It takes a lot of trust for restaurants to let customers watch them make the food they serve. Theoretically, it builds trust and perhaps even impresses us to see them display their ingredients and craft. However, let me confess: there aren’t many places where it actually works: chop houses, wineries, and fancier places. Other places with which we are more familiar: the Subways and Chipotles of the world—it’s a mixed bag.
Sometimes it’s fine. Everything goes off without a hitch. Other times, I leave wishing they had made it in the kitchen—or even let me make it myself. The ingredients look weeks old, the help looks like they have a cold, or the workers are irritable. In such cases, watching how things are made hurts rather than helps.