the more they stay the same! It's a new year and yet some of the most basic and important points about the guest experience still seem to have escaped some restaurant employees in places  we've loved and cared about. That's not to say, however, that there aren't plenty of operators who not only 'get it' but have managed to impart a real desire to serve the guest to each and every member of their team.

Yes, as operators tell us all the time, labor is this industry's continuing problem, but that only means that owners - and most good owner/operators truly do care about the quality of the guest experience - must fight a continual battle to make sure their philosophy is transmitted to all employees.


A restaurant owner told us recently that the problem is that we're in America, where no one wants to work in restaurant kitchens in a lowly post because they feel it's beneath them.  It's not just that the numerous TV shows about restaurants and chefs make potential restaurant staffers feel they should be celebrity chefs, not dishwashers. It's more about attitude. In Europe, she observed, everyone, even in the lowest level restaurant positions, takes pride in doing their very best. Here, in contrast, that pride is missing, and that is what the very best operators seek to instill in employees at every level.


We were having dinner at the bar in a favorite casual dining place a month or so ago and after we'd placed an order, heard our server tell the bartender, "oh, don't pay too much attention to them. They're just splitting a sandwich." 


Oh! Well, our feeling was, don't pay too much attention to a big tip because these servers don't really care about us. It was an unpleasant moment that soured an experience that's usually enjoyable.  More recently, we dropped into the bar of a high end place we've loved late, after a movie, for drinks and a shared appetizer.


We had to ask a server if there was a bartender on duty (she disappeared as we sat down), and he couldn't be bothered to go find her. She was wearing a dress that showed her bra straps (tacky!), took our order and proceeded to spend much of the rest of  our stay talking to another server. Three waiters stood behind us chatting as they watched the Celtics game on TV. We  had to ask for a small plate to share our appetizer. Did she care that we spent nearly $50 on two drinks, one glass of wine and an appetizer? Clearly not. We might as well have not been there. And we might not be again.


On the plus side of the equation, we had Sunday brunch recently at a very popular place that just remodeled. Because it was such a positive experience, we'll give them credit - it was Tremont 647 which is a mainstay of Boston's South End. From the moment we checked in at the FOH where there was a crowd waiting, we were treated warmly, seated promptly, served efficiently and well, and partook not only of good food but enjoyable interactions with the staff. It was textbook hospitality and what struck us was that the servers really loved what they were doing, and it showed.


From the top to the bottom, attitudes matter. When owners take the time to work with personnel and impart their values and mission, it makes for a better guest experience, which makes for better business! If a server doesn't 'get it,' should they really be there, showing their lack of care to the guest? If you're going to work in foodservice, service needs to be a major part of the equation!



Views: 1


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service