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November 12, 2007

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Dr. Biggles

What the hell is it about the relationship between patron, server and host? I don't get it. Why would a patron expect their server to be a highly trained slave?
I remember when I was a wee lad, my mother showed me how to get eye contact and or raise your hand to get your server's attention. Kindly ask for what you need. Um, seemed kinda simple to me.
A recent waiter and/or chef forgot about my side order of bacon. The server turned and decided to read the paper, in a busy cafe. I went over and excused myself and asked for my bacon, please. No big deal, they were apologetic and I got a nice steamy layer of bacon!

I would not make a good waiter.

xo

shuna fish lydon

I have an idea. I realize it's a little radical, but hear me out.

I think everyone should work a restail job and train to be a server for at least 6 months in their life. Like a draft. Or mandatory army training.

I am so over people complaining about service-- me being one of them-- (and in my own workplace.)

1. it's a hard job
2. teaching initiative is almost impossible
3. teaching "ownership" is even harder
4. getting the American public to take waiting seriously, as a profession which deserves respect might be an impossibly steep climb.

It's all nuts & bolts! It's all common sense! But really now, when are we going to let go of our unreasonable expectations and look at the whole picture?

kudzu

Shuna's suggestion, while radical, has its points. Those of us who worked in service positions are more likely to understand and appreciate the jobs of those still in them. As for recognizing the pride of professionalism in restaurant service, I fear America is incapable. But I have a place in my heart for those old guys who have worked their stations in favorite pkaces for years, whose performance is fine tuned. And nothing makes me happier than to see the changes as a young (usually immigrant) busser who performs professionally is moved up into a waiter job. I guess we have to keep hope alive, even in the face of the public's failure to behave.

georgia

I don't live anywhere near you or your restaurant (I'm guessing)...I'll probably never eat at your restaurant (sadly)...but as a former waitress with an interest in the restaurant business, I really dig your blog.
Thanks!

Towse

I like Shuna's idea. Barring that, everyone should have at least one friend or family member who has spent time in a service position. You will (1) leave better tips and (2) have a lot more sympathy for "things that go wrong."

There's a well-known San Francisco restaurant that we went to twice. The first time was an Easter Sunday and the chef had just been promoted so it probably wasn't the best of times. We went back again and I was served a thick piece of pork (on the menu, iirc, as "pork rib") which I could not cut with my knife. I told my wait staff that I couldn't cut the meat with the table knife I had. He apologized and came back with a "newer" knife from the flatware drawer that just barely cut the meat.

Please, those of you who whip up food in the kitchen, make sure the restaurant has a sharp, serrated knife before you serve anything that needs some serious steel to cut through it.

Paula from Only Cookware

On my recent, and first visit to the US, I found that the service in most eating establishments was exceptional. I am sure there are the odd few that don't do the right thing but we found that everywhere we went the staff were attentive and courteous.

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