I was at a restaurant with Anna a couple weeks ago. When the wait person initially comes to the table, we usually order the same thing: water, no ice, with lemon.
Sometimes I squeeze the lemon juice into my glass. Other times I’m lazy and just drop the whole lemon slice into my drink.
Anna has a background in hospitality; she knows how a foodservice place is supposed to be run. Looking at my own glass of water, I asked her: do restaurant staff actually clean the lemons that get served with drinks?
Anna said she always demanded the lemons be cleaned when she managed a shift. As we talked about it, though, we agreed: most restaurants and bars probably don’t clean the lemons.
The lemons come in a dusty cardboard box, fall on the floor, roll around on the dirty bar surface, and all that stuff goes into your drink and then into your body.
At home, I don’t care if an unpeeled orange falls on the floor; I’m not ingesting the peel anyway. The lemons at a restaurant might end up in my water.
Good thing I have a strong immune system.
Steve Jobs was famously anal about the hidden interior design of Apple products. Meaning, the inside of your iPhone or MacBook Air needed to be beautifully designed and aesthetically pleasing to the eye — even though you’ll probably never see the inside of any of your Apple devices. They’re designed such that only a not-your-normal-household-tool will even open them.
Why be such a stickler for seemingly unimportant details?
I can’t speak for Mr. Jobs, but that attention to detail on those parts I’ll never see — and the insistence from the boss — gives me peace of mind for the parts that I do see.
A restaurant that doesn’t demand that bartenders wash the lemons is probably not washing a lot of other things.
We hired a handyman to fix some cabinet fixtures at a place I lived in a couple years ago. The backside of the cabinets, the parts we are not supposed to see, were sloppy. It was all thrown together and looked… like what you’d expect it to look like if you figured no one would ever see it.
The finishes in that building were cheap and slowly falling apart. It wasn’t a coincidence.
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