Tuesday, September 2, 2008

To serve or not to serve

The other evening we hosted a private dinner at the restaurant to celebrate a couple's 55th wedding anniversary. That is itself is something to write about, but we'll leave that for another time. Before the evening began there was, as always, the usual pandemonium that ensues when we are asked to do something that is out of our usual routine. Add to this the fact that the flowers hadn't arrived, we were 6 champagne glasses short (where did they go in the 24 hours between stock take and party?) and one of the invited guests arrived 1 hour too early while we were still in full prep and you have a fairly normal pre-opening mess.

Of course the flowers did arrive, we borrowed glasses from another restaurant and the team member who was threatening to leave because of an argument with the kitchen decided to stay.

At 6.30 the party arrived. Throughout the night not one of those guests had any inclin of the shenanigans that had been going on minutes before they stepped through the door - and that is one of the great kicks of working in restaurants.

Forget the lame addage of "the customer is always right", everyone knows that's not always true. What is true however is that the customer is our prime focus, it's all about them whether we like it or not and we are there to serve them in the true and non-demeaning sense of the word.

Some people can do this, some have major problems with it, invariably taking customers ill-chosen and often inapropriate (sometimes insulting) comments personally - and that will make your life on the floor hell

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