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November 02, 2005

Comments

Jennifer

Welcome to my world, Haddock. Trying to please the masses chair by precious chair. I remember a guy about a year ago who - before he had even so much as taken a SIP of his cocktail, to say nothing of an appetizer or anything approximating a meal - was so dissatisfied with his quiet corner table that he shouted: "You'll be sorry! You'll regret this!" - this on a Saturday night from someone who had walked in and demanded "the best table in the house." We have only 20 tables, sir, I told him, and of the 20, only 5 are in front of a window. Those 5 have a view of an endless stream of cars and hotel windows, nothing more. And yet...

johng

Just curious, Haddock, why don't you wear your whites on the floor? That way people will fawn all over you.

What was amazing to me during my restaurant career was the intensity of emotion people would invest in their table. I've seen them fume for hours about an imagined slight. I've seen them call door people em-ef's to their face for what they think is a bad table. I've seen people turn down four tables in a row and walk out on a reservation they had made six months in advance. Some people really let their weirdness out in restaurants!

haddock

johng:

Sometimes I do wear the whites on the floor. This is all in the experimental stage so we'll see how it shakes out.

Also I collect 40's ties and this is an excellent excuse to wear them. Plus I'm seeing what kind of direction my wearing a suit sets for the restaurant. Ultimately I think it's a little too formal for our space but I'm seeing how people perceive the restaurant when they're greeted by someone in jacket and tie.

Jennifer and johng:

The GM's theory is that we see what mom saw when the diner was in the high chair. The fussy ones, the full mouth stuffers, the food flingers, the whiners, the red-faced screamers. It's true though that people behave in restaurants in ways they would never do at a doctor's office, bank, or just about any other public place. I'm not sure why.

haddock

Oh one more thing about the whites. MY perception is if I'm on the floor in my whites and I clear a table, we look understaffed and half-assed. If I'm dresssed to be on the floor and I clear a table it seems different.

Kudzu

God, diners are so impossible.

I like to think that we go to a restaurant to EAT. The few times I have wanted a change of seating had to do with situations like a bunch of young Brits sitting down and throwing up next to my table at a rather posh Italian place in London, or when noise (a constant complaint) was more than I could deal with.

Imagined entitlement is (almost) worse than anything for service staffs to endure.

Could the GM snap an image of you in suit and tie?

Dr. Biggles

Hey man, don't be too hard on the ol' sous. Some of us are truly vegetable impaired. We'd love to know and work it and channel the veggie love, but it just doesn't happen. Recipes are as close as I'll ever get. But when roasting or smoking meat? I can come up with all kinds of ways and means. Not sure where the short circuit is.

Biggles

cookiecrumb

Great insights, Haddock. There's a book in all your stories.
Speaking of which, I'm enjoying "The Perfectionist" by Rudolph Chelminski, about Bernard Loiseau, the chef who committed suicide when his third Michelin star was taken away. Good insider-y stuff, if you have time for reading.
(Biggles! I hear you've actually eaten broccoli.) :D

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