Tasted by / February 7, 2012

Alot of fuss about service in restaurants lately. See SMH articles:



My thoughts about this in 5 simple points

1) Treat everyone how you would like to be treated yourself

Fine diners may invest more in training and getting little things right – I think it’s reasonable to expect more if you are paying more. However, if you carry on like a douche, you will be treated like one no matter the sum of money involved. If there is a certain level of decency in play, any poor service by the restaurant will be clear like night and day. This leads on nicely to Point #2.

2) If you are not happy with something, address it directly with staff without hesitation and without drama

A restaurant always has a chance to turn a negative to a positive. Be clear and complete when informing staff on what’s wrong and how they can make your experience better. In any scenario, there is never an excuse to speak loudly or cause a scene. If you are unhappy with initial response, escalate to management just like you would in retail or any other service providers.

I’ve had everything from free meals, complementary offers, discounts, apology letters just because I addressed it there and then. In my experience, this combined with Point #1 will see you through 90% of situations improve for the better. The other 10% are just lousy staff.

3) Share your experiences with others

I believe in the power of consensus opinion, contribute and use it to your advantage. Eatability sucks balls (how ghastly is it these days?) but Yelp and Urbanspoon are great. If you’re really crazy, start a blog (or just visit FTLOF – shameless self-plug)!

4) Restaurants need to be crystal clear in managing expectations

If all persons need to be present before they are offered a table, then this should be clearly stated. Momofuku Seiobo is notoriously hard to get in and make no apology for that, but they are totally upfront about it. If the customer is making a big fuss about one guest looking for parking, then the restaurant has every right to take in guests who are ready to go. Restaurants are a business, not a charity.

5) Enjoy yourself

It’s all too easy to get caught up critically evaluating everything especially with MasterChef, celebrity cooks – everyone is fricken lounge chair critic. Just enjoy the food, the company and the moment okay? There are plenty of wonderful restaurants, cafes and bars that deserve your hard earned cash.


Hit me up with your thoughts, fears and deepest dark secrets – Phillip Nom

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