Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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ISO Standard Menu Items

ISO Standard defines key foods to avoid disappointment
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(+5, -3)
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You enter a restaurant, sit down and consult the menu. Great! Mixed grill... your favourite. Having measured the price against the bulge in your wallet and found it an appropriate match, you order and await delicious meatstuffs. Ten minutes or so later your order arrives... thin-sliced cheap beef, a chicken wing, a chicken frankfurter, a slice of onion and a fried egg.


Next time you go to the resturant, you will check carefully for ISO standard references next to the menu items. A fully compliant ISO certified restaurant would assure you of (for example) a mixed grill containing at least one 12oz+ steak, at least 60cm of pork ribs, a quarter lb or more of black pudding, three good-sized cumberland or linconshire sausages, fresh mushrooms, onion, chips, and beans. You would then have the confidence to order and the assurance of a good meal.

The ISO standard for menu items will need to define all the important meals, such as 'steak', 'roast', 'mixed grill', 'fish and chips', 'full english breakfast', 'continental breakfast' etc.

Key definitions from the ISO standard could even be adopted by governments as legally binding... i.e. it could become illegal not to serve cold meats and fresh pastries in a continental breakfast.

To help standards to be maintained over a longer period of time, any ISO certified resturant failing to deliver all items of the specification for a given meal will have to choose either to give the meal for free or cancel their certification.

I realise that this might tread on the heels of all the Michelin / star awarding etc. bodies but to be honest, they're doing a really bad job. The more stars a restaurant has, the less meat and carbs you get and the more bits of twisted leaf and tiny shreds of fish, and that surely isn't right!

vincevincevince, Sep 15 2007


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zen_tom, Sep 15 2007

       in the US we call this McDonalds.
dentworth, Sep 15 2007

       I could have done with this the other day. I was in a pub near where I work, and I fancied a steak sandwich. I knew they did lovely ones (or I thought I knew - it turned out that I was thinking of the *other* pub). The sandwich turned up, and instead of a baguette with a juicy steak inside, it was two slices of bread with four small lumps of gristly meat. When the waitress asked if I'd enjoyed it, I smiled and said 'lovely, thank you'. I'm a fucking stupid British person. [+]
jtp, Sep 15 2007

       Blimey. Still not found your screw, Ian?
theNakedApiarist, Sep 17 2007

       what's that slice of onion doing in there in the first place?
k_sra, Sep 17 2007

       I like this idea if a restaurant can choose to certify individual dishes instead of their entire menu. This would allow you to get a certified decent meal, but still allow room for a reasonable selection of local variation. Of course cooking variation is harder to remove, and what is a juicy eight ounce burger one place may be an inedible lump of rubber ar the next.
MechE, Sep 17 2007

       In the US, the standard menu items consist of High Fructrose Corn Syrup, Soy Lecthin, Modified Food Starch, Maltodextrose and Yellow #5. And those are for the Energy bars. Don't ask what's in the regular stuff.
RayfordSteele, Sep 17 2007

       Why not just specify the total mass of food, and price by the kilo?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 17 2007

       Years ago some techie friends and I noticed that nearly all of the Mexican restaurants in our town use a variation of the same menu. I.e. if you order a "number 11" you get the same thing in each restaurant. We decided this must be some international standard of which we were not aware.   

       We called it: X dot Mex.
krelnik, Sep 18 2007

       To some extent this standardisation could be done by a third-party agency in which case, instead of the restaurant's own menu, you'd take along the Canonical [Mexican | Chinese | Indian | Italian | Japanese] Menu issued for this particular restaurant which would have the ISO standard menu items on it with a look-up table to translate these into the nearest equivalent menu item or combination of menu items offered by the restaurant.
hippo, Sep 18 2007


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