Europe Hotels Articles

August 23, 2010

Tips for improving restaurant service

Restaurants abound in all types of cuisine and all types of lack of cuisine and no writer can cover the gamut. Here I refer only to American new cuisine’ that is really an approximation of European presentations.

Your restaurant should cater to the customer’s preferences rather than try to impose your tastes on the menu. Let me explain.

First, appetizers should be just that. They should consist of a few morsels at a nominal price. Good restaurants in Europe will often serve a very small taste at the restaurant’s expense. It doesn’t cost much to create good will and anticipation for the meal to come.

Second, serve fresh, not pre-frozen, fish. That’s not difficult although you have to know your clientele to order the right amount each morning. Furthermore let the customer decide whether he or she prefers the fish baked, boiled, fried or grilled. It makes tall the difference to good fish.

Third, use the same philosophy in serving meat. Not that I would eat meat but the customer’s preference is what should define the cooking. Since you, I hope, are not trying to rush the customer away to sell the table to another customer, time is not of concern.

Fourth, not everyone likes the same garnishes so mashing potatoes with garlic or serving French fries with Mexican seasoning and providing those menu items as the only options will drive people away. Be prepared to serve what the customer likes even to the extent of pre-mashing potatoes but adding garlic seasoning only on request and never add Mexican seasoning to anything.

Fifth, never serve generic steamed vegetables consisting of a bean, a piece of broccoli and zucchini slices. Offer, instead, a vegetable beans, broccoli, cabbage and even zucchini if you must as individual side dishes. Let your customer choose rather than offering a mess of pottage.

Sixth, never serve a salad with pre-mixed dressing. Always, automatically serve the dressing on the side. Many people like to taste the lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes rather than having to wade through a sea of ranch dressing that masks all taste. I cannot number how many perfectly good salads great dollops of mayonnaise have ruined?

Lastly, always serve wine competently. On occasion I have actually had to help the waiter to extract the cork. Furthermore, a bottle of white wine should always be served in a cooler if the customer has to ask for it you have failed. Wine, by the glass should always be served in a small carafe with small glasses rather than slopped into a great inelegant glass, as is the custom today. Furthermore, the waiter should never refill glasses without being asked. It is merely an intrusive way to try to sell more wine.

If you follow the recommendations I will haunt your restaurant week by week.

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