stay and finish our meals. On my way out (after paying), I whispered into the maitre d's ear what had happened.
Having never worked in the restaurant business, I can only imagine how difficult it must be to keep creepy critters out of kitchens and dining areas. Being a native ny'er I also acknowledge our city's substantial rodent/insect problems. That being said, I dine out just about every nite and have only run into this situation once before (mom and pop place - i walked out b/f ordering). Im even more surprised (maybe unjustly so) for this to occur at a "high-end" restaurant.
A ? for those of you in the business; Was this a bad luck incident that could happen in any restaurant or is a roach in the dining area generally indicative of a larger cleanliness problem?
I've worked in a number of 'high end' restaurants,and for the most part,they've been very clean.You can't control everything every single moment,or every single bug,and customers love to tell everyone about any bug or worse that they've come across,which doesn't help your business.I don't think that bugs know from high end or low end dining,but I'm sure that we would welcome them to tell us otherwise on chowhound.
I've worked in the restaurant business for almost 25 years, mostly in mid-range places. Yes, roaches can be found in almost every restaurant from time to time.
In my experience the time you are most likely to see a roach -- assuming they are not pervasive in the establishment -- is the day or two after the exterminator has been there. If the exterminator has done a good job the cracks and crevices where the roaches live and nest are now toxic.The odd roach, who ordinarily flee from light because it is also toxic to it, suddenly aimlessly wanders into lighted dining room where you observed it.
My rule of thumb: see a roach or two on a wall or bar and the place should be okay. See more than two, flee.
Roaches are not pretty of course but seeing a mouse scurrying across the floor really puts me off. My co-workers and I used to go to a place in the East 30s for the best burgers and their resident cat was a real chubby, happy feline indeed. We'd often see her proudly walking across the room with her "catch of the day." Incidentally, the place lost their lease and is out of business.
Most low end to high end restaurants have an exterminator come in once a month to spray on a regular basis. They will come out more often if there is a problem. Deven was correct about after the exterminator visit, most of the cockroaches come into the restaurants from the cardboard boxes the food come in!